Saturday, March 24, 2007

The recent comment made by researchers, "Maybe you don't need to work through what is bothering you. Maybe you need to get over what is bothering you." Made me think, "Well, I wish it was that easy, fuckhead!"

Since I've experienced it. I thought I would share my experiences of PTSD. Not that I like to talk about it, I find my actions somewhat embarrassing.

When I got home from Panama: I jumped at the sound of a door slamming; I couldn't tolerate the loud, high pitched screams of children in a restaurant (or elsewhere); if the smells were right, and they often were on a military base, I hit the deck when a car backfired; sometimes I would wake up at night with sweats that only breaking a fever can bring on; I would have nightmares rethinking the anguish, pain and agony I have caused or escaped; I used to swing at the first person who tried to wake me from a deep sleep; I was extremely irritable, argumentative and would lash out verbally and physically at my loved ones, creating more shame for myself; I avoided human contact after my marriage failed; I thought solitude was all I deserved... for the rest of my life; I would drink and/or do drugs to escape every night terror, every ghost, every verbal hallucination that was there, every melted face I would continue to see; I attempted suicide, twice; I thought that was my only true escape; I was a zombie, always standing outside, looking back at the person who was once me.

I hope that the disabled returning soldiers get the help and skills that they need and deserve to live with this trauma. The skills I received from the VA have literally saved my life on more than one occasion.

For me, the returning soldier, I went through the initial phases of therapy, counter conditioning and learned to survive and adapt to society once more. I had to learn how to respond and react to people again. In the beginning, sometimes the demons would win. I realized I was not using all of my therapy, counter-conditioning and education in order to move on and be a contributing member of society again. Sometimes I would bump into obstacles; this always thwarted my recovery. Fortunately, when I regressed, I quickly recognized what was happening and got to the Doctor before I did something stupid. In fact, I have been hospitalized 3 times, having to start all over again. Each time however, I recovered quickly because I had been there before. Not to say that it was always easy, but it is more of a learned "trait" to live with.

I still don't like crowds. Screeching children is still one of the worst things I have to hear. This Iraq War and its images don't help. I wish I had more therapy at times or someone to talk to more often. Every once in a while I will get that "taste" back; a bad nightmare, lack of sleep, lose my temper, anxiety attacks; painful reminders that I'm not normal and never will be. Reminders that this is something that will be with me for the rest of my life. So I realize I have to take my prescribed medications and work out a deal with my "shrink" when I think the VA is over medicating me. I call it, "Necessary maintenance to exist!"

So I wish it was that easy, to just say, "Maybe you need to get over what is bothering you." But it just doesn't apply to the human mind.

Seven of Six

Cross-posted at LEFT is RIGHT

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our Karl Rove: Democrats: Are You Ready to Rumble? 

Our Karl Rove: Democrats: Are You Ready to Rumble?