Sunday, September 13, 2009

Healing The Wounds Of War -- Years Later

Men and women who have gone to war
come to seek peace.
Behind closed doors
counselors help
the emotional wounds of vets,
some untreated for more than 40 years.
They come with a sense of guilt, remorse,
questioning of authority,
questioning of their reason
for doing what they did in war.
Looking for a place where they can talk
openly and not feel judged.
Once a person goes through an experience
like war they are permanently changed.
If he didn’t get therapy,
he would be sadly locked away
in his apartment, not able to function.
Safety is the number one thing.
Feeling safe in the world.
The essential nature of PTSD
has to do with death and dying and loss.
Grieving is not something one can do...
the feelings are held back until
one is back home, feeling safe.
But quite often there’s an avoidance.
They don’t want to do it.
He didn’t want to seek help.
But he was depressed, paranoid
and feeling like his future was “doomed”.
There were failed marriages,
depression, difficulty focusing on the job
and bankruptcy.
He was busy drinking and partying

He’s never been as open
as he is in the group
and can’t imagine life without it.
It’s a process,
and he can’t stop and go back.
He was reluctant,
didn’t want to show emotion,
but if he didn’t come
he probably would have killed himself.
Each time he shares his experiences
it brings some relief.
When he hears other stories,
it’s not just him.
Others have it too.
He’s not crazy.”
It was extra time on his hands
that started him reliving his past.
On the job he never had to worry.
Then came retirement
and remembering the men he served with.
It was just like he got out of the army yesterday.

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