Soldier View # 5….. Left at a turning point

True words that had no business being in a comment to some of the stuff I write and deserved to be up here so others could more readily find it.


I served in the infantry with the First Cav.
My experience with PTSD goes something like this.
At war I had my share (and fill) of combat.
I know how a battle becomes just “me and the guys with me’, there is no world beyond that during combat, it is pure survival. I never failed in battles, never received any disciplinary actions, earned higher rank and received the medals that went along with our service at war.When the time came to return home,
I remember thinking so clearly how I would return to life as it was before war.I was excited to go back to my wife, my job, playing softball/shootin pool, having a few beers with old buddies and riding motorcycles in the beautiful country hills that I had dreamed of and missed while at war. I was also excited that I would be able to go to college with government help earned as a soldier, and I could really think for the first time of owning a house. I left war happy and excited for the future.
I was only home a few days when all those dreams started to disintegrate! I was unexpectedly overcome with anxiety that I didn’t understand. I felt disconnected from family and old friends by the experience and hauntings of war that they couldn’t understand and i couldn’t relate to them. My realty was different than theirs, I started withdrawing and isolating myself from them and former activities that I had enjoyed before war. Nightmares came every night, fourth of July firecrackers send me flying out of bed to take cover on the floor before I could control the reaction. Flight for Life Helicopters brought back memories, loud noises startled me uncontrollably and I seemed constantly on alert to dangers even though I was in a very safe suburban neighborhood.
I was given perscription sleeping bills by a doctor that had no affect on nightmares, I woke up right through them drenched in sweat. I began to fear I was loosing my mind. I tried a job and walked off it before the first lunch period and couldn’t stay on any others, some insane anxiety wouldn’t let me stay or focus on the work/job.
I tried college which had been such a dream while at war but couldn’t focus there either. It was a terrible disappointment to fail at school and added more to my sense of losing my mind.
All the students at the university seemed to exist in such happy, carefree lives that I could no longer identify with. I felt I was in a strange place with experiences that only had had witnessed. My marriage failed soon after because
I could no longer communicate with or participate in the marriage as the happy person I had once been. I had changed into a person who I no longer knew myself. I started running from myself in my mind and hiding myself and that mind from the world. The fear of insanity caused me to start drinking and then…….
There is much more but I don’t want to bore you guys. PTSD is so very, very real.



If anyone wants to check out PTSD.about.com
you find info on PTSD and can receive a free
weekly update. PTSD is not clearly known so any info must be regarded as how it applies to the individual.

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