Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Discussion in 'Other Symptoms & Disorders' started by Florian7051, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    Is anyone also suffering from a TBI?

    I finally built up the courage to start scratching the surface on some of my past, a little back log:

    approx 7 years ago I was blown up by an IED. I was knocked unconcious, and when I came to my patrol was taking enemy fire (I should clarify my PTSD does not stem from my deployment with the Military) I slowly got myself oriented and carried on with the mission...

    fast forward... now back to the issues that caused the PTSD... In March my wife attempted Suicide (I was the first responder) In April my daughter fell off her bunk bed and fractured both eye sockets, her nose, the side of her skull, and her occipital bone.

    now I'm back on track. now with the issues I've been dealing with. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, and I'm going through a potential career ending back surgery (now recovery). anyways, as if my life isn't complex enough, prior to the surgery they upped my dosage of Neurotin to 3000mg. I started getting really violent headaches, so they switched me to Topimax and did an MRI of my head...

    Now getting to the TBI part and my original story. So... yeah MRI shows that I "had" a TBI so they ask me. Have you ever had a concussion. I didn't even remember at first but after connecting the dots I figured out this is the only time I've been knocked out.

    Anyways, I meet with the Wounded Warriors Battalion about my back surgery, because like I said it's more than likely career ending, and I tell my Recovery Care Coordinator this. She asks if I ever received my purple heart, which I didn't, so she set me on the path to do that. Anyways, I haven't been able to start this quest the Anxiety has been to high. I finally decided I would start with something familiar and contact some guys from the unit for the witness statement part of it. The very first person I contacted told me I was a disgrace and I didn't rate it, that I brought dishonor to all those that did. I don't think I can do this by myself.

    I literally feel crushed right now. Maybe he's right maybe I don't deserve it. The funny thing is outside of staying in the armed services it really doesn't have any benefits. Sure you can get free license plates and front of the line at the VA, but that's not why I'm doing it. It would make my daughters eligible for scholarships later on in life. That's all I really hope to get out of it. I don't mean to be a disgrace to anyone. Yet my command wont help me, even my old friends wont help me.

    I don't understand how I can hold rock solid medical documentation in my hand and I still get treated like a peddler, when the ironic thing is I'm not even pursuing this for myself. why in my anatomy and physiology class when asked what is the most "IMPORTANT" body system; did 50% say the neurological system and not 1 say the muscular/skeletal system, yet in the military the only injury that gets looked at as real is the one that leave a trail of blood or bone fragment.

    If anyone felt like hanging in there to read this far, I'm confused, aggrivated, my anxiety is peaked, obviously I have no friends and no outlet and my PTSD has consumed me to what I see as the lowest form of life. I'm doing my regular visits to the witch doctors and on my meds, but after being told that today I got nothing left. Need something positive if anything has anything inspiring to give....
    Echo and keifer like this.
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  3. franciemarnie

    franciemarnie I'm a VIP

    That person who told you you were a disgrace is a disgrace. I can't tell you how angry that makes me, and how sorry I am all this happened to you. Do not listen to those who tell lies. Only listen for the truth. The truth will resonate. It will bring you a calm knowing deep inside.

    You are going thru so much right now. So much. Your character and physical self are being sorely tried. You will get thru this. At your core is the strength of steel. I hope you continue to pursue healing at all levels. Sending light.
    Echo, bell and novemberDark like this.
  4. Tympre

    Tympre Member

    I believe you are worthy of the Purple Heart. Its is not awarded but earned. It is earned by injury or death from War or peace keeping actions. So whomever told you, you would disgrace it, is ignorant. The Purple Heart is not a traditional medal but instead very few can obtain it, its specifically earned once you meet the requirements. The requirements are active duty and injured or killed by an instrument of war in the line of duty. This is not a word for word quote but a paraphrase. As a active duty member, I am angered at those that would stand in the way of you being given what you have already earned. I agree that blood and bone injuries are more readily accepted, even today as the military works even harder to treat unseen injuries with a more open mind. I hope your surgery enables you to be cleared and that your branch recognizes this and allows you to finish your career. I know that is a long shot, but it is still there. And I understand the feeling of being treated as a peddler and I am deeply saddened that a active duty war vet is treated as such. You earned your Purple Heart, go get it. And wear it with pride. :)
    Echo likes this.
  5. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    Thank you both. Tympre I have a question for you. As an active duty member maybe you can give me some insight. Lately I have been thinking of walking away. I don't want a med-board. I want to return to full duty and EAS. Now here's the part that makes me question my sanity. I know I'm not in the right frame of mind, I know this. I love what I do, more then anything, but am I being selfish? Do I step away now with my head up and pass the baton and make way for someone younger and healthier than me, or do I fake it, and be that broke guy that no one has any faith in? I'm not ready to take off the uniform, but I'm afraid I'd have to lower my morals to keep it on, what do I do?
  6. Ayesha

    Ayesha Yarn and Cat Crazy.

    They are wrong in thinking this. I am sorry that they said that. How terrible.

    Hmmmm....Added stress of what you describe, I don't think it helped your PTSD at all. What was it from? If you had a traumatic childhood and then are in Combat then that probably added to your PTSD. I terribly raped many times as a teenager and miscarried a child all by myself, that caused my PTSD. My childhood was neglectful and hurtful, didn't cause my PTSD but it did add more bricks to my back so to speak and made me more vulnerable. You know what I mean?

    There is also a Combat PTSD site just for veterans. It is run and started by Anthony, the same guy who started this forum. You may want to check that out too! :)

    Take care and I hope you feel better soon.
  7. Tympre

    Tympre Member

    I cant answer your question on whether to stay or walk, only you can. My tidal wave of ptsd came last summer and almost drowned my last September. Mine is also not combat related. I will tell you that I wont rate a med board as my issues are not considered a disability. Its more than just whether to med board or not. Its your future. If you go to med board you could get retirement. If not you wont. It is incredibly hard to return to full duty after a limited duty status and still have the next command accept you. In my branch they use convenience of the government separations as a downsizing tool. If you are not in your right mind, how could you be fit for full? Not by military standards but by yours. See your desire is to return to Fit for full and separate at EAOS. If this is your desire then do this. But never fake it. You can get us killed. I would rather stand beside someone willing and able than unwilling or unable.See its my life on the line, and the lives of those around me. Not only would you endanger those around you by faking it, but you cheat yourself out of treatment and benefits. To me this is not a moral issue. I am not ready to take my uniform off either, but it is what it is. You need to take care of you, not the uniform right now. Its you who will be there long after that uniform is no longer worn. Its you you have to live years with past your service. Heal yourself, then worry about walking or staying. Without healing yourself you are no good to anyone, not even yourself. This is the hardest thing for me to do, especially after 16 years of service.
  8. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    My PTSD was caused by back to back first responder calls to my own house. the first being on my wife for her drug overdose, the second being for my daughter's tbi from her fall a month later (this is the one i kind of broke down on). the added stress was my back injury. I had been going through it for almost a year trying everything to avoid surgery, but 6 months after these events happened, i'd be under the knife, and my future is still uncertain. I guess dealing with my youngest with CP in itself is exhausting she has more medical appointments a week then the rest of the family combined, plus since they started jacking me up with meds I haven't been sleeping. So it's really a mix of things.

    There are times I want to call the police and have myself arrested, because I'm afraid I'm going to hurt or kill someone, but the feeling only lasts a few seconds and then it's gone. I've been having trouble focusing my energy and it comes out in such uncontrolled short bursts, that it scares me as to what I could do if it gets worse. There are times I literally, like a ninja movie, kill an entire room inside my head in a blind fury without even raising an eyebrow, and what's scary is I don't feel like I have control of it when it happens. Driving is the worst, or in a crowded place.
  9. Ayesha

    Ayesha Yarn and Cat Crazy.

    How much support do you have Florian7051?
  10. keifer

    keifer Guest

    Strange you write this as I choose to retire vice face two med boards. My command said they would back me tooth and nail. I'm not stable and the active duty shrink would just tear me apart. Its not worth the fight I told them, just let me retire.

    I still have this battle with the va later. By the way, you can give more than your life for your country. They never tell you, you might loose part of your mind and body and have to live with it.
    TreeHugger and Tympre like this.
  11. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    I don't know the reason I bring it up, is, as the headaches get worse, so do these fits of rage. Does the witch doctor have me on some bad dope, or is this just the TBI talking? Honestly I don't know the diffrence between the pain from one injury to the next. I feel like I'm falling apart, and I feel like it started with pills. As harmless as Neurotin seems that's where it started and I haven't been right since. That gave me headaches, the Cortizone injections in my spine gave me insomnia, now I feel like I'm going crazy.
    keifer likes this.
  12. Tympre

    Tympre Member

    @keifer You are completely right about the VA being a fight. I also love the fact that your can lose more than your life for your country. Congratulations on being able to retire!! It is wonderful your command is so supportive!
    keifer likes this.
  13. Tympre

    Tympre Member

    @Florian7051 If you are having those thoughts please go get help. The ER at the military hospital here would easily hold you for a few days if you wanted, to ensure you were ok. I think you need more aid than a forum can give, if you are starting to question whether or not you are safe from hurting yourself or others, especially after serving in war.
    bell and keifer like this.
  14. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    Ayesha - I have 0 support. I use to have a buddy, but he got out 6 months ago. We're downsizing right now, and I'm in the paygrade they're streamlineing. I'm one of the last faces I knew when I came here. I'm actually the second longest stationed person at my current location (not to be confused with the highest ranking) anyway, I just saw a pic of my buddy yesterday. he got out and kind of fell off the grid. we were the same yet polar opposites, we balanced each other out I think. Anyways he was the last real friend I had here.

    Kiefer - I know I could get a med board for my back, it's pretty cut and dry, but I just want to walk out with my head up, same way I walked in. But you're right. I always thought I'd either fight the fight and when the war ended move on, or come home with a flag over my coffin. I never dreamed in a million years I'd wearing a tinfoil hat talking to a lamp post in incoherent sentence fragments. If I didn't have daughters who adored me I can honestly say I wish that IED would've just finished me off.
    keifer likes this.
  15. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    I'm seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist on base (witch doctors) also seeing a civilian neurologist. Seeing a physical therapist and a pain-management specialist for my back (both civilians). I even did a reconciliation of medication because of potential side effects. I honestly think they just jacked me up so bad from keeping me on muscle relaxers for almost a year, in combination with 3000mg of Neurotin, in combination with injecting steroids into my spine, before even knowing what was wrong with me because it was more cost effective to push meds then it was to figure it out. Now I'm just suffering long term effects on top of what was already wrong with me. But the good news is, the military saved a bunch of money, the taxpayers think they saved a bunch of money, and the pharmaceutical companies actually made a bunch of money.
    novemberDark likes this.
  16. Ayesha

    Ayesha Yarn and Cat Crazy.

    What about your wife? I know you said she Attempted suicide, that must have been very hard on your marriage.

    I am sorry you feel that way. Have you shared with your psychologist or psychiatrist that you are having these morbid thoughts? (that is what I call them, I get them too).
  17. keifer

    keifer Guest

    I was asked what I really wanted. I dont know career wise. What do know deep down, I want to take care of myself and find myself again.
  18. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    Ayesha - I'm not that good at spelling so I call them the witch doctors, but yes I told them. They told me in spite not being able to see it I am showing an incredible amount of restraint and discipline and I am considerably more focused than I give myself credit for. I surly don't feel that way. My wife and I are strangers that share a home. She is just someone that spends my paycheck and calls it "ours" to me. I've expressed my desires to reconnect with her, but since the suicide she's become isolated and reclusive, and my PTSD has caused me to become the same. We've become a rather caustic mix.

    Keifer - What "I" want is my career and my MOS back. What I think is best for the country is something different. Like Tympre had said in an above post, I work in an MOS that is someone is "unable" to perform, then someone gets hurt really bad or worse. And, I'm not even talking about deployed, I'm talking about in garrison as well. If I do my job, I need to be able to do it entirely. I don't want to compromise my integrity just to continue doing what "I" love. I'm hoping I can get stronger than I am now, but I just don't feel comfortable where I'm at right now. I feel like I would compromise my team.

    Also, I been having terrible episodes of sleep paralysis when I finally do sleep. Has this happened to anyone. It is the most awful thing.
  19. keifer

    keifer Guest

    I had something like that one night falling asleep. That was freaky. My dreams/nightmares lately I dont recall, I dont want to either.

    I cant help but I also know the system is unfair to so many who deserve so much more.
    novemberDark likes this.
  20. novemberDark

    novemberDark Active Member

    Florian7051, did you stop after the first persons reaction from your unit?

    Maybe they're just scared. I'm glad you were scared about going amoc and are protective.

    I think that people sometimes back away when touch time hits because they know it could be them, same as being confronted with their own mortality.

    Sorry sounds like a hell of a catch 22.
    Having a NO GO for support is really bad.
    #19 novemberDark, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  21. novemberDark

    novemberDark Active Member

    NoYou sound to me so strong (hope you can see that too).
    When your own physique gets beaten down it tops it really up!. Don't take this the wrong way, I don't feel sorry for you, how could I, you're tough ?.

    Didn't stop you from acknowledging/ recognizing.

    I wish you well, and I hope you'll be able to make decision's that are best for you (without getting screwed over).

    I don't think you held grounds all by yourself either before! (Impossible when out numbered, last time I checked).
    #20 novemberDark, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  22. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    Yeah, because it happened 7 years ago, I don't really talk to many people I knew from back then, maybe a half dozen or so, and unfortunately only 2 of us were in the same platoon. out of the 2, one I was close to during the deployment and am not now. The other I was close to before the deployment but not during, so I don't know how much insight he could give me as far as an honest evaluation. So really it's just that one. I tried to locate the other 3 guys that were blown up with me, but all 3 got out and I can't find them. This is where my command comes into play, or in this case doesn't. I asked if they could help me locate them through service records, and they also reacted similarly. I don't feel like I can do this on my own. I don't understand why I can go into combat, be shot at, mortared, blown up, and never had a care in the world, but this scares me. Why do people think I'm such a loser over this? I have the medical documentation, and I just want what's best for my family.
  23. novemberDark

    novemberDark Active Member

    Man, it's just like with any other system I guess (anger when it's being taken advantagd off, identifying when its not).
    Not even talking about the system itself wanting to (shave bare with cut backs).

    I sure wish that some guys, once out of the army would bring their nuts back with them!.

    Hope you turn deaf to what was said to you on the phone.

    Family comes first (army is family too , or so I thought), but that changes when back to civilian life. You're your only commander now.

    By the way my spelling isn't so great either.

    YOU know what you deserve and that is not a question mark.

    I don't even want to go there but look what happend to the Guy's that came back from nam. That was a disgrace !.
    #22 novemberDark, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
    keifer likes this.
  24. novemberDark

    novemberDark Active Member

    It's now your family on the line, wouldn't be much good to them if you were 'present' in a coffin with a flag.
    maybey that's where the fear comes from. Sure glad you got it back (as wacked as that sounds).

    Sounds like a roadblock, to not even let you try to find the others.

    I assume your not much of a paper pusher yourself, so hope there's some support to somehow push through to that system.
    #23 novemberDark, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  25. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Active Member

    It's funny, because the guys that were in the truck with me. One of them hated me, and I mean "HATED" me, but if I told him what was going on, and he connected the dots, I know he'd be like... "Oh yeah that makes sense because you did this, that, and the other, and than this and that happened, so on and so forth..." Yet the people that knew me, that I thought were my friends, saw me leave in a truck, and saw me come back in the same truck with no blood, and now just assume I looking for a handout. It's funny how everything plays out.

    And I'm not saying I wish to be dead, I know my family needs me, but this is miserable. If I didn't have a family and I had the choice of this or having died honorably in combat, I definitely would've chose to been buried with my mind in tact. I guess it's not an option so we play the hands we're dealt I just want to clarify just because I have morbid thoughts or desires doesn't necessarily make me suicidal. Now homicidal, I don't think so, but I'll tell you the truth, I'm really afraid one day I'm going to act on my impulses and probably F somebody up, and that thought scares me. I know I'm capable of really hurting someone, and what really scares me is if it happens when I'm behind the wheel of a car. I don't want to be the

    "ex-military member kills civilian in a motor vehicle hit and run"

    "...yeah I knew him, he was such a quiet guy, I never would've though he was capable of something like this"
    "...yeah we all knew he wasn't right but we never imagined..."
    "...he was always so polite..."

    I think about the things I've seen, and the things I've done, and wonder how I'm going to react the first time some snot nose punk tells me to "GET A LIFE"!

    Or a better, more real world example. I just had to run to WalMart to get supplies for a school project. I don't do good in WalMart, especially midday Saturday on a military payday weekend. I walked passed a woman telling another woman how she hit a 3rd woman (not present obviously) with a bible, as her son was using a tube mailer as a pretend sword to knock peanut butter containers off the shelf. Can you imagine that? Using the Holy Bible as a weapon? Not metaphorically, Actually!!! HA!!! I LOST IT!!! I actually did an eye and neck twitch and envisioned putting her in a guillotine (headlock) and breaking her neck, then back hand slapping the woman she was talking to, then grabbing the little boy by the throat and squeezing until my fingers touched and ripping out his esophagus and watching the look on his face as he bled out at the neck.

    Then I came back to reality and said "HOLY SHIT I NEED TO GET OUT OF WALMART" I left with 4 items in my cart. I can't keep living like this. I may not kill anyone, but what happens that one day when I take things too far?
  26. bell

    bell Well-Known Member

    @Florian7051, if you're having those kinds of thoughts, drop everything else, and go get help or else you run the very real risk of becoming what you don't want to become. Tell your "witch doctors" or the people in the ER that you are thinking of hurting others. They need to know in order to help you. Especially with TBI, your brain was given a BIG jolt and you need help getting things right again.

    Please don't just think it will get better by ignoring it. These thoughts are not ones to ignore, they are signs that you need to get help NOW.
    Ayesha, keifer and digger like this.

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