Sunday, November 04, 2007


I monitor my personal stress by my reaction to people and events. As my stress level increases so do my responses to that stress. Things which especially set me off stem from my experience with combat in Iraq. When I am in a crowd I find myself stressed out and begin the almost automatic scanning procedures, locating avenues of possible attack (in the military these are called avenues of approach), escape routes, and looking for danger constantly by using a pattern of eye movements so as not to miss a possible avenue of approach.

Within a minute or so (depending on my stress level) I will have realized what I am doing and will begin to ramp down my stress level and response by thinking logically about the situation. I am not in Iraq, these people are not potential attackers and I am ok. I usually find a reason to leave when that technique doesn't work, and at those times when leaving is not an option (like at a busy restaurant after you order food but you haven't' paid yet) I usually get very irritable with my wife and kids which isn't fair to them.

These techniques are not the best methods but I live with them, what can I say, I am a product of this war now and must live with the lasting effects...


fjb said...

My mom tells me that dad was in pretty much the same shape when he came home. By the time I came along, he had adjusted to civilian life, though he never did lose the ability to swear in the most amazing way.;)

fjb said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Hope all is well with you. I really did admire my dad for all he'd been through during the war, then coming out of it a really decent guy.

I wish he was still with us, I think he would have some words of wisdom and experience to share with you. Mine are just second hand. Knowing him the way I did, after the hours we spent together fishing and talking, I think he would probably tell you at one time he felt the same way. Because you're aware of what's happening and why and not denying it, you'll eventually learn how to deal with your responses to certain situations.

Love your kids and wife the way my dad loved us, and let them love you.