The text I thought I would never send…

Travis Knowlton LCSW
3 min readAug 9, 2019

And it was to my wife.

The psychological and emotional issues that go along with military related Post Traumatic Stress our mine to deal with,mine to keep at bay so that I can live a normal life. Without the fear that there is an improvised explosive device or shooter around the next corner. To be on edge in a large crowd because the potential for a threat is so much higher. Paying attention to all exits near and around me. Sizing up all the people around me to see who is the enemy, who will freeze if it all hits the fan, who looks like a person who will stand up and fight, and unfortunately who are the ones least likely to survive.

These are my demons, my flash backs and night terrors. These are the burdens that we as combat veterans must pay. Not that I like these symptoms,but they are the price to defend this country from all enemies foreign and domestic.

Domestic. Whoa! I have never really put much focus into one singular word. Domestic. But now I do, and with more and more instances of violence my situational awareness of who is around and how do they fit into a scenario are suddenly on the front of my mind again. Every time I try to turn down the intense focus. BOOM another act of violence, in another part of society.

Since being back from deployment my thoughts about battle and being aware of my surroundings include my family. A whole other set of anxiety when that variable is added.

So my wife and daughter are meeting some of our out of state friends at universal studios camifornia!! Amazing right? Nope, at least not for me. A million different scenarios, the liklyness that a mass violent act will happen is being calculated in my mind. The worst part is I cant go cause I have to work….. the day comes where they are at the park.. my mind racing, worried ,anxious getting really angry.

I fire off this message to my wife.( this is the exact message)

Keep in mind that universal is a prime spot for a shooting.
If it happens.......

DO NOT run with crowd- makes you an easier target....RUN TO THE SIDES,find cover.

COVER- a structure or object that should hide your position and a round cannot penetrate,



Travis Knowlton LCSW

I'm a husband, father, veteran, and licensed clinical social worker that is here to enjoy and share!