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February 11, 2010

PTSD

hands around her neck
put there long ago
for years she escaped
the spiny grip
and put on a lovely show
until her running was in vain
and there was nowhere
left to go
a demon rising
from hot ashes
never takes its time
only hers
these glimpses
steal her mind
makes the wrong one pay
she falls to her knees
begs for the day
light
to burn her memories
out of sight
her heart may not be
able to survive another
adrenaline dump
she might pull a trigger
her nerves could shatter
flashbacks
a belt snaps
always
this open wound

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 3:37 am

    I began to leave a comment on this poem earlier but chickened out. I was afraid of sounding trite. But your comment on mine gave me courage to come back. I wanted to ask: Always open? There will be scars and ghosts and sometimes they will seem to be alive again, but can’t they be overcome? I hope so.

  2. February 15, 2010 11:35 pm

    You would have to work something fierce to ever sound trite.

    Thank you for coming back. I agree with your assessment in general, but unfortunately with PTSD, there really is no way to know for certain the person will not be triggered by something out-of-the-blue, which will bring the trauma back for an unwelcome visit upon their nervous system. As people heal, the likelihood becomes better with time that it won’t happen, but there is no guarantee. However, the real key is to learn how to manage the triggers when they happen, how to deal with your brain taking your body and mind hostage. And that is possible, and provides the hope. 😉

  3. February 16, 2010 7:10 pm

    Yeah, there’s something real mechanistic about the brain. ‘Managing the triggers’ and ‘the brain taking you hostage’ are good ways of putting it. It’s like depression. Sometimes, you feel yourself slipping, and you do mental exercises to get yourself up and out before you even get into that pit. Once you’re in there, it’s very hard to get out on your own volition.

    I hope that science can help with these things, but personally I don’t like drugs except in extreme cases.

  4. yearzerowriters permalink
    February 19, 2010 10:12 am

    I read this through, and then I read each line separately, and found my eyes being pulled to different parts of the poem. The great thing about it is each line on its own felt self-contained, a shard, a splinter.
    Dan

  5. February 26, 2010 9:35 pm

    Mark, it is like that, almost exactly except more fast and violent. And yes, even if science and drugs in some cases can help, it will probably always be about cognitive weight-lifting.

    Dan, that is what I was trying to express, so obviously it means a ton that it came across that way for you. Thank you for reading it.

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