On November 8, 2008, I wrote an article about identity and dissociation and the relationship between the two. Since then I have struggled with writing more, actually I have been having difficulties writing in the last month as I have only composed 7 articles this month so far. Granted some of the issue has to do with my having to write butt loads of papers for school about crap I do not want to write about. Uhh, professor(s) (they say that they have been here), if you happen to read this then I did get something out of the writing assignments, but I still did not want to.
So, anyway. Identity, dissociation and a connection to some kind of topic. Yeah, ok. Here it goes.
I was just reading about Sgt. Travis Triggs again, for those that do not know who I am talking about he was the soldier who had 5, yes FIVE tours of combat, that shot himself and his brother in the head after a police car chase. He went to Iraq 4 times and Afghanistan once. He had never been in trouble before that day even though the media had portrayed them both as having violent criminal histories. Sgt. Triggs volunteered for the extra deployments,
My symptoms went away. After all, I was going back to the fight, back to shared adversity, where the tempo is high and our adrenaline pulses through our veins like hot blood (as cited in Times Online, November 23, 2008).The article gives an account of a lost soul that had left everything over in a far away land where the blood runs thick as the bonds of brotherhood. He had assumed a culture of killing and the persona of a "combat self," a subsumption of the "Soldier's Heart," shedding all of the remnants of his civilian identity and connections to self and home. He had become the perfect soldier, much to perfect.
There is disconnection between everything that is human and the necessities of killing and what has to be done in combat. Imagine being in an unimaginable situation and having to do the unthinkable. How can this be done? A disconnection between everything human and having to do the unimaginable resounds in combat. For we must wholly demonize our adversary and in the process we dehumanize ourselves, whereas the monster must die. A neurological reprogramming engaging dissociative states and a compartmentalization splitting. In doing so some veterans and soldiers lose their way, not only on the inside of our mind but now they become outsiders in society. Everything at home had become foreign to him, he had become lost within a once comfortable environment.
The parallel contrasts to my article on identity and dissociation and Sgt. Triggs? On the night where I had lost myself into psychosis, if the police had shown up, or if someone had confronted me on my abnormal behavior, it would had became real and the psychotic break would have been complete. I was convinced that everyone was out to get me and I would have responded with violence to "protect" myself due to a warped conception of a perceived threat.
I ran out of that house and jumped into my car and drove away; drunk, high and out of my mind. Easily I could have been in an incident that probably would have resulted in a similar outcome. My death, an innocent bystander and possibly the police.
To survive war is not a relief, it is a sentence of guilt and shame from killing and surviving.