Iraq revisited

This therapy session was supposed to talk about some other issues but instead I mentioned the fireworks going off near my truck as I drove down the street.  Went down that road.

I’m tired right now.  I had to get up very early after a late night and drive an hour and a half away to take a physical fitness test after I was feeling bad last night.  Didn’t go well.  My eyes burn.

I’m not going to go into a blow by blow for the session.  But I’ll try to come up with some of the main points I thought of.

Part of the thing that due to part of what I’ve done in combat, or what I think I’ve done, give me a large sense of guilt.  We were stationary and were attacked by insurgents in Baghdad.  We responded.  What is down the street is mental blur to me, I cannot remember it, but friends of mine tell me it was not pretty.  In thinking about this guilt I said that I felt that I could not allow myselt to let go of the guilt, that it was some sort punishment that I am imposing on myself, my cross to bear.

Another thought about this.  I said, imagine that you have children and you wake up to realize that the night before you got drunk, blacked out, and you beat your kids severely and how sickening that would make you feel and also how questioning you would be about what sort of person you are, how good you are, etc…  That is kind of how I feel, only I wasn’t blacked out at the time I emptied a couple of clips.  It isn’t the enemy combatants that I feel guilty for… it is the busy street the combatants chose to attack us from.

I wondered if, since I am unwilling to let go of this guilt and think that I need to carry this around, if perhaps it could fuel something positive, something good in the world?  My therapist remembered my idea for ’25 Acts’ where, according to one psychology study it takes 25 acts of heroic kindness to overcome one act of murder.  I saw this idea as a healing route for myself… and it is funny… for as much as I’ve thought about it, I’ve done so for the means of helping other vets and didn’t think much in my own healing. 

I am nolonger going to go to the BNCOC school this summer.  This is welcomed news to me as I have a lot on my plate and need the four weeks I was going to lose to do some things.  I still have to design a practicuum for psychology and the leading candidate is with Clackamas Community College Veterans Services though I’ve got some leads with Veterans Affairs to follow up on.  I’ve got changes to make to my presentation, another presentation to make, and a paper to start writing on.  The thought crossed my mind to apply for a grant to start this program with and as I mull this over… why not? 


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