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Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Open Discussions about Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:28 pm

Part 1. I was a prisoner of war at the tender age of 13, along with my mom and dad. This took place in a Saharan (African) country. It lasted several weeks. Combat was taking place albeit sporatic, gun fire, machinegun fire, occasional cannon or tank fire, bullets pinging off our walls. There existed from the first day of the revolution a general order that any civlians would be shot on sight by the army. We know that this in fact occured during the course of the revoultion. This was in fact a long term and continuous existential theat for all of us. Our prison guards were soldiers who were instructed to kill us if they saw us on the street. This is one source of my PTSD, CPTSD, IED and OCD. :cry: Shalom.
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:23 pm

Part 2. We had to turn our home into the prison and coffin that it was. We shuttered and closed all of windows so no light got through. We had to do this for several reasons. One reason was because we were hiding. We were trying to make it look like nobody was home. Out of sight, out of mind. If we could have, we would have melted into the walls. No visual evidence or sound that we were there. Like the Diary of Anne Frank we were hiding for our lives. The temperatures soared to 120 degrees in our oven. It was summer in the Sahara. :cry:
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:23 am

Part 3. This experience was a continuation of my childhood education to be quiet. Quiet was better than being noisy and it was also better to be unseen. Noisy and highly visable people are a target. You don't want to be a target. You in fact can be killed. So be quiet and stay out of sight. It's healthier. Isolation was preferable if you didn't want to get hurt. It is also better to not be emotional, because emotional people are noisy and attract attention. You don't want that. Yep, isolation (insolation) and lack of emotion are better. These are two strong elements of PTSD. If its continous, which it was, and you are a kid, which I was, you are well on your way to CPTSD. :cry:
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:13 am

Part 4. Another reason for closing up the house like a vise was so in wasn't trival to get in. The idea is that we would have some warning as the enemy forced their way in. We grabbed primative weapons like knives,bats, etc. lol. This was a little like whistling past the graveyard, but you do what you can. If they were soldiers our goose was cooked, if they were civilians we had a chance. This experience deeply ingrained in me to be alert and ever watchful my whole life, and my startle response was on steroids for a very long time. The stress was tremendous and continous. We had no security of our continued existance. It could end in a heartbeat.
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:48 am

Part 5. Day after day we heard sporatic gunfire and machinegun fire. Occasionally, there was tank or cannon fire. But periodicly sometimes once, twice or three times in sucession in a day you would hear a different sound. Anyone who has heard it will never forget it. In combat you hear individual firearms being fired independently with different rates of fire. This sound was rifle fire, multiple rifle fire, with the rounds being fired in unison. The firing of rifle rounds in unison was only one thing, firing squads. We were in close proximity to an army barracks and a prison. This occured on intermittant days, not every day. Government officials, the loyal police and some loyal army units were the brunt of these executions we found out later.
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:30 pm

Part 6. In the early parts of the Revolution, the early days, we spent our time securing our environment, organizing things and generally preparing things as best we could. As the days wore on and we ran out of things to keep us preoccupied, we settled into a rythm of inactivity. From this point on we had too much time. We had lots of time to think about our situation, on how vunerable we were. We were completely at the mercy of the army. Time stood still. A sense of helplessness, hopelessness and extreme anxiety began to set in. :cry:
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Part 7. As our food situation deteriated, that is to say as any source of sustenance ran out, my dad could see the writing on the wall. After 5 or 6 days we started to have a real concern about the possibility of starving to death. We had no food what so ever being delivered to us. My dad decided to take the risk to find food. What suprised me was that he wanted me to help him. This meant that we were risking immediate execution if we were caught on the street by soldiers. I quess a bullet to the head was better than starving to death. So under the cover of darkness, we sneek out. :cry:
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:17 pm

Part 8. It was a dark night which was helpful. This was before common use of night vision googles by armies. So we were nots as big a target as we would otherwise have been. There were regular army patrols so we had to really try to be as quick and careful as possible. We wondered around the neighborhood after dark looking for food. We found a guy dealing out of the back of his little store with exorbitant prices. We quickly got all we could carry. You do things as quickly as you can in this situation,because your life depends on it. We ran there and ran home. Time on the streets in a war zone is not your friend. :cry:
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:56 pm

Part 9. Trauma within a trauma. After making it back alive from the mean streets we settled in for a potentially long term confinement. Being hypervigalent to sounds, even a small sound was big sound. Talk about being jumpy, we were that on steroids. That is why one day we were shocked, and stunned, when there was a very loud banging on our front door. It was the army regulars. They were led by an officer with several regular soldiers in tow. All of their arms were drawn. It was the first time I had several weapons drawn on me simultaneously. We were looking down the barrels of three or four weapons. That will make you come to Jesus, if nothing else does. :cry:
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Re: Prisoner of War (Trigger Warning)

Postby SaharaSon » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:43 am

Part 10. This was a very bad situation to say the least. We could have bought the farm right there and then. Since they didn't shoot us right off the bat we surmised they were there for some other reason. We couldn't make out what they wanted but the soldiers fanned out, and started searching for something, we quessed hidden weapons. But they found my dad's communications equipment and seized it. Our last possible connection to US armed forces or other locations was now gone. Our isolution was now complete. Fortunately, they didn't kill us. :cry:
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