Saturday, February 19, 2022

Are You A Stranger Angel?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 19, 2022

Part three of The Lost Son, Stranger Angels
2022 began with a new mission for Chris and his friends. In the process of writing a new book, Chris wanted to address the traumas that happened when some of his friends were young to give hope to others living with abusive parents and bullies. He also had to find closure for the abuse he survived in LA.

Dreams were haunting him and grew stronger. He kept his promise to go into therapy for PTSD and finally had to admit the thing he had been hiding all along.

From Stranger Angels

“Remember, we didn’t want to talk about anything outside the house. Anyway, once they got her into bed, we were sitting in the kitchen and they were talking about how they rationalized it by things that happened to them. How they just forced themselves to get over.” Bill saw the shocked look on the others. “Don’t look at me like that. All of you did the same thing. You thought just like I did, that you’d just get over it and you waited.”

Chris said, “I know I did and it just got worse. I have to tell you that if I knew how many others had PTSD just from living, and not just from combat, I would have gone into therapy a long time ago. I had no way to know it was too often part of surviving. I’m just wondering why your Dad didn’t connect what happened to Brenda to what happened in Vietnam?”

“Don’t get me wrong but, the only way I can explain it is, since he understood so little about it, it was almost like a contest in his mind. He got over it the first time, the second time and the third time. He couldn’t just get over it the fourth time. It was too much. God must have agreed because after he got wounded, the docs discharged him and sent him home. The thing is, he said his wounds weren’t bad enough to be discharged. He just knew somehow, they knew he needed to get out.” 
“So he thought Brenda should get over it too?”

“Pretty much.” Bill took a swig of beer. “See the thing is, no one they knew talked about any of this either. When we went to Afghanistan and Iraq, that was all anyone was talking about back home, but we didn’t talk to each other about it. I didn’t talk to David and he sure as hell wasn’t gonna tell me since he was the strongest and bravest of all of us.” He looked at David and he was nodding his head agreeing. “Folks back home pretended that PTSD and suicides only happened to our generation and only because of war. Everyone else was being ignored, like veterans like my Dad. Even he didn’t connect Vietnam to PTSD until I was diagnosed and I was explaining it to him.” 
“I know I tried to pass it off too. Like I’d just get over it. I saw what you and David went through and that you guys had it a lot worse than I did. Now I get it. I turned it into a contest too.”

David agreed, “It’s easy to do. I did it too but it was a contest I didn’t want to win. Maybe that’s why I was fighting a losing battle until I met Mandy. I don’t know but I do know, she didn’t just save my life, she gave me a reason to live.”

Greer nodded her head, “So did I. I was a tough Black MP. Admitting I needed help was the last thing I was ready to do. The stupid thing was, I had no problem asking for backup when I needed it doing my job. I had no problem trusting the other MPs with watching my back but I had a huge problem trusting them with what was going on with me. The crazy thing was, until a few months ago when we got all that publicity, I had no idea how many others I served with were going through the same thing and thinking the same way I did. Like, we could trust them with our lives but couldn’t bring ourselves to trust them with our thoughts and struggles.”
The purpose of this series is to let you know you are not stuck suffering with PTSD and give you a way to fuller, happier life.

Studies show that suicide risk is higher in persons with PTSD. Some studies link suicide risk in those with PTSD to distressing trauma memories, anger, and poor control of impulses. Further, suicide risk is higher for those with PTSD who have certain styles of coping with stress, such as not expressing feelings. (PTSD VA)

The other thing I hope you take away from these books is the fact that you are human and while it may seem as if no one will understand what you're going through, ask the other 15 million people in the country joining the PTSD club every year that no one wants to be a member of. They may not understand what combat did to you, but they sure as hell understand what living and surviving did to them.

If you don't try to fight PTSD alone, then you learn how vital it is to have help to heal. You also find the need to help others heal too and you become a Stranger Angel!

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

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