I feel Im falling into a place I cant escape

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    My life is plagued by the thoughts of my past and I’m haunted in part by dogs of all things.


    Perhaps the creatures on the vast earth I have the most affiliation with and they haunt my waking days.

    Many years ago I was deployed to overseas and some how fate landed me in a position where I was ordered to cull a large pack of dogs in a deserted village. They were getting very dangerous for the troops bailing soldiers up and there were fears of rabies and the worry that someone would shoot inside the perimeter to defend themselves. Anyway it fell to me to become their hunter and inevitably their killer.

    You couldn’t write this stuff, no one would believe you, the restrictions placed on me even though I never killed a dog in my life before. I had to catch and destroy them by hand, literally I was told /ordered  “just use a hammer …bop on their head all done, easy.

    I didn’t have the moral courage at the time to say no to this order and that’s a decision I regret now many years later. So I did my job, no experience needed apparently I was officially the dog killer on the deployment. I think I killed about 80 dogs but I cant remember them all. I remember the ones that were the most difficult to kill the ones that didn’t go quietly into the night. I caught them in a simple bamboo trap (cage) then I smashed them with a hammer.

    The first dog dies so horribly and after that I learnt to be better until at the end I was a expert and the animals didn’t suffer.

    But it broke me, something inside me left on that deployment and I’ve never been able to get it back. I cant get past the memories of the dogs I slaughtered, I even vividly remember the smells the sounds everything.

    Sometimes I wonder if I should return to that village, my logical brain is telling me there is nothing there but dust and memories but my emotional brain is telling me I will find a measure of peace if I return and mourn.


    I know in the vast world this might be a stupid post but I don’t have a answer for this and I cant find the closure I need.






    Dear Vanders:

    An unusual post on this website. None like it. You write so well. This is  not “a stupid post”, far from it.

    The pain that you feel as those  images replay in your brain, this pain, you lived with it for years. Still haunted. If  there  was a way to undo and redo the past, you would have  done it.

    Pain is scary, the pain of  the  first dog, the  first dogs, that pain.

    I  am so sorry that you are still experiencing  that  pain. Those dogs are gone  now, “there is nothing there but dust”, in that village.

    This is an overwhelming post, very moving, very sad. I hope you  post again, here. Will reply if you do.



    Rebecca Taylor Shaw

    Dear Vanders,

    My heart goes out to you.  I have worked as a clinical hypnotherapist for over 20 years.  I see people constantly get stuck in a place where your head says you want to move past the trauma or upset but you can’t on the emotional level.  The mind will keep repeating a story in an attempt to make peace with it.  And sometimes as an unconscious form of self-punishment.  As if the inner mind says, those dogs suffered, now I shall through repeating the memories in my head.

    I am not a licensed mental health professional but your dilemma does sound similar to many of my clients who suffer from PTSD.  Have you explored that with your doctor?

    I imagine I would carry deep feelings of shame, regret and loss if in your situation.  I would be asking myself what I learned from something so horrific.  If it was me, I would take a deep knowing that I would never again allow anyone to direct me to do something that feels inherently wrong.  That is a valuable lesson.  Sometimes we don’t learn that lesson until we make the mistake of it.

    Also, has this experience not amplified your appreciation for animals for life for freedom for all creatures here on earth?  Including yourself?  If so, then I believe that your soul chose the opportunity to gain that perspective.  And if more people would come to the same place in their philosophies, this world would be a more loving place.

    Lastly, consider looking into regression hypnotherapy to clear deep seated trauma.  It goes beyond talk therapy and can clear emotional stress at the subconscious level.

    Sending you much love, hope and healing.


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