It sits in you like a cold stone. Immovable. Heavy. Part of you. Combat guilt. Survivor's guilt. Shame. Failure. Self-loathing. Self-hate. That weary surrender to the belief that you deserve to be punished. Because you know you do. You know it as truth in your soul. Good exists for others. You're grateful and happy for … Continue reading Combat Guilt, Forgiveness and Mercy
I just spoke to a friend, another veteran, and my heart bleeds for the guy. He is a Vietnam era vet. He put almost 30 years in the Marine corps starting in 1966. He went on to work for three lettered government agencies. His story is impressive, but not uncommon. His life is the stuff … Continue reading When You Don’t Believe Forgiveness Applies to You
The part of you they take with them, that hollowed out spot in your chest, that sting and numbness and dazed acceptance -- it’s still there, still fresh, still real. It is never not a part of you...ever again. We are changed by each death. Even though life is given again in the next lifetime, … Continue reading This Memorial Day…
Warriorhood -- the status of being a warrior. Warrior -- a person who is called to defend others; to live by a code of honor and ethics in pursuit of the greater good; to lead the non- warrior class in living up to the ideals of the society. These definitions are my own, but I … Continue reading Find a Fight You Can Believe In Again
It all adds up. Accumulates. Pain, trauma, losses. Anger, resentment, guilt. Buries You underneath. You watch your Self vanish, become unrecognizable. And wonder if you're too far gone to be saved. Is there such a thing as too far gone to be saved? You're tired and it never seems to get better. Your life is … Continue reading Too Far Gone to Be Saved?
It's that heaviness deep in your chest. That gaping void where part of who you were before is permanently gone. It's the sense of having done things that can never be undone, a burden of being responsible for having taken life and for having lost it. A burden you know is yours to carry. It's … Continue reading When You Feel As If You Don’t Belong
Okay, so the words themselves mean the same thing in your mind. Fucked up. Pain. Shit. Issues. Doesn't matter what you call it, right? Who cares? What if how you think of it is keeping you stuck? No, I'm not being "a writer" here and picking on words. On the surface, it doesn't matter how you refer to the … Continue reading Combat PTSD: F***ed Up or Wounded?
From the time I was five, I have lived with a body that subjects me to pain. Severe headaches at age five, joint pain that kept me on the sofa at age nine. Then an adolescence of debilitating fatigue, sensitivity to sound and temperatures, allover muscle and joint aches, flu-like symptoms. It would last for weeks, months … Continue reading PTSD: When No One Believes Your Pain is Real
You come home from combat angry. Stupid shit sets you off. You lash out at people you care about only to see pain and fear flash through their confused eyes. Sometimes you start fights on purpose. Usually, you just react. A stupid driver makes you snap, before you know it you're in a blind rage. In … Continue reading I Came Back from Combat, Why the #@!% Am I So Angry!?!?
This is the kind of post that takes a shot of whiskey to write. Only, alcohol gives me migraines, so fuck that. We're gonna talk about something that many of you live with and most of you will never be able to find words for... and that's having witnessed or caused the death of children … Continue reading When Children are the Victims of War
It lines your inside, this presence you've become so familiar with that you're not sure where you end and it begins. It's just... there. Always there. Images. Scents. Sounds. Fear. Memories. Pain. You try to shut it out. It returns. You lock it up inside. It gets out. It wants you to stare into its deceiving eyes. And when you … Continue reading What to Do When You Just Can’t Talk About It
First off, let me tell you this: forgiveness is a human issue. Not just a God one. There is ample discussion of forgiveness in religion and many sources to find those discussions. Instead of diving into theological viewpoints, I'm going to bring it all down to one fact: We are all of One Source. One … Continue reading Combat Veterans Ask: Can I Be Forgiven?