In Theater, many soldiers experience a kind of adrenaline rush and freedom in a way that is rather impossible to have at home.
They have a sense of strength and power, and the significance of their decisions and actions reaches much further than during a usual job: They often decide over life and death, who is friend, who is enemy. They work on a mission, and this mission is all they focus on. They don’t have to deal with many everyday situations like taking care of cooking or shopping, scheduling time for family or friends, making decisions about leisure time.
Living in a war zone allows for only a certain amount of privacy and personal life. On the other hand, many soldiers now feel that they can finally use what they have trained for for so long. There is a sense of fulfillment that is powerful and strong.
Hierarchies and structure are clearly defined, everybody knows his/her job and responsibilities. it is a very, very different lifestyle.
In addition, the speed, the adrenaline rush are very high and powerful as well. Decisions are important and don’t allow postponing. The personal responsibility for each other is very high, and soldiers have to rely o each other with their lives. Being good at what they do is not only important for themselves, but for others as well.
After returning home, things go very differently, in an often painful way: Many soldiers report that they feel like everything here is in slow motion. There is no adrenaline rush, and the importance of many everyday decisions seems to be irrelevant, even ridiculous.
Many soldiers feel that they are wasting their time with unimportant things, while the real life is happening back where they came from. They got used to the adrenaline, and they miss it.
As a consequence, many soldiers feel “boxed in”. They feel at a loss with how society here functions and judges. They just can’t relate to the rules,, they are to vague, they don’t make sense. used to praise or punishment, it doesn’t seem to make sense that things can be done in many different ways without ever making a decision about the right way to do them. The consequences of the own behaviour also seem vague and strange, as there is no chain of command in regular society who would hold a soldier accountable for his/her actions.
Many soldiers truly don’t know the rules, they can’t relate to them, as their experience has been so different, and the rules of our society are not as obvious and clearly defined as in the military.
This feeling of being “boxed in” is very hard for relatives to deal with, as they are doing their best to help their soldier readjust and feel comfortable. They don’t know what else to do, other than giving him/her freedom and trying to find back into the old ways of doing things, possibly with some adjustment.
But it is hard to get an adrenaline rush changing diapers or going to the store. The warrior is not comfortable with this any more, the way it used to be.
With EFT, we can do a lot to help both the soldiers and their families:
As the adrenaline rush was important for safety, I suggest including this into the set up statement:
– Even though I don’t feel safe in this society, I don’t understand the rules, I deeply and completely accept myself.
– Even though everything seems to be slow motion, and I don’t trust that at all, I choose to allow myself to relax the way I used to before I left.
– Even though I don’t feel safe with the way things are going now, I know that it is important to always have your guard up, I deeply and completely accept myself.
TH: I suffer from things being so slow
IE: I just can’t take it!
OE: I don’t like how slow things are now
UE: It makes me feel irrelevant and obsolete
UN: I truly miss the exhilarating feeling of being on an important mission
UL: And I have proven myself more than once over there
CB: Nobody who hasn’t been there can relate to what I just said
UA: And it hurts that I can’t have access to what I am good at any more.
TH: That’s OK
IE: I know that I know both lifestyles well
OE: The adrenaline rush allowed me to be a good soldier
UE: And I am proud of my accomplishments
UN: I know that I have what it takes to survive anywhere
UL: And I also know that there was a time when this peaceful life made sense to me
CB: And when I understood what to do with my possibilities
UA: And I can choose to reconnect with what I like about who I was before I left
TH: In a way that honors who I am now, and allows me to make the changes that work for me
TH: I am grateful that I can do this now
IE: I appreciate myself for never giving up
OE: I was unprepared for the homecoming
UE: And I deserve to forgive myself for that completely
UN: Things have changed, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing
UL: I can allow myself to relax about the slow speed here now
CB: After all, I will never loose my skills that I learned over there
UA: I just know when to use them now, and when to relax.
TH: I am grateful that I continue to grow and learn, no matter, what!
Tapping this way should help many soldiers relax and refocus on their new life in a way that works for them.
Please let me know how it worked for you!