Im no vet, but I have been through traumatic events which changed my normal psychological responses to stimuli. When I was sixteen, and had to go to
college to re-sit my GCSE's, what I had been through at school had altered my normally cheery and happy disposition, and my capacity for restraint, so
much so that I was incapable of accepting normal human contact. Someone leaning in for a hug, or a high five, would find an elbow suddenly occupying
the space between thier chin and collar bone, a reaction totally outside my control at the time. It was just how I was used to HAVING to respond, to
avoid serious injury or death at the hands of other people.
I had to train myself to have different responses, to discern the difference between a positive invasion of my personal space, and a negative one,
something which had never really come up before in my life outside my home. I had to learn though, because I was conciously aware that the people I
was at college with, were very different from the people with whom I went to school. Most of my former fellow students at school, would sooner stab
you, beat you down, or try and break your legs, than have a conversation with you. The bunch I met at college however were soulful, bright,
intellectual even, and it was either I learn to dial down my fear based response to being close to others, or risk loosing out on a potentially
positive environment, and even worse, loosing out on the chance to actually make a firm friend.
Im twenty eight now, and the best friends I have were those I met at college, and during that period of my life. There were balls ups along the way
of course, moments when I let my history get the better of me, but I worked it out. Im glad I did too, because my sister is getting married to one of
my old college mates, and they would never have met if I hadnt sorted my life out. The long and short of what I am trying to say, is that no matter
what you have been through, at the end of the day there is always a choice. You can either allow your past to own your future, or you learn to adapt
yourself away from your programming, your expiriences. One of the hardest things about overcoming trauma related issues, is that they prevent one from
interacting with positive events and people, one way, or another. The only way to get over that that I found, is to get involved, suffer the shakes,
the sweats, the darting eyes, and keep going back and doing it over and over until it isnt so bad.
I had to really WANT to get involved, I had to want it more than I feared it. Nowadays it seems daft to think about it, but I am very aware that if I
had not put the effort in back in the day, I would never have connected with some people that I now consider family, people I love.
17-6-2013 by TrueBrit because: grammar fail