Sufferer Choir boy turned killer for the Empire in Vietnam, 1972. 49th year of PTSD management and 6 years into Moral Injury Recovery.

Earthdog

New Here
I have been a student of PTSD for 49 years since the Eastertide Offensive in Vietnam. I was a Gun Fire Control technician, thumb on the trigger for a few thousand rounds of 5"/54 ordnance. I witnessed a massacre that I could not stop, was ordered to STFU and lived under death threats for my last year of active duty if I mentioned the crime. Saw another massacre of fishermen during a Sea and Air Rescue mission for a downed pilot in the Gulf. Declare Conscientious Objector status, relieved of gun fire duty, but kept around to try to break me and deny my honorable discharge status. I came out bitter and angry and my marriage lasted less than 5 months.

I vowed to my loved ones that I would not succumb to suicide and leave them with survivors guilt. It has been a long row to hoe in keeping that promise. PTSD management is a lifelong battle that 40 Veterans per day lose from suicide and drug overdoses. I lost two Vet buds last year to suicide, both totally unexpected with no indication of the severity of the pain they suffered under.

It was only a few years ago that I became familiar with the Moral Injury concept to explain much of my personal challenge in PTSD management. Both my Veterans Service Officer and my VA Psych Doctor have also come to conclude that most of the PTSD warriors they deal with are dealing with their Moral Injuries.

We are developing a Moral Injury Recovery program and have had some success, mostly in providing the first safe, open space for total honesty in sharing. The program is a work in progress. Insights and input would be appreciated. I am new here as of today. I cannot post our Moral Injury Recovery syllabus here do to copyright restrictions but would love to hear of others doing the hard work. I am in touch with Danish spouses of PTSD warriors working on Moral Injury Recovery as well.
 

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Sponsor
I cannot post our Moral Injury Recovery syllabus here do to copyright restrictions but would love to hear of others doing the hard work.
i'm not a veteran so i do not have access to this type of material, but my therapist was trained in forensic narrative exposure therapy which has similar elements to what i think you're describing. i'm not going through that modality but i know that my therapist is using her experience with it when it comes to me.

acts of aggression have both positive and negative effects, whether these are acts you were forced to do or acts you chose to do with the limited information you had at hand-or an act you picked as the lesser of two evils. understanding the cause and effect of what happened and how it linearly fits together has been instrumental in helping me begin to process it.

moral injury was a significant part of my trauma as well (and there's a couple threads on it here and here) and it's been very beneficial to have that context be understood in therapy even though i am not a violent offender. it sounds like you've come a long way from being silent about what happened with you. these things aren't easy to talk about but it's some of the hardest stuff i've dealt with, so i admire your ability to be open about it.

welcome to the community! 👋
 
@Earthdog thanks for sharing. I am in Vancouver, Washington, USA (~10 miles from Portland, Oregon) and am curious if you reside anywhere nearby geographically? If you would be open to a conversation I would appreciate the opportunity to learn more from you about if and/or where you see a line between moral injury and PTSD? I conceptualize them as very intertwined. I'd like to be able to investigate addressing both as part of the study proposal I'm working on right now. Thanks!
 

Earthdog

New Here
@Earthdog thanks for sharing. I am in Vancouver, Washington, USA (~10 miles from Portland, Oregon) and am curious if you reside anywhere nearby geographically? If you would be open to a conversation I would appreciate the opportunity to learn more from you about if and/or where you see a line between moral injury and PTSD? I conceptualize them as very intertwined. I'd like to be able to investigate addressing both as part of the study proposal I'm working on right now. Thanks!
I am in SE Tennessee. MI and PTSD are intertwined. Both my VA psych Doctor and Veterans Service Officer have concluded that most PTSD cases they deal with are more akin to moral injury. There are no drugs that help with MI symptoms. Religion is the main cause of MI and is useless for those who had to then abandon religion/superstitions to save their souls. Trying to come to terms with MI is a work in progress.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
My guy is a combat veteran with multiple deployments. His moral injuries keeps him up most nights. He was born and raised Catholic. Alter boy. Taught Bible study during and after his service. Studied multiple religions. Some days he thinks he'll burn in hell and other days he describes Heaven and how beautiful it will be.

Welcome home and welcome to the forum.
 
I am in SE Tennessee. MI and PTSD are intertwined. Both my VA psych Doctor and Veterans Service Officer have concluded that most PTSD cases they deal with are more akin to moral injury. There are no drugs that help with MI symptoms. Religion is the main cause of MI and is useless for those who had to then abandon religion/superstitions to save their souls. Trying to come to terms with MI is a work in progress.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My recent focus has been on First Responders, and your comments have helped me to better understand how Moral Injury and PTSD are intertwined in a different way for Veterans. I will definitely be looking into Moral Injury further so I can grow a better understanding of how it impacts a wider range of clients. THANKS!
 
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