THE “FAILURE” CONUNDRUM
by OPOVV, ©2016
“As you may recall, the last lecture covered a PTSD-afflicted person having the inability to express emotions. These people tend to allow ideas to fester until the breaking point, such as packing up and leaving or discarding a previously-cherished object.
“The objects in question could be anything from a childhood toy, perhaps something as small as a marble or a cheap piece of costume jewelry. Monetary value has no bearing on the object: it’s the emotional tie that is the key: eliminating ties to the material world makes it that much easier to disconnect.
“The inability to view a possible future is a common symptom. These people don’t look at time the way normal people do: they have a perpetual cut-off date (sometime) where everything is black or, to put it another way, invisible to them. They lack the ability to project themselves finishing anything, from a class in college to earning a degree. As a matter of fact, the fact of achieving success would injure their world view, perhaps to the point of irreversible harm.
“Many schools of higher learning refuse entrance to combat veterans due to the astronomical dropout rate. Many relationships are destroyed because the sufferer can’t accept a 20- or 30-year mortgage, let alone a one-year lease. The chronic inability to project a future drives many fathers away from their children because they can’t see themselves still alive to celebrate birthdays.
“Suicide plays a major factor, but it’s not the paramount one. Suicide is a by-product of the philosophy of ‘What’s the point?’ They continually ask themselves, ‘Who cares who wins?’ when they very likely will not be around to share in the rewards, be they emotionally or financially.
“Some groups stick together while others drift apart. With the PTSD group members it’s the question of, ‘Why are you still alive? How come you haven’t bought the farm by now?’ to ‘I’m ashamed that I’m still alive and am embarrassed about it,’ which is the most common form of denial. These are the ones that ‘disappear.’ Some may go so far as making up names and history: ‘No, I was never in the military, had TB, flat feet, or something when I was a child.’
“Those who suffer from inner-city strife may carry the same symptoms of a combat Veteran. These fathers and husbands do not mean to abandon their families, like it was a planned event. These people are not ‘abandoning’ their loved ones, they’re ‘saving’ (in their distressed state) the heartache, pain and embarrassment of being a failure to them. They are, in one way of looking at the problem, heroes so as not to bring shame upon themselves and the ones they care about, even though by their very actions they are accomplishing the exact condition which they’re striving to avoid.
“And, yes, it’s complicated. So what do we do, how can we be of help? From the war-torn Veteran to the survivor of city gang warfare, what can we do to help? How do we put the broken pieces together? Is there a magic involved? The only magic that I know of is that offered by another human being, but until these PTSD sufferers learn how to open up, I’m afraid we’ll continue our search for the answer.
“Thank you for attending.”
“And our time is also expired. Thank you for watching and so, on behalf of the crew, I’ll be wishing you all a goodnight: Goodnight.
“Interesting subject, isn’t it? I don’t know too much about it, but one thing I do know: a pill won’t help, and that’s all the VA does, isn’t it? They give out zombie-pills and when they go back to get their prescription filled they’re told they had their last, so it’s no wonder they blow their brains out in the parking lot. Burger time: my treat.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.