Spoils of War part 2

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Another legacy of war that wasn’t discussed in the 50’s was post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTS). It was closeted angry beneath the public surface of respectability, but any soldier who announced that the War had impinged on his psyche was considered a sissy and told to pull himself together. My adopting male was a sufferer.

On returning home tired from work as an asbestos labourer, and after being harangued by his wife about my deficiencies, he would launch into beating me. Face red and teeth gritted, he would lash at my eight year-old body and legs with a razor strap, and the intensity increased until sweating and exhausted, he stopped. On reflection he had probably lost all sense of reality and was playing out the underlying stress accumulated at War. But for all that it was a terrifying experience for a young boy and it has emotionally and physically scarred me. I have forgiven but not forgotten.

We, the secondary victims of War, were expected to bury our horrors and we have had as much success as many psychologically injured soldiers.

 

‘The reason for evil in the world
is that people are not able to tell their stories.’
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)