April 23, 2011

Hard Time Keeping it Together Today

Well, my world is all fucked up...lets say that my family sucks at communication. We were never good at keeping in touch with one another, and I'm even accepting a large portion of the blame for not breaking the cycle. But, it is now time to give my sons 50% of the responsibility to maintain our relationships. Hey, call me sometime.

Oh yeah, one of my oldest and best friends died today. Having a hard time keeping it together today...

April 16, 2011

Healing and the 21st Century Warrior

As a combat vet I am just now after 19 years starting to put back together memories and now I have an understanding of where my emotions come from. Before, I was unable to distinguish the roots of my emotions, which resulted in disorganized thinking processes and seemingly eruptions of emotions and questionable behavior.

I would have argued, and have in the past, that healing was a myth for the combat veteran. But, that was before I started doing research in sleep disorders, trauma-based disorders and the mental constructs of such, and found parallels to my life and quested further to understanding the nature of trauma and its effects on a person. Trauma-based disorders; evolutionary defensive mechanisms stuck on shock and awe.

The dissociative nature of Combat PTSD and the integrative features of healing to the Combat Vet feel much like defensive positions and we will avoid doing so. Even if a vet believes they cannot be healed probably has more to do with sense of self-worth. I believed for many years that I was unworthy of healing because of the lives I ended 19 years ago. I battled everyone because thats what I was made into; a constant warrior. This false belief was compounded by my inability to reconcile my emotive responses from within and attributed them to the environment, the juxtaposition of the Combat PTSD Vet.

Healing has to come from within, but we can facilitate other needs of the Combat Vet until the warrior is ready to process further. The resources of the community needs to be marshaled together and bring support to the families in their communities. This is how we will help our warriors heal, at home with family, loved ones, mentors and spirit guides for those inclined.

The word heal is misleading and thats the trouble I have with using it. I am filled with images and inclinations of something having been done already, to mend the soul is an ongoing process and we Combat Vets can operate on the slippery slopes, but usually we try to avoid those. I think more of myself on a journey of healing...

April 15, 2011

Surrender Hill Part 2

Surrender Hill notes from March 7, 2011: Continues from PASP post dated April 14, 2011...come on people catch up! pwilmao -Pause while I laugh my ass off -I just laughed my ass off, that was funny...shesh.

At first I thought I was seeing things, but the images kept appearing on th horizon and I called it in. The adrenaline rush was immense; I remember my whole perception {shifted. It was surreal.}, I became...[I am becoming detached as I try and remember how I felt then. this was an event that had such a profound affect on my life - I feel such a deep sense of sorrow and loss - I feel as though I lost a piece of me back there and I want it back - crying as I write]

I became adept at my duties - again rationalizing- of course I became good at my job, my life depended upon on it. - That night I saw the people- the enemy on the horizon and called it in to my track commander, he in turn called in to our captain. {{this is important because I had judged myself unfairly in all or nothing terms, when in fact there was a chain of command and I acted according to rules of engagement and -- here I was struggling with how to frame my trauma and another veteran suggested this to me, "I along with others played a part in this unfortunate incident."}} CO told us to fire a warning shot - More background, the day before we had a report of the enemy acting like they were surrendering and once in range killing some marines, setting the stage for our encounter - We fired a warning shot, then [at this pint I am again detached while trying to discern my emotional state then]. {Once I reported it} We kept seeing the enemy on horizon, we fired two more warning shots, still the enemy advances. the CO gave us the order to fire on the enemy...

More to come.

April 14, 2011

Surrender Hill

My Trauma Account Re-write, dated March 7, 2011:

After driving for 48 hours straight without any sleep...I was the point vehicle and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Driver for the 3rd Brigade for the 1st Armored Division. I was responsible keeping an eye on our 2 other brigades (approx 5,000 personnel in each brigade) and keeping us within sight of each other. I remember the weight of such a burden, of course I told myself the "I can do this", "I am the man for the job!" That responsibility was put to the test on or around February 13, 1991, the day before my youngest son was born.

I was drilled on recognizing silhouettes for months prior to our deployment and I tested with high marks. That night after convoying for 2 days straight I saw the silhouettes on our left flank - {God, how I constantly trace shapes, I am obsessed with it.}

OK, ground rules of therapy notes and symbols:

text within [brackets] are original insights and muse

text within {brackets} are thoughts, insights, and creative license added here at PASP...

So, got that? Or am I still being too obtuse?

April 13, 2011

Kognito Interactive: My Perspective

I have been away for while now and wanted to let you know that I am back and ready to write again. Recently I have been invited by;
Kognito Interactive (who)..is currently partnering with VISN 3 of the VA to develop an online training for the families of veterans to help family members identify signs and symptoms of PTSD, depression, and suicide ideation and how to effectively conduct the difficult conversation of motivating their loved one to seek help. As part of our process, we are reaching out to individuals, groups and organizations that serve veterans and their families to both make them aware of the training and explore opportunities to partner. Also, we will be seeking feedback from veterans around the country as the training progresses to further development stages, to make sure that if (and hopefully when) it is adopted beyond VISN 3, it delivers on its goal to all those who be taking the training.
This is a service that i think will add to the resources available to many military and veterans families whose loved ones have re-ingratiation issues. Family's unspoken expectations can engage a combat veteran, triggering emotional states and possibly defensive mechanisms. We can test new skill sets in real time with this simulator. I will be testing this system and with this tool I have an opportunity to contribute to a wider audience.

At this moment I have access for 24 hours and will be reporting here...well they said I had 24 hour access, now after 2 hours I do not have access. I have contacted support, we will see how long till they contact me...REMEMBER I am a Combat PTSD Vet who although I have had some recent therapy...they did say that I have much work still to do. So, my patience is being tested for and by the simulation whose supposed to help.

Ha, Jeanne responded from Kognito Support to which I said "Thank you Jeanne, I appreciate your quick response. I will use Firefox to demo the website again." Shesh, I should of thought of that!" Or so my wicked mind tells me...not superman, just borrow his cape every now and again. I'm off to Firefox!

Thanks, with much love,

Scott A. Lee
Combat PTSD Blogger

April 11, 2011

Hello, I'M BACK: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

I have been away for awhile...I'm ready to talk about it again. I'm ready to add the Memphis Chapter where I am back from a six week stay at the Memphis VA. I gotta say from the start, it was a great program. I was able to work through some more stuff and I am grateful for what I have learned. I saw some tremendous work from the staff and gained a new way to frame my trauma.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), I gotta say it does work. I endorse the inpatient program, but not the hospital. The hospital was pitiful, it reminded me of the Louisville, VAMC 20 years ago. I thank GOD for my local VA services. That said, I also want to scold the other f'ing side. Seriously, Louisville does not have inpatient PTSD services for residential patients? And VA over all...I waited four (4, if you read that wrong) months to get help I needed? Seriously? How many hours does one have to wait before another veteran takes their life?

As you well know I can only talk about my experience. So I will begin with typing out my therapy letters, notes and thoughts reworked here.