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View Diary: 4th Self-Pity Rant by Soon-to-be Blue Star Mom (161 comments)

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  •  Hugs to {{{{{Moesse}}}}} (8+ / 0-)

    and her sons along with my prayers.

    I so want to send this to President Bush, but it takes empathy ... and I don't see any sign of it.

    We'll all send angels instead, Moesse.

    If it helps any ... I have a reporter friend who volunteered three, yep, three, times to accompany troops in Iraq. The angels worked their darndest because he and his photographer colleague came home safe.

    Peace and love,

    Against silence, which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 04:12:55 PM PDT

    •  I talked to a reporter once (6+ / 0-)

      who covered the 2nd tour of my eldest and the ambush time there.  While he didn't give me details of it, he did share that he feels compelled to go back every six months or so for a "fix."  

      I've learned since - and seen it evidenced in my youngest - that compulsion to go back into the danger is a component of PTSD.  Those suffering from it have a harder time dealing with the everyday, mundane normalcy of life here.  My son wanted to go back in the worst way, even after he was discharged.  

      ... Pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

      by Moesse on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 06:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's actually a biological basis for this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, alkalinesky

        Continuous exposure to combat (or other forms of violence/trauma) tends to cause neurological changes, mostly in the mid-brain, I believe. Basically, the fight-flight-freeze circuits develop a hair-trigger. The brain becomes conditioned, more or less, to release more and larger quantities of what might be best described as "combat chemicals." Also, it's slower to flush them from the system.

        You become an adrenaline junkie, hooked on your own juice.

        It's an adaptive mechanism--when people are shooting at you frequently and without warning, well, it's sort of handy to be able to have split-second combat reflexes. Problem is, you go back home & those combat reflexes can get you in trouble for the reasons obvious enough that I don't figure I need to spell them out. It's hard to unwire since the process, for most people I think, is more affective then intellectual.

        There's also a sort of general institutionalization  process that goes on. Once people get used to an environment, however screwed up it is, it can hard to return to an environment which other folks might file under "normalcy." It can actually be more psychologically comfortable for some people to stay in an environment where they know that they might be killed at any moment because, well, it's what they've become conditioned to. And when killing is your profession and you don't know much else, well, what are you going to do in "the real world."


        •  Thank you for explaining that. (0+ / 0-)

          It was very enlightening.  It makes a lot of sense.

          A Leader Without Followers Is Just A Guy Taking A Walk

          by gooderservice on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 08:59:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm pretty passionate on this matter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I've never served in uniform but I've got a lot of experience with PTSD. I've studies it extensively and experienced it full-blown--I'm probably going to have to do some serious explaining to the landlord for a flashback-related incident from this Wednsday.

            Physical or secual abuse, particularly as a child, is a frequent cause. Sudden loss by violence of a loved one, persistent abuse (any kind, if it's severe enough and there is no way to fight back) can do it. So can Extreme neglect/poverty/persistent & ignored pain as an adult. All of these are potential causes. It is brutal, vicious, knows no boundaries and I am on the side of ANYONE who has been through this wringer.

            Working on a diary on the subject.

            Nobody should be left behind. Nobody.

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