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PTSD AND ME – Part 2

By September 10, 2014 6 Comments

Slide1This is Part 2 of Cpl Craig Silverson’s journey through PTSD. You can follow Craig at @CraigSilverson


There was no escaping it!

From helmet to boots.  Once you stepped off, it was there. Moon dust.

It was  so fine, similar to baby powder, that underneath my feet tiny clouds would appear.

To my surprise the landscape had changed and the terrain had become hard and clay like.  Fractured.  The stark contrast captivated me. An image that I would later see when I looked in the mirror.

Underneath the surface and often barely evident was our biggest threat,  Improvised Explosive Devices. Now my anger had become my own IED and  the slightest thing would set me off!

I desperately wanted my internal conflict to end.

Once again I found myself at the medical building looking for some kind of relief.  Still unable to ask for help, I used other events in my life as cover for my dilemma.  More false support.  More inner embarrassment. More anger!

Exasperated, exhausted and explosive!

SUFFERING IN SILENCE

I was suffering in silence and was now suicidal.

Prescription medications entered my defeatist  world.

Sedatives, sleeping pills, antidepressants, pain pills.

Alcohol.

Dulling the danger.  Masking the mayhem. Erasing my essence.

LIVING IN CRISIS

Meanwhile, my family lived in complete crisis.

Tears.

More Tears.Craig Lise Image

I was ready to die.

The day before I boarded a bus to leave for basic training I was given a gift by my wife.  A book.    She wrote on the inside of the cover. “May your faith give you comfort when you feel alone. L.”

I started to read.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Under the cover of darkness, with the enemy advancing toward me, I broke noise and light discipline and revealed my position.

Faith.

Did I actually have any?  Sure I did, I went to Sunday school.

Where was it then?

My wife made a statement about my faith and the comfort it would bring. Where was it then??

SOLDIER OF THE FAITH

If a member of the military accidentally fires their weapon it is known as an ND (Negligent Discharge).  It also becomes a chargeable offense. The assumption is that a trained soldier should have full control of their firearm.

Did I accidentally commit an NDF (Negligent Discharge of Faith)?

Was I careless?

Would I be charged?

Was I a trained soldier of the faith?

I continued to read.

“COME AS YOU ARE”

We dismounted from our vehicle and proceeded on foot.  We were met without resistance. We quietly navigated through the crowd and took up our position.  All sound was removed. A streak of light lit up an area on the platform.  Stepping into the light stood a Pastor.  He said “Welcome” and I felt the concussion.

It was Christmas 2012.  Nearly two years to the date that I had returned from the battlefield. I had been in an unexpected war with myself ever since.

The celebration began.

During the course of the evening, a light shone brightly on a singer.  Her voice was uplifting.  But it was her walk by faith, that restored a soldiers broken heart.

ESPRIT DE CORPS

Esprit de corps.  The common spirit that inspires enthusiasm, devotion and strong regard for honour of a group.

Morale was good and that was always a bonus.

I started to attend regularly with my family.

Then I went against what I had been trained to do.

I took a knee.

I raised my white flag.

I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and won the war!

New life.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT)

I offer my brief story as an extension of my faith to those who are in the trenches of tragedy.

This is Part 2 of Craig Silverson’s story, You can read Part 1 here.

APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for Craig, below.


I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 25 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 36 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Craig: I hear your clear voice, see sparkling images, listen to laser-like language, and a heart that beats through your words–write the book. It’s not just soldiers that need to hear your story. There are IED’s and NDF’s, and rumbling battles all around. Thanks for dismounting.

  • Jennifer Kilmartin says:

    Thank you again for sharing with me/us. You are an inspiration to many 🙂 Be blessed in everything you do. Keep fighting the good fight 🙂 Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” One of my favourite life verses 🙂
    A favourite quote that has gotten me through hard times also is
    “Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end”
    -Author Unknown

  • Shirley Bidnick says:

    I like to say, when therapy fails, there’s always God, the only one who can heal. I am glad you found Him. I know healing from emotional trauma is not usually instant. It requires faith, time, and effort on our part. He will direct us to the help we need and humble us to accept it. Your story can bring hope to those who suffer from PSTD. Inadequate mental health resourses are a crisis in the military and in general, but our Great Physician and Counsellor is always available. Thanks for sharing.

  • I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. Blessings

  • We all fight something in our lives. Many Blessings

  • To hear that from a fellow writer and Brother of Faith – I am humbled

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