PTSD

Demons that Lurk Beneath…Part I

Demons that Lurk Beneath…Part I

There’s a beast within…

…all of us.

And…I’m not one to pretend to be a professional counselor. Albeit, I have worn that hat many times in law enforcement, which means absolutely nothing here.

If anything, being in law enforcement just entrenched some monsters, or maybe we could call ‘em demons, deep within the castle walls.

I tend to think of our lives in terms of a castle.

A fortress that is surrounded by high, thick walls. A moat filled with all sorts of nasty, man-eating creatures. A strong iron gate that serves as the ‘front door’. Archers on the walls to shoot anyone who would dare to venture close.

And then?

More doors, gates, guards, walled areas, and a labyrinth intentionally laid out to confuse, confound, and confusticate anyone who is let in through the main gate, but are never really allowed too close to our hearts—the Throne Room of our being.

Get hurt? Erect more walls.

Fear? Stronger walls.

Trauma? Forget it! No one is ever entering and screw anyone who tries—they’ll be shot down long before they get too close.

Why? Because getting close requires trust.

And…once you lose trust in men, or women, or family, or just plain ol’ human nature, it’s much easier to keep people outside the walls.

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We all live through traumatic events. Some though, are a bit more acute…

Think of the following:

  • Combat vets
  • Police
  • 9-1-1 dispatchers
  • Emergency room personnel and fire fighters

Did I miss anyone? Truly sorry if I did. Leave a note below and nicely point out any I missed.

The fallout from trauma not resolved usually results in…

Higher divorce rates, infidelity, burnout, drug abuse, alcohol addiction, depression, and suicide.

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Imagine Dragons cut a song a few years back called Demons. No matter how many times I watch the video, I can’t get through it without tears.

It’s a moving song; it’s a life shaking video.

This isn’t a treatise on PTSD.

Yet, I’ve been accused…

“Christian, you need counseling,” some have said.

Yeah, I know. Working on it.

Why?

It’s a support system that wasn’t in place the years I was in law enforcement. Not blaming anyone, and I so appreciate the few people that tried to get close during that time, but…

When you deal with traumatic events, it’s usually due to the dark side of human nature. And, if you deal with that dark side, well, you have a tendency to turn dark inside too.

Then, the demons spawn, they lurk in dark corners of our minds and hearts where we have built a fortress around to keep that darkness out.

It’s a strange paradox: that which we build to protect ourselves is the very thing that protects what eats us from the inside.

We smile. We laugh. We say, “Good,” when asked how we’re doing. But it’s all fake.

Then family scratches their heads when we tragically commit suicide or drop off the deep end.

Too dark or disturbing of a post here?

Life is a dark business at times.

It needs light.

It needs air.

It needs to breathe!

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Without a lot of explanation to keep this post short, all I’ll say is that I lost hope standing in a church pew in 2006. It was like someone turned off the switch, and I died inside. Can’t explain it but if you are, or have been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Can’t tell you if it was from the fact that I couldn’t save a small boy from dying in my arms after he committed suicide. Or the time I think I could’ve prevented a double homicide. Or the time I actually did save my partner off duty with CPR, but he has no memory of our service together or close friendship we had because he was not breathing for about 3 minutes before I got on scene.

It’s more like the combination of all that plus more.

I won’t bore you with the after effects, later to come, which led me to cling to apathy like flotsam after a ship crashes against a rocky shore.

All I know is that passion ceased, relationships were destroyed, and I was on the verge of suicide. No peace at all; the beast had taken over and it was a matter of time before I succumbed to its vile darkness.

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In 2012, I stumbled onto a blog by accident. It made me think real hard about life; what was important, and what I could do to recover…if I wanted to.

You might not believe this, but what I will share in the next few posts is NOT about the pursuit of happiness.

It’s about healing. It’s about tearing down some walls and letting a few trusted souls in. Folks that can help. A few tips on how to get better.

I don’t pursue happiness, I seek peace. Peace with myself, with my God, with those around me.

And that’s huge, especially when you question faith, God, relationships on every level, AND yourself!

Many don’t understand this process. Nor do they understand the changes, and will condemn you…sometimes, very harshly.

Yet, those who have traveled the Valley of the Shadow of Death (sometimes literally), do understand and will be the last to condemn you. They are the ones who won’t cast a stone because they too were flat on their bellies once when they heard the words in red, “Has no man condemned you? Neither do I.”

Anyway…my next post, I’ll cover a few tips on how I got better. I’d say how you can get better, but then that would sound like I’m telling you what to do and this is not what this blog is about.

So, I’ll leave this with you for now…

#1 – AND foremost…You. Are. Loved. There are good people in this world that care and love you for who you are.

#2 – Begin to love and forgive yourself!

#3 – demons, monsters, and darkness all run when the Light turns on. You need air and you need light, breathe it in, and dark things will begin to transform.

~ Love


Photo courtesy of Imagine Dragons, from their YouTube video, Demons

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in PTSD, Reinvention, Self-Improvement