Recognition is the full grown phase of perception. Usually, we perceive relative qualities regarding various situations, attitudes, etc., just before we recognize them for what they actually are. Every helicopter rotor, for instance, has its own audio DNA built into the blades as they slice through the atmosphere. A perception is made according to a sound but the complete recognition is made after the visible contact, and so it goes – with weapons, odors, nature and people. We’re quick to recognize specific attributes in others and yet deny ourselves that same right to recognize in self-analysis. Why?
Two reasons: fear and confrontation – Yet, not the type of fear we have with frightening animals on a camping trip but that subtle fear of perception which indicates something may be awry, under the surface. Is there something beneath recent thought patterns that may indicate abnormality? Does any current mood have a secret relative? I’ve known many individuals who find themselves responding according to “a mood” but never able to put their finger on any reason for that mood until they peel away many of the surface layers of day-to-day living. One reason for their moodiness may lie in incidents they’ve experienced many years ago. Strange but true! I’ve lived it; still do.
It’s easy to recognize when a friend or co-worker is tensed up or off-center, yet we feel we hide or camouflage our odd/out-of-sync behavior. We don’t! Everyone knows but us. Friends and relatives pick up the vibes we usher forth. Mine started with survivor’s guilt; you know, why them and not me? Eventually, everybody got on my nerves, leading to isolation. Then came the waterfalls; tears – buckets of tears. But I didn’t suffer from P.T.S. – I was a warrior, a man. Mental alert – hear this loud and clear: I was a basket case, a grenade with the pin already pulled and angry with the world. No one could understand; my personal “file” was most unique, a sick treasure which belonged to me only.
Finally, I exploded at a V.A. Hospital during a routine eye exam in the 80’s. Soon thereafter I realized I was suffering from post-traumatic stress. I RECOGNIZED a silent monster lingering in the corridors of that personal file filled with mental imagery of years gone by; dark, graphic, horrible snap-shots that simply wouldn’t be erased.
They say, “da-nile” (denial) is not a river in Egypt. Denial will always lead to emotional cancer or something far worse. Early “recognition” helps bring confrontation to the forefront of the individual’s life. Admit it; have a head-on collision with the truth. I suffer from P.T.S. Why should you think thousands upon thousands of other noble people serving around you and before you suffer with their dreadful dark experiences and yet, you’re exempt?
It’s not a matter of degree or percentage, or when or why; It’s a matter of fact. Reasonably examine yourself; possibly asks someone close – do you think I’ve changed since my experience overseas (or wherever)? That’s a very fair and honest question. Okay, let’s say you’re fine, no rough edges. You can still learn and be prepared for future triggers while assisting your brothers/sisters-in-arms that are suffering with their experiences. Eventually, they will need your help and the best way to be helped is to help someone else.
If you choose to ignore your probability for P.T.S. you will, in all likelihood, live to regret it; that’s the flip side. Constant regression will result in almost every facet of your life until you face the truth, and RECOGNIZE.


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