How do you know when to let someone you deeply care for just be sad and wallow in their own misery? I think this has been a huge problem for many Veterans coming home from war. Suicide and depression have skyrocketed for Vets because they aren’t getting the care they need. Not because they don’t want to but because it isn’t available. I feel like not getting help is also a part of being a warrior. You don’t need it because that is what you signed up to do.
I have someone very close to me who is letting what has happened in war slowly and painfully rip him of the man he used to be. As time passes I forget the man that he was and am beginning to be a pained and hurtful person who is only driving himself into isolation. It is hard to watch and even harder to feel because he doesn’t confide. He goes deeper into isolation and chalks it up to being a damaged person that has always been a loner. To me that isn’t fair. That isn’t how our Vets should feel ever!
I think to myself how can this be? You have a loving and supportive family, friends and woman who would pretty much do anything to see you happy but with no avail he becomes a darker and darker person. I sit here and think about how frustrated I am that he won’t just let it out, work on it, get help. Then I wonder what a young 23-24 year old (at the time he first went to war) must have seen, had to do, been a part of to turn him so dark. Is it better to try to cope instead of perhaps the people he loves thinking he is a monster? Does he have guilt eating away at him that is forcing him to stay so miserable?
I can speculate all day but can’t even imagine what it must be like for him. How well he seems to hide it and excel at his career and in some personal goals. As if he is trying to hide his pain but won’t let it go completely because maybe he doesn’t deserve the success. No matter how successful he becomes he seems to be less of a human if that makes sense. I get nervous one day he will be not only unrecognizable to me but his other friends, family and even himself if he isn’t already. Maybe this is the goal he wants to achieve but I don’t know. He used to tell me everything now its usually one word texts, horribly painful arguments or silence. I miss my friend terribly and after he got home from his first tour he moved away from everyone and is alone in a far off state while he continues to go back and fight. He comes home to visit less and less but blames it on his career. I wonder sometimes if his family really knows or just assumes it is his usual loner ways.
I keep asking myself if I should stick around this friendship? He can be vicious to me at times, which I don’t deserve and otherwise wouldn’t tolerate if I hadn’t known him for almost 8 years and he wasn’t a war Veteran. Do I deserve that kind of treatment? Does he do this to everyone? Maybe he has grown and has no room for me, that can happen. I am not offended by that but then randomly out of no where he will be my old friend that I have missed and I find it hard to cut him off because I don’t want to abandon him but he won’t abandon his pain. His painful behavior causes me to react in dark ways I am not proud of either. He won’t even speak about feelings good, bad or indifferent not even a little. Not about if he is in pain or hurt or maybe dealing with it. He never mentions it but it is always there tearing at our friendship as if I forced him to keep going to war. I wonder I if the right thing to do is let him be sad. Let him process and hope one day he isn’t gone forever, changed to everyone who knows him. I feel it isn’t right to abandon someone in so much pain but isn’t it my duty as a friend to say I will only tolerate so much hurt from some one who is supposed to care about me? If you aren’t interested in helping yourself I cannot let you abuse our friendship any longer?