Everything today has a label or title. We as a society can’t seem to get passed the labels. It also seems that many of the labels are not fully functional and lack depth into the true issue. A primary example is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The name in itself brings a certain dislike and labeling onto the person diagnosed but in actuality the title is vague. Media has created a false image of this title and in doing so they have hurt many individuals that deserve better.
Through evaluation, I was told I lived in a heightened state of alertness. When simple tasks of minor confrontations were present, it would trigger the “flight or fight response” which in my case was “fight”. I never noticed it because to me I just felt frustrated with things. Anger management classes did nothing to alleviate the problems. Anxiety training provided the most benefits.
If I were to make the thoughts into a tangible object I would be wearing anger armor. I used the anger as fuel and wore it like a protection. I visualized it as actual armor and during the process to help myself I imagined taking it off and putting it on an armor rack. I was told repeatedly that I should not allow others to dictate how I feel. Why should I be angry? It turns out that anger was just a blanket word I had put on my emotions that actually were complex. I felt alone, depressed, betrayed, hurt, weak, and ignored to say a few. I masked these things with anger.
To feel weak was one of my biggest fears so I purged myself constantly by staying hours at the gym or running to burn it out. I pushed myself through injuries and constant pain that I created or from pain that was now going to always be there. Multiple combat tours can leave you with many scars, some you even forget you have until they begin to hurt again. I was told that I may be addicted to pain and that all I was doing was punishing myself for an imagined failure. I believe the process I would routinely go through in hopes to better myself may alone be my real disease
On the outside it would look like I have goals and I am pushing myself to achieve them. It is correct except the goals I set were not achievable. A perfect society does not exist. I cannot run away from the world or think it will all disappear. War had kept me at a heightened state that we called “vigilance”. That tool that kept us alive now can become a monster that consumes your days and nights, giving you no rest.
For my anger, I can see it in my mind. Deep in the back through all of the darkness it sits alone on a rack surrounded by a black steel cage. I am not angry anymore but I also know that one day I may need my armor again so I keep it around. When I look through the cage, I can see through the eyes in the helmet and know that it is silently giving an endless war cry. Even though I have taken it off, I always hear the rage screaming in the back of my mind.