Skip to comments.You survived but you are dead inside (Selco. SHTFschool)
Posted on 04/10/2013 4:09:18 PM PDT by dynachrome
In last article I wrote about surviving combat and how I experienced it during my year in war.
Today I write about the aftermath. Survival is not only hard on your body but can also kill you inside. So you survive but you are just empty shell. You all heard of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) but I call this just being dead inside. But this does not have to be like that. First let me tell you about Alek.
I know Alek for many years now, I met him during one hiking trip I did with my survival group here. He was something like outdoor instructor. Later I heard from other folks that he went through some crazy stuff during the war, and that he was member of one of the groups when he was just 15 years old.
We never talked about that before, anyway that kind of topic here is very unusual to discuss. Many have blood on their hands and it brings up bad memories. If we talk about that period we only mention some funny and stupid things like do you remember the tree leafs we smoked as tobacco man? and we laugh.
But in same time we are remembering in thoughts how someone gets killed or similar. You laugh because you dont want to cry.
(Excerpt) Read more at shtfschool.com ...
When Selco speaks, it is well worth paying attention.
A little off topic, but related; I heard a report today & they referred to young men “of color” who have experienced stop & frisk in New York as having PTSD. I was sufficiently disgusted.
He uses a “k”, because cartographer was taken in 2003 by someone who only posted 16 times.
I’m surprised no one has chosen ‘Boss Moderator’ or somesuch.
‘He uses a k,
Whoops. I know better, too.
Once out of that, regular life experiences gradually displace the sights and smells experiences into a box in the brain. More regular life experiences keep happening and the box manages to stay closed for longer periods of time. The brain uses dreams to sort out and solve problems. The brain has a hard time resolving the sights/smells problem due to the helplessness attached to that and the person will likely wake up, maybe feeling the same amount of fear at the time it happened. A therapist may help in this situation - to take the problem out of the box and talk through it while the person isn't in a state of fear.
I didn't deal with dreams of my patients unless it was the same dream over and over. When that happened, then it was time to delve into that dream and try to resolve it while the patient was not asleep.
Sights/smells while not in fear and helplessness:
When I responded as a first responder to an illness or accident, I never knew what sight/smell was going to be there. If I think of those now, I think, “Oh, my, that was just terrible for that person.” I never thought that then. I was disassociated from what I was seeing/smelling because I could “fix” it, I wasn't helpless.
I saw a person's eye bitten by a dog but I thought, “I have to stop that injured eye from moving to stop any more injury, and I went about doing that not thinking of the bloody sight or how painful it must have been and was at that time.
I saw a 2 x 4 with a large nail in it and a woman's foot impaled on that nail with the nail coming out the top of the foot. I thought, “I have to stabilize the foot on the board to keep more damage from happening”, and that is what I did not thinking about the pain or the blood or the terrible sight of it.
I saw a woman on the road who fell off a bike going down a hill without a helmet on and part of her skin was on the road and her head was a mass of blood. I thought, “I have to stabilize her neck with a collar right now to prevent further damage if it is there.”
I saw a man on the bathroom floor who I knew had a heart attack and I knew this man. I thought, “I have to get blood to his heart and brain”, and that's what I did.
Then, one day I was going to Houston with a man who was going to his doctor and wanted me to go with him. We were meeting at a restaurant and he didn't show up and didn't answer his phone. I went to his house out in the woods and found him dead. I called the sheriff's office, had the man's dog follow me to my car and we waited for the sheriff and deputies. That man was my friend and I was cold and shouldn't have been. I went back in the house with the cops, and worst of all, I had to call the man's son and tell him. That was the worst of it. I was cold when I left and went to a friend's house and stood in front of the fireplace. I couldn't get warm.
Finding the friend dead affected me - I was helpless to fix that - there was nothing I could do and I hated calling that son.
Think of the situations you have gone through - how were you when you could do something and how were you when you were helpless? Do the helpless times stay in a box in your brain and sometimes that box opens?
On the flip side, good memories can be triggered by sights/smells.
That is true and I’m glad it’s true. I love to smell my Yorkie after she has been to the groomer - simply delicious and she is beautiful. She always smells nice and her hair is so soft.
A lot of the sights and smells are pushed to the back of your mind. The ghost can and will come back and haunt you. Your friends dieing last breath calling out for his momma will make anyone cry.
>>But it was 20 years ago you gonna say. Well for me it was like yesterday, it is everyday.<<
I worked once with a Marine helicopter pilot and a Marine “tunnel rat”. One day, we were having a staff meeting in the QC lab. The timer on the oven went off during the meeting, a “general quarters” - type gong.
All three of us were under the table in a heartbeat. Afterwards, we were all kind of sheepish and everybody looked at us like “Huh?” And that was more than 20 years.
I still respond - 50+ years afterwards - to the sound of a helicopter.
This spent 30 years in the Alaskan bush starting in 1968.
Finally came back to civilization at age 82 in 1998.