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          I am sorry you had PTSD from the Nam experience. I can understand why you would. If I wasn’t so burned out I would be working at a Vet center with the current batch of vets. I worked in surgery for 25 years and then in a Psych for 7 years. I worked with troubled youth and that really burned me out and I was worried I would get a bad injury from one of them so I retired when I had my time in. I have a mild version of PTSD myself from an injustice that was done to me. I had severe stress from it and I now have some memory problems but it does get better. I wouldn’t have understood about PTSD if I hadn’t gone through that experience. You are helpless against it and you can’t get your mind to do what you want it to do. I did learn while working in mental health that we don’t understand much about the brain functioning yet. When I worked in surgery they were making advances right and left regarding fixing the body itself but then I realized how we just don’t understand the brain. The medications they have are really crap and the side effects are so bad sometimes. I should be putting all this good skill to work but I don’t have the energy anymore. The main thing is to get the individual to help himself, I think. Or get the group effort going and have the stronger ones help the weaker until they can become stronger. I am a good motivator in that sense and I use kindness and love to heal. But I did have to succumb to the fact that some can’t be healed. That was a hard fact for me to come to grips with. 

          I took a class with you and I was always trying to connect with you, but you just wouldn’t have it. I was very curious about what you were going through and how it was for you way back then. I could tell you were probably suffering in a lot of ways. I am basically a shy person and I try to leave people alone if they don’t want to be social. Really, I am lucky because I missed most of the personal pain of that war. By that I mean none of my family was in the war. I was the oldest and they had just ended the draft so no one I knew fought over there. There are very few of my classmates that were in the war. Strange what a difference a few years makes. I have to say again what a great honor you did for all of us and our country. My father fought in WWII and he saw so much “bad” but he never talked about it. I wish he would have so I could pass the stories along.

          Take care, Barbara/RN

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