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Blanket or not to blanket...

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by Virtues, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Virtues

    Virtues Well-Known Member

    I don't truly care about too many people these days... I've isolated from pretty much the whole world. They might care about me IDK??? But yes, it's like I feel like I have to defend myself, because I am utilizing resources (such as this service dog). This dog could have easily went to another vet. My comp and pen could easily be allocated elsewhere. It's taken me a long time to convince myself that what I went through was real and it did affect me (even if it didn't affect others), or maybe it did affect others and they're just "sucking it up". IDK either way combat changed me into a different person, less of a human being, if the doctors want to call it PTSD than fine it's PTSD. All the symptoms point to PTSD so I guess that's what it is. I'm just saying it wasn't the only trauma in my life. I don't know if it's cumulative, but if it is it makes me feel a whole lot better (stronger) that I've been through so many different traumatic events and here I am still here to talk about it. IDK maybe I just feel weak because my brothers walked away from the war unscathed and I did not.
    SaharaSon, blackemerald1 and scout86 like this.
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  3. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    get out of my head. now. :):) I can only have one of us in there! I just got approved for equine therapy and my FIRST thought was "I don't deserve it -others are worse.

    They walked away unscathed because they didn't come in with "stuff". All they had was combat and that's enough to send a lot of people over the edge all by itself. Walking into combat with other traumas? Yea -- you may come out a bit more screwed up than they are. And that's ok. Another thought? You are fooling yourself if you think they came away unscathed. 22 vets day kill themselves. 22. A. Day.
    Nobody comes out unscathed -- some just reach out for help instead of taking the easy way out

    My T talks a lot about little t trauma and Big T Trauma and the cumulative effects. Could I have gone forward if I'd only had one big trauma? Probably. But by the time you add trauma after trauma then you end up with ptsd. So yea, if you came in with trauma all it took was some combat to activate it to this point

    I am still -- 3 years in -- horribly embarrassed that I finally broke. It makes me crazy that I couldn't keep it together when everyone else could. My Ts (and my lovely friends here!) keep trying to beat it into my head that it is amazing I'm here at all and that its a miracle I survived. But all I can see is the failure. I stay in therapy because I know the only way I will heal is to get past that. To get past "it wasn't that bad" or "others have it worse" or I'm just a loser who couldn't handle her shit".

    But. I have finally stopped defending having a service dog because I can see how good he is for me. yes I may have taken him from someone who needed him "more." But having him makes me easier to live with so I figure its a win. And I've learned to say FU to those who challenge me. Either you are on my side or your not -- I don't own anyone an explanation. (wow - don't I sound just feisty!)
    blackemerald1 and scout86 like this.
  4. Justmehere

    Justmehere Help support myPTSD - more info in Social forum Moderator Premium Member

    I really recommend NOT posting psychiatric diagnostic info on social media out of (undeserved) guilt and shame.
    If you feel you must tell them, then I’d suggest contacting them privately to let them know, and hopefully they can reality check your distorted thinking on this. But I highly recommend skipping the open disclosure when it’s driven by a distorted core belief that you are a fraud unless you defend your need for support.

    Plus, you don’t know they are unscathed. Not all wounds are visible, and denial is real. Sometimes it takes awhile for things to show up.
  5. Virtues

    Virtues Well-Known Member

    The root of my guilt stems from an incident I had during my MEB. I was having a lot of issues with concentration and memory. When my psychologist asked if I had ever lost consciousness I told him I had during an IED explosion in which I was the gunner of my vehicle. When I was blown up we were taking small arms fire so there was no time to seek medical attention when I regained consciousness; I got back on my crew served weapon and did what I had to do. When we got back to the FOB I tried to report the incident, but I was told we were so close to going home to report it when we returned. I tried to report it back in garrison but was told if I went down that road it would end my career so I just shut up and sucked it up. During my MEB they issued a Neuro Assessment Battery and concluded that there was brain damage and a brain injury but because so much time had passed they couldn't be positive that it happened during the explosion (the military's way of shifting responsibility). If my brain injury did indeed happen in combat (which it did) I should have been awarded the Purple Heart which would have opened the door to a whole bunch of benefits for my children. I decided to work on reclaiming my Purple Heart but needed to jump through a bunch of loop holes to do that. One of the loop holes was witness statements. When I contacted people from my platoon and told them what I was doing I was told what a piece of shit I was, that I didn't rate, that I was a scum bag, that the Purple Heart was meant for people who were really injured in combat not for people like me, and so on and so forth. I swore I would never disclose anything ever again. If that's how people in my platoon are going to react to a physical injury that has a tangible test with actual results to show a deficiency how would they react to an invisible injury that is undetectable and I can't prove?
  6. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Ouch! Some people are pretty clueless!

    The thing is, some people will bitch if they're hung with a new rope. You aren't going to be able to do much about them. Some people might be encouraged by your example, if you can accept that PTSD is just a condition you have, not a thing you are.

    I have no idea what the best way to handle this is. I'd probably go with going on like nothing's going on myself.
  7. Virtues

    Virtues Well-Known Member

    You will love equine therapy; it is so healing. I did equine therapy for 2 years before I had to leave due to financial constraints. It is the only thing I ever reported to have lessened my symptoms. This is one of the main reasons my doctor wanted to prescribe me a dog. He drew a lot of parallels between horses and dogs and really thought this would be a good move for me. Anyway, there is something about working with horses that is so spiritual; it is not only healing, but a confidence booster as well. One of the greatest things I have ever done in my life and I do miss it greatly.
    SaharaSon, Bearlinda, Freida and 3 others like this.
  8. blackemerald1

    blackemerald1 I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Yeah I agree with @Justmehere and @scout86 I would relax, get the dog. Learn about him/her. Go out with your wife and try and live a normal life as much or as little as you would like to do. I'd also ask your lovely wife to not put any happy pics of you AND the dog online until you are feeling much better and are ready to say to yourself and the world I could not give FF what ANYONE thinks of me and my dog.

    So get the dog and then relax.

    I'm very wary of social media anyway but for sure people get dogs bc they love them. You should really have a relationship that you love with your dog before you start announcing the relationship?? (Sorry had no sleep):wideeyed:
  9. Justmehere

    Justmehere Help support myPTSD - more info in Social forum Moderator Premium Member

    Can we stop there a second?

    Shiiiiiit dude. You were blown up! That’s more than enough trauma right there to have PTSD. I know, I know, others have been through worse... but damn, don’t minimize the weight of the IED exploding like they have done. It doesn’t help change anyone’s minds to agree with them act like that’s not awful trauma in and of itself.

    You tried your damndest to the the right thing in really difficult circumstances too. You should be proud of that. People who were eager to go home, they wanted you to stuff it. They wanted out of there, and not because it was s walk in the park vacation for them. They were foolish and perhaps trying to run form their own stuff by trying to invalidate a physical injury on top of it. But you’ve been trying to do the right thing all along.

    What they did says more about them than anything about you.

    They had/have a motivation to try and to dismiss your pain in a way that isn’t going to be changed because you have a service dog due to PTSD.

    All this guilt you have? Doesn’t belong on you.

    You are not a fraud.

    I know that saying that doesn’t make the guilt go away or fix the situation, but trying to convince them you deserve the dog because of non-combat trauma via social media prior won’t fix it either.

    If you want to post about having a PTSD service dog as a type of validating proof that your suffering is real, ok I can get that. But it’s going to come with some real drawbacks. I suggest you at least wait until you have the dog and get settled for at least a couple of days. I’m sure your wife can hold off on photos online for a few days. Take this slow... there really ain’t any reason to rush.

    One of the best things about having my service dog is that I get to experience unconditional acceptance every day. All day. I don’t have to prove to the dog anything. It helps me handle the humans who don’t get it.

    Let the experience of having the dog help you navigate how to interact with others. Some agencies that provide dogs even help provide some training and guidance on how to handle these things. Once you get through the process and meet your new dog, if you want to let everyone on FB know, all the more power to ya.

    As a side note: I did equine therapy too before having a service dog. It was life changing...and the dog does help in smillar ways. I’m really excited for you to have the support of a service dog. You deserve it. :hug:
  10. OrangeJulius

    OrangeJulius Active Member Premium Member

    @Florian7051 ok....yeah...I get that. I was sexually harassed by my instructor and was REALLY upset about it. Cried to a friend of mine that had been physically attacked and raped. She was SUPER supportive but I just felt silly thinking about how much worse hers was (also I didn't know that happened to her til I started crying to her).

    I don't know the guys you deployed with...but if they don't know you have PTSD...why would you know they have it? What I am saying is....you don't know that they are in fact ok. And if you haven't been deployed for a while and have lived some life since then....they may even realize things could have happened before and after deployment.

    I will also say my boyfriend suffered childhood trauma, is a combat vet, and is currently a paramedic. He says that some of the hardest and most gruesome things he's seen were not in combat. Veteran coworkers of mine (I am also a paramedic) have said that being a first responder is worse than combat because its continuous trauma and more unexpected. When you're deployed you know you're there for x amount of time and what could happen and then its over.

    ....now those are the opinions of others....I personally cannot comment on the matter.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. You can't go wrong.
  11. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    cover your ears children -- I believe I've been a bit triggered...

    are you f*cking kidding me??? What a bunch of total and complete assholes!!! Family my ass! Maybe they are just pissed off that they didn't rate -- because lets talk about how you got blown up and STILL RETURNED FIRE!!!! What the f*ck!
    I cannot believe these assholes -- they don't deserve to be called vets. A head injury is a head injury - which means its an injury, which means you deserve a purple heart for being injured in...wait for it...COMBAT!

    Again! what a bunch of assholes! I get so very angry when they tell us that unless we can prove something happened that fits into their tiny box it isn't their issue. For christs sake they sent you to WAR! YES! it is their issue!!!!! YOU GOT BLOWN UP!!!!

    Ok....calming breath Freida....settle down......

    On another note.... call your local congressman. I've seen some vets have really good luck shaking their cages to get what they deserve. And you deserve more....
  12. Virtues

    Virtues Well-Known Member

    I did write my congressman... that's what started the reclamas for my PH. I got as far as the witness statements and tossed in the towel. I was shamed into giving up.

    That's not even the worst part of that mission... I don't want to get into details for a couple reasons 1) I just don't like to relive it; it doesn't serve me 2) after I got blown up my memory of the events became skewed as did my time line so I'm not 100% sure I remember exactly how things went down... either way I didn't come back the same person that's for sure, now I'm just trying to pick up the pieces.
  13. SaharaSon

    SaharaSon Well-Known Member

    @Justmehere. Great answer. I am more of a private person. Generally, I operate on a need to know basis. Although sometimes I just need to get something off my chest and shoulders so I tell someone. :D
    blackemerald1 and scout86 like this.
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