PTSD

Different people at different times have characterized PTSD differently, and have dealt with it differently, and have treated it differently.

I am not a mental health professional. However, by default, I have had to assist others who deal with PTSD. A little over three years ago, seeking peace and distance from a world I was no longer comfortable with, I found a stretch of the Road Less Traveled and built a home there. My objective in so doing had a lot to do with trying to find a peaceful place to live, having spent my life in less than peaceful (and still lawful) pursuits.

What I found was a community of people not all that unlike me who were doing the same thing that I did. None of us were running away, but many of us were running toward. We wanted to be left alone. It’s not like being a hermit in my case, but living in the remote mountains is its own therapy. I never sought outside help to deal with what you can label as PTSD if you’d like.

Being a good listener has been part of what I do where I live, and people have emerged who have pasts very similar to mine. They all turned to remote America as a refuge from the world.

PTSD is a broad field. A number of people have symptoms in common. Some build psychological walls, some are substance abusers, and some find other ways of coping. Establishing trust among broken people (like myself) has been slow in coming primarily because I haven’t sought that out. In recent cases, it’s been a matter of people with family members who are suffering from loved ones’ severe PTSD. It’s not a position that I’ve sought out. In some cases, the experiences of others have triggered forgotten memories.

I’ve taken the position that I do what I can, as I’m able, with an eye toward not causing harm. (The Chris Kyle experience looms large)

 

The Cape of Storms

With the ascension of King John II in 1481, Portugal began a new era of exploration and expansion along the West Africa coast, the ultimate goal of which was trade with India and the spices so in demand throughout Europe. Until well into the 17th century, chronic shortages of winter fodder forced European farmers to slaughter large numbers of their cattle each fall, which in turn had to be salted, pickled, or otherwise preserved. Spices such as pepper, cinnamon, mace, and cloves from the Malabar Coast played a crucial role in this yearly cycle of preparing Europe for Winter.

The spices themselves arrived, in the King John era, overland across Asia or through a torturous Red Sea / Mediterranean route, both of which were Muslim controlled, a situation that didn’t sit well with the Christian nations of Western Europe. Seeking an alternate route via the Atlantic seemed just the ticket to breaking the Arab-held monopoly, a choice that served not only to remove Portugal from much of the political backstabbing of Europe affairs at the time but also enabled them to focus on their strength as a nation of shipbuilders and sailors.

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Bartholomeu Dias on his Voyage to the Cape

Of the many distinguished captains King John employed, it was Bartholomeu Dias, who finally solved the riddle of Africa’s southern extremity in 1488 and the key to establishing a trade route to India. While searching for the expected great cape, Dias and his tiny fleet were caught in a gale and blown southward for 13 days, after which a port tack brought them to land at Mossel Bay (South Africa) in the Indian Ocean. It was actually during the return leg of the voyage that Dias sighted Cape Agulhas and the cape he was initially seeking, an area so marked by severe weather and difficult sailing he named it Cabo Tormentosa or the Cape of Storms. It was changed to the more familiar Cape of Good Hope upon his return to Portugal, a name selected by King John based on the future riches it was hoped the discovery would bring.

 

All that History can make you Hungry for hot dogs

 

The Doomed Moskva

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. Part of the mandatory training for the ADF was a presentation by John Schumann of Redgum (best known for the song I was only 19), called dents in the soul. I can’t find a copy of the video floating around the internet, but it was a pretty decent entry to dealing with PTSD from what I recall.

    Part of it was that it can happen to anybody. John Schumann talks about having finished a concert, coming across a serious car accident afterward involving some young people who’d been there, and he talks about how badly it affected him.

    Bah. I feel a bit like I’m preaching to the converted, so to speak.

    • It can strike anyone and to some extent, it’s a situation that many of us including me, are reluctant to admit. Moving to the mountains helped me in many ways. Apparently, it did the same thing for other people.

  2. Growing up, I never understood why my daddy was the way he was. It took going to Viet Nam and getting my own dose of it to recognize and understand what was going on in his head.

    It is, what it is, and that’s all that it is. I’m comfortable with it now and just want to be left alone. Good luck with that, wot?

    • Yes, but even when you want to be left alone, there are people who seem determined to create trouble and disturb your private life… I don’t understand why that is.

      • It was, I think, James Dobson who said toxic relationships are usually by people who themselves haven’t healed from their own trauma. I am not sure if its that ‘misrry loves company’ or them reaching out in their own twisted way; the former intentionally, the latter unintentionally, by which they bring harm to another’s well being.

      • They are envious and lacking in any character of your desire to be alone and what you want in life. Crazy is what a self sufficient, self healing person does to their notion of control, control is only driving force in their miserable life.

  3. are you sure that’s moskva? she looks rusty, not like recent pictures of her. curious as to how many casualties she had. there will surely be cases of ptsd from that event. its hard to imagine, but the enemy suffers from it as well….early explorers, what gonads they had to go the uncharted route with no rescue, no backup, no gps, nothing. i wonder how many went out and simply disappeared, and then, simply forgotten….. gosh, anybody got a hotdog, mustard and chili please, stat!

    • We will never know how many brave souls are asleep in the deep. The ocean is vast and deep. The unexplored continent had a lot of bleaching bones from the adventurous. Some had more balls than brains. Some were unlucky. A lot of the people who lived on the land were killed by the plagues from Europe’s inner cities. Then there was firewater.

    • Yes, it’s the Moskva. Russia doesn’t let people photo its ships at sea because they look more rust-buckety than US ships.

      One of the things they spend time in port doing is a complete paint job. Not rust remediation job, just slathering more paint over the rust. Which is one of the many reasons their ships sink so quickly (that, and not keeping up seals on watertight doors, maintaining water pumps and such.)

      • Maintenance is the primary function of any functioning navy. The Russians are notoriously slovenly.

  4. The dreaded ptsd has ended many a volunteer firefighters career. Quite of a few of the toughest calls are people you were born and raised with, or members of your own family, which tightens the screws a bit more. I try my best to repeat the mantra; 1) we didn’t cause the incident. 2) we are there to help and make it better. 3) if it’s not getting better, we need to try something else until it does.

    • Sometimes (not firemen) you did cause the incident and you were not there to make it better. You were sent to far and diverse lands, to meet exotic and interesting people and kill them. Sociopaths are said to be immune from PTSD. I found this to be true.

  5. Nah, there wasn’t a missile hit, it was a fire in the ammo hold that sunk a battleship. Nope, nothing to see here.

    How many people actually believe this drivel? Wait…sorry, lost my head for a second…must be that 41% who think Weird Uncle Joe is doing a great job. On what I have no idea, but the brainwashed must think something is going well.

    Seems The _Resident’s handler’s are concerned. At today’s Egg Roll he is only allowed to wave from the balcony. Their preemptive move to keep him away from the kiddo’s with his cognitive decline, might do something untoward that the Angry Red-Head can’t spin positive. But all we hear is “UKRAINE!” and “IT”S PUTIN’s FAULT!”.

    Pretty sure it’s allowable to have a properly prepared hotdog for breakfast…there’s a rule somewhere…I’m sure of it.

    • There are a lot of people (if you believe the polls) who believe that feeble, demented, creepy, corrupt, old Slow Joe is doing right by America. There must be heavy polling of university professors and other communists.

      • I have come to realize there are more of them than I suspected. Sad really, that people hate their country that affords them the greatest of opportunity. Then again, as you have said, The Left also hates Jesus, which puts the rest of us in good company.

        Sad about PTSD being so prevalent, effecting everyone differently. It’s not like the movies…bouncing back is no small feat when one has faced traumatic experiences in war and otherwise. Took me a time to finally get past one event that was more emotional rather than physical – heavy prayer coupled to serious outside pursuits to clear the head and tamp down the demons. I pray for our warriors who are dealing with nightmares.

  6. My youngest son, the Medic, had a bout with PTSD after his return from Afghanistan. He found a program, went through the process, and got on with his life. He told me the program helped him a lot. Sorry, I don’t know what program, probably from the Veterans Administration.

    My city has a volunteer funded Grief Center that offers several programs. After my son’s death, my sister insisted I attend. They have several programs and the one I attended was six months of two meetings a month. Much to my surprise, the program helped me. Among other things, I learned stoicism has a price.

    • In many cases, the problem drags the family along with it. I think that being stoic makes it worse.

      How you react to unavoidable suffering is something of a choice. Letting it out is better than dealing with it on your own, or drowning it with numbing drugs/booze, etc.

      • Choice. You are correct. Sometimes the choice isn’t clear. My lifelong response is to get out of bed and start by putting one foot in front of the other. That comes from being ranch raised. The cows still need to be milked and the livestock tended. In life, responsibilities will always exist. Best not to duck them, IMO.

        • Somewhere around late grade school, I started getting hit with recurring bouts of mild depressions. Having farm animals and the chores that crop up did a lot to help me through the bouts. Somewhere along the line it taught me that “this too, shall pass”.
          Don’t know if it’s the best course, but concentrating on the business of life and living seem to help me.

      • One may afford to remain stoic when a surrogate is found. I’m thinking of my F-I-L and his wife. He flew B-25s on antizsub patrol.

        His flying was relatively uneventful but for an accident. He lost control during a landing. Of a crew of ten, he was the only survivor. He broke his back and his spirit. His wife assumed the role of thinker, doer, protector.

        He did continue to be enthralled with aviation, even having built and flown an autogyro. Of course his library was full of aviation books and he had joined a flying club.

        But whenever I attempted to speak aviation with him he would look tentatively at her as if to ask her approval. Her answer always was no. She was more than a fierce protector, she could be downright nasty. I do think she relished that. She would change her mood suddenly and dramatically. Even the blood kin were wary of her. Yet when they were seperate from the other, say me and him in his ‘radio shack’ he spoke on all but one subject, that subject being his flying which was taboo to speak. He wanted to and he would, until he remembered her disdain. He wasn’t afraid of the scold. It was as if he had shipped that part of himself to her.

        • Peoples reactions and those of their family and more particularly their spouses are all different.

          My friend WoFat- storied spook and soldier ended up working at the New Orleans Police Department. His books are available at Amazon.com under Jack Willoughby. He retired because his wife predicted that if he didn’t he would kill somebody. PTSD… so he punched out and lives a life of quiet secluded reflection

  7. I’ve met and worked with numerous PTSD sufferers while on the Iowa. Sometimes just being there to listen and talk helps tremendously. The Iowa also has an outreach program for all vets seeking help. Just being on the ship, among your brothers, can also help tremendously.

    Thanks for the picture of the Moscow. Looks like she took a pretty good hit.

    • The Ukrainians claimed to have fired 2. I suspect that it was hit more than twice. Soviet doctrine was to fire 8 per volley. That may have been because they were uncertain of malfunctions.

  8. The faces have been on parade nightly for 33 years.
    I was exceptionally good at the professional violence we were requested and trained to engage in. Had I not been seriously wounded in the field I would have happily made a career of it.
    Fate had a different plan. I wonder what the other timeline had in store for me?
    Life goes on, deal with it as best you can.
    There are many who can help if help is needed.
    I went my own way and have done well for myself by focusing a once lethal mindset on overcoming different challenges with mostly the same processes with which we executed our mission planning, logistics and execution.

    • The timeline twists and turns in interesting ways. Our reactions to those twists certainly mold who we are. I just learned of an old friend who has become very much a recluse because of his past, which is very much my distant past. We were never that close, never buddies, but I liked him. He was something of a shy man, placed in circumstances that may simply have been beyond his capacity to reconcile in the long term.

  9. Interesting timing…just finished watching Tucker Carlson Today, the Tony Robbins episode. Believe what you want about Robbins, but he has always impressed me…he’s not wrong and is sincere in his desire to help and serve people. He spoke of working with veterans suffering from debilitating PTSD, and has had huge success in “rewiring” to eliminate the fear and shakes, etc (to put it plainly and not doing it justice). Guy is my age and on fire working with elite scientists and doctors with new medical breakthroughs we never hear about that eliminate drugs and surgeries, or repair things many doctors say can’t be fixed, new types of preemptive diagnosis techniques, etc. Stem Cell is one, and which DrMrsPaulM is quite familiar (I call them the God cells.). Instead we get the constant push from Big Pharma to take more drugs (some are excellent of course), or do extended psyche therapy, or invasive surgery. Medicine is big business, but often the cure is worse than the injury.

    My horse developed PSSM at age 7, shortly after I picked him up. Looks like tying up…stiff due to the glucose can’t get processed in the muscles, and is showing up in a lot of Quarter horses these days. MrsPaulM is about ready to do a Stem cell infusion on him because there is supposedly no cure for fixing this broken DNA chain in his system.

    The TCT episode with Robbins is worth watching…truly fascinating. And why we aren’t being told about these medical breakthroughs is bordering on criminal.

    • I think that Robbins has his heart in the right place. I’m on the road right now but when I’m able I’ll watch the TCT piece. I’m not sure that stem cells are the solution to PTSD, but I’m not a doctor. Everyone’s experiences are so different. I think that in some cases, they can be an overreaction, but I try not to judge.

      • Sorry, must have written that in a confusing manner…

        His PTSD therapies are “mind work”, unlocking (as he says) that moment when our brain get slammed and locked. The Stem cells are for treatments of physiological problems (in his case a torn rotator cuff when he was told surgery was the only option). For my horse, MrsPaulM confirms that SC treatment won’t (shouldn’t) work as this is DNA specific…like giving Stem cells to a Downs child and it reversing. Won’t happen with current tech. But I’m willing to try a Hail Mary pass just in case it would.

        Safe travels.

  10. As to Portugal, it amazes me that people today just don’t understand how expensive spices were, until they weren’t. A small ship’s cargo could destabilize the economy of a nation.

    So, well, the Spice must flow…

    And then I’m saddened at the loss of education in this once-great nation.

    • The Dune Scenario – spice controls everything.

      Education is set up to serve an agenda and it has very little to do with educating people.

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