PTSDDaddy That Look the Eyes Tell All
I was going through some friends profiles on Facebook today and realized, they have “that look.” What look, you ask? Well if you have to ask you probably will never know. Everybody who’s been there knows the look I am talking about. I believe back in “the day” this was referred to as the 1000 yard stare. I know I have this look, but I rarely pay attention when looking into a mirror or a picture that has me in it. Funny how I can be staring directly at my reflection and still be seeing through me. Men like me cannot focus enough to see ourselves. Sure I can see my beard as I trim it or my teeth as I brush them. I no longer see me in the mirror.
More I think…. the more I think…
I thought more about this and realize that I see through most people. I can walk down the street and tell you who is decent and who is an asshole. I can tell you which person is lying and which kid is the mastermind in the rowdiness that is about to ensue. This, like many things, becomes an issue for us combat veterans with PTSD. This is an issue because we become “assholes” ourselves when we point out someone is an asshole. We become negative pessimists when we point out crooks around us. To top it off, we cannot overcome the “pessimistic asshole” category because we rarely point out the good folks. I can tell you why too.
The “Intimidator” ‘cept instead of “I’ll be back” it’s more like “Go Away!”
We rarely point out the good folks because they are not a threat. We are not worried about them or their words or what they plan on doing. Non-threat, keep moving. There are more issues with having “that look”, without even trying we often get mixed up as guys trying to be “tough guys” or “look mean”. We can relate this to the “resting bitch face” except for us it’s the “resting I’m going to tear your heart out and eat it in front of you” look. Whereas if we smile it doesn’t always correct this. Often times with a smile “that look” can become “what a creep!”
There are many men out there that I know, who I see today and the look in their eyes is so very different from the day I met them. I think it comes with the territory, this many years of death and destruction. This many years of seeing pure evil, looking the devil in the eye, and not having an option to run. This many years of buddies dying, people who were all like myself, convinced I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof. Not to mention those who died after getting home from combat over events that never crossed your mind as being the cause of death for a barrel chested freedom fighter.
If you don’t know the look… you will never know… and that’s why we volunteered.