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Still certain i am to blame

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by Tim_Holgate, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Sighs

    Sighs Not a Fairytale Moderator Donated

    If it helps at all - you are not alone in feeling this way. My partner describes it as a constant itch in his head - that he should have / could have done something more which would have changed the outcome. Its not factually true - he did everything he could. We recently met up with someone else who was there and he agreed that my veteran did everything he was able to do. Hugs if you accept them.
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  3. Freida

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

    I have this in a big big way. If I blame myself it means I had control and didn't use it. If I dont blame myself it means I never had a chance....that I was helpless. I still can't always get past it

    This was someone you knew. That always makes it worse.
  4. jmad

    jmad Member

    I am sorry you're going through this. I don't have a similar experience, but I have dealt with/dealing with a lot of grief.

    But let me share with you something that I hope you can relate to: the film Ordinary People. It's about a young man dealing with the death of his brother, whose death he blames on himself.
  5. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Maybe this is going to sounds strange, but I can see where it's "easier" if they're already dead. I've never done anything like what you do. But, I work with livestock and "keeping them alive" has been a major responsibility. And something I take pretty seriously. I've got to say, I'd much rather find a critter I'm responsible for dead than find them in danger of dying. If they're dead, they're dead. Not much I can do. If they're not dead? Then I have to, somehow, pull a rabbit out of my hat, and, if I don't, it's my fault. I can find ways of blaming myself for not finding them sooner etc too, but it's a bigger deal to find them alive and lose them anyway, at least to me.

    This situation sounds like it was set up to be about as hard to deal with as it gets.
  6. Mee

    Mee Well-Known Member

    Thank you for doing the difficult work you do or have done as a rescue team diver.

    I am sorry this one thing sticks with you.

    I do not hate you : I am grateful for your work.
    blackemerald1, littleoc and Freida like this.
  7. Tim_Holgate

    Tim_Holgate Member

    I can't agree with you more, but I think a lot of people feel the crap for not being able to do anything to prevent rather than dealing with the aftermaths. But yeah, I guess thats how I function
  8. enough

    enough Well-Known Member

    the DOA's werent easier for me, just over quicker. Unless it was someone I knew or a relative of a coworker or even just a neighbor I nodded at when we saw each other at the grocery store, then it takes forever and the over quicker at the scene is replaced by years of uneasy contacts.

    I get the whole "everyone hates me" thing, people talk and blame is sought and you know that if even one person thinks you didn't do something right at the scene it is out there and you can't do anything to change it. that sucks, but thats the way the f'n wind blows for awhile. Just remember the times that you heard some of that BS about someone else and wanted to ask the ass talker how they got that opinion? Were they there? Do they know anything about anything? I would bet that someone is saying the crap, but I KNOW there are people that want to kick their ass for it, and so do you.

    Everybody doesn't hate you.

    It has to add a level of just plain hard things happening in hard environments to do what you do underwater. I used to describe fighting fire like being underwater when you were in full turn outs in the structure breathing SCBA, but I had the option of backing out maybe thirty or fourty feet at my personal furthest in the really thick stuff, and I would have been out in the clean fresh air with cool water flowing. You really are underwater and can't be anything else but underwater for i am guessing a very long time. Finding and solving problems in that environment has to add a whole lot of degrees of difficulty that I can't imagine. If I had to say I was like underwater to describe an entry, you must have to describe your entries as being like a space walk.

    nothing but respect from me
  9. Freida

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

    Code 4 check?
    scout86 likes this.
  10. chipman

    chipman New Member

    I can relate to how you feel. I conducted on operation that resulted in the death of friendly forces. I planed it and gave the order to proceed. Because of who was involved I am not permitted to i.d. the parties. It has been almost 50 years and I still can recall details of what went down. My psychiatrist has finally got through to me the ability to love myself. To do that you have to forgive yourself. Yes you still remember but with self forgiveness you can accept. Good luck
  11. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    Oh. No wonder. He was one of your guys, ie your responsibility. Even if you’d been in the Sahara when it had happened you’d still feel responsible.

    Ever broken that piece down? Actual responsibility vs the rest that you’re taking on yourself?

    Cuz, yeah. You’re never going to feel no responsibility to the man, he was yours. That piece there is right, and true, and ain’t gonna budge. The idea you’d feel no responsibility to him, for him? Never gonna happen. Because you did. That’s different from being responsible for his death. But no f*cking wonder you’re not making headway on that piece if it’s an all or nothing deal.

    Give the man his balls back. He had a piece in this, too. His whole life and every decision in it? Ain’t yours to take. Just because he belonged to you.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  12. Peaceful Warrior

    Peaceful Warrior Member

    I can relate to the guilt. I lost a subordinate who was carrying out a mission I sent the squad on. Have you ever been tested for ptsd? If not, I would suggest being tested by a forensic psychologist. Medication has helped my flashbacks, but cognitive behavior therapy is very effective too. Find a therapist who does cut or rational emotive behavior therapy would be my suggestion. You aren't alone.
    Freida and littleoc like this.
  13. Tim_Holgate

    Tim_Holgate Member

    I have a really really good therapist who's ex ambulance, so she really understands. Been dosed up with paroxetine as well
    littleoc and scout86 like this.
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