A literary (long) piece about the "disorder" of PTSD. Curious of others thoughts.(LONG POST!)

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,125
7
38
NW USA
#1
I'm back in college now. Crazy busy. Last semester my small town community college held a "veterans appreciation week" surrounding veterans day. It was cool. I was impressed as to how much they put into it.

During that week I had to meet with an academic advisor regarding the coming semester. The only time the advisor and I could get our schedules to agree was first thing one morning @ 7 am. They unlock the doors of the school @ 7am. Almost no one is there that early except our 2 campus police officers. At 7 sharp I walked into the building and took a seat in the small waiting room of the admissions dept. It has a glass wall adjacent to the main entrance area, which is where all the stuff for veteran appreciation was on display. There among other things they had several poster boards set up for students to sign, or write short notes of appreciation on for vets. As I sat in the waiting room looking through the glass wall I noticed a guy standing in front of one of the poster boards. He did have the former military look. I watched as he kinda glanced around, took some paper out of a note book and taped them to the poster board and quickly walked away.

After my meeting I went and read the paper he posted. There was no signature. I decided to photocopy it so I could reread it and consider it. So I copied it and reposted it on the board. In reading it one could come to many many conclusions. I happened to come back across it yesterday. I scanned it into my computer. If anyone cares to read it here, I'd be curious of your thoughts. I did see the guy once in a while. I struck up a conversation a few times, but He never seemed interested and would excuse himself. Ive not seen him this semester. Anyway, it's long, but if your interested:
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"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."

Dear Veteran,

I'm so sorry for the offense. They gave it a name & you a label:

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."



Disorder. They say you have a disorder. Disorder? I am sorry. That is so beyond offensive!!
You have no disorder. You were altered. Merely altered.

Let’s say a women sees an incredibly nice and outrageously expensive dress at a steal of a price in a thrift store. And let’s say she knows that with alteration the dress will fit her perfectly. She buys the dress. She has it altered. It was once too big. Now it fits-perfectly.

Does the dress now have a disorder?
Previously it fit woman A. Then it was altered. Changed. Made different. Permanently. Now it fits woman B.

Do we now say the dress has a disorder?
Well despite what modern psychology says, NO the dress has no disorder.

It was only changed, period. It is now different. Nothing more. It is still a beautiful dress, of high value, still totally functioning, still perfectly serving it’s purpose. And with style! Regardless that it was made different…via alteration. Pre-alteration it fit woman A, perfectly. Post-alteration it fits woman B, perfectly.

Alteration. Not disorder.

Veteran, you used to be in human group A. The far larger group. You used to look at life like group A. Your frame of reference was like group A. You related to the world like group A. you had group A (limited) knowledge , experience and awareness. You were sheltered like group A. You got to be asleep at the wheel like group A. Your world was warm and fuzzy and sunny and safe, like the group A world. A bad day for you was ordering your hot dog without mustard, and receiving it with mustard. Man that sucks and truly, utterly screws up a group A day. If & when you let the lenses of your rose colored glasses get cloudy, the group A world can truly be bleak.

Then one day Lady Liberty & Uncle Sam had another meeting.

At the conclusion of the meeting it was decided they needed a few people to volunteer.

Volunteers to stand watch on the wall. And the next time the wolf was at the door, volunteers to take the fight to the enemy, every time with unconditional LOVE for every American being their drive, with professionalism, honor, courage, dedication, superiority and with the most epic of bad-assery the world has ever seen.

Lady Liberty & Uncle Sam said they needed some people to step up to the plate. You raised your hand and said: “I’ll help. I’ll go.”

Poof. Things started moving really fast. Next thing you knew you were at “camp” with a head shaved bald, your every personal possession on it’s way home in the mail and very fearsome, dominating people in your face screaming, literally spitting instructions at you on how to stand, walk, talk, act, think. Literally spitting instructions at you regarding every single thing possible that a few moments ago you were certain you had down pat. These fearsome, dominating and loud people. Then, those fearsome, dominating and loud people. Then more fearsome, dominating, screaming people.

Then again: POOF. Suddenly they tell you in an actual, normal conversational tone sans saliva that your now the finest members of the finest military in the world. Evidently enough saliva had soaked into your face. Then the absolute and total stunner- they shook your hand. And your off to your duty station.

The previous disturbed your group A sleep.
Next as you were getting used to the new you and your new way of life in a new place…poof, You were awakened, rudely. With break-neck speed you received an unwelcome education that would haunt you the rest of your days.

Doctor Luciferian Satanic Evil, PHD: Summa Cum Laud showed up. In your face. With the very deepest & darkest conceivable form of wickedness, with the most hideous devices, means and ways of doling evil beyond all comprehension. And He again had began killing and destroying innocence, real-time, now. As in currently. As in in-process & under way.

It wasn’t enough that you were awakened. It wasn’t enough that your rose colored glasses were torn from your face and shattered on the cement. It wasn’t enough that you were now, irrevocable forever aware. No that wasn’t enough- suddenly the duty of looking absolute, pure Evil right in the teeth and responding was your job. It was up to you to stand the gap. Right here. Right now. The responsibility squarely upon your shoulders. And it demands you to give your greatest, best, most intense effort you can dig out of all the gravel in your gut. And possibly, if not likely your life. Far worse than that, likely it will be required of you to watch the brother on your left or the sister on your right give their life.

So to the absolute best of your ability, and they to the best of their ability- and beyond, took the fight to the enemy. With LOVE for every American the fuel, with professionalism, honor, courage, dedication, superiority and with the most epic of bad-assery the world has ever seen- your team took the fight to the enemy. And won. At a cost.

Then you were one of the “lucky” ones. You came home. Well the bulk of you got to come back home. It appears that you returned home, whole, to your friends and family anyway.

And after a while they tell you you ended up with a “disorder”.

Now you are awake. Now your aware. Now you are learned. Now you have awareness of, knowledge of, and direct experience and interaction with that which “they” will never know. Thank God in Heaven for that.

Now you are forever in human group B. The small group. Because you have been altered. You have no disorder. The state your now in is simply “Post-Alteration.”

You now have a different frame of reference you apply to the world. You know see the world in it’s true full spectrum of colors. You know are aware of the other side of the coin, the other half of the world that is in operation, unfortunately, every day. In fact, you now live in a very real, all together different world all together. Your rose colored glasses where taken from you and broken. The only ones you had. You no longer have the privilege of being asleep at the wheel. You no longer have the benefit of being ignorant, the benefit of not knowing. You’ll never again go to & fro about your day with utterly no situational awareness. Your simply no longer able. So, you have a disorder? Not even close.

You were merely altered.

In a certain time and place you were, in an instant altered. Made different.You were changed. You used to be human group A, living in world A.
You used to be size large and you used to fit the large group. Perfectly.

Then you were altered. No more, no less. And there is nothing wrong with that. At all.

Now…your size extra small, thats all. You now fit human group B. The tiny group. The different group. The ones that have stood watch upon the wall. The ones that halted and ended the wolf when it was growling, snarling and clawing at the door. Your were only altered. Your now size extra small. And you fit perfectly. And your still of maximum value. Your still of maximum worth. Your still totally functional. Your still totally wanted, and your certainly needed, And more than words have the validity to express: Your appreciated more than you know.

But more than anything, know that you are not broken. Know that you, in fact, have no disorder.

You were merely altered.

And you fit perfectly.
And I salute you.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,994
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#2
That's the long answer to a dubious question in the first place.

Here's my short answer.

I have PTSD. The VA and I have dealt with it over several decades together now. In my own instance, it is a disorder. A sleep disorder. It responds very effectively to my prescribed medication. I may be a pain in the ass, but I am a threat to no one. On this, the VA and I both agree.

Group A? Group B? Group Whatthef*ck?

I have always been in and of the same group. Group Langelius.

Anybody says different obviously can't read.

Greg
 

mijp5

Gunny Sergeant
May 7, 2009
2,979
335
83
#3
PTSD can be absolutely crippling for some people, and cannot and should not be marginalized. That being said, it should not be used to define a person. I am a firm believer in washing away labels and encouraging people with afflictions or diseases to not think of themselves as diseased or such. Putting people in the sick role doesn't help at all. PTSD can get better over time, and in some people, it can be dealt with to where it almost disappears. I've been dealing with it for a long time, and it has gotten better, but it took a long time.
 

ArmyJerry

Staff Sergeant
Nov 22, 2012
4,032
1,361
113
#4
#1 They do not appreciate you.

#2 You should not look to get a tank you as people don't really mean it.

#3 Never trust a civilian, ever, the drill sergeants were not bullshitting with this advice.

#4 If you served you already had the best time of your life no matter how shitty it was

PTSD impacts people differently, if you feel you are impacted get to the VA, VFW, Legion , don't let it simmer
 

1J04

Morale Officer
Aug 7, 2011
8,494
2,452
113
PACIFIC NW
#5
Always good to see you pop in @TresMon , always.

That's a helluva piece, obviously written from one who knows, who struggles, who may very well be telling oneself the answer, only at odds with "The Label". Can only wish the young man peace and understanding that yes, things have changed, and yes, there is help.

Best to you my friend.
 
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pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
5,515
1,278
113
50
MA
#6
I served in Peace time so no trauma of war to speak of.

But to some degree the military itself is trauma.

So was birth.

Through the military you were reborn.

Relationships I had before the military were not the same after. I still see and hang with those friends but there is a certain different way of looking at the world.

Im not paranoid, wound tight nor pessimistic of people, nor do I avoid the company of non mil people yet sometimes the shit they care about or fail to care about can make my eyes glaze over.

I work in a field with lots of prior mil and there is comfort in that camaraderie.

Non mil would Im sure think this is horrible...a bunch of cro magnons clustered together brooding, pessimistic and somehow damaged but what it really is is a bunch of people that focus on getting shit done and there is accountability among your peers to do your job, a sense of not letting yourself or your co workers down. That isnt found in other cultures to their detriment.

Im basing this response on only being able to read a small bit of the OP at this time.

What I fear is that further down it goes into claiming your service has "damaged" you.

I understand trauma is real and processing somethings takes along time. There are guys in need of help.

but.......

I also think there is an effort to make it seem every serviceman is damaged. Diane Fienstein has stated it.

Statistics do not support the facts of service harming people. If anything it produces more capable people, yet a malignant group wants to lable you a "victim"

In the 60s these same people called you a baby killer and that backfired on them.

In GW I the tactic became to embrace you with kindness. I see it as embrace you like a boa and sqeeze the life out of you.

There is a plan in mind for all the "labels" and "benefits" being provided and for some it will be loss of independence and changing a mind set from "Can do" to acting in accordance with your "lable".

I just say caution regards who you think your friends are, a lot of orgs will claim their love and honor they have for you but in reality you are just a display to draw donations or perhaps even more concerning a vote block motivated by fear that what has been given will be taken away.

Apologies (kind of) if my beliefs offend.
 
Feb 14, 2017
791
86
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AR
#7
TresMon, thanks for posting that, its an interesting perspective. I would say that military experience does change/alter you, and so does a combat tour. I think that what many Veterans have seen, and done is so far from what most people experience that they (most people) need to call it something, give it a name, and sometimes it gets a negative term attached to it. So I guess depending on where you stand you can call it "altered", or "disorder", or "whatever" none of those things have to be positive, or negative to everyone. Just depends on your specific view of the landscape.
My apologies for my disjointed ramblings. ;)
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
5,515
1,278
113
50
MA
#9
You know one thing to consider about this piece is that not too long ago Group A used to be the smaller of the two worlds and Group A was looked on with the sense "What is wrong with you?"

Universal service, despite its watering down of the overall soldier stock, had marvelous benefits for the Country.

The discipline and "Can Do" attitude that universal military service instilled in general society was a positive thing. Even the man that was the worst of soldiers has recalled for friends some memory of his "Guard" or "Reserve" time that was crazy or resulted in getting his ass reamed by some Sgt and they looked on that discretion saying "The Sgt First Class, meanest bastard I ever met, made sure I never did that again, and I havent forgotten his lesson yet".

Its been less than 50 years, my lifetime, since we have cut the two year service system away and I think we see the loss of spirit and cohesiveness in the country during that time. I dont think its the only factor but its likely one of the big factors.

Once upon a time every family had a soldier, now its rare, and looked upon as "Whats a matter couldnt he get in a school?" or "What are they giving him to do that?"

You can bet your ass if we had Universal service now wars would not last 17 years and professors would not talk disdainfully of the serviceman knowing he insults just about every set of Group B eyeballs in the room - and they can and will kick his Group A ass.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,994
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#10
One of my jobs at our local VFW post has been to serve as the Post Service Officer. That means I help Veterans get things they need, whether it be VA services, a place to live, help with rent in a bad time, a meal, or even just a few bucks I might be carrying in my pocket. There is no hard and fast way I take it to be, I just refuse to let a situation go by without at least making an honest try to make things better.

Now this past month, a determination was made to eliminate the position because the Post and the local DAV unit have agreed to combine this task, and this DAV has an actual staffed office handling 'these things'. I think that makes sense. But I also think it does not pay adequate attention to those small things that are needed, but not enumerated. I may be out of the job, but honestly, I'm not done.

Don't get the idea that any of this makes me 'special'.

Veterans help Veterans, we know that sometimes we carry some of the fight back home with us, have done so since time before memory, and they we will keep doing it.

Semper Fi.

Greg
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,994
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#11
Jerry, I might have agreed about the service being the best time of my life, and while it was a great time, it was really more of a footnote to a life that involved business, good and bad, family, hard but good, Scouts, regimented but good, horrific health, very hard but survived, and even The 'Hide, integral and never boring.

Shooting is shooting, if you can still hit it, it's all good.
 
Likes: ArmyJerry
Aug 24, 2010
4,187
401
83
Northeast Wyoming
#12
Like it or not, the "D" stands for disorder. Disorder isn't a dirty word, it's a classification of a disease. Minimizing it doesn't change the condition, instead it makes those afflicted more inclined to not seek proper treatment, and perpetuating the stigma against proper mental health care. And no, proper care does not only come in pill form like MDs and Psychiatrists would lead you to believe, that only masks symptoms while ignoring the root cause. That's like spraying the ants that make it inside your home while ignoring the mound under your house. Meds have their place for extreme symptoms, but proper treatment starts and ends with counseling.

A diagnosis is only a "label" if you let it be a label, and like any medical condition, is nobody's business other than the patient's and their medical care provider's. Unlike what Zuckerberg wants everyone to believe, you don't have to publicize your entire life.
 

Culpeper

One divided by F damn it.
Nov 25, 2006
1,544
163
63
59
Roswell NM
#15
It is having to live with a nightmare the rest if your life and the label is only going to get worse. But everybody has PTSD and it goes back to the days of cavemen. Compare and contrast. Study the most evil parts of our world history. Look at your neighbors. Example, the middle aged woman down the street as the primary care giver of both elderly parents going through the longest funeral known as Alzheimer's. The list goes on and so does PTSD. Rest assured the name will change over time as it as always done.
 
Jul 27, 2001
629
433
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AL
None
#16
^^^^^ watching Alzheimer's, yep, or standing next to a bud whose chainsaw kicked back into his head with some of the resulting splatter going in your mouth, and having to wear splatter for the next 4-6 hours while the authorities/coroner investigates to be sure no foul play was involved, AND you weren't involved it that "foul play", being told shit like, "X says u were f'ing sawheads wife" ad nauseam, until you spit some of the splatter up on them.... ptsd is like a std, the gift that keeps on giving.....
 
Likes: Culpeper

Bender

Something witty here
Feb 12, 2014
1,855
1,059
113
Cheyenne WY.
#18
^^^^^ watching Alzheimer's, yep, or standing next to a bud whose chainsaw kicked back into his head with some of the resulting splatter going in your mouth, and having to wear splatter for the next 4-6 hours while the authorities/coroner investigates to be sure no foul play was involved, AND you weren't involved it that "foul play", being told shit like, "X says u were f'ing sawheads wife" ad nauseam, until you spit some of the splatter up on them.... ptsd is like a std, the gift that keeps on giving.....
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