#PTSDDaddy, Triggers… I am still discovering them.
Triggers, what are triggers? The earliest moments of talking to my counselor brought up the fact that I needed to figure out my triggers. Yes, I understand that a “trigger” is what “triggers” you to go off. Common sense told me that, but when you really look into the situation it is much more complex than that. First of all, at this time I am not yet convinced I have a problem. Second of all, all of the things that others would say is a “trigger” for ME are not always triggers. It does not help that I can pretty much justify anything and debate it to show you I am right and have a good reason for what I do. That’s besides the point though and you cannot find triggers when everything is justifiable.
I will go more into this adventure in my book. I am bringing triggers up because you never stop discovering them. When your mind blocks shit out, the problem is you don’t remember. No shit right? But it really does make it difficult to figure things out that you cannot recall. Figuring out triggers is NOT as simple as it sounds and nowhere near as simple as a counselor makes it sound. Just the other night I was walking some trash out to the trashcan. I got to the trashcan only to freeze lost in a memory. Recalling shit I forgot about.
Now I could tell you war stories all day long, but this is not a war story post, and even if I were to tell you or anyone there are details that never make it to the story until that certain “light bulb” moment. Here I was standing outside smelling helicopter exhaust. It’s dark outside so I’m feeling the night air, cooler then the daytime especially in Florida. I’m standing on the flight line, waiting on our helicopters to pick us up for our mission infiltration. I hated this moment. The moment before we began.
I spent most of my first two deployments either as a driver or walking into our firefights. A few times we flew but our last deployment was all flights all the time. Having pilots fly you into mission is a whole new feeling of “no control”. This is why I hated infiltration via helicopter. I had no control other then “get on the chopper” and “get off the bird!” If there was a change in plan we were usually the last to know seeing as how when you are on the back of a bird you can’t hear shit. The funny thing is soon as the birds flew away, until the moment we called them to come get us, I was fine with. I hated waiting on these damn helicopters! I hated infiltrating with this huge loud piece of metal that could fall out of the sky at any time. My dad always told me “helicopters don’t fly, they merely beat the air into submission.”
When the helicopters would come pick us up to take us out, this was great. We had the area secured, and they were the quickest way out of that shithole we were fighting in all day long. But it comes down to we had control of the situation. Not knowing what your flying into and unable to change according to the situation and terrain on the fly was heart wrenching, on the edge of your seat suspension, adrenaline high that would begin on the day of the op and continue until the chopper flew the F*@# out.
I just thought this would be a good story to show. I do not think that anyone understands that it could be a sound, it could be a smell, it could be a feeling, triggers come and blind sight us too, until we hit a point in which we can understand what’s going on inside ourselves and mentally deal with the situation at hand. This takes a lot of time learning coping mechanisms and just as everything in life, coping mechanisms are individualized. The way I take this shit head on won’t work for other men and women dealing with triggers. And those outside of us telling us to calm down, or forget about it, or “you’re in America there’s no need for that” would be better off shutting up and letting us deal with the million things that are happening internally.
and this is why #PTSDDaddy, Triggers… I am still discovering them.