by a Combat & Law Enforcement Veteran
The inability to cope and denial can make the human mind do strange things. When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle gave birth to their firstborn, my new cousin. However, in a matter of months, the joy turned to fear. The baby became ill and, eventually, passed away.
My uncle cried loudly and hysterically, while my aunt just stared into space. The following Sunday, the couple spent the day visiting friends and family after church, just like every other Sunday. My uncle brought the corpse into every household saying: “Look what happened to the baby.” The crying had stopped, and he held the body like he would a living child.
The mind and body do amazing things in response to trauma. Veteran police officers have unknowingly urinated their pants after shootings. Sober drivers have laughed hysterically after totaling their cars. You don’t have to be in the military to experience trauma, much less the stigma.
Do what you have to do to better yourself. Just like you would use a doctor and physical therapy to heal after an injury at the gym. The mind requires its own diagnosis and treatment. Anyone who says they’ve never experienced it either lives in a bubble or is lying.
The author was born on the south side of Chicago. He grew up on the Texas/Mexico border, with numerous family members serving in the military and law enforcement. It came naturally for him to serve in both, including 5 years spent in corrections and patrol.