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Working with afghanis and iraqis

Discussion in 'Employment, Education & Disability' started by Scott B, May 29, 2018.

  1. Scott B

    Scott B Guest

    I went through the VAs Voc Rehab to get a bachelors degree in engineering. Working on an office, mainly by myself has been good for my ptsd. Very few triggers there. And what’s nice is that the boss is fairly lenient on taking time off of needs be.

    I haven’t told anyone at work that I have ptsd and a few other permanent disabilities. My overall rating is 60%. I don’t want anyone treating me different or give me the typical, you’re crazy cuz you have PTSD crap. But recently, they have hired both and afghani and two Iraqis to work there. My ptsd symptoms have hit a peak level that I haven’t been at for years. I was doing really good, but this just sent me spiraling down fast. And now I don’t know what to do. It’s getting worse at work. The freaking afghani guy sits right next to me. He smells like Afghanistan, he speaks Pashtu on the phones, he just seems so shady. Am I probably just paranoid? Yeah, most likely, but try telling my brain that.

    So the problem is, I need this job. I support my wife and 4 kids with this job. I like this job, except for the recent foreign national additions. This job allows me to take breaks as needed, work at my own pace, and relatively by myself. But these foreign nationals are making it hard to do anything. I have no idea how to deal with this. I feel like if I bring it up with my boss, he’ll just find a reason to let me go. Or it’ll make it around the whole office that I have ptsd. Or he’ll call me racist for even bringing up that they are afghani and Iraqi. I am at a loss. Does anyone have any suggestion?
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  3. Sweetleaf

    Sweetleaf Well-Known Member

    Are you in therapy or anything like that?
    EveHarrington likes this.
  4. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    Remember that these humans aren’t soldiers. They’re coworkers.

    I learned at a young age that not all people of the race of my kidnapper were after me. Most of them didn’t notice me, because I’m not a target.

    In your current workplace, you aren’t a target. And the likelihood of these people hurting you is probably very slim.

    One thing I do when I’m scared of someone is to brave it and try to get to know them. At first it’s really, really hard but overtime my brain relaxes after realizing they’re just people. I don’t have to agree with their opinions or anything, I just have to heard someone talk about their mom or little sibling once.

    I’m so sorry this is triggering for you. I hope you’re in therapy. If so, you can look at this issue and figure out what about these people scares you most — so you can move on.

    Wishing you well and good luck
    Mina, Ronin, Sweetleaf and 3 others like this.
  5. LuckiLee

    LuckiLee I'm a VIP

    My guy struggles with this too. We go to the VA and who do they have selling trinkets right at the front door?? A woman in full dress, niqab and all. Nothing like walking into your hospital for combat PTSD and being trigged when you walk in.

    We just hold hands and white knuckle it. Sorry I don't have any advice for you.

    Maybe if this was in the military forum you might get more replies?

    What do you think, Moderators? (help ticket)
    littleoc likes this.
  6. lostforgottensoul

    lostforgottensoul I'm a VIP Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Do you have therapist? If not, maybe the VA can help there? If so, have you brought this to them? Maybe a good therapists can help to bounce around ideas. Talk about the triggers and how to manage them, and talk through them. Etc. And maybe EMDR can help. My therapist says that takes that extreme reaction off of stuff. Makes it less charged.
    littleoc and Sweetleaf like this.
  7. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

    These two things are huge barriers when trying to regulate. So sorry for this for you.

    I am sorry, I don't have any answers for you (I still get triggered the crap out of when I see/hear a photocopier) and I recognize that the link with these guys races make this extra special difficult.

    My heart goes out to you.
    littleoc and lostforgottensoul like this.
  8. Mina

    Mina I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Scott, I'm coming in on this late, but sorry you're dealing with this. I know it sucks.

    Have you considered that this is an opportunity for exposure therapy? If you're working with a therapist (which I would strongly suggest), consider using your co-workers in this capacity. Talking to them, getting to know them as individuals, putting a different and human face on the generic "afghani" or "iraqi". I realize that people and war zones don't equate to my situation, but I got a Doberman after being severely bitten by an Akita - primarily as exposure therapy. Sometimes it was tough, but she helped me make so much progress in getting past 'large dog with teeth' as a trigger.

    The scent thing really sucks, as that's so hard-wired...while it might sound silly, consider getting a bottle of a grounding essential oil that you can take a whiff of whenever that negative scent starts bringing up memories. I like Cypress best for this, but Basil has been another good one.

    Trite suggestions, I know, but hopefully you find resolution and can continue working at the job you like and need :)
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