Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PTSD, Have I Mentioned This Before?

Anger has been festering in me for a long.  Betrayal does that.  Ask any divorcee about long term anger.  That wasn't my problem, divorce that is, my problem was Vietnam.  Me and about 2.4 Million in-country military that found out that, well our own country betrayed us six ways till Sunday and is still doing it.  A couple years ago I notice that I was losing my cool when I encountered fools, like the men painting my house watering down my $60 a gallon paint and a guy repairing the corner roof of my house like he was out in a white trash trailer park making a repair.  My home you see is 100 years old, and it is my home.

On the other side of the equation my friends who had served in Vietnam with me were dying from things connected to Agent Orange and I was carrying profile diseases also presumed to be caused by the toxins in the herbicide.  Within 18 months, first one vet friend died, and then one closer to me died and then one very close to me died.  I was reading about several things related to their deaths and Nam in general when it came to my attention that independent ex-Navy researchers had determined that the mean survival age for in-country Vietnam Vets exposed to the dioxins in Agent Orange was 63.  Shit I had just turned 65 and was screwing with Medicare and feeling old anyway cause my body was betraying me left/right in the ass and otherwise.  If they could be believed then only about 800,000 of that 2.4 million were still alive.  I had been using the Social Security age 73 in my longevity calculations and for long term financial planning, now I was 10 years short on the numbers.

Well, at this same time I bumped up against the incredible phenomena of the Vietnam Vet "wannabees".  Those are guys that like to pretend they are Vietnam Veterans.  I guess the taint must be off us now.  Well maybe if you know how to present yourself as a warrior saint  then it would be worthwhile.  Anyway the fact that some close associates over the years had drilled into my Nam experiences made more sense to me now.  So now I had a couple douches  who were taking my memories and playing soldier with them other venues.  Somebody called that "stolen valor".  To me it was just, well, sick.

So I was angry. Temper, I lost it with my builders and painters and others who blatantly lied to me.  Or at least I thought they had.  Then I lost it with one of my outlaws.  Lost it big time, bigger than big time.  Whoops.  OK, now I was a pariah in my extended family.  Hell, now I was disowned by my extended family.  The wife was hurt and shamed by my behavior and let me know it.  So off I went to the mental health world guided there by my Internist whom I trusted.  Yes, PTSD, hum yep PTSD, most definitely PTSD.  When I left the Army P-T-S & D were four letters that meant nothing. Probably had it, but hey, a problems not a problem until it is recognized and labeled before that it is just a personal flaw in your character.  So more pills, different pills, more pills from the psychiatrist, and therapy from a psychologist and the wife got parallel help to get on my side again, and get over being totally pissed at me. (still I was totally disowned by the extends however, not all together that bad)

Now they tell me that retirement caused part of my problem.  Say what?  I thought it was the crappy war and the shitty way I was treated when I came and and and and god damn it!   I may be drugged up but I'm not happy yet.  Can you tell?


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BB-Idaho said...

Those seem legimate reasons for anger. The military has fought the agent orange thing since day 1..and haven't been up to snuff on
PTSD either. I an verify that old
age tends to make us grumpy (although my wife insists, I've always been that way). Then, again, there is the possibility
that your angry response to the
described situations was justifiable?

TStockmann said...

Especially the outlaw part.

And judging from three comments, this human-verification thing isn't working. Except on us humans. Dang that's hard to red.

drlobojo said...

Yeah, I figured they were computers. Now that we've talked about them, i'll leave them up. I figure if I click on them to see where they are, I'll just be verifying to that program that they have a "hit" and then they can do what ever they are programmed to do. So there another reason to be pissed.
BB, the first thing my psychiatrist said after I told her what I had done was, well did he need that done to him? OK, she's my doc!

drlobojo said...

My wife wanted to know today who this "first one vet friend died" was, she could only count. My exaggerations are problematic for my family. So I reminded her that the first one mentioned was a guy named Eldo.
I guess "friend" has to be retracted. OK, I'll use "fellow veteran" I shall not overstate my point that way. (What ever happened to editorial licenses)