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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Here is a prayer I wrote which was recently used in a book, Resilience by Dennis Charney, MD and Steven Southwick MD:

Prayer for People with PTSD
Higher Power, I know that it’s not within the harmony of the universe that I be healed from the trauma of remembering ____________________________ without pain.
Help me through the pain.
Surround me with the golden light of healing, fill me with the white light of peace and love.
Help me to bear the pain as I go through these memories. Help me to c
Help me to remember.
Help me to love myself no matter what happened to me or what I did to survive.
Help me to release and to let go of my survival skills, the things such as anger and numbness that helped keep me alive, as I become aware of how ineffective they can be in getting me what I want today.
Fill me with light and love until I am green and growing again in the harmony of the universe, if it be thy will.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More helpful places.

I have recently found a couple of new websites:  has a link to a group on yuku that has many wives sharing experience strength and hope. (Families and Soldiers Together)
A lot of people are struggling to find ways to help.

There was also a well written post:
Top 10 things  not to say to someone with PTSD
1.There's nothing wrong with you. It's all in your head.
2. Just stop dwelling on it and pull yourself together.
3. I understand. It is like when I ...
4.  How many people did you kill or People die. It's life.
5. At least you came home.
6. Are you okay? Have you taken your meds?
7. You volunteered for it.
8. You're not gonna flip out and kill someone are you?
9. At least you didn't lose your arms and legs.
10. PTSD isn't real.

It was originally from but I can't find it there.
They also posted this
1. we will also put number 2 here. PTSD is not something you can just get over or will away.
3. You don't! You can't possibly relate any experience you have had to what they saw in war.
4. You don't have to kill people to have PTSD.

5. Yes they came home, but many have survivor's guilt for coming home when their brothers didn't.
6. I am human. I have bad days too.
7. Yes we volunteered for it. We did it so you and others didn't have to and protect your freedoms.
8. We are not monsters. You can thank the media for painting us that way.
9. Not all wounds are visible. PTSD is a injury too.
10. PTSD is very real, there are physical changes in the brain.

Ten things your combat vet wants you to know

Found this on Operation Resilient Warrior. 
Very well said!!

Top 10 Things Your Combat Vet Wants You To Know:

1. He is addicted to war, although he loves you. War is horrible, but there is nothing like a life-and-death fight to make you feel truly alive. The adrenaline rush is tremendous, and can never be replaced. Succeeding in combat defines a warrior, places him in a brotherhood where he is always welcome and understood. The civilian world has adrenaline junkies as well; just ask any retired firefighter, police officer, or emergency room staff if they miss it.

2. Living for you is harder. It would be easy for him to die for you because he loves you. Living for you, which is what you actually want, is harder for him. It is even harder for him if you are smart and do not need him to rescue you, since rescuing is something he does really well. If you are very competent at many things, he may at times question if you need him at all. He may not see that you stay with him as a conscious choice.

3. "The training kicks in" means something very different to him. It is direct battle doctrine that when ambushed by a superior force, the correct response is "Apply maximum firepower and break contact." A warrior has to be able to respond to threat with minimal time pondering choices. While this is life-saving in combat, it is not helpful in the much slower-paced civilian world. A better rule in the civilian world would be to give a reaction proportionate to the provocation. Small provocation, small response (but this would get you killed on the battlefield). When the training becomes second nature, a warrior might take any adrenaline rush as a cue to "apply maximum firepower." This can become particularly unfortunate if someone starts to cry. Tears are unbearable to him; they create explosive emotions in him that can be difficult for him to control. Unfortunately, that can lead to a warrior responding to strong waves of guilt by applying more "maximum firepower" on friends, family, or unfortunately strangers.

4. He is afraid to get attached to anyone because he has learned that the people you love get killed, and he cannot face the pain again. He may make exception for his children (because they cannot divorce him), but that will be instinctual and he will probably not be able to explain his actions.

5. He knows the military exists for a reason. The sad fact is that a military exits ultimately to kill people and break things. This was true of our beloved "Greatest Generation" warriors of WWII, and it remains true to this day. Technically, your warrior may well be a killer, as are his friends. He may have a hard time seeing that this does not make him a murderer. Although they may look similar at first glance, he is a sheepdog protecting the herd, not a wolf trying to destroy it. The emotional side of killing in combat is complex. He may not know how to feel about what he's seen or done, and he may not expect his feelings to change over time. Warriors can experience moments of profound guilt, shame, and self-hatred. He may have experienced a momentary elation at "Scoring one for the good guys", then been horrified that he celebrated killing a human being. He may view himself as a monster for having those emotions, or for having gotten used to killing because it happened often.

6.He's had to cultivate explosive anger in order to survive in combat. He may have grown up with explosive anger as well.

7. He may have only been nineteen when he first had to make a life and death decision for someone else. What kind of skills does a nineteen-year-old have to deal with that kind of responsibility?One of my veterans put it this way: "You want to know what frightening is? It's a nineteen-year-old boy who's had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared, and determined that some fucker is gonna pay. To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling."

8. He may believe that he's the only one who feels this way; eventually he may realize that at least other combat vets understand. On some level, he doesn't want you to understand, because that would mean you had shared his most horrible experience, and he wants someone to remain innocent.

9. He doesn't understand that you have a mama bear inside of you, that probably any of us could kill in defense of someone if we need to. Imagine your reaction if someone pointed a weapon at your child?

10. When you don't understand, he needs you to give him the benefit of the doubt. He needs you also to realize that his issues really aren't about you, although you may step in them sometimes. Truly, the last thing he wants is for you to become a casualty of his war.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One of the free things on my website, is a format for a 12 step group for veterans and families and friends. Recently I have gotten two phone calls from veterans who have been in 12 Step programs for 20+ years who are interested in starting Combat Veterans Anonymous. I hope it happens.
I wrote the format for Vets and Families, but like AA and Alanon, I think the two groups would do best to be separate. There are three or four other things on that page related to the 12 steps, too.
I am in a couple of 12 Step programs and find them really helpful in dealing with life, the universe and everything...