May 19, 2010

Men Are From Mars, Combat Vets Are From... ?

Communication comes in many guises; men communicate differently than women, disparities we try to recognize and appreciate in our partners to better understand just where they are coming from. And then there's the combat veteran... a whole other beast with a mix of PTSD/TBI problems thrown in to further cloud the issue, a mysterious blend of "fuck the world" and "can't remember jack shit"... an emotionally detached entity with a hair trigger.

And when it comes to the world of emotionally charged forms of conversing aka The Hissy Fit, I've not quite mastered how to satisfactorily engage my husband, so more often than not find myself walking away from a situation in which I'm about to unleash holy hell recognizing I've made no attempt at rationalizing my thoughts into an acceptable form of communication.

I choose to walk away because...
  • Coming unglued on a combat vet such as my husband would only send him deeper into his foxhole... after all, he's been able to shield his emotions from the sight of death and devastatingly hideous combat injuries, from the fear of being fired upon by sniper and mortar rounds. How the hell do I expect my one-woman tirade to have any meaningful impact?
  • It's not fair to engage someone with a TBI in an emotionally stressful situation, demanding timely and well thought-out answers and snappy responses to my side of an out-of-control verbal assault.
  • It is highly inappropriate (although oftentimes tempting) to use their TBI as a weapon in which to club them upside the temporal lobe.THWACK "You're the one with the TBI, not me!"
There's probably never going to a time we'll engage in a two-way humdinger, he's so fragile and numb in that regard. So I'm not sure which planet combat veterans are from, all I know is that mine is out of this world!


  1. LMAO! That is hilarious, way to go explaining so that even the uninitiated would creepily understand.

    So, are you saying that rational conversation is triage for the combat vet from being triggered emotionally?

  2. Rational conversation is indeed triage when it's time to prioritize the likely outcomes of him being triggered emotionally.

    Just lately, when I want to communicate, I've been rehearsing my thoughts like an actress would rehears her lines... then imagining the corresponding response, maybe modifying my words before I speak.

    He's in a very fragile place right now... the last thing I want to do is send him over the edge of the cliff he already has his toes perched on!

  3. You do know that you are talking of secondary posttraumatic stress response for yourself? Right? Which if carried on for years could become PTSD or bipolar disorder or some other trauma based disorders?


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