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Reliving the Past is Pissing Me Off

Discussion in 'General' started by Hellokitty, Aug 13, 2006.

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  1. Hellokitty

    Hellokitty New Member

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    I was pretty sure I had PTSD when I got out of the military but I was under the impression that I had to be put into a situation similar to my military job in order to experience an episode. Since my job consisted of being locked in a room with no windows for 8 to 12 hours, responding to emergency situations, and playing wargames, I thought I was safe because there's no way I'd be able to duplicate those exact conditions now that I'm a civilian. Well, I've since discovered that all I need to set me off is any situation that feels like an emergency. I'm in school to be a pastry chef and an 'emergency' can be as little as a complicated order for a cake that needs to be completed in one day. I'll have a panic attack and work myself into quite a state. I'll be angry with the people around me, start crying, develop a migraine headache and I usually miss school the next day. If I just feel a low level of urgency with my life, like when I agree to work extra hours, along with going to school, I start having insomnia again. Luckily, this only happens about once a quarter so I'm not missing tons of class. Since I identified this trigger, I've been able to talk myself down somewhat when I realize the symptoms are coming on. It's so annoying, though! It pisses me off that I still have this hangover from the military that's affecting my life! Being in the military was such a crappy experience and now I'm stuck reliving my feelings from that time on a regular basis. I am looking forward to a day when I can finally be free of the military and able to just react to things as they happen to me and not project those old feelings on new situations. I guess it takes time and work, though, so I'm grateful for this forum as a tool to help me work through it.
     
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  3. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    Hello Kitty,

    In order for the past to not haunt you now, is to deal with the past. I know how cliche that sounds, but it is so very true. I'm glad that you have identified your trigger/s and now can make appropriate changes in your lifestyle to help with the symptoms. I know for a fact that being overwhelmed is in majority of all PTSDer's symptom list. It is so common! Even though you may feel as if you can not deal with the present stressors, just remember how much is already on your plate! You are going to school, you are working, and you are dealing with an unrelenting condition. Give yourself some credit...you are doing great....and you are making great leaps in your healing by identifying the triggers....

    I hope to hear how things are going....
     
  4. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

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    Although I don't have military experience,
    I know what you mean to have your day fixtated around a certain event or situation.
    I know that we are strong enough to get through all of this,
    several people on this forum have been able to manage their PTSD with minimal (if any) negative symptoms.
    That being said... these people are some of the strongest people I have ever met.
    They have survived the worst of it,
    and there's so much great advice available to us because of them
    and it's definatly alot easier to fight this illness when you aren't alone :)

    identifying triggers is a big step!
    Good job!
    but remember it will be something you have to work at on a daily basis.

    take care
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Kitty, bloody well done, and congratulations. Identifying one's triggers is hard enough initially to put your finger upon, and you have started that process. That really is outstanding. What nam said, "give yourself some credit". One trigger down, many more to go. A big trigger is a good sign of things to come.

    Kitty, you are free of the military already. PTSD is not part of the military, it was merely the military you worked for when your trauma occured. I often find soldiers who say they hate their military experience, and when asked, "so you didn't enjoy anything about those 4 years?" Often a different response comes, even with the deployment and veterans.

    I once said I hated the military for what it did to me. Well, then I was given the reality of the situation. It wasn't the military who joined me, it was me who joined the military. It was me who signed on the line, it was me who put my hand up to be put in front of the worst the world may have to throw at me. My PTSD is my fault, it is merely that I worked for the military to get my PTSD. Some people just really did have more shitty times than good during their service, and that is acceptable, because not everyone is suitable to the military, as with any job for that matter. Not everyone is happy to be a chef, plumber, carpenter, electrician, janiter... though some are, and wouldn't have it any other way.

    At the end of the day, we signed on the bottom line and accepted what the military had to throw at us. The only people who can say that their PTSD was not their fault, or not their own doing, are those who are involved as a victim or witness to an act. A person who is raped, did not ask nor signup for that rape. A person in a car accident caused by another who was clearly doing something wrong, against the law, they did not signup or accept their license to drive on those premises. A person who gets run down by a speeding motorist through suburbs, did not signup to be run down by someone who hit them because they where going to fast to stop for that person walking across a pedestrian crossing or at lights when the pedestrian sign turns green. People who signup for the possibility of injury, suffering and to put themselves in harms way, is definately military, emergency services, etc etc. An ambulance driver who gets PTSD from attending all the severe scenes they do, cannot blame the ambulance service for his PTSD, as he was the one who signed up to help others in need, just as military signup to help others who are in need of military services.

    I guess what I am saying, is we ex-military cannot blame the military for our PTSD, because it is not their fault. If a soldier was raped within the military, she could not blame the military for being at fault, because it was an individual who raped her, not the military organization itself.

    It took me some time to come to terms with this myself when I had it put clearly infront of me, and at me. I did enjoy my time in the military, and if I didn't get PTSD from doing the job I did, I would still most likely be within the military, because I loved the organization and my role within it.

    Kitty, you are honestly make such great progress already, it is really great to see others achieve what is available to them if they want it. Well done kitty, and please keep up the hard work.
     
  6. Hellokitty

    Hellokitty New Member

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    Yes, I did join the military voluntarily but I don't think getting PTSD is my fault. I was somebody who was probably prone to getting PTSD if put into a stressful enough situation but I don't think it's something I actively sought. It's kind of like saying it's my fault that my hair is blond. I believe I was being naive, though, in thinking that my health was any concern of the military. I've since discovered that the American military sponsors studies on sleep deprivation in order to determine just how far they can push people. They're aware that a certain number of people will be unable to do their job when exposed to the kind of stress that I was, but they're willing to take the chance that the majority will still be able to continue. In addition, after I was diagnosed, the military idea of treatment consisted primarily of giving me handfuls of drugs and trying to intimidate me into continuing doing the job that set off my PTSD in the first place. While I was still active duty, I had the unfortunate experience of attending group therapy with a bunch of army people and I discovered that, even though some of them had PTSD from being in combat, their units were trying to intimidate them into going back to Iraq. It hadn't occurred to me before hearing this that the health of active duty people is basically of no concern at all. I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure it's a very bad Idea to take somebody who already has PTSD and deprive them of sleep and put them into a kill or be killed situation. So, while I don't think it's my fault for getting PTSD, I do take responsibility for being naive.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You are correct Kitty, it isn't your fault for getting PTSD, but it also isn't the militarys fault for giving your PTSD, it is merely a consequence of circumstances. We often want someone, something to blame, but we signup for these things, and put ourselves into positions of high risk knowingly, even though we may not be aware of such illnesses as PTSD when doing so. You could have had minor traumas throughout your life, which your military work was merely the catalyst that triggered the PTSD. You could have been genetically predisposed to PTSD, but they are still trying to find exactly what that entails. There are so many different scenarios, but we can waste valuable time and effort in finding someone to blame, when sometimes nobody is to blame, it is merely that consequence of circumstances and choice at the time. Blaming ourselves certainly doesn't help the recovery process either.

    You are right about the militarys methods in fixing PTSD, and they don't really give a shit about their soldiers as much as people like to think, because we are just numbers to the overall machine, not people with families, feelings and pain, but numbers.

    The military is also not silly, and one of the best soldiers you could ever put upon the battlefield is one WITH PTSD. The characteristics of PTSD are the exact characteristics of a near perfect soldier. Black or white, no fear, no extended thought process, do or die, high levels of anger, agility and power. Not afraid of the unknown enemy... Military want people with PTSD upon the battlefield, they just don't know what to do with them during peace time, which is the problem.
     
  8. wildfirewildone

    wildfirewildone Well-Known Member

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    This is another reason I am against the Iraq war...the future damage that soldiers endure...developing PTSD....no real help from the military when they get home...affecting their families and friends for a very very LONG time!!! It's also true of other TRAUMA victims....little help...improper diagnosing that leaves the victims thinking that they are "crazy"....mistreatment in ERs...mistreatment in hospital psych. units...the suffering caused to the individual via being stigmatized by society....victims accused of making their symptoms up by the healthcare workers who are in a position to provide help....and the list goes on!!!! G-R-R-R-R!!!!! wildfirewildone
    ........PEACE
     
  9. mac

    mac Active Member

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    Anthony, got-damn if that wasn't a mouthful of sense... "The characteristics of PTSD are the exact characteristics of a near perfect soldier. Black or white, no fear, no extended thought process, do or die, high levels of anger, agility and power. Not afraid of the unknown enemy" Yep, that's how I feel when angry, except the 'agility' and 'power' is merely just a state of my mind... not reality. But on the flip-side, if I'm depressed I could care less about anything, which means I'm just going to sit around... harmless to a fly.
     
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