Best Defense

Is part of recovery from PTSD losing the war narrative and letting it all fragment?

Here is a note I sent recently to some friends.

Russland, Cholm, gefallene Rotarmisten

Here is a note I sent recently to some friends:

At lunch this week with Paul Edgar, I began to think that “losing the narrative” is part of moving beyond PTSD.

I was moved to this thought by a short essay that Paul Yingling ran in my blog, through the good offices of Paul Edgar. In it, he says that to his surprise, with the passage of time, the less he remembered the narrative, and the more he remembered shards. I wonder if this is indeed part of the process of getting healthy again. I’ve noticed that I have had the same experience with Iraq — remembering it less, and when I do, only in bits and pieces.

As I said, your thoughts welcome. I am not necessarily looking for essays to publish here, more just help understanding this thought. Feel free to tell me I am wrong. I am just interested in the intersection of PTSD and narrative, two powerful but often misunderstood subjects.

Photo credit: Richard Muck/Deutsches Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at Twitter: @tomricks1

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