Pre-50th

Good Eeeeee-evening Me Droogs!
A quiet day here at Big Country’s Home for Wayward Veterans.  A looooong night was had the night before with some rather disturbing PTSD dreams that fucking kept me up half the night, and the other half?  The NGFF hadda wake my ass up as I was screaming and crying out hysterically (her words)…  I just know it was some bad shit that was going on.

For whatever reason, the Post Traumatic shit has started back up again lately.

Don’t know the reason why.  It’s been a really long time since I had an episode so severe.  Dunno if that I’m hitting the Big Five Oh tomorrow and it’s kicking the “Mortality Clock” in my head or what?  I sure as hell hope it wasn’t the chili I made and had for dinner.

 Weapons of Ass Destruction
It was a great meal actually… I cooked up about a pound and a half of 80/20 ground beef seasoned with chili mix,  took a 1 pound ribeye and grilled it on the grill outside to medium rare.  Brought it in off the grill, diced it up, and finished cooking it in the taco/chili seasoning as well on the stove.  Added a can of pinto beans, a can of diced tomatoes with chili peppers already in it, and a can of plain tomater sauce, and set it to stewin’.  About 30 minutes in I was in the fridge I found the leftover brisket from Bubba-Q pit that we had lunch at, and figgered why the fuck not and threw in the quarter pound or so of extremely smoked brisket.

It was a smokey flavored chili in the end.  Fucking great to be honest.  That teeny bit of the smoked brisket brought so much to the flavor table, I’m going to have to see if I can reproduce the results again.
This still doesn’t explain the PTSD meltdown.  
Ain’t no bullshit there…  It’s been ‘background noise’ for the majority of the past ten plus years.  I only had -one- “Freakout” that is memorable… back in October of 2005.
It’s actually funny/sad.  Me and XHH6 and the Biological Spawn got a treat that year.  Oh-Five in Iraq was a particularly bad time vis-a-vis Indirect Fire, IEDs, VBIEDs and General Chaos, and his sidekick, Major Disruption.  I was lucky to be alive.  Things were hopping on the Day-to-Day, and my boss figured it was time for me to head back to the Casa.  So October rolled around, and it was my near-7 months since I’d been home, so I went home, and went to fuckin Disneyworld!
Or thereabouts LOL.  We went to the Rat’s “Hallow-Scream” for Halloween that year.   The kinder were small enough to be enjoying it, although it was HOT… like unseasonably fucking hot, and the kids were in full body-suits that raised their lil core temps up to “Heatstroke” modew.  Me being the highly prepared Dad had brought Camelbacks back from Baghdad.  Three of them specifically.  The kids had Grape Kool-Aid, while mine had Cherry Kool-Aid and a liter of Absolute added for flavoring.  We ran around, and I was a bit squirrelly from the crowds, but the fact that it was nighttime, and I was comfortable with that (The Hajjis hardly ever pulled shennaigans after dark as even us Contractors had superior Night Vision capability, never mind the Joes with the new thermals and 4th Gen Night Viz…)  So all was well… 
Up until:
Multiple Unannounced Airbursts. (Commence Pants Filling in 3…2…1…)
KA-FUCKIN-BOOOOOOM!!!
KA-FUCKIN-BOOOOOOM!!!
KA-FUCKIN-BOOOOOOM!!!
KA-FUCKIN-BOOOOOOM!!!
Now, at this point we had just finished the ‘Grand Prix’ ride, those lil Gas Powered Formula One Race Cars, and were in the pit area dismounting.  A soon as the first flash went off followed by the explosion, I tackled the kids in a flying tackle, keeping them safe, and slammed myself into the conveniently placed Jersey Barriers.  I mean I fucking moved.  The Ex later said she never saw me move so quickly and efficiently.  
Took me a minute for the brain housing group to re-engage.  By the time I was able to let the kids up, the surrounding Civvies were looking on with great concern as the giant  360 pound gorilla tackled his kids.  No one had mentioned to me that at 21:00 sharp, they did the fireworks and opened ‘er up with what sounded like a battery of 155’s lighting off…
One older gent came over and helped me to my feet.  Couple of the kids called for a medic, not knowing just -what- the issue was, and XHH6 asked me what I needed… to which I told her “Overhead cover and MOR BOOZE!”  The older dood was a Nam vet… he told me as we went over to some ride that had a massive concrete overhang that he had the same reaction from his time in Khe Sahn.  Apparently he was there in the thick of it with the Marines.  Told me the ‘kinks’ would either sort themselves out, or not… either way…
So I got through the night.  And many many many since then.  I’ve -tried-  to maintain control.  I’ve largely been successful.  It’s the dream world that on occasion goes pear-shaped, and I can’t really do diddly about it.  I know I know.  I’ve had ALL the prerequisite courses and shrink time.  It’s a manifestation at a subconscious level that makes it really hard for me too overcome.  As absurd as it sound, one of the best things for me to do is sleep with my arm through the sling of my nightstand M-4… THAT actually helps quite a bit… but still…
Last night was a wash for whatever reason.  Hopefully a chance tonight will  be better… no dreams or at least more controllable dreams.
We shall see.
But, in all reality, too many people blow off PTSD, especially as it’s become the go-to-excuse for sooooo much bullshit.  Really angers me as that albeit, my shit is minor, there are some guys and gals outr there who are really fucked up from this shit.

Say a lil prayer for them.  Until later then, I remain the Intrepid Reporter
Big Country

By BigCountryExpat

Fuck you if you can't take a joke. No one gets out alive so eat me.

8 comments

  1. I'd say the stress induced by the job search is what is throwing you into nightmare panic-mode.

    10-1, one or more of the people you interviewed with reminded you subconsciously of some douche-nozzle of a 'superior' that then twigged the memories of worse stuff.

    Which, of course, sucks, because ass-clowns exist everywhere, and it is patently illegal to de-life them, as much as you wish you could.

    Had a friend, much like you, but previous generation (Vietnam) who jokingly said he got over a lot of it by retreating mentally to his peaceful place. A quiet forest, a stream, the burbling waters of the stream, the bubbles of air leaking out of the person (insert face of person causing the bad dreams) you are holding under water, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…

    But then again, he was a weird dude who proudly had 23 elephant kills (with 95% secondary explosions) from funky stuff done on the Ho Chi Mihn Trail, while sniping with a 20mm cannon… (seems the Viets would load an elephant with explosives and ammo, cover it with another elephant's hide, and let it waddle down the trail…)

  2. I've worked with some brothers that have to deal with this, and letting them talk about their dreams without saying anything usually is a small help to them, because they get enough crap for how they are from the world.

    Be strong, and be good to yourself, that will help the dreams fade out.

    1. Yeah, made for some interesting comments whenever he saw an elephant, usually to the worse for the uninitiated around him. Describing exactly how long a chunk of 'phant guts was and how it looked strung up on trees like ribbon was always a funny story, both in his telling and reactions to the story by novice listeners.

      The guy was also good at setting snares. He learned a lot from some stumpy Montanard dude his guys hung with. There's an art to tensioning wire snares to do really bad things to people. And only the guy could make such a horrid idea sound 'Abbott and Costello' funny.

  3. It ain't fun Big, I know. Keep your cool how ever you can. Glad the Nam Vet was there and knew. And people wonder why I hate 4th of July. I wasn't in the sand or the jungle, Kosovo was my play ground.

    1. That actually works. I agree, look it up. There's also this thing about looking up and away rapidly when thinking about bad things that desensitizes the mind.

      These are things good therapists know and can show you.

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