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I’ve taught several war vets in my college classes, and they helped me understand a little more about PTSD. My first exposure was to a man who had served in a dark unit in Viet Nam. He told me that the young people who go to war never come home, meaning the person who returns is not the same person who left. He carried a letter from the VA warning those who interacted with him that he could “go off” with little provocation.
The Oscars loaned attention to AMERICAN SNIPER, a film that illustrated some of the costs returning vets pay. Last night I watched a DVD of THE RAILWAY MAN, an Australian film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman based on the autobiography (of the same name) of Eric Lomax who was horrifically tortured in WWII. The real Eric Lomax eventually befriended one of the men who had tortured him. He learned that Takashi Nagase had suffered as he had trying to reclaim his soul.
How to find redemption after the kind of extreme trauma that’s common in war is, coincidentally, a theme in the novel I wrote entitled DEATH LOST DOMINION. (I’ll let you know when it’s available this spring, if you’re interested.) I have several friends who tell me there’s no such thing as coincidence, so I’m thinking about what this convergence of themes might mean.
In the meantime, I recommend you watch either or both of the films, because I guarantee you know someone who suffers with some form of PTSD. Most are good at hiding it. I have had more than one friend whose trauma was from rape or domestic violence, not war, but the effect is the same. The more we understand, the more sensitive we can be as friends.
Reblogged this on Tom Puetz and commented:
– For a deeper understanding of moral injury and PTSD.