Thursday, June 20, 2013

Death Dreams.

The nighttime can be the worst time for some of us.

It is usually when I begin to dwell and reflect upon those lost souls who have already made the journey into the great unknown.

Each of us, as humans, will experience and feel loss in our lifetime. It is truly inevitable. What is it they say... "death and taxes"?

When dealing with loss, coping skills are a necessity. And recognizing when your emotions begin to influence decisions, is also a necessity for personal success.

Humanity has proven time and time again the when our emotions are running wild, it is usually not the best moment to make any decisions which have an affect on life as we know it.

Judgement can be skewed when developing emotions are allowed to take over our lives. And for those dealing with post traumatic stress... well, our emotions can take over all too quickly.

Both my wife and I had similar dreams last night. Similar in the theme of death.

Hers was a dream that focused on the suicide of her best friend from home. Mine was surrounding a suicide bombing that I was involved in back in Afghanistan.

But when we awoke from our nightly slumber, each of us was in a different mindset, and noticeably so.

Sarah fought tears throughout her morning routine, and I remained mostly quiet. Reflecting on the violent events that were playing out in my dreams only moments before.

Her friend committed suicide last fall, and the stings of emotions are still burning freshly in her mind. I cannot believe that almost 3 years ago I was ready to do the same thing to my partner of only a few years.

Ready to make the final decision of my existence. Blinded by emotion and selfish enough to think that taking my own life, might better hers and those around me.

Blind to happiness and ignorant in the labor of love necessary to sustain a productive marriage.

It pains me to see someone I care so much about, hurt so deeply, and I am powerless to stop it. Many of us have or will in this lifetime experience significant losses.

I am dwelling on the events of this morning mainly because I see them as a perfect eample of how differently two humans can process a significant loss of life.

I am prone to becoming unusually quiet and stoic, while my wife can show and process her emotions right up front.

Is this a cultural difference? Upbringing? Military training?

I discover and observe the coping methods of those people I am exposed to in my daily life, and am somewhat jealous.

Jealous because I do not feel emotion when a traumatic event happens. Everyone else can cry and feel sad right away it seems. I become numb and cold. Calculated. Strategic.

For me emotion is not so simple. I internalize and analyze events repeatedly ... replaying the memories like some broken record. Scratching the same grooves of vinyl over and over, until there is a breaking point where the record cracks and falls to pieces.

Post traumatic stress, it seems, can effect us all.



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