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Old 23-08-2016, 14:30   #31
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Pirata, first, let me welcome you to CF!

Secondly, what you describe happens to everyone if they sail enough.... Having it happen while you are new to sailing is unfortunate. You sound like you want to learn from it and move on, which is good; many would just walk away from sailing.

Here is a thread chronicling a learning event I had

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Old 24-08-2016, 19:47   #32
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Re: PTSD after small storm


There is an old saying in English, and perhaps in Dutch as well, that "war consists of long periods of utter boredom interspersed with short episodes of stark terror". That might be said of cruising as well. Well, now you've "seen the elephant" as they say in India, and you came away alright. Congratulations!

I used to tell my sailing students that a skipper's first responsibility is to keep his crew safe. But he can't do that except by keeping his ship safe. And that means knowing at all times what is below you, around you and above you. In short, you have to be a good pilot (navigator) and you have to be a good seaman (deckhand) before you can, in good conscience, undertake the responsibility of being the skipper.

Those things distill into something that is CRUCIALLY important to being a skipper: You need to know yourself, you particular psychology - you need to know with precision exactly how you will react when the fit hits the shan. As it will sooner or later.

So look at this episode as the Zuiderzee being a stern teacher that has given you a lesson about that. She gave you a humbling lesson without harming you. She expects you to take that lesson to heart!

Best of luck for the future. On second thought - don't rely on luck ;-)!


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Old 24-08-2016, 22:18   #33
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Buy a farm, sell the boat get some chickens and both your Dog and GF will love you a lot more. Or drink a lot and claim your place on the Sea, ad just accept that your dog will hate you and your GF will try to be loyal but when you are dead, perhaps by the hand and Paw they will say say what a crazy nut you were
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Old 24-08-2016, 23:34   #34
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Re: PTSD after small storm

I don't think you have ptsd. I do and have a 50% rating, my best friend has 100. His came from one incident that lasted several days, mine from 4 years of combat. I know many vets with it, most now dead. I never knew about it until interviewed by the VA when in for other reasons.
Ptsd comes from one or more extreme event. Afterwards usually nightmares, irritability, lack of emotion. Don't suffer fools, difficulty maintaining close relationships, etc. Fear, at least with my experience and the people I know, is not a part of it.
You survived, so apparently the seas weren't that dangerous. Learn to handle your boat, take in sail in a squall. Make sure your engine is ready to run.
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Old 25-08-2016, 08:10   #35
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Originally Posted by Pirata View Post
I know that the word PTSD is associated with much serious things, but I feel all the symptoms.

I feel I was an idiot, I did uncountable mistakes and I feel how bad could end a simple daily sail. I don't know if it account has a PTSD, but otherwise I dont know how categorize it. And I hope that writing this can help me to release the "thing"from inside me.
I doubt you have PTSD. It usually manifests itself over continuous stressful situations. I have many friends that came home from the conflict in South East Asia and diagnosed with PTSD. I feel the term is thrown around too easily. You probably have CIYPWS. Crap in your pants while sailing.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 27-08-2016, 10:31   #36
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Well Pirata, how about an update on how you are doing? I can tell you that last night I had some friends out for an evening sail. Warm offshore breeze at about 10 knots. Waves >1m. A sunset that was gorgeous. Then the billions of stars shown above like diamonds. Last weekend I got mugged. Wouldn't be worth losing this because of a rough experience.
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Old 27-08-2016, 10:41   #37
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Originally Posted by Terry107 View Post
What you experienced was fear brought on by the storm and your lack of experience to deal with it, this created an anxiety and panic phase.
How to deal with it, learn from your mistakes. You are fortunate you survived.
Personally I think the term PTSD is over used and applied to anything that in my younger days would be considered learning from from your own mistakes.
Take lessons learn to sail with guidance in all sea states and know what to do when the s...t hits the fan.
By the way I know what PTSD is I served 22yrs in the armed forces and what you have is not PTSD. You may feel guilty about putting your gf and dog plus yourself in a situation you did not have the knowledge and experience to deal with dont beat yourself up and try and over think the issue. Learn by it train for it and go sailing.
Thanks a lot for the message, I am currently already back home sailing. We tackled the problem and I sailed 9 hours straight and I feel ok and I feel I learned my lesson, and be better ready for the worst than totally not prepared. As I said, I dunno if PTSD was the correct term, but I lack of other term to defined what I experiences.
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Old 27-08-2016, 10:49   #38
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Re: ptsd. I know you dont mean the kind refered to with soldiers. But I know the feeling you describe.
A few years ago we trailored our boat to lake powell. It was the trip from hell. We did fine on our way there but coming home......the ring on the bow that hold the boat to the trailer pulled out coming diwn off Vail pass. We added more lines arounf the hull and trailer and carried on but with a bit of worry. But the time we were within 5 miles of home the traffic was heavy and it was dusk when the tow hitch came apart and the boat, now just hanging to the truck by the safty chain, swung out into traffic perpendicular to the truck.
Somehow we got the boat and truck stopped safely. We left the boat on the side of the road (no lights on the road) and made it Walmart just before they closed to buy a new hitch ball.
Home again, boat safe and our knees quaking.
We never trailered that boat again. When we got our new boat it took about a year to stop looking over our shoulders. We felt nauseous everytime we took the boat out.
Our solution was to just keep going and accept that we felt fear but to do it anyway.

Fear is good. We dont like the feeling but you can recognize it for what it is and work through it.
Fear reminds to to double check the hitch after its been bounced around rough roads for hours, to keep your pfd where you can use it, to keep a weather eye and think about what comes next at each stage. Dont worry about feeling fear, just recognize its telling you something specific. In your case its just telling you to keep gaining experience and knowledge for next time. Think of fear not as something to be avoided but as an early warning system for keeping you safe.
10 people a year are killed By sharks. 100 people a year are killed by cows. Fear the real killer!
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Old 30-08-2016, 07:18   #39
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Re: PTSD after small storm

I can imagine it was PTSD. Don't believe you have to be out at war for a few tours to get it. A storm can be a pretty scary thing.

I can imagine talking about it on here was helpful... in time it will pass, and as your skill increases, become less and less of an issue.
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Old 30-08-2016, 08:44   #40
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Re: PTSD after small storm

Could be ASD, also known as Shock. In the same line of disorders as PTSD - not that it really matters in the end .

Well done turning it into a positive thing.
S/V Gudgeon
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Old 30-08-2016, 09:27   #41
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Re: PTSD after small storm

I really hate the way PTSD is used so casually these days. I was fortunate from my 20 years of military service not to have to suffer some of the atrocities some of my friends witnessed. PTSD happens when you watch your whole platoon get bombed by friendly (US bombed Canadian troops) fire, when the group of kids you say hi to every morning outside camp get blown up by another kid wearing suicide vest, it comes from witnessing sickening and disgusting acts perpetrated on children by rebel soldiers in Bosnia.
PTSD is not caused by a rough crossing. That is just called fear and it is sometimes healthy and sometimes not. You can choose to face it or trade in your sailboat for a golf cart. Either way the choice is yours. How you feel about the choice is also yours.
But please stop throwing around PTSD like it was the common cold. The above examples I used were all based on 3 friends personal experience and I'm sure none of them will ever be the same as they were before.

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