This is merely a short fictional piece. After knowing many who have endured the struggle of transitioning from a high violence and high stress environment to a "normal life" I am compelled to capture the mind of a man in the midst of such a struggle.
. . .
I used to be a warrior, I used to me more than this, I used to matter... Its almost the end of yet another day. Put in another eight'ish hours at that job that is well "a job". They call it a "career" but I know I'm slowly dying in that place. Ever since I was told that they didn't need me anymore I've been chained to that fucking desk under those God damn flickering florescent lights. Sat in the driveway again for a while staring into the windshield, I really couldn't say for how long. Some days it feels like that's my only few minutes of peace in my day. When I came in the house it was chaos as usual, always so loud. Getting through dinner was a struggle too. Hand started twitching again. Why can't I ever just sit and eat?
And now at the end of the day I sit in my chair replaying what ever that thing was last night; night terrors or whatever the doctor called it. It's not the faces that get me but the flashes and the screaming. Then there is the sweating and shakes after. The whole thing is a process to say the least. I remember some things clear as day, like they just happened, and other things I can't remember to save my life. So yet again I sit in my chair, vacant to those around me but still playing my part, still trying to put back together what was me. Some nights she sits with me holding on to part of me like she's try to keep me from drifting off. I know that she knows but all I can do is say sorry. As I sit there, my finger tracing the lip of my glass, I hear myself mutter, "I wish I could decide which memories to remember and which nightmares to forget."
. . .
But you can't fit a square peg in a round hole, not even with a hammer. You have no quit in you so you keep fighting your way through it. Find your way. Find a place where you belong.
Great read..so much hits home. My bunker, which wife calls it, is my haven. It’s a room at the top of the stairs. I sit in my chair, looking out the window most nights. Like you I wish could forget the horrors. My physical war has changed but remains the same….trying to stay alive.
I wish you peace.
Not even sure why I’m posting, I’m not a vet, haven’t had to fight for my life or those around me. Take this as you will… solider fanboy or a guy not sure how to interact with those who been to hell.
I can’t relate to what you all went through and my only connection to your group psyche is when I get thinking of my family and the things that would have to be done to protect them. Only then I glimpse a small part of the sense of raw rage I suspect you fight to contain most days.
I have nothing but respect for what you all have embarked on, I would help if I could but fear I would make things worse by asking or get my clock cleaned. Its hurts me to know you all go through this I can’t imagine how your families do it, God bless them.
I know I don’t have your experiences and don’t belong in this group of current or former warfighters, I’m putting myself in a group willing to help if called on.
I can relate to this very strongly. It definitely hits home with being locked away Inside your own head with the things that haunt me from being in the service, mostly because no one understands, at least not the people that I’m around the majority of the time (non combat vets). Don’t meet a lot of grunts these days either. Even though I wear a uniform still with a shiny piece of metal on my chest… it’s different . The culture is different, the whole game is fucking different. You can’t show that aggressive side that’s necessary to truly protect you and yours without being condemned by the sheep and protected. If they only knew the burden of the profession…. much less the warrior spirit. Feel that in my soul.
To the author, my heart is with yours; I understand what it is to try to find meaning and purpose amongst people that don’t come close to the caliber you once knew before.
I miss the hard mfrs I served with, that had conviction, purpose, a moral code, and a sense of duty. It’s a struggle sometimes, but I am always trying to look for a reason to chase the rabbit… a daily reminder…. to keep pushing…to stay lethal.
Without a doubt, chase that rabbit. I belong to a dying breed….you aren’t alone.
This is what we ask ourselves every day. We wrote this song to ask that question.
Been a long time, I didn’t hold a weapon in my hands for years, when I finally did, it felt like home. It was always there, the one constant: to protect, to defend, an extension of me that always understood, the job was easy, follow the trigger finger’s orders. Sounds silly to feel like I found a part of me again, just popping off a few now and again
I’m not gonna lie it’s really hit me hard close to home in my mind in my heart and my soul because it’s almost what I’m thinking every morning when I wake up where do I belong and like you said are used to be a warrior are used to have a purpose they didn’t need me anymore my body was too broken. Where do I belong now Wanting to have a small measure of peace. Everything you said hits home for me, everything is right that goes on in my mind you hit it like a nail on the hammer it made me fucking cry and it takes a lot for me to fucking cry these days . I’m still alive after everything I’ve endured and struggled because I am struggling you’re a struggle or some higher power knew we could fucking take it and we still do we fight the good fight to save the good example for those who come after us so when they seek out help will be there to help them brother sister whoever wrote this for this company thank you you’re not alone reading this Youness me honestly gives me a small measure a fucking piece is there’s times there’s so much in my head that I can’t say that I wish I could but I want to say but I can’t trade right now you have no idea how many times I’ve already erased so fuck it