An acquaintance recently told of her husband taking his life decades after “surviving” Vietnam, where he served as a medic. She carefully noted her memories of him waking up as he frantically tried to rub something off his face.
She didn’t understand at the time, but learned after his death that medics often have blood and more sprayed on their faces while treating the wounded. She related feeling guilty for not understanding that, but that she is glad he can finally rest from those horrific experiences.
I’ve heard many tragic stories in my life and this was one where I lost my composure. All I could do was listen and let her know she wasn’t to blame for not knowing what he simply wasn’t able to talk about.
I encourage any of you who have repressed the horrors of your past to find the counseling you need before you become a another casualty of the war that rages in your heads and hearts.