I was at work two days ago and one of the younger employees in my department asked me, "Have you ever shot at anyone?". I didn't respond right away. My instinct was to yell at him and say, "Are you a F**KING Idiot? Why the F**K would you ask a veteran that?!?!?" I took a few deep breaths and pulled him aside and talked to him. I told him that we have been at war for 10 years. The one thing you never, EVER ask a veteran is that question. I told him that he is very lucky that it was me that he asked that question because a lot of veterans with PTSD would have answered with their fists. He apologized and said that he doesn't know what possessed him to ask that question. He knows that I play shooter video games and, in his head, it was probably a logical progression to ask what he did. I never answered his question directly. I don't like to talk about it and I won't talk about it. The nightmares are reminder enough of all that I have been through.
When I got home, the news came out that "Been Cowering Like a Bitch" had been killed by troops on the ground and I was fiercely happy and proud at first. I was glad that I had off yesterday. It was not an easy thing to deal with - getting some measure of closure for all of the troops that have died for this cause...The survivor's guilt kicked in big time. I mind went back to the question my young co-worker had asked me and have never been so grateful that I started up my website, blog, and Facebook Page. I don't even want to think about how much I would have disappeared into my head if I didn't have this outlet and other veterans to commiserate with. Thank you, everyone, for being part of this community.
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.