INTRO

Introductions:
My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Startle

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! No really, it's raining cats and dogs outside.

Thunderstorms and lightning are beautiful but they can remind us of things that we don't want to remember. Sometimes the thunder and lightning remind me of incoming rounds in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wake and reach for a rifle that isn't there.

If you know someone who jumps when something startles them, or had some kind of trauma in their lives where some things trigger a response from them, I have some ideas that may help you both.

If you are the person who is startled or jumpy from things like thunder, tell the people close to you that those things bother you. You can't expect people to understand if they don't know.

If you are someone close to someone who jumps, or startles. Either be up front and ask or let them explain when they are ready. If you ask, don't be frustrated with the response. Sometimes people don't like to share the past like that. I'm an open book but that's the way I am. Some people like to keep that stuff to themselves because whatever happened to them still has a nasty hold on their emotions.

In any and all situations, communicating is the best answer in my opinion. You can't hurt anything by explaining how you feel or why you feel that way, even if you just don't know. Simply saying "I'm not sure why, but the thunder I hear is making me very nervous". Sometimes we have to swallow some pride, I had to tell my ex Wife "Would you mind terribly if we swapped out driving for a bit, the thunder is messing me up." I felt shame and embarrassment at the time, but she was kind and gentle and switched with me without another word. When I was comfy enough, I told her why and how I felt. She was nice enough to wait for the explanation and listened to my story. She never freaked out or acted like I was some freak of nature or some twisted psychopath.

People that go through trauma are normal people that bad things happen to, that's all. They aren't broken, just scarred. Sometimes those scars heal, other times they stay around a while. Don't stare at the scars, and don't pretend that they aren't there. Be real and honest at all times. If you aren't sure, ask gently. "I saw you jump a seccond ago, did something startle you?". Or simply ask, "is everything allright?" Sooner or later, if someone who is going through that trauma trusts you, they will tell you. They won't tell you if they think you don't want to know. They won't tell you if they think you will freak out.

On the other side of the coin, I have heard some people who claim to be very very touchy about certain things who seem to have no reason at all to be that way. I have known people who claim to be trauma victims, who never were. Some people like the attention. I'm not saying it's wrong or right, I will just say that some people need more attention than others and if that's how they go about getting it, that's on them. Trauma is real, and suffering from it is real too. Reliving a past event or having a startle response from one isn't a joke, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Just understand that you can't ignore it and you can't push someone aside who needs attention. Regardless of what they are going through, if they need attention that bad, there is a reason for it.

I wish you all the best of luck

3 comments:

  1. I cannot imagine pretending to be a trauma victim just for the attention!! I, like you, am an open book. Many parts of my life have been screwed up. I chose to share it and hopefully help someone else. Another well written (and well thought) out post.

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    1. I refuse to judge those who cry for attention. They obviously need help. However it does make actual trauma victims have a tough time being heard because people tend to be suspicious...

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