December 12th, 2005

fashionable

The war inside.

One of the soldiers I know in Iraq recently posted something that concerns me. I don't want to reveal who they are, but I did want to share it, as it documents some of what soldiers sometimes have to deal with psychologically, and how isolated they can be with what they are going through.

I hope they're going to be okay, both for the remainder of their tour of duty, and later, when they're back home again.

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"One thing that I have realized is that in a lot of ways the military has drained me of what little confidence that I once had. You can only be told that you are wrong and useless for so long. You can only be threatened and punished for so long before you snap. I feel on edge and most days it takes everything I have not to snap at some point or another. On the one hand this is a really good thing because I have shown a remarkable amount of restraint here. Most of you that know me know my temper and my propensity to explode. I have not done that here. Now I have developed another “bad” habit which mom knows about, and that I don’t want to talk about. My worry is that the only reason that this has not happened is the trouble that I would get into if it happened. My worry is that when that is no longer in effect will I lose it worse because of everything that has been repressed for so long.

I am so angry inside. It is a black pit inside of me - an evil daemon inside of me that is chained but barely. Isza you know of what I speak, and mom you know it too - well imagine that only a thousand times worse, and imagine him armed, not yet fully capable of doing all things that it wants to. I have already done those things. And there is a part of me that enjoyed it, revels in it - it is more scary than you can imagine. Because I know what I am capable of. The guilt, the... I don’t even know how to express it. I don’t sleep and my nightmares are worse than ever.

It is strange. Mom says that there are all these people that want to congratulate me, to have a celebration when I get back. That want to interview me. Why? I am nothing special. I am nothing special. I did not go out every day and deal with things here, and almost every time I went out something bad happened. I have seen too much. I know what death smells like, what it looks like, what it is to be in abject terror because you are being shot at. That is nothing special, and I don’t know if it is something to be celebrated. I have seen things that I don’t ever want to remember.

I want to fall to darkness. There are so many times that I want to kill and kill and kill and never stop. I want to hear the dying screams, that sound that sticks in your soul, that you can hear in your sleep. . . I will stop… This should never be let out, not even here. I am filled with hatred. It has no end…

I am so fucked up."