Thursday, August 5, 2010

displaced emotions

For those of you that don't know me personally, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I also have Major Depressive Disorder (among other things). I have been getting treatment for these conditions for the last five years.

One of the things that I have observed (and have had other people going through treatment with me agree) is that once I have realized some of my actions, it was very easy to see these actions in other people. It's the "mirror" effect. It's easy as hell for me to see certain behaviors in other people now and realize that I did the same thing.

The reason I'm rambling about this is I witnessed tonight something I term "misplaced emotions." In my experience (and that's all this is - my experience - I am not a doctor or medical professional and you shouldn't take my ramblings as gospel) the most common misplaced emotion is anger. That is, what began as something else - grief, guilt, shame, terror - manifested itself as anger, which I then unleashed on the people around me. Which was usually my family.

I'm not proud of the things I did nor the way I acted when I returned from Iraq. I realized tonight I can never take back the things that I did. But I am proud of the work I have done, and continue to do with the help of the VA.

Anyway, in my opinion tonight, what I witnessed was misplaced emotions, like I had, before I was aware of what was eating at me. I have full hope that at some point, these people will attempt to seek help, if for their own peace of mind and nothing else. And when that day comes, I will do whatever I can do to help them.

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