Tough Read: Soldier's Suicide Note

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by GatorAbe7, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. QGator2414

    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    My thoughts on suicide have changed slightly since the dad of a good family friend (actually getting to see my buddy today at the beach) took his life a quarter of a mile from our house.

    My buddy gave a powerful eulogy that still has stayed with me to this day that basically ended with I am still proud to say you are my dad.

    That said and I am confident my buddy would agree. The act his dad committed was selfish and now the two grandkids he knew and the one he never met will miss their grandfather...
  2. northgagator

    northgagator Well-Known Member

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    This may work if there is not a here after. When you take the factor of faith (or a lack of faith) out of the equation no one knows for sure if there is a final judgement. If you think your that you are in a sh!tty world now and that suicide is the best option out of it the you may want to reconsider what your next world is going to be like.

    Ironically that is selfish thinking but if considering that your next world is sh!tty (but deeper) stops you from suicide then the people around you maybe be better off. Provided that you are not a pain in the ass to be with.
  3. oldgator

    oldgator Premium Member

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    "Spare me. Many men have trod the same paths he did and worse, never complained, never killed themselves, and do not agree with a word of what he wrote."(from Minister_of_Information post)

    that is rather naive and indicative of how little you seem to be that people have differing levels of ability to cope with extreme circumstances.

    Suggest you ask a minister, other leader in religious community, or someone with experience in this area.

    Thing is---same thing you said can also naively be said of PTSD. People serve side by side in combat---one person ends up with PTSD the other doesn't.

    Sad thing is, in society today people are being shielded more and more from challenges of life. And that means they may not develop sufficient skills to cope with stressful situations.
  4. texigator

    texigator Well-Known Member

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    People who have never suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury have absolutely no idea of the way if fundamentally changes the way you see the world. To be completely gripped by depression and a realization that you were instantly changed from the person you knew yourself to be before the injury can be totally overwhelming.

    I feel for the man and his family.
  5. northgagator

    northgagator Well-Known Member

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    All humans:
    1, Are wired differently.
    2, Come from different families.
    3, Are imprinted differently at an early age.
    4, Come from different physical environments.
    5, May or may not of a head injury.
    6, React to stress (especially prolonged stress) differently.

    Most of us have trod similar paths but each one is impacted differently and handled it differently.

    What is more naive is this sentence. Example of how things are different: Take a pair of 18 year old young men. One is from the inner the Bronx and the other is from the backwoods Folkston, Ga. Put both of them by themselves in the middle of Okeefenokee Swamp at night with no moon. i will be the house the man from the Bronx gets scared chitless. Switch the location and put them in the back allies of an inner city public housing project and the man from Folkston soils his shorts.

    Good advice and I suggest you do the same and parent him with your position. You will be surprised with the feedback you will get.

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  6. Minister_of_Information

    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    Something was wrong with this fellow other than PTSD. You can see it in his grandiose and paranoid delusions. If you want to.
  7. icequeen

    icequeen Well-Known Member

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    I haven't been hit in the head, but I know that between 2 tumors and the seizure issues I'm having, it is incredibly difficult to deal with something that has drastically changed you. And sometimes you fight it repeatedly and you feel okay, until one day you wake up and take a glimpse in the mirror and no longer recognize yourself. You can't remember things. You see things that aren't there. You smell things that aren't there. You look at words on a page and they're wavering all over the place. You realize what you thought of as your sense of being and self is gone and you don't recognize what you are now. Some people cope fine with sudden changes, with tragedy, with war. Others do not.

    When something is wrong physiologically with the brain, going to counseling and talking about it isn't going to always make it better. Frankly it might make it worse because you THINK you should be getting better just with the counseling, and then when you don't, you feel worse.
  8. gatorev12

    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    From what it sounds like, this guy was in a similar unit to what I was in when I was in the military. Different areas, but similar jobs from what it sounded like (though with full disclosure, he was Army and I was a Marine and there are some slight differences in tasks, etc).

    First off, he probably would have seen some pretty disturbing, sick s**t. Stuff that would haunt your dreams forever IF you let it. I definitely have struggled at various times with a lot of things (which, no offense, but don't feel comfortable sharing, even if this is mostly anonymous).

    What I can say is: the military does include in their training how to overcome it. And also provides lots of resources to overcome it even after you get out. For me, the biggest problem to overcome was even admitting I might need outside help. I knew the military was already burdened with thousands of others who needed more medical attention and didn't want to add to their burden or take away from servicemen who might need it more. Part of it was arrogance...part of it was just feeling guilty at even the idea of needing help.

    In the end, it was faith that got me through it. And a Navy doctor who happened to be in my church retreat and helped out (coincidence for non-believers, God for people of faith). Ironically, his advice was: "you already know you can beat this. You have the training and the will to do it. You just need to actually do it." It was sage advice...there wasn't a long recovery process, it was simply being pointed in the right direction.

    I can't judge the guy for what happened or why he did it. I'll be honest and admit there were times I considered it as well. To me, this is just a sad occasion. A cry for help that was left unanswered, when more likely than not, the guy probably had it within him all along to overcome it.
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  9. oldgator

    oldgator Premium Member

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    Northgagator----


    your statements in your post countering me were actually 100% in agreement with my post. The first part of my post(that is in quotation marks) belongs to a poster who seems to believe every body is wired the same in regards to coping skills.

    To clarify the post you critiqued I have edited the post to include the reference to the poster who I quoted in the first part of my post(Minister_of_Information)

    sorry for the confusion on this matter. And was my fault for not attributing the quote's writer in my previous post. I have corrected that and hope it clarifies things.
  10. Minister_of_Information

    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    Sorry, bub, but I have said that there is something transparently different about this guy, not that he is the same as everyone else. I realize the left doesn't like to hear the sources of accusations against Bush demeaned in any way, but the suicide letter was transparently grandiose and delusional about it -- even narcissistic. In other words, it was nothing like the average GI suffering from PTSD. Something was up with that guy all along, yeah maybe PTSD helped to trigger it or bring it out more than it was, but his suicide is not the apotheosis of the antiwar movement. I'll bang on that one until the bangin's done, bub.
  11. HallGator

    HallGator Administrator VIP Member

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    Thanks for all of the personal stories some of you have posted. Always informative hearing what people have to go through in life.
  12. northgagator

    northgagator Well-Known Member

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    Old , I owe you an apology.
    Your assessment of what happen is dead on accurate. Thanks for taking the time and effort to set things right. On my part I could of expose the miscommunication by raising a question to give you a chance to clarify your post. Next time I will give that an honest try. I really do wish that I would of caught that error and aimed my retort to the correct poster.

    Also thanks for having the position that we all are wired differently. This difference can make live here on earth difficult. On the other hand it does give us challenges and thus unlimited opportunities to make life better.
  13. texigator

    texigator Well-Known Member

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    Great post.

    I was 21 years old when I suffered a moderate TBI due to a motorcycle accident. I was out for hours and only survived because I was wearing a helmet. In the instant that station wagon driver delivery pharmacy prescriptions made a bad decision and turned left in front of me, my life was changed forever. I had horrific nightmares every night, searing pains in my brain, and daily headaches, for years. I literally thought I had gone crazy. Safe to say that some around here probably agree. :)

    I had wild mood swings, loss of impulse control (I had a frontal lobe brain injury) and the mild mannered, jovial kid that I had been my entire life hid from me when I looked in the mirror. I had a very bad hair trigger temper and wondered who in the hell I was. I feared that I had permanent brain damage, and was told by my dentist that the trauma would probably cause me to lose all of my teeth (I grew up seeing my dad work with dentures and wanted to avoid that at all costs). The seeds of the destruction of my marriage were sown in those long years of gradual recovery. I didn't understand what had happened to me and my wife didn't either. I went to counseling and it didn't help at all. It took 7 or 8 years before some semblance of normalcy returned to my life. But the damage was already done, at home, at work, with friends.

    It wasn't until a few years ago when watching a show about TBI being the signature wound of the Iraq War due to IEDs that it hit me that the symptoms they described were exactly what I experienced over 35 years ago.

    I, too, used to think that suicide was the coward's way out, but, after contemplating it many times during those years and even a few times after, I will never judge someone who makes that decision. Is it hurtful to others? Absolutely, but until you are faced with the daily feeling of a massive boulder on your back and being wracked with physical and emotional pain with no relief, you just can't relate to the fact that EVERYONE has a breaking point. I am grateful that I didn't quite reach mine. I'm truly sorry that this man did.
  14. northgagator

    northgagator Well-Known Member

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    Apology accepted.

    From your post I now see that you did refer that there was a difference.

    Neither side (Repub or Dem) wants to hear any negatives directed to their side or president.

    I too saw the same things that you saw in the suicide letter. I write off the "transparently grandiose, delusional, and narcissism" of that of a sick mind that had lost contact with reality. I think you saw that too, A lot of people suffering from PTSD do not lose contact with reality. Unfortunately some do. Why? Like I said we are all different and our past experiences impact how we handle adversity and success.

    You are most likely correct that something was up with that guy in how he handled his PTSD

    I know this from personal experience too. I did not escape my father's abuse unscarred. For many years I carried baggage that made like difficult for me and the people around me. I had a short fuse and self esteem issues. At the urging from my big sister I got professional help.my sister went with me to the first few sessions. The reason she was there is because I could not recall many events of the first twelve years if my life. In other words I had no recall of several years of my life. My sister had to fill in the missing pages. In other words I had and still do have repressed memories. The therapist treated me for PTSD and helped me unpacked some issues and cope with some of the horrific memories that were struggling to get out into the open.

    As for the PTSD helping to trigger or bring out his issues who knows. He could had a bad event as a child like I did or it could be the type of person he was when he arrived in Iraq. Whatever it was the events in Iraq did not sit well with him.

    I do agree with your comment that his suicide is not the apotheosis of the antiwar movement. To be honest with you there should not be any points being made off of this person's sad ending of his life. There are more than enough issues and events for the opposing sides to advance their cause. In other words let the grieving family and fries mourn their lost in privacy and in peace.
  15. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Well-Known Member

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    People who call suicide "selfish" just don't understand what depression is all about.

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
  16. Minister_of_Information

    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    Me? Apologize? Over this clown?

    Never.
  17. gatorchamps0607

    gatorchamps0607 Always Rasta

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    Considering my dad robbed me of many years I could have had with him (I was 3).. I think I have every right in the world to call him selfish. How is it not selfish to go to that extreme only to pass on your pain and depression onto other people?
  18. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to suggest that you aren't entitled to your opinion (just as I am entitled to mine). Just that it's not a rational mind making the decision to end one's own life most of the time. Depression is a real disease. It grabs hold of the mind and makes one act in ways that are unimaginable to the rest of us. Selfishness implies doing better for oneself at the expense of others. In the mind of a depressed person, the killer is removing a burden from society to make things easier on others. They have no self-worth and therefore are not capable of selfishness. Their determination is not one of self-fulfillment. The claim of selfishness is irrational.

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
  19. gatorchamps0607

    gatorchamps0607 Always Rasta

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    Whether or not they think they are a burden for the world, thats for the world to decide. My father wrote a note to my mother saying we are better off without him. He was into drugs and my mom split up with him because he cheated. At the end of the day, its my choice to decide if Im better off without him or if the world is better without him. In the end, it is a selfish act and only gives your pain to your loved ones.
  20. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to suggest you don't have a right to feel pain for what he did. All I can say is I pray for folks like you to overcome the challenges that you have been presented with so that the rising above the obstacle(s) can make you a better person.

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS

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