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PTSD-If I Killed For You?

November 24, 2012

After all the growing up we did and being taught, in my religion and others, “Thou Shalt Not Kill” how do we deal with a circumstance where we are encouraged to do so?  Being in a wartime situation not only are we encouraged to kill or be killed and we are celebrated with medals and commendations if we do so better than others.

Then we are released from our military obligation and then told, “Cancel that, now go back to plan A”.  How do we cope?  How can we adjust?  The question we PTSD service people hold is, “If we killed for you, can you now accept us into your club again?”  Of course you want to answer “Yes” and you try to do this by cheering and offering parades and banners to in your words “support the troops”.  Do you realize who you are welcoming in to this club?  Do you welcome the realization that we are all the same and you too have the capacity to kill?

It is less then 1% of the people in the United States who have served and placed into this new World where we are faced with this terrible choice.  If you are serving, I pray that they will not have to cross this line.  To do so changes you forever.  Therapists try to talk you out of this PTSD feeling, saying that you did what you had to do but the servicemen and women really know that it wasn’t their choice.  They were requested to serve, trained for the worst and then ask to do what is now a normal consequence of this service.

I often wondered how I would have responded to one of the wartime atrocities.  Would I be willing to stand up to authorities and say “No I will not do that?”.   It is easy for the outsider to say they would say “No” but it is different when you are actually in war.  The good and evil is blurred.  Then when you return that feeling remains.  No longer do you define yourself the same way.  Is there any wonder why we come home damaged?  PTSD is a consequence of a traumatic experience whether because of a war, a natural disaster, a choice of occupations or simply being raised in a dysfunctional family many factors can add up to a life of PTSD suffering

If you are a PTSD sufferer or PTSD family member you will need to be strong and face this issue as soon as possible.  The longer you wait the worse the hold that it has on you.