I am a writer, and I have written on many subjects with answers that have been mysteries for centuries. The answer I wish to talk about with Patrich is about Veterans, Viet Nam in particular. I worked with a group that were
viet Nam vets. When the question came around to why Viet Vets committed suicide at amuch higher rate than the general public, I was asked “Why?” I said, “That’s easy.” As we go through this life, we build a world around ourselves. We’re the only ones in that world. As a matter of fact, we are God in our world, but only in our own world. When we go into a traumatic situation, and war is traumatic, it tends to shatter that world. If there is anything as nearly absolute as God, it’s that fact that if you are guilty, you have punishment coming. The shattering is seen as punishment by the sub-conscious mind, and reasons that if one was punished, one had to have been guilty. Then a guilt is programmed into the sub-conscious memory bank. This guilt factor induces the person to go looking for punishment to atone. Death is the ultimate punishment. Later I was asked why women that have been raped almost always feel guilty. I said look back at what I said about the Viet Nam vets. Rape is traumatic just as war is. I was then asked why some women didn’t feel the guilt. I said this would be women that hadn’t had a chance to build a world around themselves, such as ghetto women. There is many ways to commit suicide besides putting a gun to one’s head. How about serial killers that almost always leave clues that say ‘catch me’. Isn’t that a form of suicide. Poverty is a form of trauma. Could that be why so many more from poverty sections commit crimes that they know the odds are that they will be caught and punished. Isn’t that a way to let some else do the punishing? There is no doubt that there is many more cases where the built in guilt is responsible for crimes and self punishment, but if you want to hear more from me, you’ll have to ask.
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