Living With PTSD – Aftermath of the Causality

My goal for these next few posts, or however many it may take me, is to hopefully work through my issues! I hope to relive and sort out what happened and share my story along the way. I also hope that I can help others living with any level of PTSD in silence and that they will find the courage to do that same! #BreakTheStigma

 

The following I would say was definitely the start of my PTSD! Some may find the following to be graphic and hard to read. I am just being honest and open!

  As we began to back up while looking out over the horizon ensuring no one was watching, we spotted the two individuals in the distance had reappeared! We were ordered to come back to the laager while the EOD platoon would send out the robot to check the body. We had no clue what to expect, what if he had a vest on? Did shooting him stop it? Were the people on the horizon about to make a phone call?

Learning To Live with my PTSD!

start of my PTSD

The All Clear!

You always see this scene in most of the modern war based movies. I always thought to myself, was this how it really was? Well, now I was seeing it first hand, and it was intriguing! Meanwhile, as we watched them test the bot, run some diagnostics on it, before sending it out, I was still coming down from an intense high feeling.

I had just taken a life, well took part in the taking. I mean who knows, I thought, maybe none of my bullets actually hit him. Maybe I can sleep easier with this belief? I was able to convince myself of this very easily. I wish I hadn’t pulled the trigger that day, but I would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant my life, my friends life, or anyone else near us would be saved. That could be the strangest thing to think or say, or read even. But you have to understand, these are people who you put your life in their hands and theirs in yours. 

After what felt like forever, the bot went out, did it’s thing, found no explosives and we were given the orders to stand down “All Clear!”.

Questions Upon Questions

After watching some troops go out and retrieve the body to return to the nearby village, we were called to the CP. Orders came in that we were to hold off returning the body, that someone was coming in from KAF to interview us and escort the body to the village. After a few hours past a helicopter came into view and touched down shortly.  We were each taken aside, those of us involved in the shooting, and interviewed.

I remember them asking me how many rounds I fired, where did I aim, was it necessary, and so on. I remember thinking, just be honest, who cares, it is your job, it’s why you came here. But, I couldn’t bring myself to accept what had happened. I told them I was looking outward to the far right when the firing started. I missed it all. Just caught the dropping of the body.

ashamed….

Aftermath of Causality!

At the time I thought by ignoring and denying it had happened was the best thing. Now I look back and wish I had just come to terms with it and moved on. I was stuck in a rough place. Holding so much guilt, shame and anger over an event I had convinced myself never happened. How does one get over this anger, hate, shame and guilt, when one doesn’t believe it existed. So, in the end the cause of it all, was and is myself. My lack of ability to handle the reality of taking a person’s life. 

I mean they drilled it into us that these people were out to kill us, they were, no are, animals. So we were trained to dehumanize an entire country…Based on the actions of a few. Did I think these things were true. No! Every race, country, religion etc etc has their nut jobs, but I can’t judge them all on the few. Of course if I had said this then, I would have been chastised! But it is how I feel. The military gave me so many life skills, lessons and experiences I will be forever grateful for. 

BUT

They also gave me a numbness of my emotions.

Anger to Sadness

There is rarely any in between! I am either angry, or sad, or more often than not…nothing. Just nothing! I just get lost in the moment and space out and see that child dropping! Seeing the blood, brains, nothingness. Which then leaves me in a state of either anger or sadness.

Angry for putting myself in that situation, angry for pulling the trigger, anger for not coming to terms. 

Sadness for the child, sadness for my soul, sadness for those around me.

I felt like a monster, I still do from time to time. Sometimes I find myself unable to react rationally to a situation. More often than not I become irate, and defensive. Then my fight or flight kicks in, and I was trained to fight, not flee. I have never become physical with my wife, ex or children. EVER! But I have broken doors, phones, punched holes in the wall, plates and little things.

I hated doing this. I hate the monster I would become when I let my demons take over. I’m trying so hard to not allow it to happen. My escape is gaming, hockey and my family. They will always bring me back to reality. They keep me grounded. 

The End For Now..

This is where I am going to stop for now, but it is just the start! I don’t know what else to say right now, other than remember you do not have to live in silence with any form of PTSD! It feels good to write this out, even though it kills my stomach and makes me want to almost puke. Thank you for listening. I hope this made sense. Feel free to comment if you want clarity on something or have a question.

Peace and Love

MysticMike

“Living with PTSD, Not Suffering”

 

 

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