CHCatholic and Army Girl,
Yes, if one gets into a ‘combat’ situation, you do what you HAVE to do… your life and the lives of others there are at stake. It may not be what you wanted but it’s the way it comes down in battles.
And yes, it will change you! Once the adrenaline wears off, you have been at the brink of life-and-death… all the rest seems so insignificant. Like: how does my hair look; what color dress to wear; what to eat, chicken or ham; what to watch on tv… non of these matter any more, it means NOTHING… as compared to where you have been (on the edge).
I know those that loved that edge, and kept going back to it… for the adrenaline rush. And, like myself, coming back home and finding all the ‘non-sense’ going-ons with those who have not been there on the edge, fighting over SUCH small things, getting in spats over what someone said or did… which, in a week will not even be remembered anymore. It was hard to get back into this society again, even the family… I just did not see ‘important’ anymore what they saw as ‘important’… the Harmony was gone!
It took some three years to re-acclimate back into society, where I could ACTUALLY feel what others felt and consider it of merit for exchange. It wasn’t easy! They do not understand you (and where you have been, mentally/spiritually), and you view them as chasing trivial non-things. There is a delayed PTS that also affects you, some of which is described above, some of which I will not mention here, as it affects each one differently (slight variations of the same theme).
Remember, self-defense is always JUST!