About PTSD: Fear

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four term...

Image via Wikipedia

The only thing we have to fear is fear itselfnameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance

First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1933

This is another article by former U.S. Marine Sgt. Pat Burke in his series about PTSD and how it has affected him and our vets. Though this appears to be a political piece and it has been edited for Canadian readers, empowering yourself is part of the best therapy to fight and win over PTSD. PTSD is a mental health issue that has been shoved on the backburner of our politicians for far too long for far too many — for civilians as well as for our veterans. BONNIE


by Pat Burke

Pat Burke

FEAR is essential to living! We are borne with fear. It is as natural as breathing, as crying, as laughing, as loving. Fear is what saves our lives, what motivates us into action, what puts our internal chemical self on full hyper alert and maximizes all of our bodily functions to survive. Fear is what tempers our understanding of the world and gives us wisdom beyond understanding of the experiences we encounter. It allows us to see clearer, hear better, to smell, to feel, and act quicker. However, as fear evolves in our lives, it can also be demoralizing, disarming, paralyzing, and devastating. Fear can kill us as easily as it can save our lives, and it can motivate us into doing bad as well as good for ourselves and others. 

Fear is contagious. Fear is intoxicating. Fear is controlling. It has been used for millennium to maneuver masses into functioning in a given manner contrary to natural tendencies. Religion has effectively used fear of some horrible damnation experience to control men, subjugate women, and brainwash children for as long as the supernatural was invented.  Governments use fear of punishment or imprisonment, loss of possessions to control masses much larger than their ability to actually carry it out. Groups use fear of expulsion, of banishment to bring about compliance to their doctrines. Criminal groups use fear of harm or death to enslave their participants. Parents use fear of corporal punishment-pain, withholding of privileges or love and disappointment to enforce the “because I said so” rule to their children. 

Today, unprecedented strains upon the freedoms guaranteed under the Bill Of Rights of the United States Constitution are being implemented by a GOVERNMENT that is FEARFUL of its people and its people distrusting of its government. President Bush JR. used fear to ham-strap our people with the most freedom-steeling action ever taken against the population of the U.S. through the Patriot Act. President Obama has been pushing the most socialist agenda in history down our throats. The Muslim world wants Israel and the U.S. dead; devoid of its people; yes, liberals are grouped with the rest of us infidels as well. The economy is in a down spiral and the wealthy are hogging ALL of the GOLD.  The weather is NOT being nice at all: earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, volcanic eruptions, droughts, tsunamis. I feel like I’m watching GHOST BUSTERS and I missed “Rapture.” 

Remember that FEAR is used to set the stage and manipulate people to go a certain course of action by both the Well-Intended and Ill-Intended to bring about the ompletion of their particular agendas.  The Marine Corps uses fear extremely effectively to transform free-thinking normal individuals into what is notoriously and affectively known simply as a MARINE. In this case, Fear is used not only to transform but to keep one alive during and after combat. And certainly for the combatant, there is reason to fear when “walking in harms way.” The enemy is “out there” and is Hell bent on killing you; you do not know when he will attempt this course of action or where he will attack from. 

So, what do we do with this abundance of fear currently floating around?! Conquering and using fear as a life saver is essential in this situation rather than allowing fear to conquer and destroy us. 

Many unsettling events today are creating fear-mongering and fear-exploiting by those who would want us to act or react in ways that are not necessarily to our personal or our nation’s best interest. Should we be fearful of what is going on today with the Middle East and in our own halls of government? ABSOLUTELY! 

Should we pick our sides and literally lock and load and prepare for another Civil War? Well, possibly . . . because it is said that to plan for peace you must prepare for war. 

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.  It allows us to have and be able to use deadly force to protect our person and property: even from an unlawful government. So, can we go to war? Yep, but like the French Revolution, unless the Military JOIN THE FIGHT, we would lose and at great cost. 

However, in a “civilized” society, there are many different ways that wars can be waged before resorting to the absolute LAST RESORT of blowing “thy neighbor” away.  If you have ever watched the movie “Patriot,” you will learn that such a course of action always brings about costs that are horrendous. We need to look to the First Amendment.  

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is also part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

So, our first course of action is to keep doing what we are already doing: being and staying informed as to the actions going on around us. We must continue making our voices heard and our presence known.

BUT WE CAN STILL LOSE!!!  BY GIVING THE GAME AWAY: By not being FEARFUL enough to take positive action; by not voting; and by not bothering to contact your governing officials.  IT’S TIME TO MAKE THEM FEARFUL OF UNEMPLOYMENT.  It is up to you.  Sadly VERY FEW will even read this and even FEWER will do anything.  It’s more fun to fear-monger and bitch ‘n moan. Quit talking and DO SOMETHING, then talk or get off the field.  I leave this with you from Teddy Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”


About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan vets, Canadian Armed Forces, caregivers, federal government, Homecoming Vets, post traumatic stress disorder, veterans' affairs, veterans' assistance programs and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s