October 29, 2010
I took a couple of elective courses during my Masters’ work and came away feeling like the courses were established for “normal” people and not Combat PTSD veterans… I know you are going; DUHHH!!! I was hoping to find some answers other than in the numerous psychopathology courses I had taken on why my dream world is so much better than my real world. I don’t mean the night mares, flashbacks and hallucinations; I mean real pre-combat like dreams. The think I wanted an answer for “why aren’t I an active part of the dreams?”
A phenomena related to the dreams is that I don’t even recognize the places or people, and I am not a part of the dream. I am aware subconsciously that I am observing things; but I am not an active part of the interactions of the characters that make up my dream world. Is this a preview of my next life? Is my subconscious picking up on wishes and/or subconscious parts of my pre-combat self that was good and innocent to the cruelty that man can inflict on man in the name of war? I am even able to feel emotion in these dreams; unlike my post-combat self that many times have to manufacture emotions to satisfy the needs of others. I am not saying this is all of my dream world, because it is not. But it is the part that I do not want to wake up from. This dream world is so much better than the real world that I exist in on a daily bases. Reaching out to satisfy others needs in not part of my dream world. The emotions I observe are not pretentious, but overtly genuine.
How many of us have wanted to reach out and give our wife, husband, or child and give them a hug; but this terrible disorder keeps us at arm’s length? My wife tells me she understands; but this is only empathy and not true understanding. Myself, along with many of you, I am sure feel different levels of sorrow for our loves ones. Why could they have not loved someone else? Why did they get stuck with us? Someone who is capable of returning true unadulterated love and emotions from a person that has not seen the horrors of war? Why did our children have to have someone like us as a parent? Why could they have not been blessed with a parent who still viewed the good in things and not the negativity that accompanies Combat PTSD? I will talk more about this at a later date; but I hope this some small manner answers a few questions for the family members of Combat PTSD veterans.