Growth Therapy - Unplanned and in Real Time
June 15, 2017
Military training is full of grinding drills, over and over in all sorts of weather and terrain. Whether the training is in the hot muggy Georgia summer sun or on the bitter cold mountains in Alaska skiing downhill with a 50 plus pound ruck on their back, the United States warriors are conditioned in ways to respond to an emergency that they sometimes don’t even understand. The protocols and mapping of that training has been coded into their hard drive, meaning it’s still there even when it’s not practiced and has been filed away for years. As a result, this training is recalled into action without searching for the file on the hard drive as if it is primary behavioral automatic response.
Most of the Veterans that we serve truly believe in their heart of hearts that they had deleted that file of emergency training. Many of them fear that due to their horrific trauma in combat that ultimately removed them from the theater of war, that they now have no ability to jump into action if an emergency appears in front of them. It’s hard to remember, if not a Veteran, that these men and women are natural protectors, and being a protector is a good portion of why they joined the military in the first place. Therefore, this fear of freezing and not being able to respond in an emergency to protect those around them can cause a debilitating and paralyzing sense of self. If they believe they are not able to respond in an emergency, they then believe they cannot protect their wives or children. If they believe they cannot protect those they love, then they begin to believe they are not worthy or deserving of having those loved ones, a happy life or a life at all.
At the time of such an emergency, like a practiced emergency plan would play out, all six Veterans simply attending a weekend trip of fun, immediately transform back into the warrior on the battlefield. Those that were medics, assess the situation, perform life vitals checks and basic first aid, while the others call 911, organize the scene, and protect all others from any potential secondary accidents. They all automatically pull that file from the hard drive and go to work, they all find a role to support and engage. They all step back and see that they can in fact face trauma again, that they can protect and that they can fully function.