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Post-traumatic stress disorder

April 19, 2006

A psychological disorder affecting individuals who have experienced or witnessed profoundly traumatic events, such as torture, murder, rape, or wartime combat, characterized by recurrent flashbacks of the traumatic event, nightmares, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, forgetfulness, and social withdrawal.

Training a person to become a solider is rigorous but not really difficult. The natural aggression that is in every man is simply harnessed and strengthened. You're not challenged to subdue the hard rough traits of character but rather to cut it loose for optimum impact. In the Christian "army" these same traits are not honed and harnessed but are fought against and discouraged. It's a far more difficult challenge to subdue natural aggression than it is to perfect it and this is what God does with us in His service.

Further more, the training really never ceases. On the contrary, it gets more and more demanding. The circumstances that reveal our selfish and self centered traits of character are very painful and most always unexpected! This life has a way of really coming down hard on those who want to follow the truth. Have you lost the comfort of friends, the security that comes from them, a sense of place and purpose? Have you been betrayed by a b/f or g/f after having done all you could to be a good partner for and to them? Have you lost the support of blood family because you decide to follow a new truth that seemed fanatical to them? Have your spiritual family abandoned you because you decided to stand firm on principal? Has all the good you hoped to enjoy for remaining on the straight and narrow path been withheld to this point? The trials that dog our every step are real and in some cases very much traumatic!

It takes all the strength we have just to exercise the tiniest amount of faith possible . . . have you been there . . . maybe you're there now?!?! It doesn't take much to remind you of a traumatic experience does it. Yeah over time, you adjust, but you never truly get over it. You learn to live with it . . . big difference! I say all this to say that when you meet people generally and spiritual family specifically, be aware that they may be dealing with some intense issues. Their's may not be yours, yours may not be mine and mine may not be their's; HOWEVER we all are dealing with the lingering stresses of our disappointments. This is why we need to be very understanding and patient with each other because we just don't know what's really up!

Some of us are just a little unwell. We want to be livelier, more cheerful and "fun" but it will take time. Some wounds take longer to heal than others. Then when healed, some scars are more embarrassing to show than others. May God help us deal kindly one with another . PTSD is real, not only for the armed solider, but for the spiritual solider as well.

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