Living With PTSD – Sunrise To Remember

Learning To Live with my PTSD!

start of my PTSD
My goal for these next few posts, or however many it may take me, is to work through my issues. 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. That they will find the courage to do that same and remove their veiled mask of PTSD! #BreakTheStigma
 
Some may find the following to be graphic or triggering to read. I am being honest and open!
 
We began to get into a decent camp routine after a few weeks of doing nothing. The go ahead to start the construction was being put off over and over. First off they switched out our officer in command with a new guy. This guy was a danger to himself, and everyone around him. The only reason he was even there, and these were his words, I need to spend a week outside the wire to earn my medal. He had spent the last 9 months in Dubai living it up, and had wanted to get the medal for Afghanistan as well. So, they stuck him with us for a few weeks.
 
Lord help us!
 

Soldier First?

I remember when this captain showed up and tried to assert himself as the alpha. We are talking this tall, lanky, and skinny motherfucking Air Force captain! Trying to tell infantry guys how to do their jobs.
Boy did that go over well and earn him the respect he so deserved.
He wanted us to take apart the only 50 caliber weapon we had mounted and zeroed for very specific arcs. Only to prove to him we knew how to stripe and clean it . Our Sgt pointed out to the captain that a few of the guys here were on their second or third tours. They had more experience in their socks than he had in his left nut.
 
This did not go over well with this ego driven man. He dismissed us and made a point to jack up the Sgt in the middle of the compound for all to hear and see. He wanted the Sgt to get us all geared up for a road clearing, not because we had too, but because he wanted too.
 
Sir, Yes, Sir!
 

Point Man

The Sgt had been running us privates through as point man in the V-Search. Today was my turn to take point, and I would have a guest with me, the Captain! I ran everyone through the orders. Where they were in the V, The outer lead were C9 gunners, inner two had their C7s, and I had my C8, with my C9 strapped on my back. I never went anywhere without my C9, she was my mistress. Right from the start of the orders I knew it was going to be a fun patrol. He wanted me to run it as if I was teaching a class of new guys. I was a new guy, I didn’t know the standards of teaching yet.
Back To The Basics?
Had me line them up, do battle orders, test firing, course stuff. After about an hour of this we were finally ready to head out. The C9 gunners went out first to stop traffic from the south and north. Next was the inner V members, than myself and the captain. As we crossed over the bridge beside our home, we spread out to make the shape of a V over about 500 yards. As we began our slow progress down the road the captain had told me his radio was acting up and he wanted to switch with me. I told him as Patrol lead I would tell against that. He laughed and ordered me to swap radios, so I did.
Few moments later my radio died, go figure?
 
So the role of the Captain was to watch my six. In other words be behind me at all times watching for vehicles or persons coming up from the rear. He was all over the place, beside me, in front of me, walking to where the Sgt was. The Sgt finally piped up and reminded the Captain of his role. He went back to my rear, things were back on track, minus my radio. I had to have the captain relay everything for me. But of course he had to put his own spin or order on to them.
 

Ever Want To Shoot Someone?

So, we are walking down the center of the road, the kill zone. If they had IEDs under the road, we would be point zero. They decide to ram us with a vehicle! They could take two of us out in one go. So The rule was no vehicles were to come within 100 yards of us on all sides. The locals knew this and would avoid us by making large births around us. Now some would not be from the area and try to drive through, or come close to us. That was when we would warn them, send out our interpreters to tell them while we covered him. They would wait for us to get ahead, and then drive around us. Make sense? good!
 
Well as I am shouting out orders, and spacing and all the fun stuff. To my left this Afghan man came walking past me! I remember my first instinct was to tackle the man before he could do anything. Instead, I began to yell at the man to get on the ground in their language. He dropped not knowing what was going on, I drove my knee into his back and had my barrel to the back of his neck. 
Hold Me Back Please!
It was then the Sgt and Captain came running over! The Sgt asking what the fuck is going on, the Captain telling me to get off the man. He had waved him through, he seemed safe to him. He made a quick assessment of the man! Deemed him safe enough to walk to the middle of our V, near himself, the inner V and myself. He decided for four people that it was safe to break protocol this one time. 
 
It was that moment the Captain realized he fucked up. The Sgt began to lose his shit on him, I began to lose my shit on him. Here is this “Captain“, getting reamed out by a two people well below his rank. But at that moment he had no rank! This was a moment of human talking to human! 
 
But boy did I ever want to put him down!
 

Rains and Pours

The Sgt decide after this we were to turn back and end patrol right away. He took over lead, I went to my normal position of outer V point. My zone, my home, my safe spot. Once back in the fort, the Sgt took the Captain and the MWO aside to have a pow wow. He advised us during our dinner orders, that the captain would no longer be dealing with us. He had no say over us.
 
We were safe for now.
 
The next few patrols went as per the normal. We did our daily 3 hour shifts in the towers, and the captain avoided us. But, boy did he make some enemies that day. The days that followed we talked about scenes from movies where soldiers got their revenge. Batteries in the coffee, pillow parties, or straight up masked beatings. We never acted on any of these. But, we had talked about it. With him avoiding us, things had been much better and we were getting over it. Things were looking good. Than we were assigned crazy, or as we called her the Combat Clerk. This lady would make things crazy for me for the next month! She made the captain look like a goddamn war hero!
 
At least I still had sunrises!
 
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.
- MysticMike 

"Living with PTSD, Not Suffering"

 


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