The Shellshock Diaries (Resumed)

I am currently staying at my bio family’s home, the home I grew up in. I had a blog post in the making about how this feels, what it does to me, what memories and associated feelings this stay evokes.

All of a sudden and out of the blue and right in the midst of an oncoming bout of depression from not knowing what to do with myself here or whom to (re-) connect with, my mother presents me with this:

shellshock diaries

a diary my late maternal grandfather wrote while being a prisoner of war 1945 – 1948 in Russia

It’s a handmade diary my late maternal grandfather crafted and wrote into, most likely to keep himself from losing his mind in a situation that must have presented him and fellow war camp prisoners with gruelling conditions, hard and compulsory labour, outrageous demands by the camp commander cynically blown out of proportion in order to have a “reason” for torturing or executing camp inmates and worse than anything – the permanent uncertainty of whether he himself or any of them would ever make it out alive and see their families and loved ones again.

I didn’t bring myself to more than briefly glancing at a few entries in the beginning and towards the end. But from these quick looks I am already able to derive two things: I apparently inherited the more artistic gifts from my maternal grandfather and a host of character traits as well, where the latter – and among them a dead-on resolve to not fold under this insane pressure – probably saved his life and that of some comrades. And it save mine, too.

This is an epic find. To say that I’m blown away by this doesn’t even remotely cut it. I am deliberating doing something with this, if family agree and think, it would have been o.k. with him. At the very least, this ties in tightly with this blog and my attempts of investigating the entire trauma related spectrum from a personal angle. This dropped out of a crystal clear blue and sunny summer sky and landed like a megaton bomb.

copyright note: This is distinct from any equally named book, TV series, movie or other already existing work under the same title and doesn’t make any use of any equally named work whatsoever. The blog title was a quickly thought up and potential “work in progress” title. I claim exemption from any liability, in particular in regards to copyright infringment based on this statement.


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