I have heard this described as the event, the wound, the injury and countless other descriptions. To me it is simply the Evil. What you witnessed or experienced which left a vivid, permanente and deep impression on you.
From my understanding of PTSD the more personal or horrific and or terrifying the event is, coupled with the prolonged nature of not decompressing following the event magnifies the imprint. I know personally they tried Decompression periods on the way home from combat zones but in my opinion this is more of an observation period. Simply put, there is not the ability to have an immediate decompression in an ongoing combat environment.
For some people the Evil event is accompanied by a physical as well as a mental scar. I have not had experienced such an event, however I have seen many from slight scars that are easily hidden to multiple amputation as well as severe burns. Both instances feed into the condition in different ways that I have seen.
If a person is scarred and has obvious wounds of war society seems to always ask them how they live with it? How can they move on from such a life altering event. From a few guys I have spoken to this can have a negative effect if they have moved on and been able to find a way to cope or adjust. Some, may not even have perceived any stress as they celebrate the fact every day they are alive and survived. Some, use this as an opportunity to teach others, there is no single way people deal with adversity.
Others may have the complete appearance or normalcy which makes it easier to hide within the shadows of society. However, I have experienced and have witnessed others with this kind of condition who have a tough time adjusting back to normal society especially the further they get away from their military family after separation. Many times I have noticed myself being numb or unaffected by an event which occurred after combat that causes everyone around you to fall apart. This along with the times when my children simply said, “Don’t be sad Daddy” or “Daddy are you Happy” really brought home that I needed to deal with things.
I wasn’t sad at the times my children asked those many times, I love them with all my heart. But after combat and seeing people close to you die, at times in your arms brought me to deal with everything as a mission. Wake them up, check. Get them to school, check. Keep them safe, Check. I started by verbalizing to them at every opportunity how I was proud or how much I loved them.