I’ve been editing my novel, and I had a rather interesting thing happen with one of the characters. But a little background on the characters. We’ve six people, all of them went through Basic Training, Military Police School, and then all went to the same posts. They all worked undercover narcotics, Military Police Investigations (think plain clothes detective, and you get an idea what they did), and they all went to the Gulf War together. All of them suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to some degree or other.
Interestingly, a feeling of loss of self is one of the thing people describe with it. It’s like a breaking from the past, and whoever they were isn’t who they are now. Call it loss of innocence. Call it loss of faith. A lot of folks describe it.
Here’s the piece from the novel. Will is a detective at a small county Sheriff’s Office. Max was one of his buddies, the only one who go out Law Enforcement completely. Max is getting ready to help Will with some Undercover narcotics work and they’re sitting on the front porch of Will’s house talking it over.
“Good,” he said. He looked around at the fields, and a small smile flitted around his face. “There’s a lot of things I miss, Will,” he said. “I miss who I used to be.”
I sat next to him, looking out at the same fields he was looking at. Somehow, I got the feeling we were seeing two different things.
“I don’t follow,” I said.
He shook his head. “I don’t know who I am anymore, Will. It’s like I deployed to the gulf, and I didn’t come back. It’s like Max is still out there, wandering around in Iraq.” He put his head in his hands, and then he took in a ragged breath. “I don’t know who I am anymore.”
In his book, “Wounded Warriors, Chosen Lives”, Howard Olsen talks about how many describe that feeling. While reading it, I saw a lot of similarities to some of what I went through in his descriptions of the symptoms. I spent several years working through it, and I remember telling my counselor that I feel like I’ve landed on a planet just familiar enough to be called home, just strange enough to be an alien world.
Writing this piece of my blog helped me realize who I’m dedicating the book to when I publish it in a couple of months.
Till next time.