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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having been through a ministry related shooting incident in my home (with our children there too) and going through quite a time dealing with it, and helping the kids deal with it- (did not show with some children until they were in Bible College) I am thinking, are we ready to go through this kind of thing again? I know you all are prepared to protect your homes, but it is not easy to hurt someone else who is attacking your family, no matter what the reason. Even though you know it is the right thing to do, our bodies still react to the stress- how are you preparing your family to go through what could be one of the most horrific times in America that we've had? (If things continue to worsen) It is one thing to read about trials of this nature, another to experience it. What are they doing for the soldiers who return from the war? That may be a starting place. My starting place is with God, He gives grace in the time of need- but he also gives us the knowledge to be forwarned.
 

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God Smacked Jesus Freak
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when my son was in second grade(public school) a classmate's father shot the whole family and then himself--it was the teacher who got the police to check in on them when the child didnt' show up for school for two weeks. I happened to be there(parent volunteer) when the class found out. You can imagine it was terrible for the kids. The teacher was beside herself and had to be taken away. Me and another mom stayed with the kids until the sub and couselor came. We just sat with the kids, and hugged them, prayed with them(even the "non-Christian" kids wanted to pray!!), listened to them talk and tried to say good things(like reassuring them no, your father won't shoot you in your sleep too). So giving them hugs and just listening to them talk with out judging their words seemed to really help. Also through the years now, every once in awhile in class a kid will blurt out they are sad thinking of their classmate, and wisely the teachers stop everything and let the kids talk about it for awhile. I've observed that set of kids are more friendly and kind to each other as they have grown up--a result of going together through a horrible thing and supporting each other when they feel scared or sad afterwards. ALSO, I think it really helps to have adults that dont' lose their heads and get hysterical--they get strength and courage to deal, with someone who acts strong(pretending works:D) and who is willing to listen to their thoughts without judging (not "you idiot sissy", but "it's okay to feel afraid, it's no big deal, let's be strong to help others however we can"). I remember the kids were most freaked out(viscerally) by the teacher flipping out(she was kind of a drama queen type).

I remember calling my church and telling the secretary that the kids had just found out about the murders and please tell the pastors to pray for the kids. The secretary was like "okay, whatever, I'll tell them when I can get to it" I could have reached through the phone and slapped her!!!!!
 

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Very sorry to hear about the incident, InHisName.

I've read statistics that the suicide rate among police officers that have to shoot someone in the line of duty is many times higher than the rate among the rest of the police force. And these people go to work every day knowing they're at a higher risk for having to do such a thing than the general population.

That's why when I consider some of the rambo machismo attitude among much of the survivalist culture (thankfully not on this board), I'm just amazed at how little they seem to have thought thru the implications.

But as far as preparing anything myself, I haven't researched any training or other materials to deal with such an event.

--sgl
 

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I'm trying to figure out how I can write this and not come off like a rotten sot.

PTSD is usually felt more in the peacefulness AFTER you are removed from the stress filled situations... if things get bad enough that you are in a PTSD-creating situation, I think I will be thankful for the peacefulness that allows me to focus on it.

In other words, when things are a hard-scratch, everyday, trying to make it alive until tomorrow... PTSD won't be our biggest worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for being real!
Sonshine, my heart goes out to you, my grandmother lost 3 of her 4 children (my mom included) before they were 30- she says, you think you'll never make it, but you do. Grandma is precious.
Sgl42, I think you are so right. Even for the very trained people it is very hard, and they have "debriefing" after incidents- and with things like PTSD it does not show for a while. We have friends in ministry and the pastor was a sniper in Vietnam, years later he had a total meltdown, but thank the Lord, they came out of it and have a vibrant ministry to military men (and others) to help with this.
One thing that helped our teens is an herbal preparation for stress from DR Christophers- it has things like St Johns Wort in it that keeps our brains functioning right in high stress. (like a natural Prozac) Would like to find out exact herbs to have them on hand for any incidents.
Wyld Thang- you are SO right, a calm head and a strong trust in the Lord will carry us through- isn't it amazing children can sense the strength?
We read the Psalms over and over as a family, that was very medicinal to the heart!
 

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This is one of the drawbacks to our current lives. We have removed ourselves from facing death. I think our ancestors were so much better prepared than we are today. They had to face it often. They were mentally prepared for it from a young age. Today we are so insulated from the end of life that we send our loved ones to the hospital to die, to the funeral home for burial, and we only see the body after it's been laid out to look as if the person is peacefully sleeping. We have lost our ability to deal with death. I fear that we will one day have to learn the process and it will be a hard lesson for many of us.
 

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Death is a part of life. We actually begin dying the moment we are born. But you're right Spinner, most have removed themselves from death, except in video games. For instance, there was a post in GC that showed a turkey being processed behind Sarah Palin being interviewed. People had problems with that??? But once people come to the understanding that it's the natural coarse of life, I think they deal with it better. Of course, when you face a lot of death, then problems occur. I think the mind can only handle so much loss before it wants to shut down, sort of a self preservation thing. I'm just glad that I know the Creator, and know that there is something beyond what we will experience here.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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I guess I see this from a different angle.

Spending 20 years in the military, PTSD is a fact of life. Most folks that I have known have had some degree of PTSD.

Now as a retiree and living among civilians, I do see other folks who can not 'bear' to kill their chickens. So we get chickens for free, for us to butcher and eat. :)

As a small child I was made to kill livestock, my pets, etc. So I can see where as an adult, I have had a far easier time with handling death among my friends, and in fire-fights.

My last duty station before I retired, we were doing LEO duties in Europe with short stints into hot areas [Kosovo, etc]. The guy who relieved me had been a reservist for 30 years, and had worked for the Oklahoma City sheriff's department. He was the dog handler that was at the bombing there, pulling bodies from the wreckage. His dog died from having inhaled so much hazmat from the wreckage. He had five 'good' kills in the line of work as a sheriff's deputy, and with the addition of his dog's death he was having a real hard time with his PTSD, so Oklahoma City retired him. Well he was still a Navy reservist so he opted to go back onto active duty, which was where I met him. He drank a bit, as did I. But he was real handy with a firearm. [and very handy when dealing out death] :)

I think that children as resilient. They will get through it, and grow.

Folks who are naive and can not wrap their minds around daily death will have a harder time with it all due to their 'delicacy'. Everyone else will be fine.

Lets be realistic, everyone has nightmares from time to time, everyone cries at odd things at times too. It happens. Life goes on. :)
 

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It's not going to be easy, but those who are Christians can rest assured that God's grace will be sufficient. He has seen me through the loss of 4 kids, there is no doubt in my mind that He will see us through what will be.
Same is true for those who believe in God but don't follow the Christian path. God is with all of us.
 

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We were never insulated from death and attended funerals from a young age. We did the same with our children. If life progresses in a "normal" fashion, the young people see their great-grandparents, great-aunts & uncles die, then grandparents, so when they are faced with losing their parents they've been thru the whole process more than once. It doesn't get easier but death isn't terrifying. When things aren't normal such as losing someone to murder or suicide or war or horrible accident its a different thing than grandma dying in bed at age 90 or 100. As others have said faith that God will give you grace sufficient for each day will be what gets us thru hard times whatever the hard times are. I also agree that most people, as long as they are dealing with a crisis, don't/won't have time for a meltdown. That will come later when you relax or collapse as the case might be. I've found I'm good in a crisis but as soon as I turn the responsibility over to medical personal somebody better shove a chair under me because my knees are going to quit!
 

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For the life of me, I can't remember who wrote this, but in an autobiography I read, the author's aunt had lost both husband & dd in a terrible fire that killed many others. One time a visitor said, If it happened to me, I don't think I could get over it. The aunt said, You don't get over it, you go around it.
And in that way, life goes on.
 

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I think (could be wrong, but have some experience with this) that PTSD doesn't come from just one incident so much as from prolonged extreme stress -- being under fire for a tour of duty, for example. My step-father was in the Marines and spend three years in Vietnam -- he still suffers from PTSD, although he's finally gotten counseling and is doing better.

We spent two weeks once watching a forest fire get closer and closer to our little town in Alaska. I had to work, leaving my three young daughters at home. My brother and my Dad were keeping an eye on them, though they weren't there all the time, but I still worried -- people would come into the store where I was working with rumors that the fire had jumped the highway and was on the same side as our house was -- with nothing to stop it, because all the fire lines were on the other side of the road. We didn't have a phone at home, so I couldn't call the girls to check on them. The wind finally changed directions, sparing the town (though the fire had come right up into the edge of town), and then we moved to Juneau, but for months I broke into a cold sweat every time I heard a fire siren or saw a fire. The siren would just about make me jump out of my skin.

That was a pretty mild experience compared to being in combat for months on end.

Kathleen
 

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For the life of me, I can't remember who wrote this, but in an autobiography I read, the author's aunt had lost both husband & dd in a terrible fire that killed many others. One time a visitor said, If it happened to me, I don't think I could get over it. The aunt said, You don't get over it, you go around it.
And in that way, life goes on.
Your aunt was very wise. You don't get over it, but you do learn to live with it. When you lose someone in a traumatic event it's far different from losing someone that dies in their sleep from old age. When the people you lose in a traumtic event are children and you see it happen, believe me, you don't get over it. I've had people tell me they don't think they would be able to go on if they lost their children. To them I say, what choice do you have? But one thing is for sure, in order to go on, you have to have something to tap into. Whether it's God, for Christians, or something else. I personally could not have made it through the losses I have experienced without the strength that God has provided. Yet even with that strength I have not "gotten over it", but have learned to live with it. I will say this much, when you have been there, you learn to never take things for granted, but hold on to each day as a precious gift.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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We were never insulated from death and attended funerals from a young age. We did the same with our children. ...
hmmm

Is the thought here, that attending funerals would cause PTSD?

I have dealt with PTSD, and I know many friends who each have dealt with PTSD, we have it from dealing with death. But from a different angle. Which is why, I guess I read the OP differently.

SHTF would increase PTSD in society.

Because a greater portion of our society will actively be involved in holding and comforting our friends as they bleed out and die from mortal wounds or diseases, or from being actively engaged killing each other.

Putting a dear friend's intestines back inside him and holding him as he fades away, could possibly do it.

Being in a shoot out, wounded and hiding underneath your buddy's body, as the enemy scans for anyone they missed, and finally leaves, so it is safe again to climb out and leave the area, could possibly do it.

I was not insulated from death as a child. I was taught to kill those that I cared for [my pets and our livestock]. Which I see prepared me for later in life as I served in combat. Directing fire at enemies, ordering other men into positions where they gave their best before enemy fire, watching these men become injured, tending them as some died, gathering their body parts for shipment.

Other men whom I have known, and deal with now, who likewise have PTSD issues. Also have it not from attending funerals. But from the duties of killing, and dealing with the aftermath of violence, and from having ordered other men to their deaths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Et1 ss, that is what I wanted to bring up, especially dealing with the aftermaths of violence and such, having your experience, and seeing others go through it, how would you prepare the general public (or at least people on this forum) who are possibly not trained to deal with it? Is this just a road people have to walk, or are there some basic things to recognize and act upon, shoud we have violent acts on our homesteads? Miliary people do have an advantage , it is not new territory for many of them. Maybe there should be a list of symptoms, and reliefs to get people on the road to recovery. Probably not the greatest think about preparing for, but it may be a real threat in our life time.
 

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God Smacked Jesus Freak
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Maybe being able to compartmentalize--you have a place inside where you put the horror and fear, and you can put a lid on it so you can go deal with other stuff. You don't ignore it or pretend it never happened, but it just sits there in its box. Sometimes you open the box and look inside because in any situation there is something valuable to be learned and/or someone who was loved to be honored and remembered, something to be mourned--and it is a good thing to do so, "blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted". Eventually with time you learn not to feel guilty or let it control you, because you've chosen to hold onto the good things, no matter how small and let those things be the free things surrounding you. The crud is in the box--you figure out you control the lid. And it's not such a big deal, it just is. It doesn't go away, you just learn to keep it in the box--though you dont' ever throw the box away, because it taught you valuble things you need to remember. When you're in a safe place(or sort of safe)--you take that box out and look at stuff, and consider it all, and each time you put it back you're a little stronger for it.

I'm a total believer in "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger" I've learned so much from practicing that (well, nothing has really tried to kill me...but you know, the hard stuff). Shortest path out is straight through.

And another biggie for me is that part of dealing with something can be expressed /worked out physically--it's not all to be dealt with in your head in words. A physical action can be symbolic as well as an outward act. Like crying("getting it out") helps, smacking something(attacking "it"), or running(leaving it behind). We are spiritual AND physical beings, very complex, and to not be balanced(spiritual/physical) in dealing with stuff we ignore a lot of ways of healing. I know there's some kind of chemicals released when we cry that are good, and same thing with intense physical activity--God put that inside us, why not tap into it?? So many times I get soooooo tired of talkingtalkingtalking, I just want to go DO and afterwards I get this clarity of mind and understanding. Chop wood carry water.

sorry to ramble on. in the end we just need to learn how to suck it up, AND really LIVE
 

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If things get bad enough there will be litle time for PTSD. People who live in teh thinck of things everyday are on edge but learn to adapt. It was the norm for many thousands of years. In a teotwawki or shtf situation there wouldn't really be the down time to focus on the bad things and have time to feel the PTSD.

That said, if something terrible happens to you or the family in the everyday world no worst case teotwawki or shtf, then there are people who can help. They are trained to recognize the signs of ptsd and help people deal with the trauma of the incident. Lean ion those who know and can help. Sooner rather than later. PTSD and related behaviors can go on for decades so nipping in the bud is wise.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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Et1 ss, that is what I wanted to bring up, especially dealing with the aftermaths of violence and such, having your experience, and seeing others go through it, how would you prepare the general public (or at least people on this forum) who are possibly not trained to deal with it? Is this just a road people have to walk, or are there some basic things to recognize and act upon, shoud we have violent acts on our homesteads? Miliary people do have an advantage , it is not new territory for many of them. Maybe there should be a list of symptoms, and reliefs to get people on the road to recovery. Probably not the greatest think about preparing for, but it may be a real threat in our life time.
Folks are made more in a position of getting PTSD, when they are sleep deprived. REM periods are needed for our brains to fully integrate scenes of our killing others, ordering others to their deaths, and whatnot.

Also downtime is needed. We speak of 'yellow zone' and 'red zone', when your under fire your in a red zone mentality. Ready to draw and fire at any moment.

Police often work 12 or 14 hour shifts, 6 days a week for a month at a time. I know that I did when I worked LEO. LEO commonly go through like a ritual, shave, shower, uniform, boots, gun belt, harness, radio, pr24, gun, etc. When you get out into your car, you are mentally 'ready' for draw your weapon. Well you stay on that level of awareness for long hours, only coming out of it to sleep and quickly go back into it.

A person needs to calm down, feel safe, and avoid the 'red zone' for a while, otherwise they get into the 1,000 yard stare. The zombie look.

Folks coming out from combat zones, often look like zombies. Running on automatic, their bodies can react to fire, and they can direct fire. But their minds have not digested any of the death they have seen. 100% of the folks who do this, will deal with PTSD at some point.

The Army trains men, lying in a prone position rifle aimed, to twist a leg and to put their weight onto that leg. They can drift off into sleep for 15 or 20 minutes, before their leg is numb and begins to hurt. The pain on their leg will wake them, so they can shift and do it to the other leg. In this manner they are 'trained' to cat-nap. Short 15 minute sleep periods between directing fire down range.

That type of 'training' may be needed in combat, but really sets folks up for getting PTSD.

It all comes back when those folks finally get to relax, it may be decades later, but somewhere when they are relaxed and happy, it will hit them.



I would not wish PTSD onto any one.

I would be hesitant to attempt any form of 'training' for your children, or wives.



Most vets would not wish combat onto anyone. This is why.
 
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