COME ON, SOLDIER, PROVE YOU HAVE PTSD!

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How much does this drone cost?  It certainly does not experience PTSD, but what about the day when the remote pilot realizes what actually happened on those missions, especially those oops missions?The Statue of what?We've been doing this to our Veterans for too longHopefully it is a new beginningHopefully, it is a time to heal now
How much does this drone cost?  It certainly does not experience PTSD, but what about the day when the remote pilot realizes what actually happened on those missions, especially those oops missions?
How much does this drone cost? It certainly does not experience PTSD, but what about the day when the remote pilot realizes what actually happened on those missions, especially those oops missions?
The Statue of what?
The Statue of what?
We've been doing this to our Veterans for too long
We've been doing this to our Veterans for too long
Hopefully it is a new beginning
Hopefully it is a new beginning
Hopefully, it is a time to heal now
Hopefully, it is a time to heal now

SO HOW DID YOU GET PTSD, SOLDIER?

You know when you receive a flyer in the mail that your friendly neighborhood bank wants to help you or that the local branch of a megabank has a deal for you, you don’t, for a second, really believe that, do you? Whatever the deal is, it’s going to be a better deal for the bank, right? And that’s okay, Because that’s business.

But healing our Veterans is not a business or at least it is not a business we are going to make money off of. And when the Veteran’s Administration tells you, as a Veteran, that they are there to help you, you want to believe them, hook, line, and sinker. Right? Why wouldn’t they be there to help you? That is their sole mandate and purpose for existence.

So it has been quite disillusioning, even to myself (not a Veteran), that over the years the VA has made it difficult or impossible for combat veterans to receive eligible treatment and benefits for post traumatic stress. So this week’s news that the Veterans Administration has made it less complicated and less stressful for Veterans is an Hallelujah!http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/12/veterans.ptsd/index.html

Can you believe this? Prior to this week, it wasn’t good enough that your doctor diagnosed you with PTSD. You had to pinpoint and document the exact incident of your war experience that precipitated the PTSD. What kind of people would make such a stipulation? What might be there agenda?

"Let’s see, I think it was on the seventh day of body bag duty....No, I think it was the day I put my best friend in a body bag....No, I think it was the first time I pulled the trigger....No, I think it was the day I was on patrol and that bus, about a block away from where I was standing, was blown up by a suicide bomber....No, I think it was the day my buddy’s head landed in my lap....No, I think it was the day I almost lost my leg....No, I think it was the day I did lose my leg....No, I think it was the day I chased a sniper into a house and I ended up killing the women and children inside. Never did find the #$%&& sniper. Ooops, wasn’t supposed to talk about that...No, I think it was the day I lost my dick in an explosion. No big deal. Maybe someone can make me a new one, but I don’t know if I will ever get back my soul or my humanity. I don’t know if I can ever make love again with or without my penis. I don’t know if I believe in love anymore."

Check out for yourself the criteria for diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress. http://www.mental-health-today.com/ptsd/dsm.htm

The bottom line is Post Traumatic Stress is the result of exposure to an extreme event that threatens your life. TRAUMA for short.

War and even training for war IS trauma. There are no singular events in training for war or war itself that are traumatic. It’s the totality of the experience of your life and your buddies’ lives being on the line. You are always looking life and death in the face. That reality is drilled into your head and soul day and night from the moment you enter boot camp.

Think about it! Come on, use your common sense! War is not politics. It’s not hosting a radio show while you smoke a fat cigar or winning an election or deeming yourself the one who gets to decide who the good guys and bad guys are. Training for war and war itself is KILLING people and trying not to get killed yourself.

Does anyone get that? It’s not learning how to aim a rocket or pushing buttons miles away from the combat site, it’s not about firing rockets into the target zone, it’s not about sitting behind a video game consul and flying a drone, it’s not about making a sweep to root out evil. It is about KILLING people.

Now how many of you reading this have killed someone? And if you haven’t, what would it take for you to kill someone? Yes, it requires crossing a line. Even when it comes to "simple uncomplicated" self defense, no matter how well-trained you are in the martial arts or self defense techniques and maneuvers, if you do not go inside and cross that line, the line that separates those who consciously choose to kill from those who won’t, all the self defense training in the world will leave you DEAD and your attacker running down the street with your wallet or your purse. Well, actually, with your LIFE.

What were our leaders thinking when they came up with the stipulation that a soldier had to document the "cause" of his PTSD. Unfortunately, they were thinking the same thing they were thinking, when after removing the stipulation, they had to, they just had to, make the statement that the door is now open for fraud. Soldiers will begin to fake PTSD to get benefits. SHAME ON THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THAT STATEMENT! SHAME ON THEM! There is no faking this condition. It is part and parcel of war. Healing PTSD is the price of war, and if we are not willing to pay that price, then we need to think twice about going to war.

It costs us "only" a million dollars to have an infantry person on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan for a year. We are willing to pay a million dollars, but that’s it. We will pay for you to be on the ground, but we’re not willing to pay for the consequences of having you on the ground. What is that? That kind of thinking or not thinking? What is it telling us about those who lead us into war? What are their interests? It certainly cannot be freedom, because a soldier loses his freedom. For the rest of his life, he is captive to his desire to kill and to the haunting memories of all the people he has killed. He is captive to a haunting guilt for still being alive while so many around him went down, and he may be captive to physical injuries that keep him imprisoned in a wheelchair or hospital bed, or if he is "lucky," chained only to an artificial limb.

If our President and Congress deem it necessary to go to war, then we need to be the big boys and girls we claim to be and take responsibility for the consequences of war.

One consequence will never go away. Soldier will come back CHANGED people and will remain changed and stuck in the terrors of war, if we do not step up to the plate and insure each and every soldier’s healing. There are no stipulations or conditions here. Its not that we heal only those who are extra broken or those who we judge have a weak constitution. We do not go out of our way NOT to heal anyone who might be faking, as if there is something to fake. THE FAKE CARD IS ONLY IN THE DECKS OF THOSE LEADERS AND SPOKESPERSONS WHO PRETEND THAT WAR IS SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT IT IS.

There is nothing good about war. There is nothing sanitary about war, and there is no way to make war less traumatizing no matter how technologically advanced we become. War is ugly. War smells. It smells of blood, burnt flesh, dead bodies, magots. The sounds are deafening. The screams of incoming artillery or of wounded people rubs one’s nerves right to the bone. The experience is RAW. The experience is the stuff of nightmares. It leaves people faithless, hopeless, paranoid, scared, torn-apart physically, emotionally, and mentally. War is an experience that literally BLOWS UP everything you ever believed about life, about people, about love, about your self. SHAME ON YOU who worry that someone is going to cost us extra money by faking the consequences of war. You don’t give a rat’s ass about how much Haliburton over charges their contracts, how much money has to be paid out to keep the natives on our side. Those of you who are so concerned about someone faking PTSD, please, put on your combat fatigues, and get out there, get right into it, into the war, and then tell me if you’re still concerned.

Everyone of our children whom we sacrifice to the gods of war DESERVES treatment and benefits. More importantly, they deserve us to be at their side and on their side especially when they come home. They already fought for their lives with the so-called enemy and miraculously survived. Up until this week, the VA has required them to come home and fight yet another war. Talk about going out of our way to underscore that EVERYONE, even the folks mandated to care for you, is the enemy.

Yes, we made the changes. But SHAME ON US for ever making these cost saving stipulations in the first place. And shame on those who continue to worry about the cost of taking care of our soldiers. Congress estimated the cost with these new changes to be about five billion dollars. Not a lot of money when you think of what we, as a country, spend on, for example, bailing out the banks!

Comments 40 comments

cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

VA statistics for 2009:every day 18 vets commit suicide.Multiply that by 365...25% of the homeless population are vets.

Two tours...south east Asia 1969/1972...Sgt Marine Corps.

I thank you for the kids I see every day who still don't understand what the hell happened during there tour in the Gulf.

Dean


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thank you for your comment. And thanks for being HERE now. I do not know what the journey was for you, but I cannot imagine it was painless. We are so so so so disconnected from the horror of war as a society, certainly the political machinery remains disconnected even though they may give lipservice that they are not. Perhaps this week's change is hope. It's all craziness. None of it makes sense and so far our war efforts haven't accomplished what we thought it would. I believe the LARGE sums of money we sink into our war efforts could be better spent in non military endeavors in that part of the world, but I am open to the fact that I might be as naïve as sh-t! But I understand that the biggest attraction to the Taliban in Afghanistan is that they offer jobs. Yes, all security or military jobs, and, of course, suicide jobs, but jobs nevertheless. MONEY.

I salute your commitment and bravery. And again, I'm glad you're here.


outdoorsguy profile image

outdoorsguy 6 years ago from Tenn

Thanks for your service Cheaptrick.

Though I know there are a few good Docs in the Va system. if it concerns Service related disability they drag their feet. shuffle you around and run lots of pointless tests.

and generally forget to schedule you to give you the results. To be honest some treat us vets as the Red headed step children of America.


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Now, as an old vet, it still sickens me to go to the V.A. Hospital and talk to some of these kids coming back from this insanity that our government keeps us involved in. The last time I was there a young guy I talked to while we were waiting for blood work told me how different he felt since he's been back. He's been through 2 tours in Iraq and they were trying to send him back for a 3rd. This kid was a wreck, he even said his mother didn't know him anymore. It saddens me. As for PTSD, it doesn't surprise me they do nothing to help, hell it took many years before they would admit agent orange was causing health issues. We were to believe that it killed plant life but had no affect on humans. Anyway great hub. Peace!! Tom


Terri Huerta 6 years ago

Well written Vern, As a grandmother to one in the marine's and another one going in August my heart read every word with hope and concern...Thank you


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thank you, Outdoorsguy and Justom. Thanks for reading and commenting and thanks for being there for these "kids" and we forget that they are kids coming back. I'm also really struck by some of the soldiers in reserve, who are almost chomping at the bit to go. They do not know what to do with themselves because they haven't been depolyed but feel compelled to remain combat ready, which means they are already there! Andit's sad because they know the price they are paying and the price their family is paying for their emotional disconnection and their being in that very uptight state of readiness. It's really sad. And I hope if enough of us keep talking about it, eventually something will change or at least shift as it is happening now.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Terri, thanks for reading and commenting. O my God. My nieces husband got back from Afghanistan in March. That is a little removed from grandchild, but I worried every day. I got a lump in my throat every time I thought of anything happening to him. I was so relieved when he finally came home. My niece was ironically, a good soldier the entire time, but paid a very high price and I am so glad it all worked out for them. So remind me from time to time and don't hesitate to share every bit of your hope and concern with me and everyone else. We need to all share and carry each other's worry and concern because as able to vote citizens of this country, we are all and each responsible for EVERYTHING. Don't mean to sound so dramatic, but it's true.


andrew irvin 6 years ago

Qualifier #1: I am not a veteran.

Qualifier #2: I have experience with PTSD, which resulted from a head injury that put me in a coma for 10 days.

Vern, you have started a very important forum. Few of us civilians have any idea of the stress levels our soldiers experience. It is hopeful to see comments left by older, wiser vets who are concerned for the younger ones. Who else would a young vet be able to listen to?


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

Vern, I just wrote a lengthy comment and it vanished into cyberspace! Long story short. Great hub! It bugs me that VA doesn't recognize or hire independently licensed clinical counselors, but they do hire independent social workers. VA does do cutting edge treatment with PTSD, though. And there are problems sorting out who is truly injured and who is malingering -trying to avoid duty or fake illness/injury to get a cushy medical discharge. As you know, some people experience trauma and never do develop PTSD. And there are some who develop substance use problems, depression and other forms of anxiety instead of or in addition to PTSD! And then, the toll it takes on the family! Awesome, awesome hub Vern. Thank you.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Andrew, thanks for stopping by and I am glad you came out of that coma, friend! Yes, it is absolutely wonderful to have "old" vets available to walk alongside the "kids."

Kim, I have a hard time rationalizing that anyone who trains for war and goes to war does not have some form of PTSD. My hair stand straight up in the air whenever a dog barks at me and I can trace that back to events when I was three years old. I was not bitten, but my aunt would hold me down and whistle for her dog, who was a sweetie pie, but I could not tell the dog was a sweetie pie. The dog looked like a black stallion charging at me and barking no less! I do not believe that one can cross that line to be a conscious killer and not have some form of ptsd. It fits with my understanding of how our brain works, how the amygdala stores implicit memory, how intense emotional experiences require left right hemisphere processing to be shifted so to speak from being stored in the amygdala to being remembered explicitly in the hippocampus. I don't know what the need is to say that some people do not suffer from PTSD. It's the nature of the job, it comes with the job. You'd have to be absent an amygdala not to experience PTSD in some form, and if not all soldiers suffered from it, then those soldiers would be talking about their experiences when they come back home but they don't. But I am open on this and maybe someone can inform me with additional info.

Thanks for reading and commenting.



vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hey, Kim, thanks for the links. I haven't had a chnace to check them out and I will


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hello again, Kim. Those studies sighted, all use questionaires to gather information and all start out with the premise (bias) that only about 14 per cent of soldiers will experience PTSD. The Pentagon itself has acknowledged that soldiers do not respond to questions about their mental health. I keep coming back to what war is. It is purposeful exposure to life threatening events twenty four hours a day. One pays a high price to be so exposed and then so disconnected that he or she can claim no effect as the soldier in Hurt Locker. But that disconnect is how one defends against PTSD. Genetically, there may be some people who are more predisposed to PTSD under "normal" kinds of trauma if there is such a thing, but war is way off the chart and I don't believe anyone can or should be able to breeze through that experience unscathed. I'd be afraid to be round someone who claimed no impact. Forget the questionaire. Walk with that soldier when he walks down the aisle of Walmart when he comes home and someone comes up from behind and taps him on the shoulder and it turns out to be his loved one. Those off the chart fear experiences become locked in the muscles, that is how the brain works, unless we take the time to debrief or integrate the fear experience. And it's not a simple one time shot at therapy or a conversation at some military base before you get on the plane to go home. The Briton research was interesting, indicating that most British soldiers are full time soldiers and my belief about a full time soldier is they live dissociated 24 hours a day. It's the only way, much like many police officers and fireman do. Call it whatever one wants to call it. But it's not healthy in the long haul. It's definitely survival, but when do you come to the realization that the war is over and I don't have to live in a state of constant preparedness to defend myself against death? And if there is no PTSD, but for 14 per cent, why aren't all the veterans talking about their war experience?


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

Agreed that we all experience significant emotional experiences and trauma, that those experiences effect us, and denying or dissociating from our feelings about these events is harmful. Agreed that war is clearly traumatic. Disagreed that everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD.

Even in peacetime, there were "soldiers" who couldn't cope with the physical and psychological demands of basic training. They were paid to sit on the sidelines while the rest of us persevered. And those of us who persevered were rewarded with a sense of pride that we could do the seemingly impossible.

I see more violence on my TV in the comfort of my living room in a single night, than I ever imagined while training to kill in Army Basic Training. I was traumatized watching "shock and awe" on my TV and watching planes crash into the twin towers and bodies splat onto the concrete from 10 stories above. I've been traumatized by home visits I've made and things I've witnessed while working in a jail. I was traumatized when I witnessed a child hit by a car. I was traumatized when drill seargents called us pissants and numbnuts. Trauma yes, PTSD no......but where do I go to sign up for the benefit, and what symptoms should I report? I'll need the benefits when I tell my employer what a "nut job" I am because I served my country.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

PS Vern. Voted up and awesome again! Thanks.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Kim, thanks for sharing your personal experience, and I guess the issue is bigger than a diagnosis as you pointed out in the last sentence of your comment. So you did not develop PTSD, you're "just" a "nut job" like the rest of us. Altho, you might have a more "profound" explanation for your nuttiness. The "rest" of us just came from dysfunctional families. I hope you know I'm not serious! I hope, if you haven't, and I just haven't read them, that you will write more hubs about your military experience. I enjoy our fanship!


LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 6 years ago

I was very glad to see the Obama administration give a lot more support and money to agencies that both work with Vets and their families. Having to pinpoint PTSD? How crazy is that. So people had to relieve all of their worst experiences and try to remember which one shook them the most?

THanks for sharing this hub


Shona Venter profile image

Shona Venter 6 years ago from South Africa

Well written, vrbmft. A lot of people have no clue what it's like to live with PTSD, whether it be a result of war, or even something else traumatic that has ocurred in their lives.

Asking a person who is living with PTSD to pinpoint the cause is like asking them to relive what happened, which only makes matters worse.

I take my hat off to any veteran that has lived through war or conflict of any sort.

Voted up.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

LRC, thanks for coming by DAYS AGO. Don't know how I missed commenting on your comment. I try to do that.

And thanks SHONA for stopping by today. Splitting off from reality has become such a way of life for so many ordinary people that when they are in charge, they have no clue what the extraordinary people are going through, altho, they actually do, but have managed somehow to split off from their own traumas and insanities.

Thanks again to both of you for reading and commenting

Vern


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

If those in Washington are so set on spending money, for God's sakes spend it on our Veterans first. If one has not walked in a man's boots in times of war, they have no idea what he has experience or how it affected him or her psychologically. War is beyond the scope of fright in most humans. Living under minute under the stress that maybe your time is up or that of your team members. No one can function that way. It has to be surpressed and when it is, it eventually surfaces and has its effect. We waste taxpayer money on a lot of less important things with little or no validation in doing it. It's time to take care of our own. WB


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Ha! Excellent write, I marked it all up across the board!

I wake up every morning and reach for a stump sock on my night stand and powder my stump and lower leg and foot socket, then strap it all in place, then I can get up and limp to the coffee machine. I'll never forget because I'm reminded daily at the price my friends and brothers paid the day that it took place and how and why I limp as I walk, the VA thinks it's been close to forty years and by now I should be past my status. How might a man forget? how lucky he was to loose only a foot and lower leg piece and now have a replacement to rise and walk to the wall and pencil rub the names of those who are finished that day, upon a piece of paper to take home and hang on the wall of his den beneath photographs of them only 19 at best. They tell me take down the picture so you can forget, well damn them all, I'll never forget or take down the pictures of those who did so well that I can be here in their stead. May God bless them all and we meet again in Heaven so I might thank them face to face and know it was worth the price.

Damn obama as well, I'll never forget his words that " "they knew what they were getting into, and they should pay for their own care".

With a tear in my eye I'll shut up now, thanks for the article, 50


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Wayne, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I sometimes feel guilty because I have not fought on the war battlefield and have not had to face holding a dying buddy and wondering why him and not me, but for whatever reason, I have found a vested interest in supporting those who have. Perhaps it goes back to 1989 when teaching a class for foster Dads and all the Dads in attendance were veterans and none of them ever ever talked about the war to anyone, including their own sons who also went to war and came back home and were literally dying for their fathers to talk to them about the war. From that day forward, I became hellbent on speaking out whenever I could to support Men and Women who have had to face what no one gets. And even those at the top who do get it, manaage to push it far enough back from consciousness so they can continue to encourage the new generation, or as I put it, to continue to sacrifice our sons and daughters to the gods of war.

And 50 Caliber, don't ever take that down from your wall. It is in honor of yourself, first of all, that you had the courage to go and the courage to come back and face the nightmares, the loss, the excruciating sadness. And it is an honor to those who did not come back, for crying out loud. I don't know where people come up with these crazy ideas about taking it down. There is no need to retreat here. Thanks so much for reading and sharing, and I feel honored that you read this blog, because, as much as I advocate for you and all the other veterans, I did not serve myself and sometimes carry a lot of guilt about that. Instead, I serve my country by performing what they called an alternative service and I am proud I did that, but saddened that so many people have sacrificed their lives doing THE service.


grunt11bravo 5 years ago

As a combat veteran, I was diagnosed for PTSD two years later after I got out . In those two years I lost myself and pushed everybody away that loved me. This is true what he said about war. In Iraq, was a whole different world. The smell of dead bodies and stuff we did was normal to us . Yes I lost my two of my buddies there and did stuff I was not proud of. When I got out ,I was a changed man. I don't value life anymore and I cannot enjoy the simplest things. These are the consequences I have to live with and I thank civilians for their support.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thank you for sharing. Your sharing brings tears to my eyes and I want to reach out to you and invite you back as my brother. There is a place for you here and you deserve to live a full life, and I believe healing is possible for you, and I know the road "back" is extremely painful. Email me if you wish, but stay connected with whomever you can.

Vern


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Another great hub with your amazing heartfelt energy shining through. The world is a better place with people like you in it.

I would also like to point out a couple of minor errors in your text which you might want to correct and I hope you would do the same for me if you ever come across errors in my hubs. 12 lines from the bottom children WHOM we sacrifice and second last line of second paragraph That is THEIR sole mandate. You can simply deny this comment once you have read it so it doesn't show up at the end of this great hub.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

HEY Spirit whisperer! Thanks for the comment and the corrections. Your "red pencil" does not bother me in the least and I appreciate it mucho! Your corrections make the hub PERFECT! So I might as well leave what makes it perfect there for all to see!

THANKS AGAIN

Vern


Thomas Andrews 5 years ago from Arkansas

It is about time. I have PTSD in my thinking. Have for 30 plus years. I am a vet. Saw a guy try and kill himself. Still bothers me. That was in 84. My best friend killed himself in 98. I started having flashbacks and just went off the charts. This is a nasty disorder.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hi Thomas. Thanks for reading and for sharing so personally. You deserve to have some healing for yourself, not that the pain ever goes away completely, but there is support available for you if in no other way, email me. I really want to support anyone in the military being able to reconnect to their heart and soul so they can enjoy their friends and loved ones. It is the least we can do to support you after what we asked you to do. So feel free to email if you like.

Vern


Gavin 4 years ago

Vern-

One issue that an individual Soldier faces in trying to define his condition as PTSD. As an example (and wholly not to flaunt "how bad I've seen it"), I'd had 5 Iraqis blown up and their remains peppered all over me to where I was covered from head to toe with human parts. And I can look at that sentence and know that maybe I should feel ashamed for the lack of sorrow in the way it is written, but that is exactly what happened. I don't know if I suffer from PTSD but I know that I don't wake up at night with cold sweats and night terrors about that incident or any of the others. So when I do receive my in-processing back to home station upon redeployment and the Army jams you into a gymnasium or like facility and you get in line to be seen by a counselor that doesn't look you in the eyes or ask you "Do you have any mental health issues you'd like to discuss" e.g., how is a guy (or gal) to respond if they have no idea?


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 4 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hey Gavin

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing. Well, you know that your brain is a mawvelous "thing" and is able to "walk" you through, so to speak, horrific kinds of experiences and allowing you to feel nothing. That is precisely how the brain is designed. At a moment like that, the brain stem takes over the entire operation of your brain and body and cuts off the operation of both the thinking brain and the emotional brain. And there is no shame in that. It is how God made us in order to survive.

You may never experience nightmares or anything else similar as a result of that experience, but you may find yourself, as time goes on, holding back in relationships, having just enough of a protective shield, never to feel vulnerable, raw, small, tainted, dirty. And some of those feelings are forever stored in a part of our brain that we have no conscious access to, the same way that the emotions you did have but had no connection to, are stored there as well. It is in our amygdala. We all deserve to be as connected to our wonderful emotions as we were designed to be. Our emotions are signals telling us what we are needing. So, as painful as they might or as scary as they might be, they are important.

So when you get in that line, if you haven't already, think about saying this!

"Are you talking to me right now? Oh, I wasn't sure. We didn't have any eye contact. Oh, there you go. Good thank you. So you're not going to ask me if I have any mental health issues? Well, that is okay, because I don't. But I have lots of heart issues. My heart aches when I think about the line I had to cross and you know, I'm not sure what my heart needs to heal, maybe some therapy. What do you think?"

Thank you so much for reading and sharing and if there is any way at all that I can support you in your journey "home" feel free to contact me. And I mean that. AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

Vern


Garig 4 years ago

I appreciate everything you wrote vrbmft i don't understand the system anymore just today 3.15.12 i had to provide my psychologist with a written statement from an NCO that was there at the present time of the 207 MM rocket attack on 11 July 2007! yea 2007 BULLSH!T! i have nightmares almost every night but us all being veterans one way or the other know we don't talk about "it" im angry 24-7 on edge all the time and i sleep walk and almost did harm to my significant other in my sleep i sleep on the couch because im too rough in my sleep i really don't know what else to do i feel like im lost and will never be found. If you could help anyway possible it would be greatly appreciated you can email me at trap.sltlr@gmail.com i really need someone to talk to.....please


Justbreathe 4 years ago

Reading this was very helpful. I have been dating my veteran boyfriend for a while now. I just met him after he came back from his 1 year tour in Afghanistan and was officially out of the army. He's 22 and has a wonderful heart and is an amazing person but what I do know is that he is a different man after coming back. He has been diagnosed with PTSD had a couple PTSD attacks since we have been together and when this happens I give him his space because that's what he asks or more like tells me. Does anyone know if that's what I should be doing? It kills me to see him like this. One day he will be lovey and cuddly the next he will be distant and not even say a word to me.... I'm sure this is normal with people who have this condition but reassurance would be nice. I just wish I knew what went on inside his head. I personally haven't been through anything close to war but I do know what it's like to be scared for your life and feel like your going to die and have to defend yourself. But anyways thank you to whoever wrote this. It helped me understand more. I just want to see him happy. It's hard when his own mother said, " I sent them a happy kid and they brought me back a broken man." I want what's best for him. I love him deeply. Any advice?


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 4 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hello Justbreathe

Please feel free to email me thru hubpages or you are also welcomed to call me at 951-440-9417 or you could have your boyfriend call or you could both call at the same time and I can talk to both of you simultaneously.

First of all, for me, language is very very important and powerful. The way we describe situations and people, in a sense, creates a reality. So if we say your boyfriend is a broken man, he IS a broken man and like anything that is broken it is difficult and sometimes impossible to fix or put back together.

I hesitate to say he is a wounded man, but at least a wound can be healed.

He is a young man who trained for war. When we train for war, we cross the line of being civilized. We commit acts that are described as horrific in any other context. We learn to SURVIVE under the most terrifying and life threatening situations. It is impossible to just turn around and come back across the line into civilization. First, he does not trust that he is back home. His entire brain and body will tell him at any given moment that he is surrounded by the enemy. He cannot just let down and relax because that might be the moment he is killed.

There is also the horror he carries within his soul and heart at what he saw, what he heard, and in what he participated, and to top it all off, all the LOSSES. Not only of friends but maybe even his own sanity in a way. The feelings will range anywhere from shame to disbelief, from anger to absolute fear.

It seems there is a standard belief among soldiers to just bury all this “shit.” But unfortunately, it will not be buried or remain buried, but constantly pops up to get in the way of living and loving.

He is not weak because the war impacted him. He is normal. Everyone pees and poops. No matter how strong a person you are, you cannot escape peeing and pooping. The same here. No matter how strong a person you are, you will be impacted BIG TIME by the experience of war.

PTSD is not something he has like a disease. The PTSD has not changed the wonderful person he is. PTSD is just a name we give to the process. His brain has been rewired to remain in survival mode so he is not able to think and feel the way he did prior to going to war. Being in ;survival mode is the only way we know how to be and survive in war.

Once he can participate in the treatment he deserves, he will be able to “rewire” his brain so he can function out of his entire brain, his thinking brain, his emotional brain, and his survival brain. They are designed to work hand in hand, but something like war or any trauma, tends to leave the brain in survival mode.

From my perspective, he deserves to talk about ALL his experiences so his brain can process these experiences consciously and lay them in the past. He will never be able to bury them, but he can get to the place of KNOWING these events are no longer present.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME.I will be happy to be of service as he was.

VERN


Justbreathe 4 years ago

Thank you Vern


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 4 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

YOU ARE VERY WELCOME


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota

Thank you so very much for writing this important article on PTSD. I had a friend who had to prove he had it. He was lucky he kept a journal of his Vietnam War experience. He now gets what he deserves but it took him years before they gave it to him. He had to jump through so many hoops- like you said, he entered another war with his own side. Shame on them is so right on the money. How dare we second guess our Veterans who have gone to war for us. Shame on us is right. Hit many buttons, voted up and sharing. This is a very important hub and you nailed it.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 3 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thank you, Minnetonka

I have a passion for this topic whether we are talking about the soldier, the first responder, the bank teller who has been robbed seven times at gunpoint, the child growing up in a home with violence, the child growing up in a home with emotional distance, maybe just a lot of loud and hateful voices, or even the author who loses an entire chapter by forgetting to save it, thinks he has, so just deletes when asked the question whether or not to save changes! There are so many losses and traumas and the brain responds to them all the same. The heart of compassion is knowing how our brain works and responding accordingly to others and ourselves. Anywho, thanks for reading and commenting. My life has taken many twists and turns in the last year and I am not as involved in hubpages as I hope to be once again. Sorry it took me so long to respond to your comment. I appreciate your comments.

Vern


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota

No worries Vern. I agree with you that PTSD comes from many different experiences. I was diagnosed with it years ago. Mine comes from a few different events: 1. Chaotic Childhood Home with Alcoholic Parents. Never knew what would happen next. 2. Born with a hole in my heart (my twin sister too) and eventually had surgery to repair it but it did not repair my fear that my heart was flawed. Lots of Panic attacks and thinking it was a heart attack because of the deep-seated belief that my heart was faulty. 3. Memory of being sexually assaulted as a young girl. So, there are just some of my reasons and I wouldn't want anyone telling me I should just buck up and get over it. Wow, I really purged! Thanks for listening. LOL


kmart 2 years ago

well, that documentary SEPTEMBER CLUES has been out for years already..... troops ignore it


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 2 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thank you, kmart, for reading and commenting. I have watched several documentaries about 911 and not sure if I watched that specific one. Certainly makes one wonder. The recent disappearance of the Malaysian jet also makes me wonder especially since an American General said on Television that the plane is in Pakistan! There are definitely MANY MANY things we either do not know or are told a different story from what actually happened. What is certain for me is that when one trains for war, he or she must cross a line and it is very difficult to come back over that line. Actually, it becomes relatively easy to come back across that line when someone who loves you is reaching out to you fearlessly and is willing to take the trip back with you. Anywho, I could write another blog here! Thanks again for the comment and yes, we all need to be aware of what is actually going on in contrast to what we see on a television screen.

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