Do you get selective vision in stressful situations?

I was once on track to be a real bad ass. "I could'a been'a contender..."

I'd been accepted into an elite special operations unit of the national guard. I still think about those guys. Never should have left. It was like a farm school for the major leagues. Later I even went from it to the Navy to try to be a SEAL. But that's another (sad) story.

They sent me to Air Assault school and I was doing fine. Bored, actually. It was stuff I'd already done in drills: rappelling from things. Making swiss seats out of rope and trying not to cut off the blood flow to my junk. You know, same old same old. I was going to get to make the move from walls to helicopters, though, and my 1st Sergeant wanted me qualified. so I went. No problem.

Okay, I admit it, I wanted the wings on my uniform, too.

When the course got to sling loading, on the first test we inspected a Humvee that was being prepped to be carried by a Blackhawk, I got so damned nervous I could barely keep from getting crazy eyed. I walked around and around the thing, but couldn't find all the "gigs": things that could get someone killed because the thing would possibly be dropped.

Around and around, and couldn't find the last one. Around, around, fifteen minutes, I think. Felt like a day. Flush faced, embarrassed, I had no idea where the last problem was.

Finally, time was up, and the instructor on top of the Hummer motioned me over. Right there in a spot I'd checked 5 or 6 times, was a roller bearing that was lying loose. Could have fallen and hurt someone.

I got sent back to my unit, with no wings. Disgrace, in my opinion, at the time. Bad times ensued.

When I think back, I still have to shake my head. Did the instructor hide it? Why did it disappear like that? Did my mind play tricks on me?

I think it did, because it's happened time and time again, after that.

Just now, I was thinking I missed a doctor's appointment, went looking, had to change views 3 times and then I realized it had been right there every time, but my mind wouldn't register what my eyes saw. It was both new looking and familiar. I simply did not "see" it until the third try.

So I got stressed by it. And, of course, I relived being recycled. Still smell the grass, see the big Oklahoma boy smiling and chuckling at me. Why the hell had I worn my beret so much? Looking back at my military career, I'd advise anyone else in the situation to wear his camo cap everywhere.

Do you ever experience this?

Or get so stressed thinking about the past that you can't remember it? That happens as well.


Most Helpful Guy

  • Your stress is the main reason for your "mind tricks".

    Though, I didn't experience that before.


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