BATTLE LINES

I AM PTSD

A Wife’s Cry

by Lindsay Hernandez

I live in the shadows of minds I overtake
I am with you, every time you wake
You try with therapy, pills, and rest
I will overcome you even when feel your best
I suck the life, joy, and happiness out of your mind
All because I won’t be confined.
I wreak havoc on family and friends,
Just because they want to mend,
The broken heart I do bend.
I make you feel like you’re going mad
Just because you have seen something bad.
You fought for your country proud,
Now all I give you is screams aloud.
I am in your dreams, heart, soul, and eyes
And laugh because so many have cried.
They cry because they hurt inside
For the loved one I destroy.
I make you sick, weak and cry,
All you want to do is try.
To have a quiet day,
With no thoughts of what is at bay.
Just so you know,
I have put you through hell.
The worst day you have seen,
Is not at all what has been
Stored up inside your head.
You will never get rid of me,
For I am PTSD.
I will haunt your dreams and your wake
You will start to shake,
Sweat,
Cry,
Scream,
Beg to rid me from your thoughts,
I will be there forever,
I have taught you to never say never.
You kiss the ones who try
And, most the time cry,
To keep you safe and calm
For the storm has started since 2006.
For I dig my claws,
In to all surrounding jaws.
They don’t know what to say,
To make me go away.
From the hell I create every day.
The pain is so tormenting and deep,
All you can do is keep,
Me all to yourself.
For you are a soldier who has been trained well
Once again to live in this hell.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

I Am Warrior

A Mother’s Answer

by Rhonda

you hide in shadows like the coward you are
coiled and ready to strike and jar
me from those moments I’ve managed to find
precious few minutes of calm in my mind
your aim is true as you grab hold and squeeze
twisting, constricting ’til I’m on my knees
my breath you take, my blood runs cold
then your fangs sink, that’s when they take hold
injecting your poison, this venom so vile
that it renders this warrior unable to smile
or to laugh or to love or to reach for the light
that shines all around him, through the love in his life
But hear me well…that light, love, and faith
are that which will beat you, send you to the gates
of hell where you came from, it’s there you’ll return
to the fire that birthed you, in it you’ll burn
for i am a warrior of the red white and blue
one of millions who are battling you
you’ve gotten fat on the ones you think beaten
but their war’s not over, nor mine, retreating
is not in our credo, our oath is unshaken
we fight for each other ’til each has taken
that final march in the battle to destroy
the silent pestilence invading our joy
standing together, warriors all
families, friends who’ve heeded the call
our mission is clear, you a clear target
our ammo is chambered, and lest you forget
we fight to the death for ourselves and each other
for each of our sisters and all of our brothers
we’ll drag your disease ridden, slimy carcass
into the light, no longer you’ll mark us
in shadows or nightmares, or memories unbidden
this light we will shine until all is unhidden
you can’t survive where there are no shadows
you can’t feast on a mind where truth flows
perhaps not today and maybe not tomorrow
but you will not beat us; bury us in sorrow
we are warriors, an army of light
we’ll see you in hell before we give up our fight
we know your name, we’ve got your number
PTSD?
Fuck You – You’re OUTNUMBERED
HOOAH

 

 

Good Grief

I’ve experienced my share of loss. Most of a certain age have, and some not of such an age. It is an inevitable part of life.

I’ve mourned the loss of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends much too soon, neighbors, and four-legged buddies too.

Grief is a process. It’s as important a process as learning to walk or speak. It’s something we all must do in stages…there is no other way. We can deny it, run from it, gloss over it, or ignore it…makes no difference to grief.  It says…

“Deal with me now or deal with me later…face me today or sit back and let me take over your life…I can and will, offer you the tools but you have to choose how or if to use them. For if you leave it to me, I’ll build walls with no windows and doorways to nowhere.  I’ve got your heart in my hands and I can keep it in the dark and squeeze the life out of it.  Or, you can help me release it back into the light.  The choice is yours.”

Mourning has a natural path it must follow; a beginning, a middle, and in time, an end.  We must allow ourselves to follow it to its natural end. And I say natural because we are all different. We didn’t all learn to walk and talk at the same point in our lives. We each learn as and when we are meant to.  With help or without…we have but one choice if we are to become who we are meant to be. I don’t believe anyone is meant to be broken by grief. It’s a choice. A sad one, but still a choice.

In the past several months, I’ve been one of those denying, running, glossing over, ignoring souls.  And not from the grief of losing ones I loved to dying.  No.  For me, that is the allowed grief, the necessary grief, the natural mourning after saying goodbye to their souls grief.

No, it’s the mourning the loss of life that still breathes; the blood’s still flowing but the heart’s not beating, life; the everyday life staring back at me in that shattered mirror life that I had to choose to either pour a new foundation, pick up the hammer, and start building a new frame for; or choose to let grief build me and my tender heart into box kind of grief that I ran from.

I didn’t understand. No one had died. Neither of us was ill. Grief? Mourning? I just didn’t get it.

Then.

Now I do.

I woke to a poem today.

Not a morning poem, but a mourning poem.

A poem of love lost, dreams gone, futures altered:

I close my eyes, see a life once shared
I close my eyes, sweet memories there
I close my eyes, our future’s gone
as is the past
Eyes now open and shed of tears
No longer sorrow, pain, and fear
Open eyes to a new journey
Toward lives of love for you and for me
My open eyes see friendship strong
and will ever last
Our years of love and care mean wishing
That each will find what we were missing
But one things sure and I hope you do see
You’re my best friend and always will be

This poem woke my giant who was not only sleeping but hiding under the Hoover Dam.  It helped me acknowledge my need to mourn the loss of a once treasured and thought unbreakable bond of a decades long marriage.  I was lost in sadness; mired in a self-pity; feeling guilty for wanting more; needing more; yet never admitting I needed to grieve what was gone, mourn that loss of the life we’d made and shared.

Yet, in those few words of a sleepless night’s reflection and melancholy remembrance of a life’s love shattered, there was hope.  For each other. To find love and true happiness.  For building a stronger bond of friendship beyond those days of “I don’t anymore” on through to these days of “I do and always will, and cannot imagine a life without you in it, somehow.”

To Hugh.  The man I grew up with, fell in love with, married, bore children to, and said goodbye to as my husband…I say this:

the past does visit still when sleeping
the day will come for no more weeping
but, this mourning must travel its natural path
this grief we share of days gone past
of love and life and joys and sorrows
for lost dreams, hopes, tomorrows
and in its wake, will dawn a new day
together and separate we’ll each find our way
to fulfilled lives complete with laughter
to each grab hold of what we’re after
but this remains a constant truth…
life would not
could not
be…
without you, my best friend

Thank You.  For helping me see what I would not.

Grief.

For pulling me out of hiding.

To Grieve.

For knowing I needed to.

Grieve.

And for loving me enough to say it.

Grief.

Good Grief.