In WWII, it was called by a different name. I learned about that as a child going through a box of old photos. My father was handsome, but there was this one... in uniform, his face was gaunt, with black circles under sunken eyes. I'd asked why he looked different, told it was "battle fatigue." As many men of his generation, my father never spoke about the war. He had very bad memories. It was only via a documentary on the Battle of the Bulge that I later had even a clue as to what he'd experienced. It was heartbreaking.
He went on to enjoy life to the fullest - a responsible, resourceful, grateful, and loving husband and father, as comfortable in a suit & wingtips as his ratty flannel shirt in the basement fixing a broken clock or smudged with grease under our car. He could do anything. As I mentioned on the "old person" thread, he died when he was 90, after living half-paralyzed for years from a stroke, learning to both walk and speak again despite the prognosis.
I wonder if things might have been different if, long ago, my father had been labeled as having a dis-order or mentally ill. In fact, no one was saner, more down to earth. Yes, Chris, what would be ABNORMAL is to NOT be deeply affected by horrific events. THE PROBLEM IS WAR, not with those made to witness it.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir
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