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How far past do you dig? And is that a good thing?

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My therapist and I are sure that I have a sort of PTSD involving the Vietnam war--no, I was not there, but my husband at the time served 2 tours in 5 years, and is being treated for it (finally--40 years later)

I just cannot read about, see, deal with , discuss, or anything to do with the war. And recently, I have had some dreams which involved my "end" of it all--having a baby alone, being on my own at age 21 to cope with no support, and now finding out that my now-ex has prostate cancer due to agent orange. The anxiety I feel when anything is brought up escalates off the charts, and I have been know to run, literally away from the "trigger", hyperventaliting all the way.

But the other day,, in search of an answer for the Agent Orange thing, I actually went on a website, a "spray map" which showed me what I thought was impossible--that most of the shit was used immediately where my husband was stationed. There were so manyother links, but I just couldn't go any further.

I think somehow it might help to be able to find out more facts about this=--maybe I am terrified of the unknown, or guilty, or something.

Does anyone else have any experience with something like this? I know many couples whose marriages ended because of the war, and what we did not know then was PTSD--does it help, aafter all this time, to dig further into it?

Any suggestions? Thanks, guys--


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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Snowfly is right.

You have found a clear issue.

It may not be THE issue. It may be a point of focus for a lot of other issues.

But you can see it is affecting you.

You have to address it and understand your feelings.

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I too have issues relative to the Vietnam war. I was a young teenager then and 3 of my close family members were there and it was horrible (nuff said). I have other PTSD triggers that are more reactive than the War, and to answer your question: I don't think it's ever a bad thing to follow your gut (or the spirit, whatever you feel guided by) and poke around under the rocks of your past. I agree with Snowfly that it's far better to know what waits behind the next turn. What ambush am I potentially walking into??? However, for me, in learning to cope with PTSD, identifying root trauma behind triggers is just the beginning of the process. It can get really intense when you open up those worm cans. I never do this without tdoc--ever. And when I'm having a stressful time and lots of PTSD triggering, that's when I'm usually NOT seeing tdoc on a regular basis I do notice a pattern in my life--how PTSD corellates with other shit going on in the psyche.

I hope you manage to navigate a safe path through this patch. I will say that while it's no picnic, knowing where ALL the bodies are buried does tend to help achieve some sort of control and peace.

Good luck,


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