I was recently counseled for poor taste and making insensitive remarks about a soldier.
I totally deserved it, too. I often forget that my humor isn't for all audiences, that sometimes I really do have issues determining what is and is not acceptable for a given audience.
I know why I have such a grim and gallows sense of humor. I know why I make the comments that I do, and I know why I can joke about things that others find offensive.
I do these things because it's my outlet for stress. If I didn't make jokes about it, make it surreal and find some way to laugh about it, I'd internalize the guilt, the anger, the fear, the shame, the feeling that it could have, should have, or has been me. I do it to keep my own sanity.
Being away from my command after being wounded nearly drove me over the edge. I felt shame for not being with my soldiers, I felt guilt for not sharing their burdens, and I was in a world of self-pity because I was newly crippled. Go back and read July 2005 to January 2006. There's a lot of emotion in that writing. There's a lot of things that had I not been seriously medicated, I probably wouldn't have written. There are a lot of things that I said that were probably better left unsaid.
I am, I suppose, emotionally bankrupt. I won't let things--anything at all--bother me because I don't believe have a check in place to let it stop bothering me. I won't let anyone in--and I don't let anything out, except bad jokes and improper humor. I know it's affecting me, at work and at home. It's causing problems with pretty much everyone I have contact with.
No, I won't go to a counselor or psychiatrist. I neither trust them nor believe that "talking it out" is going to help or fix things. I'm not asking for help, I'm informing. This is the way things are.
I don't know what started it or how; I don't know what got me to this place. I know that I am damn tired of trying and failing, I feel like every time I fix one problem, I'm letting another problem build. I've got ten holes in the dike and only nine fingers. I am tired of being in pain, I am tired of being crippled, and I am just plain tired... all the time.
I don't want to be around people--and I work in a business that is all about people and relationships. I don't want to put a smile on and walk around like everything is skittles and ice cream (because my normal face apparently looks too much like a grimace and makes me look unapproachable.) I don't want to write--something that used to give me comfort. I don't want to do anything, and at the same time, I don't want to do nothing. I want a good, solid 8 hours of sleep, but I don't want to dream.
I don't want to be away from my family, but at the same time, I don't want to be around them because I feel like I'm always in a bad mood. I snap at them and try to shut them out, and it isn't their fault.
I don't want to snap at soldiers, I don't want to say the wrong thing and offend or insult them because that just happens to be how I deal with stress. I'm not a delicate flower, but I am pretty damn insensitive about other peoples' feelings. I don't get offended by most things--and it irritates me when others do.
I feel like I'm training to go fight a war, and training the wrong people on the wrong things. I feel like any life we lose in Afghanistan is wasted, because we have no business being there, we are neither going to fix that place, nor are we ever going to make it a safe and stable country. I don't trust the Afghans, I don't want to build relationships with them, I don't want to see friends die because the people they advise decide to go on a killing spree. I don't want to get mortared anymore.
I don't want to get mortared anymore, and not feel even remotely scared--scared enough to even take cover--when it happens. I don't want to just shrug and think "well, if it's going to hit me, it's going to hit me, or it won't." I want to care about myself... but I just don't.
I've lost my faith, I've lost my humanity, and I've lost any sense of empathy. I never wanted to be this way, I just am.