How Can I Come to Terms With My Actions?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I’m an ex-soldier for the army and I fought in Afghanistan with my colleagues last year. I met my fiancé in the force. I fought along side her in Afghanistan for 3 months. She was killed by a gunshot to the head in front of me after we were separated from the rest of my team. I managed to carry her to somewhere safe where we hid for a good few hours. I don’t know what made me do it, and when I think about it now it makes me physically sick sometimes, but I made love to her. I don’t remember it much. I don’t like to think of it as necrophilia. I’m not a pervert, I just wanted to make her feel safe, as ridiculous as that sounds and I guess that we both felt safe during sex in the past. I’m just looking for some kind of closure, I guess. Some kind of justification for what I did.

A. As you are beginning to recognize, it is critically important for you to psychologically come to terms with your actions. The only way to do this is through therapy. It is difficult to know why you did what you did. What you did is not normal and is illegal in most parts of the world. War is not a normal situation. Seeing someone you love, destroyed in the midst of great danger and chaos is not a normal situation. Many if not all things about war are “not normal.” You were indeed in a very traumatic situation, watching your fiancé die before your eyes. You were very likely in a state of shock. Most people would not have reacted the way you did. I cannot offer you a justification because I have very limited information. As mentioned before, the only way to gain closure and to better understand why you have behaved this way is through therapy. Good luck and take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jan 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Come to Terms With My Actions?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/01/21/how-can-i-come-to-terms-with-my-actions/