I understand that there are so many issues relating to military service. These issues can complicate the personal experiences of returning home from combat. I cannot offer advice on issues pertaining to the entitlement of benefits. I cannot provide answers to questions about dealing with the military or any government organizations.

My only concern is to assist you in understanding what it takes to overcome emotional trauma. If I can help you with your mind / heart connection, then perhaps you will be able to manage other pressing life issues in a better way.

Is post - traumatic stress my fault?

Definitely NOT! You have reacted to an extremely abnormal set of circumstances in a very normal way. Being affected by PTS does not mean anything negative about you. It does not imply that you are weak, or broken. It simply means that you are human.

Why are some people affected by PTS and others are not?

I understand that it is human for us to compare ourselves to others. The truth is that we are all individuals. We all had different beginnings and we all see the world accordingly. Our individual perspective on life is very personal to each of us.

What can I do to change how I feel?

You can learn how to see how the feelings are connecting and combining, and therefore how they are getting so much strength.

What can I do right now to begin feeling better?

You can ‘pull to center’ by getting in touch with your breathing. Center refers to the calm state of emotional balance which enables the mind to remain clear and focused. Deep abdominal breathing helps to connect and maintain this balanced place within us.

Is it possible to change what is happening inside of me?

Yes, it is very possible to reframe the meaning of your experiences. This will change what’s happening inside. You have every advantage against this internal conflict.

What is the enemy within?

It is the combined expression of negative thoughts and emotions which have caused the internal conflict which we call the post trauma experience. It focuses on finding fault with self and feeling helpless. It turns you against yourself. It redefines meaning of survival.

How can I face this enemy within?

You can face this enemy by knowing that it is not real in a physical form. You are the master of your mind and heart. When you can visualize it, you can overcome it.

Is it possible to change how I feel about myself, because it’s been so long?

So much of what we struggle with has to do with self – image. This can change when you understand how this all works together. Self – image issues are usually based on false beliefs.

How can I stop the nightmares?

You can affect positive change upon the mind by facing the feelings while you are awake and taking away their power over you. Stand up to your negative thoughts and feelings.

How can I stop the anger?

Anger is the gang leader. It hides the access to other feelings. It also feeds off the other feelings. Learn to know what the other feelings really mean to you and this will begin to take power away from the anger. There are reasons for anger that may be hiding below the surface. Uncover these hidden reasons and you’ll restore your freedom to overcome.

Why is this form of stress so powerful?

Post – traumatic stress is powerful because of the internalized orchestra of negative beliefs, attitudes, and expectations. They all come together to create misunderstanding. When we experience this combination of factors, it’s hard to make sense of it. All we can do is feel it. The frustration of this causes us to doubt ourselves. Self – doubt can lead to self – blame. This is where PTS gets most of its power. These factors can be sorted out and they can lose their ability to control your mind and heart.

Why does it hurt so much?

It hurts this much because we are human. Sorry. I don’t intend to minimize this problem. Humans are basically emotional beings. Society has historically conditioned us to hide the feelings we have, and to pretend that we are strong. This goes against our nature, but it serves the military in its objective which is to keep people prepared to fight. This sets us up for internal conflict.

Can I ever hope to feel better?

Yes. You can learn to neutralize the power of PTS and this will dissolve the pressure on the mind and heart. Self – care is important to maintain the need to feel better. It took a certain amount of time for post – traumatic stress to take hold, and therefore it will take time to reverse the effects. If you can manage to feel better, you’ll find it easier to think better. This relationship is unavoidable.

Why can’t people understand?

Society has held tight to so many antiquated beliefs which keep us bound to shame and stigma which has no place in today’s world. Those who have never experienced internalized oppression cannot understand what it’s like to struggle within. Still, they could at least TRY to be more understanding. Denial is a huge part of society today. It’s not your fault that others can’t understand.

How can I help others to understand what I’m going through?

It is very important that you find a way to share what you have experienced and what you are now going through with those who matter to you. Write your thoughts and feelings. Ask if they want to read what you have written. Remember, it’s not their fault for not understanding this.