“Master Sergeant, It’s Time To Put Your Ruck Down” — Part 2 of 14
My life from tortured child to Green Beret, fall to darkness due to pain and PTSD, and healing through vulnerability.
This is my chance to whisper to the abusers that I am now beyond their psychological reach.
This is my opportunity to free the choked-up chapters to release the miserable moments of madness, and to lighten the haunting heaviness of my hardened heart.
Cleansing by Remembering. Remembering by Cleansing.
The clean-up of material things is fairly easy — requiring a cleanser and some water, and friction — to dislodge dirt and grime so messy. Veiling physical damage to the body can be done with bandage, clothing, or camouflage.
In contrast, purging psychological trauma requires the recollection of elusive details that escape chronological accuracy. Sequential reminisce of abuse is hard to pin down.
If the recollection is not guided by the wounded (who have become healers), the trauma can resurface with ever-increasing demonic tendencies. For years, fleeting memories would resurface and disappear.
At times, I doubted what I remembered.
Did that really happen to me?
Most of the time, I blamed myself.
How did I let that happen?
What could have I done?
Why should I shed my armor?
Why should I share the location of the cracks in my armor? I was a Green Beret for most of my 21-year career in the US Army.
I’m supposed to be tough, composed, and stoic in the face of imminent danger.
Why should I let people know that the only son of a lawyer and the first-born of a dedicated public health nurse — had floundered from a proud honor student to a recalcitrant State of California GED certificate holder?
…absorbing the global language of business with a Master of Business Administration in Global Management at Thunderbird…
…and qualifying the analysis of business data — after earning a scholarship — at the Academy of Competitive Intelligence…
…I could no longer remember the language of love, patience and understanding. I felt crushed with confusion and dumbfounded with unexplainable emotions.
For the life of me (and for the life slowly escaping out me), I could not articulate the intertwined feelings within me.
No Pain, No Gain.
Why should I let anyone know that for many years — after coming home from war — I was afraid to venture outside the front door?
Why would I share that my brain could not adapt to a world without strain?
How would the world react?
Becoming vulnerable beyond my ever-so-safe circle of friends would open me up to negative and excessive attacks.
I imagined vivid visions of emotionally charged readers tapping their disdain of my story with the rhythmic destructive precision of jackhammers onto overworked plastic computer keyboards. Then, in unison, I pictured internet users hitting the send button — with a heavy thud — as if they were activating the switch of an explosives device.
The chain reaction would release a swarm of a tactically gorgeous, yet scary rain of poisoned arrows from different continents that would darken the ethereal hemisphere.
Their messages would crawl menacingly at WIFI speed and wait quietly in my inbox — while sharpening their fangs and claws — to be opened in the early morning. With the quickness of social media impulse, the arrows would aim at my throat and burrow into the gut. For the final part, the hate would harangue a hole straight towards my already-weary heart.
Could this story lead to more self-loathing, depression, suicide attempt, and shame? Doubt kept popping up in my head.
“Worry” wanted to save face.
Shamelessly, my ego created a narrative to protect me from…. shame.
What about my Army buddies, will they think that I’ve gotten soft? How will they feel? Will they be able to trust me again? Is my career over? Will I ever be hired? Will this negate my dreams of entrepreneurship?
Will sharing this story close every door of opportunity? Maybe yes, maybe not. Maybe some will be repulsed. Oh, how I wished that I am always not affected by others who are driven by impulse.
All Rights Reserved (January 2022).