Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dreams 'n Stuff

This isn't a generic Another Voice post.

A young friend is having trouble dealing with coming home from Iraq this past January.

So much of my Iraq writing has been moved to the private setting, as has much of my writing about the first few months when I got home. I've stopped writing about the dreams and about the desire to go back because I'm not sure that I know how to deal with it all.

There are times when I want to be out there, walking down the streets of Baghdad with some infantry unit or rattling along in the back of a Bradley. There are days when I want to wander down the flight line and find Dave and OB, and see if they'd mind if I tagged along on a mission.

There are days when I want to forget the stench of the slaughtering grounds, and the scorching heat, the pain that comes when you don't piss for 14 hours but you're still drinking enough water to float the Titanic.

There are days when I don't know what I want. There are days when I don't care about much and there are days when I just want to scream.

Anyone here that hasn't felt similar? The older I get the more the memory of dreams merge with real memories. What can one say other than she's not alone?

One of the things about Viet Nam and past conflicts is the way most vets have been able to compartmentalize and move on, others are still struggling. So I can't tell her it'll certainly get better.

I met WWII vets who still have nightmares, even helped a few with PTSD claims.

It comes down to this, I think, most (a huge majority) do get over it and move on. The overall experience most certainly will continue to shape our lives, but it's unlikely to be the prime mover for most.

Any thoughts?

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