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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » For those who’ve been on the other side of the wall
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A while back there was a discussion about PTSD in one of the threads. Grim over at Black Five has a must read on the subject for any one who has even a passing interest in the subject.

What you need to know, first and last, is that so-called PTSD is not an illness. It is a normal condition for people who have been through what you have been through. The instinct to kill and war is native to humanity. It is very deeply rooted in me, as it is in you. We have rules and customs to restrain it, so that sometimes we may have peace. What you are experiencing is not an illness, but the awareness of what human nature is like deep down. It is the awareness of what life is like without the walls that protect civilization.

Those who have never been outside those walls don’t know: they can’t see. The walls form their horizon. You know what lays beyond them, and can’t forget it.

Go read the rest of it. It is definitely worth your time.

29 Responses to “For those who’ve been on the other side of the wall”
  1. LC JackBoot IC/A-OBR Comment by LC JackBoot IC/A-OBR

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    Well put and timely, Brother. It’s NOT an illness, a wholly normal human-reaction to taking a life or other traumatic event that overloads the “Humanity” portion of our brains.

    Regardless the Left is already capitalizing on it for their nefarious purposes. We’ve seen the headlines of how many returning Vets are being treated, suicides, etc.

    We’ve talked about this before, ya’ know? The dreams don’t stop, but they can be worked through with time and patience.

    And First, ya bastiches…..

  2. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    Excellent, crunchie…and dead on target. One major defect of the left is seeking to assume human nature is benevolent. By and large it is not. Part of the reason for our Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. Those seeking to portray our soldiers as stupid, merciless killers, know full well they are not. They also know these men and women did what they were called upon to do. Unlike their detractors, who hate them for it. They couldn’t stop them from going, so now, as after ‘Nam, they make their lives hell upon their return. Nobody sane wants to fight in a war, but sometimes the judgement is made you have to, a higher calling for country, people and culture. I have known some people haunted by thoughts and dreams that go bump in the night, these demons and monsters stalking the corridors of the human mind…to wake up screaming, in a fighting stance, to wince and duck at any sudden noise, to find yourself under a desk after some fool yells incoming. They need our help and support.

  3. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    We’ve talked about this before, ya’ know? The dreams don’t stop, but they can be worked through with time and patience.

    Yep, and a six pack with someone who’s been there with ya.

    The left IS using the suicided rates and the PTSD issue in general as a political club, and it’s complete and utter bullshit. Claiming to care about the well being of the troops who need help, all the while contributing to the hostile atmosphere which makes their adjustment even that much more difficult.

    Stop calling it a disease and accept it as the normal reaction it is. Remove the stigma attached to it so those in need will seek help. Then and only then will we be able to actually help the warriors who need it.

  4. ahriman Comment by ahriman

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    So true. I read a quip somewhere, can’t remember the reference:

    Anyone who believes in the essential goodness of human nature has never stood between a two-year old and the last cookie.

    It takes a long time to get ‘over’ something like this, of course one never really gets over it. But when you get through it you are stronger and more fully human for the struggle.

  5. ahriman Comment by ahriman

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    LOL. My comment looks like it takes a long time to get over being between a two-year old and the last cookie :em02: But that’s funny so I won’t edit it.

  6. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    But when you get through it you are stronger and more fully human for the struggle.

    Well said ahriman. And it may explain why combat vets are more of then that not the best people it will ever be your honor to know.

  7. jaybear Comment by jaybear

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    The closest I’ve come to this is having some drunken drug addled renter on our block take five gunshots at me from about 30 feet away…it was only one incident but it messed me up for a while. I couldn’t sleep and jumped at the slightest sound. I was put on Paxil for about a month and that messed me up more than ever, I stopped taking it cold turkey and went through about a weeks worth of withdrawals from that crap. Eventually I scheduled some time with a counselor. For close to $75 an hour all this guy did was listen to me and then ask me “So, what do YOU think about all of this?” I finally said to him “I’m paying YOU to come up with answers doc, if you don’t have them please tell me so I can save my money”. I walked out and never went back, eventually found answers from my late AA sponsor who was a Vietnam fighter pilot….the fact that I could talk to him really squared me away, and he later told me that it gave him the chance to unload some of his baggage by my listening to him as well. And all it cost me was a few cups of coffee and a lunch or two.

    I did a lot of after action research after Desert Storm, working mostly with veterans of the Battle of 73 Easting. I spent a lot of time with them re-creating that battle for a VR tactical trainer for the Army War College. There were some times that we had to stop and go get some air, working with photos and video shot by the troops sometimes brought it back too close for some of these guys……one Bradley gunner who I worked with had some pretty hard times coping with his experiences…and this stupid civilian (aka me) had nothing to offer to him as support, so I just shut up and listened to him.

    The PTSD thing is big business for the therapy mongers and hand wringers among us. Just like ADD and ADHD and IBEW and all of the other behavior “disorders” that are being created it is one more way to justify an industry that really has no answers, they only have mood changing drugs and ineffective therapies to offer…..and they are getting rich doing so. In the end, I believe that all of the “letter syndromes” that dominate the medical industry today are just ways to sell all of the brain altering drugs that are on the market….and it’s a way to medicate the patient into thinking it’s making a difference when it’s only shutting down their coping ability…the damage caused by this over-medication of our suffering vets and even our school children will not be known for a while, but it will be considerable, not only is a mind a terrible thing to waste, but it’s a terrible thing to tinker with.

    The hand wringers on cnn and the dhimmicrat mercenaries who say we have created a horde of wired-too-tight, on the edge, psychotics by this war are exploiting them in the most sinful of ways. I DO know a few returning vets who have come home with problems, it has to be the most difficult adjustment to make….I know nothing about it, hope I never do, and wish the flames of hell on anyone who claims to speak for the best interest of these heroes while portraying them as mentally unbalanced because of the lies of BushCheneyHalliburtonRumsfeld.

  8. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    But when you get through it you are stronger and more fully human for the struggle.

    So very true. It applies to all facets of human life. Events that would have scared the hell out of me long ago now viewed as annoyances or inconveniences. Many things I no longer fear…because I have been through them. The mystery is gone, the experience known. I have been told by several friends I have weathered more than my fair share of adversity and tragedy, whether it be death, tragedy or addiction. None are strangers to me any longer. It made me stronger, wiser and more self-reliant. I am facing a legal battle right now…I do what I can and wait as necessary. Yet I don’t fear it. I used to. What doesn’t kill you does indeed make you stronger. I respect the experience, but no longer fear it. I accept reality on it’s own terms. I have learned it is the little things that make life worth living. A cool, clear day here, the house airing out, the wife getting ready to bake peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies, sloppy joes and ‘taters for dinner. Hearing the church bells down the street, a quiet day here. Having known unemployment and impoverishment, to now go to a job I like, known for being a first class employee, knowing I have a check coming, knowing I have friends out there, knowing I have this old house I live in, needing some work yet built like a fort, the critters outside, both domestic and indigenous…funny thing is it leads me to do things such as yesterday, when the wife and i stopped at our new Veterans Memorial, to simply pay a silent tribute, to pay homage and to say thinks. Failure isn’t defined by how many times you fail…but rather how many times you get back up, dust off your ass and move on…as long as the latter outnumber the former by one. The kindest folks I have ever known are vets, bar none.

  9. LC MoMinuteMan Comment by LC MoMinuteMan

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    My buddy, SGT. JMFL, who has spent the past four months working 18+ hour days on the other side of The Wall at Baghdad ER, just got home for Thanksgiving leave a couple of hours ago. He stopped by here for a few minutes to say HI and was quickly whisked away by his Ol’ Lady who had plans for him that didn’t involve playing Guitar Hero III and drinking beer. :em03:

    There will be time for good beer and bad guitar playing after she’s done pawing on him :em93:

    I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I saw him again…

  10. Radical Redneck Comment by Radical Redneck

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    He stopped by here for a few minutes to say HI and was quickly whisked away by his Ol’ Lady who had plans for him that didn’t involve playing Guitar Hero III and drinking beer

    D&D? Yanni concert? Zamphir unplugged? :em02:

    Glad your buddy’s home MMM! :em69:

  11. psychochick Comment by psychochick

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    Jaybear

    it’s a way to medicate the patient into thinking it’s making a difference when it’s only shutting down their coping ability

    You’ve never been manic, have you?

    Some people’s brain chemistry is off–people with normal depression don’t have enough serotonin, hence the new class of antidepressants. It’s common that one doesn’t work, yet another will. Why should someone go around in a suicidal depression when it’s usually treatable? The mortality rate for depression is as high as for heart disease. (I wonder about a combination of the two? :) )

    ——–
    Never having been near combat, it seems invaluable to read the perspective of what is considered PTSD being a normal response to having been in combat.

    Just reading this thread has set off a panic attack. Non-combat PTSD from other trauma did feel very much like an illness. That’s about all I can say in a public forum. Maybe I should talk to one of my vet correspondents.

  12. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    Take it easy, psychochick…….you have friends here. Panic attacks are horrible experiences. And yes, medications have come a long way and many work wonders. It simply depends on the diagnosis. If you have a good doctor that does not throw pills at the problem, miracles can be done. I know several folks helped greatly, including my younger sister.

  13. psychochick Comment by psychochick

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    Caveman
    Thank you! That’s good to know. Mostly, I’ve come to feel at home here.

    I had a variety of abuses as a child, and some things are triggers. Well, at least I didn’t end up like Norman Bates (to my knowledge!).

    I’ve been meaning to tell you that you that your posts are generally quite eloquent.

  14. Unregistered Comment by Infidel River Rat

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    I’ve had some problems readjusting after I got back from the litterbox, and I’ve had to see a few people and get some help. The good thing is that the first counselor I saw is a Vietnam vet, so he can relate better than the rest. You don’t come out of a war zone the same person you came in as!

  15. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    psychochick…..you should feel at home here,. We are all a bit crazy, I fear. As for panic attacks…during my drinking and drugging days I had my share, thate sensation of pervasive dread, un unknowable, invisible enemy somewhere, lurking, waiting patiently. It was quite pathetic in my case…I remember sitting in a car in a parking lot for an hour and a half, fighting panic attacks, wave after wave, industrial strenth agoraphobia, wanting a drink more than a breath….and too afraid to venture in the store. It crippled me at work…hiding in bathrooms. I think you understand…but as I stayed clean and sober they subsided. But I never, ever make light of phobias or fears, explaining to one soul that the sufferers subjective reality is just as real to the sufferer as yours is to you. Actually I was quite pissed. As for my sister, she is now a ward of the court in Arizona, living in a group home. She is paranoid, schitz….and after she was raped many years ago…….but she must have medication. I have often wondered what it would be like to know you were slowly losing your mind, descending into a paranoic hell of your own making, due to a simple chemical imbalance. So no……..I don’t find this one bit funny, and I never, ever make light of it. I always seek to help. And show no mercy to tormentors.

  16. psychochick Comment by psychochick

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    Caveman
    I’m so sorry about your sister. You made a reference before, and I was wondering if she was the one who had been raped. I have said over and over that I am so glad I am bipolar and not schizophrenic. The former is so much more treatable and very easy to hide professionally. At least the new antipsychotics are much better. I’m glad she can live in a group home and doesn’t have to be in an institute. Maybe as they improve the meds, she will get a lot better. It really is a horrible disease.

  17. Unregistered Comment by annoyinglittletwerp

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    Psychochick:
    I was also abused in more ways than one as a child.
    My father’s been dead 6 years and he still seems to haunt me.
    Did I mention that I’ve had an eating disorder and have Aspergers’ Syndrome to boot.
    With everything I’m weird=squared.
    Not dangerous-just weird.
    We’re survivors P.C.
    Hang tough. :em93:

  18. Unregistered Comment by rstephens

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    Very timely for me. One of my students is not long back from Iraq and is having some difficulty. This gives me a lot of insight into what he is dealing with and will be very helpful as we try to ease him back with us. Thanks so very much!

  19. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

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    psychochick

    We all have our various demons, some more than others, some stronger than others. The important thing is that when we deal with them, in whatever way we have to, we conquer them.

    All of us have triggers.

    All of us have things that set us off, in either intro or extro ways.

    The most important part of life is not what our demons may be, but that we do our best to conquer them.

    I’m not saying this well.

    But I think you know what I am after meaning.

  20. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    I think you said just fine, Guido……

  21. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

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    Very timely for me. One of my students is not long back from Iraq and is having some difficulty. This gives me a lot of insight into what he is dealing with and will be very helpful as we try to ease him back with us. Thanks so very much!

    Then you just made my day rstephens. The whole reason I posted this is because I know that there are people out there that need real help, not pseudo pap psychology that seeks to make them into victims, or worse false compassion from those who seek to use them as pawns.

    But don’t thank me. Thank Grim over at Blackfive.

  22. psychochick Comment by psychochick

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    annoyinglittletwerp

    Couldn’t you have a nicer name? It seems rude to call you that. (Yeah, I know–it’s clever and weird)

    weird=squared: I love that! Strangely, it applies.

    I’m glad you reminded me about Asperger’s (although sorry you have it). I have a friend with it and tried to read up on it once, but it seemed hard to get a grip. I should try again. Delightful fellow–super odd

    Good luck with your dad–I hope you banish him.
    –if he torments you too much, you’re welcome to EM me (tetrodotoxin2 yahoo)–lots of experience in that area.
    –actually, you’re welcome anyway, weird=squared
    –don’t worry about the liberal thing–most of my on-line friends these days are pretty right-wing

  23. akornzombie Comment by akornzombie

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    I hope to never cross over that wall and see the other side.

    And I know what it’s like to have your demons, Caveman82952. I have mine, and though they don’t stalk daily like they used to, they do show up from time to time. Ironicly, one of the weapons I wield against them is one of yours: Working a job, knowing that I have a check coming. Another is my creativity and my art. My shield is my faith in God, and my armor is my sense of humor.

    I have been homeless in the winter, and I have had to dig through trashcans for food. I have collected pop cans and sold art just so I could buy a bag of rice to eat. After going through that, I know I can survive.

    To get where I am, I had to make some difficult decisions. I knew that if I stayed with my mom, I would kill myself, so I left.

    psychochick:

    My father is a maniac depressive,who thankfully is managing to treat it, and my mothers side of the family has a history of alcoholism. I seem to have dodged one bullet, and I carefully watch habits to dodge the other.

    Reading Grims post, and the comments here reminded me on where I have been and how far I’ve traveled.

    *Takes a deep breath, lets it out*

    having gotten that off of my chest, I’d like to ask this: Am I the only one who has noticed the ghost image of the Rott in the ‘reply’ field?

    A salute to the Imperial Tech Wizard!

  24. LC Hardclimber54 Comment by LC Hardclimber54

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    psychochick

    Mostly, I’ve come to feel at home here.

    I’d like to add that we appreciate having you. Reading your comments is always an enjoyable experience. Yes, this is a big family isn’t it!?! You can rest assured that we consider you a most valued member and fully appreciate the thoughts and experiences you bring to this site.

    You are not alone. Like I mentionned in previous posts, I feel being a member of the Empire is a precious gift to be enjoyed and shared. We are indeed privileged to have each others…

  25. Pal2Pal Comment by Pal2Pal

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    My husband did 2 in-country and 2 shipboard tours to Vietnam and served 26 years, so through those years we knew a few who returned and were, to be kind, not the same men they were before combat. I understood, academically, their problem, but couldn’t truly relate.

    Then in 2001, a steroid enraged man broke into my 90 year old Mother’s home, where I and my daughter-in-law were staying in order to care for “Grandma” after hip surgery. She was bedridden. It was in the early morning hours and we were all asleep when the terror began. This guy was totally out of control and we tried to reason with him to no avail. When he began to verbally abuse my bedridden Mother, I stepped in and he immediately turned on me, threw me face down on the bed, jumped on top of me, drove his knee into my back and fractured the L5 vertebrae, while twisting my left arm until it also cracked. He punched me black and blue over most of my body. Now, guess what, this was a county sheriff, in uniform. After beating me, he put his handcuffs on me, dragged me to his patrol car and threw me in the back seat and then drove me out to the dessert 20 miles away, but near the county jail. I was in a nightgown and barefeet, no ID, no money. I walked for a couple of miles and found a 7-11 where they let me use a phone to call for help.

    It took 6 years to get to court on this case, but I finally won a rather large settlement. During the six years, I was almost completely housebound. I could not bring myself to leave my house unless I had someone else with me. And, one day I was with a party of three others and they wanted to grab breakfast at a Denny’s. When we walked in, there in front of us was a man in a sheriff’s uniform. Just the sight of his uniformed back set off a panic attack that ended up sending me to the hospital. I was a wreck. I was immediately advised to go into counseling for PTSD. And that is how I found out what PTSD is all about. It is a terrible affliction that can hit you at the most inopportune and inappropriate times and sometimes for something so insignificant it is hard to identify the triggers.

    As a woman who lives alone and is no youngster, it is a terrible affliction to know that just the sight of a man dressed in a law enforcement uniform is enough to send you into gasping, shaking, and overcome with fear that is indescribable. The worst night was the night my Mother passed away and the paramedics, coroner with sheriff’s escorts came to remove her body and I ended up a total basketcase and had to be given a sedative because of the anxiety at having those cops in my home. It is mentally distressing and terribly embarrassing. And the nightmares are the worst. You wake shaking, in a cold sweat, sometimes so much so, I’ve had to get up and change the sheets. You relive every moment of your terror, night after night after night.

    It has now been almost seven years since the event that triggered it all. The nightmares come rarely now and once all the court cases were over, they became fewer and further apart since I didn’t have to dwell every day. I also seem to associate the event with where I live, because I made a month long trip across the country and for the first time in years, found myself relaxing and not onguard at every strange noise or the sight of a squad car or uniformed officer.

    Fortunately, I never turned to drugs or alcohol, mostly because I needed to be alert to be my Mother’s caretaker. But, I can understand why others do. I had nights where suicide seemed preferable to going to sleep and facing another nightmare.

  26. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    akornzombie

    Am I the only one who has noticed the ghost image of the Rott in the ‘reply’ field?

    I first noticed it a day or two ago… Damned cool shit, if’n yer askin’ me!

  27. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I first noticed it yesterday, but being I had been out of town and without net access, I wasn’t sure when it appeared. It’s cool, but at first glance, I thought it was the logo for “Jaws”.

  28. LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H. Comment by LC 0311 crunchie I.M.H.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    pal2pal

    Damn, that is one hell of a story. I’m glad you are doing better now, and I pray that you will be able to eventually overcome the trauma of the event and live a complete and full life.

  29. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I had to go back a couple of times and reread the post. I missed VN by a hairs breath, but have had many friends and acquaintances who went. For some reason, quite a few of them (late at night, just the two of us, possibly drinking one to many) would start telling me about what they saw and went through. I was alway uncomfortable being I had spent my life on this side of that wall. I understood war is way worse than anything I could imagine and it puts people in a place they rather not be, dealing things and feelings they never thought they have to.

    All I could do was listen. I didn’t want to ask to many questions, being afraid of pushing them into areas that maybe they didn’t want to go.

    So many times I felt they were asking me if what happened was the right thing to do. Some of the stories I was told were things I didn’t even want to deal with in a theoretical sense, let alone having to live with having it be an actual part of my life.

    All I could do is listen, try to feel whatever pain they felt and tell them that the person I know now is a good person.

    To those who have served, I have nothing but respect and gratitude. I can never forget what you sacrificed to keep me safe behind that wall so that I do not have to see the side of mankind that I would love to believe isn’t there, but know lies just beyond the idealistic palisade we have erected to convince us that we are now civilized.