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  #41  
Old 07-17-2005, 12:41 AM
chapmic
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Re: PTSD Homework

Our group at the Vet Center has reconvened. Got some dudes that have been in the system since 86' One gent went through a PTSD progarm in Maine in 1986! Wow, I was still pretending to be "okay" then! At any rate, there is some real collective wisdom in this group. Would any of you like to start up the PTSD "homework' again?
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  #42  
Old 07-17-2005, 01:00 AM
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Re: PTSD Homework

Welcome back Mic, your more than welcome to start it going again
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  #43  
Old 07-17-2005, 12:09 PM
chapmic
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Re: PTSD Homework

Okay then, I will "fire when up". The subject last Friday was; "How do you know that you know when your're improving"? Four members of this group(of course no names- ever) did the intensive in-patient treatment. Meaning we were given some pretty useful tools for our PTSD mechanic's work. I would guess that the symptom of 'irritability', is one that pans across the board for alot of PTS folk. That makes it a good benchmark for marking progress. And also one that can be plugged into the hope that we will all one day achieve "the peace that surpasses all understanding" that Jesus promised- yes promised.
I love the phrase "understanding is the booby prize", because sometimes having an intellectual understanding of the how and why of my PTS, means zip! I just want the crap to vanish. I do not want to understand it better!! Well,then you slip back to denial. And here is where Jesus returns for me,as I remember that the Spirit helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26) And "who by taking up thought can add a cubit to their stature".
Nevertheless,it seems to help to have some benchmark of gauging where we are in the "irritability" column. So tell us how you know that some things have improved?
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  #44  
Old 07-17-2005, 09:19 PM
Stickthrower
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Cross Glow Lg Clr 2 Re: PTSD Homework

Chapmic,

I think this is a great idea. Due to problems & lack of attendence the Ellensburg Out post is temporarily closed. I would very much like to participate in this. I need all the help I can get!

Irritability is definately one of my greatest benchmarks. When I think I have returned to "normal" and no longer need to do my homework is about the time I start to notice I seem to be irritated a lot. Then I know I need to start back at the bottom and regain the territory I have lost to Satan. I guess that is the Lords way of gently reminding me that without Him I am nothing.

That is one of my greatest symtoms. My 12 yo daughter put it best when she told me how much she loved me one night and then said "I really like my Daddy a lot better now that you are praying, going to Church, and most of all don't seem to be mad at me". That was the best thing my child ever said to me!

Whenever I start to backslide, I remind myself of that conversation. It is a great motivator, believe me.
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  #45  
Old 07-20-2005, 09:07 AM
Pointman69
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Re: PTSD Homework

Great idea - like many of us, I wish the process wasn't so cyclic. Frank summed it up for me, every time those feelings of "I'm OK," arise, that's when I get irritable. As Frank said, that's the time I decide to take control, then irritation boils up over anything that doesn't go the way IIIIIII think it should.

I can't imagine how hard it is for those who don't have the option of turning back to Jesus, asking forgiveness for my missing it again, and starting a fresh with His mercy and grace.

It's humbling, as it must be, but it's the hope we must pass on to others.
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  #46  
Old 07-20-2005, 06:49 PM
Reconvic
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Biggrin Re: PTSD Homework

Mic I also have PTSD service connected if you need help let me know.
My flew thru faster then the other disabilites that are service connected.
Dana and AJ know my E-Mail contact me for help!
Semper Fi Vic
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  #47  
Old 07-22-2005, 11:43 PM
chapmic
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Cart127 Re: PTSD Homework

Yes, "cylcic" indeed. I suppose that is why the professionals tell us that PTSD is a permanent bio-chemical condition- and they do mean permanent, as it can now be shown on MRI"S that we have much different brains.
So I say, GREAT, now I know who my opponet is and I can take him to the mat! Sort of like Chesty Puller' s comment upon being told that he and his troops were surrounded. Gen.Chesty pipes off; "good we got em right where we want em"! But yup, PTS is gonna be cyclic- count on it. Yet, with the daily walk with our true Pointman- Jesus, we can traverse that "cylcic' valley, and come out unscathed.
I circulated the question of "How you know your better" around the Veteran community this week. The responses were unique. Kind of like an adult version of the old Art Linkletter Show- "Vets say the darndest things"
One dude tells me he knows he is better; "cuz I can wear sandals. I have not worn sandals since I was a surfer. Gotta have my boots on at all times, in case there is 'incoming'. Silly huh? But you know my feet are pretty happy. cuz they have not been in the open air for about 35 years"
Another tells me; " I have really bonded with my dogs. I am not afraid of loosing them. I think I am having an intimacy attack! Maybe that means that I am not 'numb' anymore? Ya think it will transfer to humans? Sh--t then I might even cry"!
Yet another says' "I don''t carry so many bags of crap with me anymore. It was like I was always going out on my last mission and I had to take everything but the kitchen sink with me- especially first aid and knives. I can leave home now with just my fanny pack, and not think I am gonna die"
Does anyone identify with any of this? The boots thing really hit home. I just started wearing sandals this year!
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  #48  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:45 PM
chapmic
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Re: PTSD Homework

"....and he is comforted and thou art tormemted" Luke 16:25. Does this not simply refer to memories- just like the triggers of PTS? But read further-- and report back here on your findings.
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  #49  
Old 07-24-2005, 06:08 PM
Pointman69
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Re: PTSD Homework

Those who are comfortable have no need for God. The good thing about PTSD is it constantly reminds us that we need God everyday. God uses the worst things for our good - that's gotta piss off our tormentor, the enemy of our soul.

Funny - My wife bought sandles for me over a year ago. I finally started wearing them a few weeks back.
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  #50  
Old 07-27-2005, 12:01 AM
chapmic
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Re: PTSD Homework

"what shall we say then? Should we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid....." Saint Paul sure did nail the condition down tight. I agree with you PM69. We need HIM and the graces every day.
Funny on this end too. Because I now own more sandals than I do boots! It will make my boots last longer! And what is even more astounding is that I even go barefooted around the garden. I do not know what I would do if there were "incoming"! I guess I would just get on my PRC25 and call in some A4's, without my boots! Mic
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  #51  
Old 07-28-2005, 04:57 PM
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Re: PTSD Homework

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pointman69
Those who are comfortable have no need for God. The good thing about PTSD is it constantly reminds us that we need God everyday. God uses the worst things for our good - that's gotta piss off our tormentor, the enemy of our soul.

Funny - My wife bought sandles for me over a year ago. I finally started wearing them a few weeks back.
Well when I was much younger someone told me only girly men wore sandals so its hard to escape that mindset.

Yes that hits home here.....but I'm not rushing out and buying a set either....I have my church sneakers and boots....thats it. Just thought I would throw that in the mix.
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  #52  
Old 07-30-2005, 07:24 PM
ReconSGT_OIF
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Re: PTSD Homework

umm... yeah... Well, I still wear my boots. I cant seem to shake them off. Still carry a knife if I can fit it without it being seen. I never really connected the boots to PTSD before, but it makes sense. I just thought i was comfortable with wearing them because ive been wearing them for 8 years. Irratability is a BIG issue for me though. I have service connected PTSD too, mic, if you need me.
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  #53  
Old 07-30-2005, 09:53 PM
Stickthrower
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08 Re: PTSD Homework

You guys really struck some nerves!

Boots, I own five pair of black high top "work" boots and always wear them when leaving my AO. Also have 1st Aid kits in all vehicles & three different sizes of packs that are complete enough for just about any emergency, and I never leave home without one. Even put on a pair of boots tonight to go outside to change the sprinklers. Knives, I have enough that I have either made or bought to open a store and always have at least two on my person at all times. Irritability, I believe I wrote the book on that emotion, at least my bride says so but what does she know. After all she just lives with me 24/7 for the last 14 years.

Humm, maybe I do have a problem with PTSD. Yes, for those who don't know me I was terminated from being a Deputy Sheriff after serving 26 years in Law Enforcement upon returning from 2 1/2 tours of Viet Nam as a grunt. I never discussed any of Viet Nam with anyone for any reason, drank a lot of alcohol to deaden my nerves, always slept with a gun in my hand when I did sleep (but being a police officer no one thinks twice of that), never ever let anyone see any emotion from me but irritability, trusted no one for any reason, nor did I want anyone to respond to violent calls with me so I didn't have to worry about someone else being hurt. Seemed to jump at loud noises, always seemed to be hyper alert at all times, have been married three times, divorced twice, seperated myself from all family and friends, you name the symptom I seemed to have it. And I had never been inside a church since 1969 since I figured God had no use for me or bad things would not happen to me like they seemed to do all the time.

But if asked about PTSD I would have told you that you were crazy! Who me?

Then I began to react to stressful events in an "abnormal" way according to the department shrink after several high stress situations that developed in the period of 6 months, ie: nine arson fires within a 5 mile radius of my home (by the way we did catch the arsonist), having my house shot at twice within a thirty day period, among other things.

Finally I was terminated for failing a "Fitness for duty Evaulation".

Then I began to drink heavily & developed even more major symptoms to include severe depression over a two month period. This all ultimately came to my attempting suicide while drunk on 2/3/05. Fortunately for me as well as my family a close friend and chaplin stopped by to visit me and stopped me from killing myself and devistating my family!

I spent two weeks in the hospital, was diagnosed with Major PTSD and Severe Depression. Upon release I spent four months in therapy. Thank the Lord for that! I have now started facing my problems & PTSD and trying to work to fix me, instead of just blaming someone else for Pi$$ing me off.

I have since given my life to the Lord, have not had a drink since 2/3/05, and thankfully my family still love me!

Every day is a struggle sometimes. But with the Lord's help I am getting better. However, every once in a while I think my PTSD is "cured". About that time Satan seems to start working overtime and I get "irritable".

Like I said, when that happens I get on my knees and pray for forgiveness and help. The Lord has been very merciful to me here lately and I remember to thank Him every day several times! With His help and the help of my brothers here at Pointman I keep up the fight with Satan! But, I have absolute faith in the Lord as during the past six moths He has shown me mercy, forgiveness, and most of all Love!

Thanks to all of the Pointman brothers!
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  #54  
Old 08-03-2005, 11:18 AM
chapmic
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Re: PTSD Homework

Yo "Stickthrower", you have been on some "missions" man! Got a ton of Law Enforcement pals- they all say they have PTS 'twice'! It's that adrenaline thing you know. I was a private investigator for 17years- same deal. The rush- the rush. Now the peace is my rush. Too bad I never I knew that this way lasts longer! Nice to have you with us. Sounds like we can have a great dialogue here on the "Boots and Irritability" Hot Line. Almost seems like we could all have our own county song' Boots-Irritability-Knives-Excitement; BIKE. Wanna go for a BIKE ride?
Also nice to see that you have come to the table of the Lord. Like they say; "God answers knee-mail" See you down the path. This one has no booby traps- only cossacks of love and tents of caring.
Paz e Bueno, Mic
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  #55  
Old 08-03-2005, 02:40 PM
Doc Stadig
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Re: PTSD Homework

Quote:
Originally Posted by chapmic
I had to take everything but the kitchen sink with me- especially first aid and knives. I can leave home now with just my fanny pack, and not think I am gonna die"
Does anyone identify with any of this? The boots thing really hit home. I just started wearing sandals this year!
I won't even go to an airport because they want to take my knife away from me, needed one once, and didn't have one so the guy didn't make it. Weird, what we do because of this PTSD stuff.
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  #56  
Old 08-03-2005, 08:48 PM
Stickthrower
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Cross Glow Lg Clr 2 Re: PTSD Homework

Chapmic,

Thanks for the welcome. The Good Lord knows I needed you guys and fortunately through my chaplin friend introduced me to Pointman. Pointman has been a true lifesaver for me. I had the good luck to meet Chuck Dean in person and have signed copies of his books, as well as numerous other Pointman Brothers, of whom all have been will continue to be an inspiration to me.

Now that I am "Retired" from Law Enforcement I have started to open my eyes to the fact that not everyone I meet is a bad person. The Lord has sent numerous Guardian Angels to me when I needed them most. Like I said earlier & Chuck Dean said best "I thought God had went AWOL" while I was in Viet Nam. And was convinced upon my return that He hated me.

I now know that it was me that stopped loving Him. I say Thanks many times each day to the Lord for sending all the Pointmen I have met to me in my time of need, as well as for many local angels!

I know I will never be "cured", but I am much happier than I have ever been in my life. I now sleep at night and not with an AR15 in my hands, no longer get drunk so I can "relax" around family/friends, have quit jumping at every unusual sound, go to Church regularly, no longer live my life hating people, and best of all I am learning to forgive. It is amazing how much better my life is when I stop hating & holding grudges.

I read the Bible a lot and have started trying to live my life by asking myself this question "What would Jesus do" when I need to make a decision or feel myself wavering. And best of all, I am learning to forgive myself, that is the hardest!

I still have my PTSD DAYS, however I am getting better as I no longer will allow myself to get depressed. When I feel it coming on I just find something to do, no matter how hard it is at the time. Many times I just wanted to give up, but I look at my children and think about how much they mean to me! That is a real energizer!

I would just like to say thanks to all my brothers and Welcome Home! You guys have made life possible for me and I will never forget that! I believe that as long as we stick together and watch each others backs we will survive and concure our Demons.
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  #57  
Old 08-08-2005, 02:36 AM
laughtonll
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Understanding PTSD

What is the number one feeling that a soldier has that gives him a clue there is a problem? Is it rage and anger all the time? Not caring about anything? Wondering how God could allow this crap to happen?

Does it vary greatly from person to person or is there an overall feeling that is common to everyone?

LLL
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  #58  
Old 08-08-2005, 05:08 PM
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danausmc danausmc is offline
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Re: Understanding PTSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by laughtonll
What is the number one feeling that a soldier has that gives him a clue there is a problem? Is it rage and anger all the time? Not caring about anything? Wondering how God could allow this crap to happen?

Does it vary greatly from person to person or is there an overall feeling that is common to everyone?

LLL
Glad to see you jump right in here Brother.......
Some tough questions right away for sure and we all struggle with....
Anger....if you read the PTSD threads and the death thread....you will see a common anger right below the surface...
hypervigelance...hyper alert...rituals for everything....no close friends....cold....aloof....seemingly uncaring but caring more about "little" stuff....little kids....cant talk to no one......so what can you do about it?

Is it for life? Can you find relief?
The answer is yes but you just can wave some magic wand or take a pill, but then how can God allow this stuff to happen?

The relief comes with a relationship with Jesus Christ. You can do all kinds of stuff and all kinds of therapy, but that only identifies the problem.

But its hard and if you dont stay on your guard you can slip right back into the same old stuff.

There is a lot to discuss in your post and some guys will think over for a few days what they want to say before they post.....so be patient.
You can e-mail me any time at danausmc@earthlink.net if you have any questions .........
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  #59  
Old 08-08-2005, 06:28 PM
Stickthrower
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13 Re: Understanding PTSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by laughtonll
What is the number one feeling that a soldier has that gives him a clue there is a problem? Is it rage and anger all the time? Not caring about anything? Wondering how God could allow this crap to happen?

Does it vary greatly from person to person or is there an overall feeling that is common to everyone?

LLL

Guy,
Like a lot of other Vet's that I talked to I believe Rage & Anger were the two biggest tip offs to having a problem. I would find myself angry for no real reason, would get mad at the kids for extremely minor offenses. However, there are a ton of symptoms that should have been a clue once you start taking a hard honest look at ourselves.

I was hypervigilant, had total distrust of any authority figure, had a lot of rituals, would avoid people when they started to get to close to me, failed marrages/relationships, would drink alcohol just so I could relax near my family/friends or drink alone so I could relax and not have anyone bother me, would have anxiety about changes to my routine or route, and absolutely hated any kind of surprise-even for my own birthday by my wife/kids. Trust me, there are a lot of symptoms we have once we take a hard honest look at ourselves.

If you have any doubts about PTSD, may I make a suggestion. Get a copy of Chuck Dean's book Nam Vet and read it cover to cover without any interruptions if possible. Then think abut how you have been living since leaving combat, then reread the book and see if you start to recognize yourself. Especially read & reread about the symptoms with an open mind! Also go back and read all the older entries on PTSD and see that by no means are you alone!

And most importantly, know that you are not alone, there is help available at no cost, there is relief, there is hope, there is life after combat, and most importantly know that we are here to help you 24/7! You can e-mail me personally or e-mail me and I will give you my phone number and we can talk one-on-one!

We are your Brothers and we will have your back while you are figuring this stuff out.
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  #60  
Old 08-23-2005, 02:15 AM
chapmic
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Re: PTSD Homework

So nice to be home again at my favorite site- safe and sound with PTS vets! Could there be a safer place then the one where there are 2 gathered in HIS name? Thanks to whomever fixed the server problem. Maybe PMIM just needed a little R&R! Now back to filling those sandbags. God speed. Mic
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