I was horrified to read about your tortured childhood, and somewhat disappointed that your post did not get more of a response. Compassion is not about status but about experience.
Certainly, the experience of war is unique and entails a lot of suffering: the exhaustion amidst a thousand discomforts, the pain of being wounded, the fear of being killed, the sorrow-anger of seeing a comrade maimed or dead and also the trauma to self of killing, maiming and destroying. Combat is two-way suffering; being victim and victimizer at the same time. But at least and for that very reason combat is empowering in that you are allowed and can fight back.
Torture, on the other hand, is the entirely passive and helpless experience of pain. There is nothing you can do except receive and accept and endure the pain which the person in total control inflicts, even when you don't know how you can possibly endure. It is pointless to argue over whether combat or torture is worse, as if it were a matter of gaining victim bonus points. They are equally horrible in their own ways. I sometimes think veterans get too stuck up on their own particular form of suffering.
When I was two, I intentionally stomped on a glass light globe fixture I thought was just lying around. In a towering rage, my godfather grabbed me the arm, threw me into a room, tossed the broken globe in after me and locked the door. I bawled and bawled and bawled. In the scheme of things this was very minor punishment. I was more shocked and stunned by the palpable force of his anger than any physical pain. But being two, I was soft, innocent and most of all impressionable. I had an otherwise normal childhood with the usual ups and downs. But the fact that decades later I still never forgot the globe incident illustrates how deeply things can impress upon a small child.
Modern neuroscience is discarding the old mind-body dichotomy and the distinction between physiology and psychology. The newer understanding is that we are ONE organic whole, symbolised by the saying “the body remembers.” What hurts the mind impacts the body and what hurts the body impacts the mind. With this in mind I can indeed imagine how deeply and pervasively you were injured to have been born into such a nightmare. I will not tell you to “forget and move on” or say some blubbering nonsense about “now that it is over...” Your body remembers and will always remember. It will always be there, a shadow behind laughter. But...
I don't know if you believe in Jesus.... In fact I'm not sure I do... but the image of his resurrection is something worth thinking about. He is not shown rising up healed as if having undergone cosmetic surgery. He is depicted with *all* his wounds intact, forever there, but through which radiates light. Our wounds become like beautiful stain glass windows through which the light shines. That is the hope, at least.
I hope you find others with whom you can share your suffering, but more than that I hope that you find ways to let light shine through you or from within you through your pained-glass wounds. Your horrible experience has given you a care-fullness and gentleness which few others can have with your depth and understanding. It may exists alongside moments of resentment, anguish and recurring nightmares; but it *does* exist. In addition to vulnerabilities to share, you have strengths to give.
From human to human across the anonymous inter-space, I embrace you.