First thing to say is this isn’t a pity party.
It was triggered by reading an article penned by the usual “cut and paste nonsense” you find in what passes as journalism.
I guess it’s different for everyone and, for me, some flashbacks happen without me even knowing what triggered them.
Which is kinda confusing (and dangerous) as where and what I’m doing fades into the background. I absolutely hate those ones as it usually triggers extreme physical and emotional reactions. Although I had stopped hitting the ground and rolling many years ago.
I’m talking emotions like horror, smiley ones (Yes, some flashbacks do make me happy), being scared, confused, hot, sweaty, breathless, a racing heart, as cold as ice or as hot as hell. I still feel any loss intensely and sadness can overwhelm me. I also feel regret, abhorrence, but mainly I get angry. Angry with me, and the actions of others.
Yet some of that anger comes later as I rage within at circumstances that made me who I was in yesteryears and what I am reliving today.
Incidently, someone once asked me if I ever lashed out at someone.
Because of a flashback? Never.
Because they were being an asshole? You bet.
Yet I only feel the need to explain the regret bit.
All the regret is focused on one unforgettable event from a pointless loss of a young life of someone who had already lost everything they held dear.
Anyway, it led to me ‘being in the groove’, to being totally mindf’kd, in an instant.
(Little did I know how bad it would affect me in later life).
The others I was working with at that time were physically and emotionally as tough as it gets, but the raw emotions that came to the fore that night, while gallons of alcohol was drunk in honor of a lost friend were, in my mind, the cement that set that loss in concrete for me.
No, I’m not going into further details.
30(ish) years later it’s still deeply personal.
So why the post?
Many have suffered (or are suffering) from PTSD, ARS, battle stress, combat stress, or whatever you like to call it. I’m in no way unique.
A few, regretfully, have succumbed to the pressures it puts on your mind and body. They, either by taking their own lives, or dying from a terminal illness caused by the massive stress they have been living under.
When you read that stress kills?
Some really haven’t got a clue how accurate that statement is.
How to finish?
Memo to self: I really must stop reading before bedtime!
Last night I read a media feature piece on the fate of service personnel that had been diagnosed with PSTD and how they were NOT being considered suitable by workplaces as they were considered, ‘dangerous and unstable’. One word came to mind, ‘bollocks!’
Unsurprisingly it angered me that the soft in arse, hand, and possessing a civilian mindset, so readily dismissed those, some of whom had given their all, had been injured, and because of some ‘quirky fad’ were going to be shunned for employment.
It reminded me that I kept quiet about my illness so was still employable.
So yes, my resume wasn’t exactly accurate.
Even then I knew to admit a diagnosis of anything to do with the ‘mind’ was a quick way to be deemed unemployable. It was only in later life, after being rendered by illness unfit and too disabled to be employable, that I began to relax about what I was living with.
Bang. Some other soft in arse, hand, and possessing a civilian human resources weenie will take that as proof that vets can’t be trusted. So be it. However, I wonder what would happen if their bosses or staff put them under a microscope. EVERYONE has a skeleton in the cupboard (a secret) they wouldn’t want known about.
From children to the elderly.
Those who served in dangerous times
Those who worked in dangerous occupations
Those whose job it was to save lives,
Those who got caught up in events that changed their lives.
Anyone can face a life changing, mindf’k event, at anytime.
However, it doesn’t mean that those who were injured are dangerous, volatile, or not worth a second look at today.
It also reminded me of the poem ‘Tommy’ (By Kipling)
How a common grunt level (in 1890) saw the soft in arse, hand, and a civilian mindset.
Nothing changes does it?