I am Dr. John Zemler, PhD. My students usually call me Dr. Z.
I am a disabled US Army Veteran and I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, usually known as PTSD. I was traumatized as a young officer serving overseas. I am not a combat veteran, although some people have said that I am. I have not served in anything like Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam. I was the security officer for a special weapons unit and I experienced what I call “interesting times.”
My PTSD cost me a number of relationships and almost my life. I spent 23 years with nightmares and other PTSD behaviors and there were several times I thought that life was no longer worth living. Fortunately the right people entered my life and I am much better off than I used to be. That said, my soul is still wounded by PTSD and I strive to nurse it back to health.
After I left the Army I eventually earned a PhD in Biblical Studies at a Jesuit Catholic University. While disabled and having survived some encounters with the US Medical Industry I am still able to teach part-time in a Theology Department. I usually teach scripture and introductory theology. I also teach a course called the Theology of Violence and Non-Violence.
I have taken my theology background, my military experience, and my PTSD and strive to help others heal from trauma. Sometimes this is done through meeting students, priest abuse survivors, sexual assault survivors, soldiers, or whomever has been damaged by trauma. Starting this blog is one effort to try and help others heal from the soul wound of PTSD.
Some of my disabilities I acquired in the military and some as a civilian. One of them means that to write or type is very painful. I will try to keep a regular blog and respond to people, but please be aware that some days I am unable to use a keyboard.
The PTSD life is a hard one, but it is one that helps us to learn to hope, pray, and help others.
Semper Pax, Dr. Z