Disclaimer: this is a place of learning, safety, and hope. Take what you want from the post and forget the rest. Maybe this will help you. Maybe it won’t.
Disclaimer: Resource Posts provide information and links to the organization sharing information with guests here. I DO NOT promote, advertise, or receive any benefit/compensation for sharing the information and links.
Short Sabbatical Break; Extra Post this month
My partial sabbatical is going well so far. I’ve been concentrating on family stuff and the paid job. Aromatherapy certification requirements are on hold. Herb classes online work as a TV alternative and fun hobby to relax and learn something interesting after work. So does creating aromatherapy blends.
I continue to brainstorm new ideas for Untangled Connections and figure out where it’s headed in 2020. My plan was to write a post on Halloween since it is an Anniversary I never shared much about here in the past.
But then I got an email from an outreach coordinator at Maryville University’s Online college program about 1.5 weeks ago asking me:
- Am I still updating Untangled Connections?
- Would I add their article about Veterans, PTSD, and higher education to my Resources page if I was still updating the site?
- This article can help Veterans and people working with Veterans succeed in college and other higher education pursuits.
- Our University also offers other resources and support for veterans and active duty soldiers who want to enroll in college or graduate school
At first, I didn’t know what to say. This would be a big opportunity for me, but also triggering, in many ways. Talking with my counselor helped, and so I decided to share this resource with you. All of the links go back to Maryville University
In Support of Maryville University’s Active Work with Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers
I work with Maryville University, a nationally recognized private institution offering comprehensive and innovative education.
Our health guides aim to spread awareness on various mental conditions and break the stigma surrounding them. Seeing your page, I thought our guide would be a great addition to it. You can review it below:
This resource provides valuable information that your audience may find helpful.Maryville University Outreach Coordinator
When this email appeared, my first thoughts were:
- I’m not qualified to write about this
- Wow, this is a first – a higher education institute requesting to be added here – exciting and scary
- But I really want to share this resource here and help guests who are part of the military or military families.
- How can I do justice to this topic and this resource?
Then I reached out to the coordinator (forgot to ask permission to include this person’s name here) and explained the reason for a delayed response (sabbatical) and my process for adding a resource. If this process was acceptable, I’d do the research and publish the post on the next Sunday (today).
Also, was there anything else the coordinator wanted to share with my guests? Answer below
Maryville’s Understanding a Veteran with PTSD guide aims to spread awareness on our heroes’ off-field worst nemesis: PTSD. The guide contains information on how we can understand their situation more and how to help them get through the situation as well.Maryville University Outreach Coordinator
In Support of Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers
As you know, I am not a veteran and have never been part of the US Military or a government employee. I do not claim to know anything about being a soldier or what it’s like to serve the US or any country in this capacity.
My time as a soldier was for the paramilitary branch of a human trafficking organization disguised as a cult. The leaders were predominantly pedophiles who trained kids they got tired of as child soldiers instead of killing or throwing them away. It wasn’t voluntary, but it taught me how to survive.
Since then, I’ve had the privilege to know and learn from many veterans and soldiers. One of my favorite uncles was a Navy veteran who shared his love of cooking with me growing up. Many of my mentors at the paid job are veterans too. Finally, some of my TCM or acupuncture providers at the teaching clinic have been veterans.
Choices, Experiences, Trauma
One topic that often comes up in our conversations is perspective about trauma and PTSD. They can acknowledge my experiences as traumatic easily, but have difficulty applying the word “traumatic” to some of their military experiences.
One person told me it’s because soldiers choose the military life and what it entails to follow orders from command. Sometimes those orders include actions they would not otherwise commit outside of military life. Therefore, they were not really traumatized or victims of trauma.
In some ways, I can agree with that. But not in other ways. Because not all trauma survivors are victims or victimized. Many are. But not everyone.
Plus, he and other soldiers or veterans may have chosen their career paths – chosen to follow orders – but they did not choose to be traumatized by the experiences of being a soldier. They chose to follow orders, not to commit acts that would scar them in so many ways.
I believe this because I experienced it. What many people don’t realize (and I hardly ever share anywhere or with anyone) is that I chose to go back to the scary other life in college. I chose to be part of that world for many years because it felt safer and more secure than exploring the unknown other world.
It wasn’t until I got the permanent, paying job and learned how to function in the “legitimate” “normal” world with friends and peers that I decided to leave the other world behind.
So yes, like the soldiers and veterans, I chose to go back to that familiar world and be an active part of traumatic experiences that only reinforced childhood lessons for many years even though I had many opportunities to leave.
Was I a victim because I chose to go back to that world? I don’t know.
Does serving in the military make soldiers and veterans victims of trauma? I don’t know.
It’s a matter of perspective to be honest. Not just how the world views us, but also how we view ourselves
Helping Ourselves by Helping Each Other
If you or anyone you know may find this information beneficial, please share it how ever you choose.
Thanks for reading