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Captain George Peters

Captain George Peters

US Veteran

PTSD for soldiers comes in more than one variety.
Battle fatigue is what demands treatment. The veteran can no longer be a soldier, and in fact has a very hard time being anything else. This is the shattered soldier.

I’m going to suggest and name another variety: I’ll call it the Perfect soldier:

The soldier adapts to nightmares by never sleeping deeply. Whenever a dream starts he awakens to avoid all nightmares.
This soldier never allows his thoughts to revisit the horrors behind him. This shuts off the guilt and remorse.
This soldier is always on alert and his unconscious pushes him to be “combat ready” at the first hint of conflict.
This is what makes veterans better soldiers. Always ready. No hesitation or remorse. To the military this is not an affliction. Not PTSD because there is no D for disorder.
What does make this a disorder is that it stays with the soldier when he takes off the uniform. 35 years after I got out of the service:

I never slept more than 3 hours at a stretch.
I banished any thought of combat.
I was “combat ready” at the slightest provocation.
I was pushed into EFT therapy by a loved one who thought that if I slept better I would be easier to get along with. Once I got the hang of it I spent many hours alone, retracing my steps around combat zones. I gradually figured out that I was looking for memories of horror. When the pain was gone from a memory I went looking for another. I also figured out that I could use EFT to blunt the “combat ready” reactions that I had in day-to-day living. As I cleared out more memories I stopped having “combat ready”reactions. I went through whole days without my hands shaking from an adrenalin rush. I began to realize how unpleasant that “combat ready” reaction was, not just for the people around me, but for me too.

For 35 years I was hard to get along with. Divorced, fired, and feared by my children because I over-reacted to any provocation. Six hours of therapy gave me the tools to change.

Captain George Peters

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