April 26, 2017 at 2:11 am #51797
Excellent reflections. Too many people won’t disclose this kind of personal information for fear of what others will say or think of them. It’s the “dirty little secret” that most people who’ve been there and done that, already know, but often times don’t know what to do about it, or even what it really means about them personally. Normal people react to extremes in ways that are designed into our brains. Those reactions would be inappropriate under normal circumstances, and would lead to a diagnosis that some call the “crazy diagnoses.” But when those same reactions are as the result of over-the-top experiences in war (and some other types of situations as well, in ways that are almost never seen in normal, civilized life), then the people experiencing them are NOT crazy. I wrote a longer response to Selco’s post on the blog that I won’t reproduce here. Selco’s post should not be missed. Others here can relate to it as well, and those that can’t need to even better understand what Selco is trying to get across, so that if/when it DOES happen, there won’t be panic based on the mistaken belief that you’re going crazy (or that others around you, experiencing what Selco describes, also aren’t to be feared).
Thanks, Selco, for the self-disclosure that others can benefit from more than you’ll ever probably know.May 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm #51814
Pressure does different things to different people.
Some break, some bend, some just keep on trucking.
And there is no one stressor that effects everyone equally. So preparing for this is difficult at best.
Having seen and experienced the “break” of several people, it has been interesting.
I don’t know that there is really any way to deal with or prepare for the “breaking” level of stress, that trauma. Short of complete desensitization, which is it’s own problem, everything will add to the pile on the camels back. Then what is that last straw?
Personal opinion, learn to deal with the little things.May 3, 2017 at 6:09 pm #51815
There are volumes and volumes written on the subject – many of which are pure garbage, some of which are well meaning but fall well short of being effective and/or accurate, and only a small fraction that truly know what they are talking about and are making a difference. There is one program for vets that is head and shoulders above almost anything else in existence – and it lasts only five days. I would not have believed that lasting results are even remotely possible in only five days, but I’ve seen the results personally, and was astounded at the before/after with a very special friend. He now works with the program to help others as well, and the results are statistically overwhelmingly positive long term. They take active duty, retired, separated, and also first responders (fire, police, EMT, etc.) here in the U.S. There is generally no cost to the participant except physically getting there (air fare or gas). IF they want to pay, that’s fine, but my understanding is that it is not expected. For anyone interested (for self or people they care about), it’s Save a Warrior. They are saving the lives of vets from all over the country with tremendous success. Looking at pictures, or even hearing a description of it, it would simply not be believable that they could be having the results they are having – but the fact is, they are. It’s beyond anything else I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot.
And yes, there are preparations that can be made to become more resilient, and there are ways of resolving the severe effects that linger for lifetimes in too many cases – but both are not easy to find/obtain. It’s not just a matter of sucking it up and driving on. People do that, but it’s so unfair to them, because it shouldn’t have to be. That was an area of special professional focus for me – I have very strong feelings about those that have to deal with such issues, including some very close to me.
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