I listen to the heavy metal band Slayer on my iPod as I write. Their music is the only thing that prepares me to write about war. The cacophony of words, the anger spewing from the guitars, the pure hate they create in my mind. War Ensemble, is one of my favorite songs. I remember hearing it as a kid on Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. I was never allowed to listen to Slayer because they were “Satanic” so I would stay up late after my parents had gone to bed hoping one of their videos would come on; ironically now it’s one of the few things that provides me comfort.

My five favorite songs are Jihad, War ensemble, Disciple, God Send Death and Bloodline. I listen to them over and over. They prime my mind for recalling the sights, sounds and other disturbing images from the pictures in my head. I cling to the title of one of their albums and the chorus of their song Disciple… “Homicide-Suicide, Hate heals, you should try it sometime, Strive for Peace with acts of war, The beauty of death we all adore, I have no faith distracting me, I know why your prayers will never be answered…God Hates Us All; God Hates Us All!!!”

It reminds me of all the stories of fellow service-members committing murder and suicide; the hate I feel towards others, and how good it makes me feel. Many times over the last seven years has the sweet respite that death must provide been on the periphery of my mind. I am unable to reconcile all that I have experienced and seen with the notion of a loving god. I know god must hate us all if he somehow exists.

Intrusive thoughts and reminders of traumatic events serve to fuel a cycle of inaccurate thoughts, negative feelings and ultimately PTSD. The cycle of inaccurate thoughts and assumptions, flashbacks, nightmares, and negative emotions, lead to symptoms and behaviors that are associated with this scourge. Although the behaviors are known as symptoms to the medical community, they represent safety, escape, and reliability to us, the sufferers.