Introduction - Abusive childhood/Combat in the Army - Sample of my night writing

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vincent85

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Hello,

I am a Iraq/Afghanistan combat wounded veteran and medically retired in 2013 as a U.S Army Captain.  I also had a violent/abusive childhood.  My mother was physically abusive to me as a child and I was abandoned by her as a baby and put into foster care until I was take custody by my father.  I also had several violent/traumatic experiences as a young man to include a almost successful suicide attempt at the age of 17 when I first joined the Army.   I am not really big into the putting my information out there, but I am doing this to reach out to others in hope I can help someone to let them know there are others that experience what they do. Also I hope to find some sense of familiarity in the position I am in as well. My nights over the past year have been pretty violent at times and scary to say the least.  I sometimes feel I live in a altered state and disassociate constantly. When I get up in the nights (the nights are always the worse) I tend to write sometimes to make sense of what is happening in my mind. I want to share one of my writings in hope someone here can connect with my experiences.

I run from the death I see, I run from the terror I feel, and I run from the mind to which I am trapped in.

My greatest asset is my greatest enemy.
 
There comes moments of conscious realization that brings clarity to what your subconscious has been molested into. You have been molded into something so foreign to your own comprehension that you cannot label it with anything that you know to currently exist; you cannot recognize it even if you looked directly at it in the mirror.
 
Stop running and embrace the silence.
 
I am filled constant highs and lows which consist of anxiety, depression, sleepless nights, pain, and emptiness.  I really cannot even being to even materialize verbally for you what I have turned into anymore.  I feel I am a shell of the human being I once was.  I hide away from the world in attempt to reduce my triggers and anxieties, but in turn this drives my mind into a dark hole through my isolation.  When I try to socialize and induce myself into social environments I have random spouts of violent anger at times, hyper vigilance, paranoia, and crippling anxiety. Damned if I do and damned if I donít.  I find myself tip toeing around my every action and social dynamic hoping that I can have a ďnormal dayĒ without having a mind crippling break down. 

In the recent past I have woken up almost literally every night with my heart pounding in an altered state of intense fear.  I have had many hallucinations of someone trying to engage me in order to kill me, which has been exacerbated by my current environment and state of paranoia.  Without thinking I grab my nearest weapon and clear the house going through a tactical ritual I have done many times before.    I donít know when and if my mind is going to take a turn for the worse and often when it does, it cripples me into an altered state of reality that I cannot even being to explain to anyone that has not experienced it.   

I wonder how long I will live and if I even do what quality of life I have to look forward to if I canít shake these symptoms.  I have a double hit that even most military members do not have with it comes to the layers of trauma.  There is a reason I tried to kill myself at the age of 17, even before going on two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I donít think any human being after being beat, abused, and abandoned by his biological mother/people around him as a toddler can be normal and not experience severe mental illness.  I have been running from the pain my whole life suppressing it down and the land mine that exploded underneath me while I was leading a mission in Afghanistan was the straw that broke the camelís back. 
My goal of traveling and going on my healing journeys is my last attempt to rekindle something that I have lost within myself and progress forward.  I have fought constantly through the desire to leave every asset, cent, person, and thing I know behind and walk out the door to ghost in the oblivion to never be seen or heard from again.  Money means nothing and neither does material possessions.  These are just more social constructs that bind me into the social dynamics of society that I do not consent, nor wish to be in anymore.    I would trade all my worldly possessions to just feel normal and healthy again, but I know no current treatment will facilitate this for me.  I can only hope that a few treatments here and there can provide a marginal increase to my quality of life. 

I feel sometimes fading into oblivion would be the best and most merciful way to end my life.  Not in a way that is directly killing myself, but instead liberating myself from the subjugation of societyís perception of my symptoms and current state of being, to which they have no understanding of to begin with.   Away from the society that I fought to protect, but now I fight to get far away from.  People want me to adapt and overcome to what I have become, because they do not understand what I have become.  I have been subjugated, poked, psycho analyzed, drugged, and observed ever since I was wounded and ďretiredĒ.  There has been no peace and transition, but instead only one cluster f*** of mental break downs after another.  One appointment after another by the same entity that had a huge part in creating me, yet has no idea what to do with me now that I am not functionally operational, but instead just keeps tabs on me and dangles my benefits above me head as incentive to force my compliance into a system I do not consent to. 

So where does my freedom that I have tasted blood, sweat, and tears come into play?  I have visions and thoughts of times of me drifting into the oblivion and fading away into nothingness, which sounds so appealing as it offers stillness and peace.  My mind gets stuck into this abyss and I am constantly crawling out of to motivate myself, because I do not want to be a burden on others anymore and prove that I can regain a shadow image of my former self.  I want to be there for my other brothers that have been wounded in combat, because I am leader and I want them to know I understand the depth of their pain. 

I took an oath that was not sworn by me to promote myself or political agendas, but instead of one to protect what I believed to be a sacred honor that I desired to see protected in a dark world where honor is a quickly fading light.  I have found through all the late night calls from my brothers wanting to kill themselves that we are going through many of the same struggles.  I cannot give them the answer they seek to ease their pain, but instead try to motivate them to push forward and find that peace to which they seek.  I motivate myself to heal and to push towards these future healing journeys in a hope I can rekindle a glimmer of normalcy.  I have given up on explaining to the close minded masses what my reality has become, because you cannot show someone the truth they do not wish to see.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 07:36:38 PM by Kizzie »

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BeHea1thy

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Hello vincent85,

Thank you for writing and posting to the forum. I feel the pain in your post. I'd like to say, "I understand" but never being in the military or having some of your life experiences, I can't do that. The persistence you've demonstrated in life is phenomenal. Your self-care through writing at night, when sleep and rest doesn't come, is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And, I am very appreciative of that writing, because you write eloquently.

I hurt when I read about your abandonment, early childhood experiences and almost successful attempt to end your life prior to your joining the Army. I recognize myself in wanting to run from terror, not feeling the person you see in the mirror, tip-toeing about every social dynamic, becoming a ghost and walking into oblivion, suppressing feelings, finding no peace. I lived like that most of my life. It has only been in the last 6 months, after a cancer surgery that I've put recovery at the top of my life list of things "to do."

One of the things which has been important for me to embrace is the duality of life. Nothing is either all bad, or similarly all good. As humans we want our reality to be pleasant, comfortable, safe, joyful and loving; yet living in this world it is not possible 100% of the time. I was always looking to transform my reality because my inner life was so desolate, bleak, terror filled, shameful and dark. Then I came across writings, one after another that said we have to acknowledge and feel the sadness, pain, and dark side in order to feel those lighter things, acceptance, joy and freedom. It seemed perverse, mocking, cruel and sadistic. So, I read some more to understand it.

I can't give you a summary of all my lessons here, but I can say, when I found this forum, my life turned around. I used every fiber of my being to "do" my recovery, to strive, to push, to overcome. Then I hit a wall. And predictably, I flattened out, and slowly slid down to the ground in a heap. It wasn't about a sheer force of will. It was about flexibility, being open surprisingly to myself and all the bad parts, as well as others. I cringed about that, but dipped my toe in the proverbial water.

There are parts of your post which show you are still your "self" the one you want to come back to. I'd like to list them here, so you could remember and see you're still the same.

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I am doing this to reach out to others in hope
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I want to be there for my other brothers that have been wounded in combat, because I am leader and I want them to know I understand the depth of their pain.
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we are going through many of the same struggles
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I believed to be a sacred honor that I desired to see protected
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  I motivate myself to heal and to push towards these future healing journeys in a hope I can rekindle a glimmer of normalcy.

What I see here, although I've chosen to "edit" a bit, is HOPE, belief in honor and motivation. Sometimes when sifting through our "stuff" to see if there are any gems, we find they are sewn through, like small, even stitched on the edge of fabric that holds everything together. (Yeah, I'm big on metaphors! :bigwink:)

So vincent85, a big fat welcome to our forum, a huge hug for you and the hope that you will stick around and see what happens here to you, and to us.
 :bighug:


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Sandals

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Hi Vincent, welcome to OOTS. Although there are many paths that lead us here and different ways that this manifests, you'll find many common bonds. You don't need to be alone with your thoughts anymore  :hug:

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I run from the death I see, I run from the terror I feel, and I run from the mind to which I am trapped in.
I've spent a long time running, too...and I'm tired of it. It sounds to me like you are, too. The hope I have for you is to be able to see that there is more in this world to run toward than there is to run from. I know it might not seem like that now, but it is the beautiful part of the journey (amongst other * parts) - being able to look out and see that there is more to the world than fear. That there is love and beauty and hope.

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I donít know when and if my mind is going to take a turn for the worse and often when it does, it cripples me into an altered state of reality that I cannot even begin to explain to anyone that has not experienced it.
My gut says that this is going to be big for you - beginning to express this. When you trust enough to express it, you will then be able to process it with your conscious and identify the areas that need work...it's the beginning of building a new foundation for you.


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Money means nothing and neither does material possessions.<snip>  I would trade all my worldly possessions to just feel normal and healthy again.
This is beautiful. Recognizing that materiality is a mask that so much of the world hides behind. The desire to feel healthy is beautiful, too. I feel as if I'm hearing that you feel things are hopeless - but I see hope right here in this part of you that wants to regain what you have lost and take your place in the world. That is strength.  :yes:

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keepfighting

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Welcome, Vincent85, to OOTS. I'm glad you've found us.  :wave:

This is a very supportive and validating community and I hope you'll find there is a place in it for you. Life has been tough towards you in so many ways and I admire your courage in not only taking on your own struggles every day but also thinking of helping others.  :yourock:

When you have a moment, please read through our Guidelines for Members: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=12.0

I hope you'll soon feel less alone.  :hug: