June 7, 2010

Do We Ask a Combat Vet About His or Her Experiences?

PTSD, Boundaries and a Welcome Home

If someone asks you to do something that you do not feel comfortable with, do not, you have no higher obligation than the one you have to yourself. You will not be able to meet the needs of others if you do not take care of yourself first, even if it seems that others needs may outweigh yours. In combat we had to learn how to take care of everyone at the cost of ourselves if need be, today here in civilization this can no longer be, as this world does not work in the way of a brotherhood born of blood.

Most do not understand that a person with PTSD, through no choice of their own has to deal with phantoms of their past encroaching upon every consideration and choice we make. Some more so than others to the point of crippling indecision that can trigger dissociative states, emotional numbing, anger and even possible blind rage. If someone thinks that asking us about our war experiences to get to know us has no consequences other than polite conversation, then they do not see us at all.

We can think about nothing more, than what we experinced, saw and lost, we think greatly on the person who we used to be and want nothing more than to have that person back. We want to speak freely again of the things we used to dream about, but we have lost that part of us to. We consider ourselves to be the lucky ones who have somehow learned to suppress that part of the night, where the unlucky of us find the terrors of the dark as they can no longer fight these enemies who have no feel or flight.

The next time you consider addressing a soldier or veteran about their combat experiences, or asking them if they killed anyone, or what it was like over there, consider what you just read. We all need to maintain and respect proper boundaries. No need to feel intimidated either, if you feel the need to say something tell them this:

Welcome Home


  1. I was surfing the net looking for some natural treatments for PTSD. I came across this website called www.disabilityhappens.com where to report Vetran fraud or abuse(or some crap like that!)

    To Chad and others,

    I don’t know why anyone would fake a disease that robs you of your potentional and motivation for life. Before I joined the military I was well on my way to becoming a top Dr. I just needed money to get there, and parents(and not be wantin’ to mooch the system for college) had noone so I joined the military.

    Yes I signed up for the bullets, the being yelled at, grueling schedules, however Chad I did not sign up for being raped by a fellow soldier. I didn’t sign up for his drunken hands to throw me acroos the room like a rag. Yes I had a buddy ststem, but my my buddy felt like it was more important to party with her boyfriend than to adhere to the “buddy system. I didn’t sign up for the outbursts, the nightmares, the overactive starle response(always a joy 0300 hrs in the morning when you are trying to sleep…imagine a cycle of startling over, and over again for about 45min! Its like dying a little death each time.) I served over a decade with this disability until some Dr. from the VA sent me upstairs for futher eval. Even then I didn’t claim anything, because of certain people like you. I only started my claim(over a decade later, even after I got brief treatment in a civialian faciltty, didnt want my military “buddies” finding out) after I realized that outbursts at my co-workers and bosses were going to have me lose my job. It also alarmed me because the creature I worked so hard to control(PTSD) was festering and growing beyond my so-called will power.Then I couldn’t take care of my family, and you wouldnt want me to go on welfare…right!!!????

    Yes I look “normal”…a pretty girl with a pretty smile. But talk to me long enough, and you realise something is not quite right(I try so hard to appear/be normal by my” friend” PTSD always manages to wink and nod to let people know something is not quite right…freakin’ lovely right!!!??? ). I dare anyone to try to report me for fraud….that Dr, will get the ride of his life!!!!! After I tell him*** ALL*** that happened in the military he would retire!!!!

    I go to the VA and get ugggllly looks, from other Vets. Like who the Hell am I. I use to hang my head…but screw them!!! I am a hero just as much as you!! Granted I didn’t go to combat(my number didnt come up…sorry! I would have been ready to go if it did!), but I am entitled something even if it is a free square of toliet paper to wipe my ___ with. If I want to park my butt in a handicap spot with my psych tag…you’d better let me do it!!! If I have a panic attack or a flashback in the VA I need to(or you need to) be near the closest exit!!! If I could saw off my arm with a butter Knife to be cured of PTSD and never collect another penny from the VA, I would be happy! Because I could at least finish my dream of being a Dr.

    Warmest ,screaming @#$*^&, regards,

    Ayahme Marie

  2. Nice blog. I often wonder where people get the gall to say "So hey man, did ya see a lot of action? Shoot anyone?" To me that's like walking up to someone who has a deformity and asking about it. RUDE. Now in my case, many came up to me over the past weekend and wanted to talk about some of it, and I stopped everything to listen because I felt if it was important enough to stop me and talk to me about it, I better damn well listen as it was of the highest importance. I don't know what's wrong with the world these days, did their parents not teach them any manners or have some just gotten ignorant as they aged?

  3. Mistress, Thank you for the compliment. This post I actually wrote back in 2008. I just went back and changed the date on it.

    You and your husband have gained a lifetime of experience in a short span of time with generational considerations. In doing so we have matured beyond our years, to illuminate the stupidity and lucidity of others.

    GUESS WHAT!!!!! I just got hired as the Louisville Veterans Issues Examiner, I'm a reporter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a great avenue to reach out into my community to begin spreading the news of the impending Tsunami of Combat PTSD.

  4. That's Awesome!!! Congratulations! Know you will do PTS/TBI justice in the press!! Way to go!

  5. Thank you, thank you very much ((smiling n muggin)).

  6. Good for you Scott. Now us vets got another (loud lol) voice in the mix!!!!


  7. Yes Ma'm! Sound Off Soldier!!!!!!!!!

  8. Thanks brother, sure apprecite you taking the time to comment here also. Please bring your friends, this blog is full of articles on how to live and cope with PTSD and it's especially helpful to caregivers to learn how and why we think, feel and act the way we do.


Please share your comments, stories and information. Thank you. ~ Scott Lee