PTSD

Even though my adjustment to civilian life has been a struggle, due to being consumed in today’s society by so many political opinions, and truths being revealed… it certainly has been a hard pill to swallow…

Working DFac (fDining Facility) Guard

While most people gather, illegally and legally, I’ve kept my distance and silence, as well as decompress my mind, to gather my thoughts over this weekend as it reminds me of two things…. 1) my best friend at the time being KIA on June 3, 2007 (three days before my 21st), and the fact that tomorrow is legitimately my fifth year anniversary from being medically retired from the military.

Yet, there is still a pride in me for serving this country for the purpose of the bigger picture and not for myself, but for ALL the people in this country who chooses not to or simply can’t for medical purposes…

I continue to look at the positive things of serving like having the opportunity to embrace and experience so many various cultures and individuals through the battle buddies I’ve met over the years and the various global contractors and local people that I had the opportunity to befriend and worked with while in Iraq.

Local Interpreters, Taji 🇮🇶

Also, without serving, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today nor accomplish the things I’ve accomplished over my adult life…

While the mass crowd defines us a basic stereotype of typical sheep and murderers, I will not let those voices define me nor the good-hearted people I have come to serve and meet, who take the call to risk their lives for their own beliefs of serving…

What comes down to my reality vs. their reality, is that we all have a story, we all have educational value to share through our livelihoods and experiences, and we all can learn from one another… we just need to be able to have an open mind to learn from those who haven’t experienced a similar life than our own and that’s where empathy comes in…

Unfortunately, the majority of us, as humans, struggle with having empathy for the rest of the world, if not, our own country and that’s why we are in the “Divided States of America” we are currently in.

Super Bowl Party. |Chicago Vs Indianapolis|
Go Manning Go!
🏈

The relief of today was fulfilled with distractions and productivity while distancing myself from the crowds and social media, while I regain my attentiveness and confidence with my purpose and knowledge in the world during my five-day weekend and I’m only half way through.

Goofing off before meeting
the Iraqi Army General. 😳

Also, what helped me through today is having one of my battle buddies that I relate to reaching out to me today with his music playlist and amazing descriptive reflection of his day, because he knows how much music and storytelling gets me through difficult things.

Thank you, Deneen, and stay well. 👍🏻

2db2aa9b-ca54-43e2-8fe5-0bdf3df5cce6A special someone in my life told me last night that, “We can’t heal alone…” and that’s been sticking with me all day. He is right, so for those who sincerely been loving and supporting me, if it seems I am taking you for granted, I deeply apologize. I promise, I am not.

Survival mode is a pain to climb out of after decades of fighting demons alone. Figured I switch up and express my gratitude, instead of allowing my mind to resort to the worse case scenario in my position. You are appreciated beyond words.

…and for those who are trying to take efforts beyond measures to ensue my accomplishments and success, I am trying to open myself, but the leap of faith is my current biggest fear in my life, especially of having crashed and burned by someone I took a leap of faith on fairly recently. I’m still healing…

JUST IN CASE SOMEONE NEEDS TO HEAR THIS:

Some days are very frustrating in the healing process and forgiving yourself for your past. Especially when you are alone or feel you’re alone in this life.

I frustrate myself most as my own worse enemy.

It’s easy to fake happiness when in reality everything in your life is on fire. Friends and family become strangers, therefore you’re not sure if you are capable to trust those who simply want to love and care for your heart. You work day in and day out to extinguish the flames around you.

Why alone? Cause most people don’t give a shit about your life or your story. Point, blank. However, as I grow older and continue my healing process, I come to the realization that it doesn’t matter. You cannot heal yourself on other’s expectations and other’s schedules. Why do I know this so well?

I grew up and still experience an environment where my emotions or my lifestyle doesn’t matter. I grew up where nobody has ever put me first or respect my voice.

Results in this are: one, I also have never put myself first, and two, I’ve crashed and burn like a broken record repeatedly by putting everyone else before my own.

For majority of the people in my life, walls and boundaries are set and I use two personalities (Yay, Geminis!), the strong, quiet personality and/or the goofy/high energy personality to help deteriorate any possible negative energy disguised in human form.

The consequence, genuine people in my life could easily come and go by misunderstanding me as a spiritual being.

As a spiritual being, I’m training myself to a different resolution. I’m learning to read people’s energy, rather than resort to the assumptions that everyone is bad juju.

It is a challenge for your heart and mind. Especially for those who travel a similar path like mine, but trust me when I say it gets better as you start creating a barrier that’s actually healthy.

You slowly learn to not put up with the bullshit that’s toxic and the genuine people see you for who you truly are as a beautiful, gifted soul. Most importantly, you start loving yourself and finding your confidence.

But how do we know we are progressing in our self healing and self love? Life starts to magnify you towards your goals and dreams in life and love.

💜🦄🖤

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My battle, D, & I in Taji, Iraq

Music is my life and it’s one of my biggest escape routes to just forget how things are now and let me replay the memories, good and bad. Music is also a great way to express what you are feeling here and now.

For me it’s essential to reflect back to the then and compare it to the mentality and growth that I’ve been working on today for myself and my future, and remind myself of who I used to be compared to the individual I am now.

When you see my playlist, you will see a lot of mixed feelings in this journey, but you need to realize a lot of soldiers go through a lot of emotional pain, physical pain, and spiritual pain, whether it’s on the surface or not.

Keep notes that this playlist is of my world and mentality back in 2006-2007. Even though I still enjoy all the music below today, does not mean I feel exactly the same now then I did back then.

First, I will give you my Top Ten of songs that symbolized myself, my hardships, and my mentality when I was in Iraq, also, these songs kept me straight throughout the year in the sandbox.

10. Blue Oyster Cult – Veteran of the Psychic Wars

9. Drowning Pool – Soldiers

8. Toby Keith – American Soldier

7. Tim McGraw – If You’re Reading This

6. AC/DC – Highway to Hell

5. Three Doors Down – Here Without You

4. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of

3. Crossfade – Washing The World Away

2. Mark Schultz – Letters From War 

1. Fort Minor – Where’d You Go

Here is the rest of my playlist that I have created for my Operation Iraqi Freedom soundtrack called “Boots on Ground” that’s created with some Country, a touch of Hip-Hop, and various Rock music.

 

58372592_2216331162014665_1137123691474190336_nAs April comes to a close on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a message for my kindred spirits, the beautiful and the broken who may still be in the path of healing…

Nothing of the trauma and the abuse you may have lived through in your childhood and/or your life was ever your fault. You never asked for it then, and the pain you may encounter still today, will get easier in time.

Don’t live your life in denial. SPEAK UP about your demons. None of us are perfect.

There are other beautifully broken souls looking for the same love as you do. When one presents itself, let it flow. We all deserve an abundance amount of unconditional, strong, and deep love. You don’t have to fight your demons alone.

Healing takes time and everyone’s in a different stage in their life with that healing. Don’t fear the process. Accept both the parts that have healed and the parts that haven’t. This life is not of the destination, but the journey.

Most importantly, do not be afraid of the storm. Healing is nowhere near a walk in the park and we must be ready to fight with all of our wills and inner strength.