Coles Notes

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Coles Notes

Post by CanadianInfidel on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 11:23

I guess I should have posted my previous statement here instead of in the SISIP category.
I thought that I might share a little more about myself here.

Who are you? Then again, who the frack am I?

I remember a time where you could say I was naive. Blind or maybe just so damn happy to have accomplished my life long dream of being a soldier.  But not any type of soldier.  A grunt. Bred from the earth, mud and grass.  An infantry soldier.  
Those days are long gone, and have been replaced by shame, misery, disparity and isolation.  I live today to write this because of the actions I have taken over the years.  Even though some have tried their hardest to bury me, and for what reasons, I don't know, and in this moment in time, I don't frackin care.
Regardless of all my painstaking obstacles  I had to overcome through out my military career, I still have deep loyalty and respect for my career as a soldier.  No matter how negative or intolerable my days in the infantry became, I would and still do, speak highly of this profession.  
2003-2004 Afghanistan, Roto 0
These dates and tour may trigger a lot of resentment for some. For myself, it was the beginning of the end.
I had mentioned several times prior to the deployment, that I had unresolved anxiety and stress issues which needed to be addressed.  My Platoon commander was the only person to forge an attempt to get me help, but it fell on deaf ears.  He even wrote a 5 page memorandum to the CO requesting to get me help.  I was deployed, and regardless, I ended up working for some people who were definitely a few pay grades above where they should be (or rank level).
Driving in a soft skin, unarmored vehicle through an unproven road, days after we had fatalities from a land mine, claiming decent soldiers is stressful enough. But having a person who had issues reading a map, navigating and so on, lead you and your team into uncharted landscapes really drove me nutts. Incompetence on many levels broke me.  So much so that I was repatriated early from the tour.  I was a section 2ic then section commander (during my sgt's leave).  I was responsible for 8 troops.  Leaving them, during an unfinished tour made me feel unable to face them upon their return.  I was heavily medicated.  Many probably remembers seeing me in the unit lines walking around bare feet, cause I was out of my mind on meds.
Soon I was sent to SPHL ( known today as JPSU).  I had no idea this was your staging area before you were released.  I saw people coming in dressed in civies for their once a week check ins.
I refused to go through this system.  So I submitted memo after memo requesting to be gainfully employed as a soldier anywhere on base.  I was sent to leadership school where I worked in ops and training. Then accommodations (which I hated, and lasted only a few months) then I worked at the sim center.  Finally, I worked at 2 Fd Amb as a infantry sme for weapons and ranges.
I managed to get into CSOR for my last 8 months, but eventually my stress, anxiety and depression took its tole on me. I burnt out.
Now a days, I still can't look at my old peers in the eyes when I see them.  Though many are now either WO or above.
I fought to the bitter end to retain my job, my identity.  Here I sit today, lost, exhausted, having to fight again soon in order to support my family who sacrificed just as much, and now have the burden to watch me become self destructive.  
I thought I would give all of you in this forum a glimps into my life in hopes to help at least one of you know you are never alone.
avatar
CanadianInfidel
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 58
Location : Petawawa
Registration date : 2013-01-16

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Guest on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 12:21

Thank you for sharing your life experiences Canadianinfidel so that others can understand better about you and themselves. I respect that it takes courage and strength of a person to open up yourself and let people in. In doing so you are helping others in your same scenerio who are feeling as you. As in the military, you never stop wanting to do your best for others and I can see that you still have that strength within you.

Canadian, always hold your head up straight and your eyes forward no matter who you may meet from the past or the future and always look them straight in the eyes because you served your country well and with pride.

Sparrow


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by BoltAction308 on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 13:35

Salute! I can so relate to your story brother! As a matter of fact I had a similar chat with my eldest son today about how much it sucks being "Disabled" at 48 years old and on a pension when all along I just wanted to serve my country with pride and distinction...which i did...but nowehere near as long as I had hoped!

It rots me to a certain degree to see those who I knew while I was a soldier attaining ranks of Sgt., WO, MWO and even CWO's and here I had to retire as a fracking Cpl!

I was a "Pecker Checker" as you grunts would call us (LOL) Medic for those who didn't know what I'm talking about....and I loved my job. Now I sit at home and wonder what would've and could've been had I not got injured.

Respect!
avatar
BoltAction308
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 138
Location : Bay Roberts, NL
Registration date : 2013-01-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Rags on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 13:50

Canadian Infidel

Your story moves me. Keep opening up we who have closed with the enemy understand your plight and respect you. PTSD is a good thing.....I would think you were a crazy mindless sub human if you did not have it.

Rags
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 790
Location : Adrift
Registration date : 2013-01-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by CanadianInfidel on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 15:05

All of you, a sincere thanks. You have given me a voice which has been silent for so many years.
It feels liberating to share my plight with you all.
It feels like I'm treading water. I'm trying desperately to keep my head up, to breath. But I have weights tied to my feet, and I feel so tired. I'm not sure how long I can sustain this. A few weeks ago, my two boys, 10 and 12, were playing army like all boys do. But I over heard something that shattered me so deep, it brought tears for the first time in over a decade. I overheard my eldest saying "I'm going to be dad, and you can be Rambo ." to my youngest. "So call me MCpl...." If only he knew the pain and suffering I had to endure in silence over the years. Then the other night my youngest approached me and asked how come they never see me cry? And if it was ok for boys to cry? I answered, yes, it's definitely ok to cry. I had to change the subject because I did not know how to explain to him why I don't cry. At times I get sooo frustrated with my issues and stress, that I blow up. My boys have seen me like this. As a matter of fact, just last night, I blew up towards the whole family. My youngest began to cry. I got up and left the table, swearing about everything. I went to my basement to cool down when my wife came down to see me. She asked if I wanted to know what my youngest said as I left the table. I said sure. She said "10 has told me that he is scared of you. He said " Sorry mom that I did not stand up for you that because i'm is too small." I'm a monster and it breaks me even more knowing that my own children has to witness my battles with myself.
Some days I feel the only way to get my point across to the government, VAC and SISIP, would be to do something drastic. Some of us have, by having hunger strikes in front of VAC HQ, or driving their vehicles into government buildings and so on.....is this what I must do?
Don't worry, no plans as such for me right now. At the end of the day, all I have is my family, and I'm managing to fuck this up too.
avatar
CanadianInfidel
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 58
Location : Petawawa
Registration date : 2013-01-16

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by BoltAction308 on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 16:35

I have so been there Brother! I would question my existence as a father when I couldn't even teach them to throw and catch a football.

It does get better...it really does! The best thing you did was walked away. I have done the same in that I freaked in front of my kids and use every curse word known to man when I would lose my cool...not at the boys (15-18 now) but just at VAC, DND, VRAB, Media, etc.

It would've been easy to reach for the bottle or drugs but I stayed away from them and stuck with what was prescribed. I always said if it weren't for my wife and kids, I'd either be dead or locked up and that's a fact!

avatar
BoltAction308
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 138
Location : Bay Roberts, NL
Registration date : 2013-01-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Guest on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 17:15

Canadian, there is always hope in a family unit. Your family needs your presence in their lives and they will always love you unconditionally. If you are able to, reach out and talk with people or professionals who are of like mind or who can provide support to you and your family so that they can take some of the burdens off your shoulders and let others carry them for you for awhile so that you can regain your strength as a family and as an individual.
Sparrow

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by CanadianInfidel on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 17:37

Thanks Sparrow,
And thank you boltaction and rags, your words inspire me. I in return would love to help a fellow brother and sister in any means.
Those who are looking for an outlet or comfort in your darkest times, I suggest adopting a dog. They are so loyal and have unconditional love for you. The sense when you need care. I have two dogs. Both follow me everywhere. They are my best friends. They approach me and jump on my lap when I begin to feel overwhelmed. Simply by petting them, relaxes me.
avatar
CanadianInfidel
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 58
Location : Petawawa
Registration date : 2013-01-16

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Guest on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 17:44

That is what is so powerful in our healing, reaching out and discovering that you are not alone, that we understand as soldiers, spouses and parents. We did everything right as soldiers in our careers. There should be no shame in seeking support in whatever why is right for you and your loved ones.
Take care of yourself.
Sparrow

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Rags on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 17:58

Find a place and activity that sooths you. Mind relaxing music It may sound foolish but it works to find the inner spirit in silence of your mind.

I suggest you find some Enya or some soft keltic. its the strings in the music that soften the mind. Put it on your MP3 ear phones in go to a river or lake or ocean sit by the shore and just mellow clear your mind let the music sooth you. Learn to do a little Thai Che. Deep breath. If no water go to the woods and stroll. Do this every day as a mental exercise.

On a calendar mark the days you are up down stressed or blow a fuse. After about 3 to 6 months you will see a pattern. In future ensure you book nothing to do on those days you see the pattern occur. On those days book time away to the woods or lake or ocean beach and go do Thai Che or breathing exercises with music.

Music is important.....it may appear corny to you the music I suggest but it is proven to work the mind and thats the key. There is science to a PTSD mind about parts of brain shut down and not working and you need to rework those areas by building or exercising nero pathways long gone or not used.

They can easily prove PTSD by a simple Cat scan of the brain. It shows large areas of the person that are black....no electrical traffic at all. You need to work those areas or build new nero pathways to work around them or through them. We also need to ensure we lubricate the ends of the synaptic nerve endings so electrical impulses will cross easily. Serotonin is the natural chemical in the brain that lubricates the nerve endings. We take serotonin up take inhibitors to stop the brain from dumping it out of body...into the gut thats why we have bad guts when we are having issues. This is due to massive amounts of serotonin being dumped out of body. We take the drugs to over dose the serotonin levels in the brain and inhibitors to stop brain from dumping it.

Trust me this works...work the program it is your next mission. Bring the dogs as they sooth you.


Last edited by Rags on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 20:57; edited 1 time in total

Rags
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 790
Location : Adrift
Registration date : 2013-01-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Guest on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 18:33

Well said Rags and wonderful advice.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by BoltAction308 on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 18:35

I agree with Rags, music heals big time! Personally when I'm in a "funk" (the term I use when PTSD rears its ugly head and takes a bite out of my ass) I'll listen to some Stevie Ray Vaughan and/or some Bob Marley. Works every time.

I'm starting to be able to recognize the symptoms before they start. Some days all seems to be going well then all of a sudden, I have this big dark cloud of guilt or impending doom that seems to hover above my head. It doesn't take much to set me off when that cloud is hovering that's for sure!

I had to sell my Harley last summer because I found that when I was going into a funk, if I happened to be on the bike, I would ride it really aggressively and didn't care about anything. Then I'd start thinking about my boys and my wife and would slow it down knowing that my actions would affect them the rest of their lives if I wiped out. So with that, I said fuck it, just as well get rid of it until I have a better grasp of my symptoms. Then again, I have a shitty back so that didn't really help much to be on a bike either.

Believe it or not, I find going to the range is a great stress reliever. Of course if I'm in a full blown funk I won't go anywhere near my firearms.

Remember, SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A TEMPORARY PROBLEM! Anyone who says they've never thought about suicide is either lying or in denial.

You should also know that it can take at least 2 or 3 or even 4 shrinks or psychologists before you find one you're at ease with. I'm lucky now because my shrink is awesome! Never give up on psych help because you will find one that is going to be cool and helpful.

I always tell people I think I'm great at helping other people but I suck when it comes to helping myself out.

All this to say that in time, you will feel better. It's a slow process BUT you've already started it right here and right now upon your first post to this topic. I don't have all the answers that's for sure, but I can so relate to your situation because I've been there many times.

I also found the worse triggers for me was to speak to old "Army Buddies" because afterwards I'd sit and mull over the fact they're still doing something and here I am doing SFA. I slowly cut off my contacts with what I figured were good solid buddies when I realized none of them, well most of them really, weren't really good buddies as I thought they were, because it seemed I was the only one reaching out to make an effort to shoot the shit with them. It almost seemed that more often than not, once I was out of the CF, these buddies had no time for me anymore. I've asked the same thing with others who have PTSD and they also said the exact same thing that they thought they had great buddies in the CF but once they were out, it was as if they were nobody.

I'll send you my contact info via PM in case you ever want to shoot the shit.

Wow, that was a long post by me! My meds must've kicked in. Smile


Last edited by BoltAction308 on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 18:36; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed Typos)
avatar
BoltAction308
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 138
Location : Bay Roberts, NL
Registration date : 2013-01-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by Guest on Mon 25 Feb 2013, 23:27

Bolt, Rags, I am glad that Canadianinfidel and others are able to receive support and advice from fellow comrades such as yourselves who are and have gone through what he is going through. Sometimes that is all that is needed is to know you are not alone and someone is there to talk to.
sparrow

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by BoltAction308 on Tue 26 Feb 2013, 20:04

Thanks Sparrow. The worse I think was trying to discuss mental health problems that are unique to being a soldier with a specialist who has absolutely no clue what it's like to be a soldier. Hence the reason I mentioned it sometimes takes a few shots before finding someone whom you're comfortable with.

I remember telling my wife how much I despised seeing a new therapist because I'd have to start all over from scratch and I could just tell from their body language that they either thought i was embellishing my experiences or that they didn't know what to say.
avatar
BoltAction308
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 138
Location : Bay Roberts, NL
Registration date : 2013-01-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Coles Notes

Post by CanadianInfidel on Tue 26 Feb 2013, 22:54

That is what I had to deal with for nearly 15 years. I would see an different Dr or psychologist every 6 months to 2years. Continuity of care was non existent and made my issues worse. Now you get to see people who received a degree from university while I got mine from the school of hard Knox. Book smart vs life smarts. We need vets to get their doctorate in psychology. Not officers. People who spent time in the mud and had to carry on shit jobs.
avatar
CanadianInfidel
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 58
Location : Petawawa
Registration date : 2013-01-16

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum