When The Demons Come
They don't call, or tell you they are coming over. They sneak up on you at the strangest time, when you least expect them. You may think you've banished them for good; it's been so long since you've seen them. You've gotten help with getting rid of them for Christ's sake.
But for some weird reason, out of no where, they show up.
And for no good reason, you want to beat the living hell out of some kid you've never met, just some kid you don't like because you don't like the way he looks. And you're just looking at his picture. You want to beat him like you've never beaten anyone before, you want to make him pay for his choices in individuality, because you think he looks like a freak- even though you don't normally mind those choices, even though you support those choices.
But the demons don't care, because they find the places in your soul, where you think you've hidden away the hate, pushed down the fear. But in a sudden wave of anger, your realize the demons are just digging up the old stuff that you thought (and did) have under control. They remind you that you've looked into the face of pure evil and hate, and that face was of a man. And that man, you KNEW, would expend every ounce of his being, given the chance, to kill you and kill everyone you know and love.
And then you realize what the demon's are trying to do. You know you need to talk to someone, but who? And it dawns on you, there's not many people you can call. You've been an anchor for your friends, your young soldiers, your buddies, who have more demons and are visited by them more often that you can't talk to them.
And you suddenly realize you are on an island. And no matter how bad your friends have had it, and how good you've felt, when it's your turn to be visited by the demons, you're all alone.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Terry, and thanks for telling your story here. I can't pretend to understand what you've been through, or what things are like for you now. From what you've written here, however, I will say that I am impressed with the eloquence and integrity of your writing and the sentiment behind it. I will offer what I can.
I know that I am merely a voice on the Internet to you at this point, but I do want to somehow convey to you that you are not alone. I understand what you mean when you talk about the demons. In my 38 years of professional experience, I have helped many people deal with their personal demons, and I've dealt with my own.
I am going to suggest some things to you. If this does not fit for you, then ignore what I've written and move on. Again, I can't pretend to know who you really are or what you need at this point.
I will speak from what I picked up intuitively from your writing.
I think you're a good man, Terry. Obviously, you've been at war, and have faced the enemy outside you and within you. I want you to consider that everything inside you is good, and part of your healing process. Just consider it, for a moment.
Invite your demons to sit around a table with you (obviously, we're talking about using your imagination here). Give them each a face and body--this is very important, regardless of how strange it may seem. And give each of them a voice. Let them speak...which means write from them, as if you were them. Let them speak through you into a journaling process. This is a way of bringing them from your subconscious mind into consciousness, where you can work more effectively with your thoughts and emotions.
Ask them their purpose, and then write their answer as if you were them. I believe you will find that each one has a gift for you, even if at first they seem totally destructive and evil. Your mind is a brilliant self-healing mechanism, and everything that happens in it is a part of your healing process. These methods are designed to help you in your healing.
I know this is a fairly involved process, and may not be something you can do on your own. I am available for phone counseling, if you are so inclined. Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the possibility of counseling further.
I strongly encourage you to write about all of your past trauma, from your childhood through your military experience, using the process described on this page. This has been found to be helpful to veterans and survivors of all kinds of trauma.
I encourage you to strongly consider that your mind and everything it is doing is part of a healing process. Over and over again, I have found that when we embrace our demons they become something else, often a wounded child, or sometimes a faithful ally. A quote from Faust's devil: "I am one who would evil ever do, and yet ever does the good." The scary face and voice of the demon are a facade. Look beyond the veil, and you will find a message of value, and a story to help with your healing.
I hope this helps, Terry.
My very best to you,