I know some survivors of trauma fared worse, because they had already experienced trauma before war. Some survived because they were tough before World War II — that is Louis Zamperini’s story.
And the After-War(d)s for Zamperini? This is how Hillenbrand described him during the same interview:
I wish Hillenbrand’s spot-on description of PTSD was around when my grandmother, father, brother and sister came home from being held prisoner by the Japanese. They came “home” only months before they had been as close to death as the allied POW’s, and almost as skeletal. Their new “home” was not Indonesia, but war-torn The Netherlands.
Meantime, contemplate the emotional/mental/spiritual struggles which were so hard for survivors after valiently finding physical ways to survive.
I still have such day to day struggles today. The trials I have survived are mild, yet these are the day to day struggles I have. I benefit from sharing such thoughts with survivors of “the unspeakable.” Will you speak anyway to me, even if you too experienced the unspeakable?
Or will you tell me how much more you know now, about the reasons for previous generations’ silence after suffering?
Here’s a journal entry of mine some time back, attempting to turn past silent sufferingl into the finished novel I want you to read one day:
Why do I find such satisfaction in feeling and believing now this life of mine can work today…or these goals of mine can work?
I know one part that’s great is I can feel there is direction for me and you.
But I need help, with all those times that developing these thoughts, ah, now I know, is really about not trusting God, about wanting all the guarantees up front, and then maybe I’ll do my part, after I know.
I do my part anyway. I thank God for always loving me, and you — first.