My nerves are still shot 11 years after disarming bombs in Iraq

My nerves are still shot 11 years after disarming bombs in Iraq

First sign of my nerves being shot

 

A change of scenery

Less that 24 hours have past since I left the bullet riddled country of Iraq.

bomb squad disarming bomb pop joke

The blistering hot, moisture sucking environment has been replaced with green grass and pleasant weather.

I am in Souda Bay Crete on a layover on our way to Charleston, SC.

I am overwhelmed by all the green,  It has been 7 months since I saw lush grass and leaves such as these.

It feel like a dream. 

 I have to touch the grass; It feels real enough. 

The jittery sound of the Cicadas here are so loud they’ve permanently etched their song in my memory. 

They fit right in next to the permanent ringing in my ears from all of the explosions and other deafening noises my poor ears have endured.

The blue sky seems to pop with all this green.

You may leave the war, but the war stays with you

Construction on base

My ears are suddenly assaulted with an assortment of construction noises.

I realize that I am extremely jumpy

I find the need to keep reminding myself that I am no longer in Iraq. 

There are no IEDs here. 

Those loud sounds were not gun shots.

That wasn’t an explosion. 

I make a joke to myself that being jumpy is a great reminder that I am still alive, even though deep down, it isn’t funny, not in the least bit.

Am I going to be like this for the rest of my life?

I don’t remember being jumpy in Iraq, how come I am so jumpy now?

In Iraq you don’t have the luxury of being jumpy. 

Jumpy gets you, and others killed.

It’s time to get on the plane, those thoughts and memories are pushed somewhere deep, and dark.

11 years later and my nerves are still shot

This is the first time I have thought back to that day in Souda Bay.

Jumpscare video game

There have been a few signs in between now and then pointing out my shot nerves.

I was recently playing a jumpscare video game called Outlast at my sisters, and had to turn the game off.  

It wasn’t that the game scared me.  

It was the fact that I couldn’t seem to be able to handle the anticipation of the jumpscares.

I didn’t like the feeling, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. 

I don’t know if it was PTSD related or not, but I do know I didn’t like it.

The annoying thing is I love scary movies so jump scare games should be right up my alley.

I do have to admit that I jump in more than just jumpscare video games. 

I am pretty damn jumpy when that first bullet cracks by my character in Arma III, a realistic war simulator. 

Ironically I can handle the cracks of pretend bullets more than I can handle the stressful anticipation of a jumpscare.

IEDs are like jumpscares

 

Jumpscare games are too  similar to facing IEDs in Iraq. 

You know there will be jumpscares, that’s why you are there.

You don’t know where they are, or when they are going to jump out and get you.

I guess that is why I couldn’t handle Outlast.

My mom once asked me how I could play those “war games” after going through it for real. 

I still have no answer to that.    

I don’t play Arma III or any other war games anymore, but that is only because I don’t have a gaming computer anymore. 😔 

Conclusion

  • I’m a big wussy that can’t handle scary video games anymore.

  • I am still jumpy as hell, but not nearly as bad as I use to be.

  • I need a new computer.

  • PTSD sucks .

  • My nerves are still shot.

Deciphering my dream with color & feelings

Deciphering my dream with color & feelings

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