The following information is taken from a paper published by Point Man International, called REVEILLE. It is a non-profit veteran’s Christian counselling organization dedicated to healing war wounds with the word of God. If you wish to contact them, write them at: Point Man Ministries, P.O. Box 267, Spring Brook, NY 14140. Their website is: http://pmim.org.
Some individuals can be cold, uncaring. Indeed, some will recount episodes in which they did not feel anything when they witnessed a death of a friend in combat or the more recent death of a close family relative or friend. They are often somewhat troubled by these responses to tragedy; but, on the whole, they would rather deal with tragedy in their own detached way. What becomes especially problematic for a portion of a percentage of people, however, is an inability to experience the joys of life. They often describe themselves as being emotionally dead, -this at times is what I dealt with and still do-, we need to enjoy life, and I remind myself often to “smell the roses of life”.
The stages of this emotional deadness can began when they first encountered a particular incident, such as a situation, place or type of person. Some find it was much easier to hate or even kill when they see that person as not being another human being by using slang terms to represent their targets. This can be true when it is a person of another race or religion. The terms or slang used are to hide the anguish and the horror of the reality of what has happened. This natural defence mechanism of survivors of traumatic experiences numbs an individual's awareness of any death and destruction. It is a response of a survival mechanism that helps one to pass through a period of trauma without becoming caught up in an emotional state.
A great number find it extremely uncomfortable to feel love and compassion for others. To do this, they would have to forget or mask their numb reactions to the feelings that have surrounded them. Some actually believe that if they once again allow themselves to feel, or they may never stop crying or may completely lose control of themselves, as was true for me. But what they mean by this is unknown to them. Many go through life with an impaired capacity to love and care for others. As well, they may have no feeling of direction or purpose in life, or are not sure why they even exist.