My post-traumatic stress has always felt like being trapped in a block of ice with translucent walls, with the parts that are me scattered like snow dust, laying everywhere and nowhere. My mind arrested, but supersonic, seemingly functional, but off in many ways, ways that are not noticeable at a glance but become evident in time. My body, always running at a deficit, just keeping my lips beyond the surface, pulling enough air in, to keep me in this world for another tick of time. My spirit, taken from me, torn from my grip, leaving me exposed, and now the hunted, crouching, and living beyond the darkness, amongst the shadows and wasted souls.
My muddled mind, always in a different time and never very good at making decisions was all I knew and all I had to work with, and so it was, and is, and will be. This mind, enduring the daggers of traumatic stress, a force of demonic gods, battered, and punished, is here, and still fights to stand in the light.
In time as the ice melted, running off to its rightful place, I emerged, naked and raw, and as the world closed in, my anxiety became infinite, and my body hummed with the vibrations of life. These new vibrations, the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of a life were a roller coaster, with extreme highs and lows that I could not have imagined, and with a rawness that was foreign to me. This was living with post-traumatic stress.
Step softly, they may hear me coming, move quickly, they may be behind me, waiting to ambush. Stay close to the walls, in the shadows, slinking in and out of the hedges. The attack is ever present, always scanning, always listening, always on, never resting, noticing details, infinite details; handedness, a facial droop, an odd gait, colors, textures, tones, frequency, pitch, signs, and signs, everywhere, like flashing lights that never die, always signaling, always calling, never resting, never letting me rest, I’ll rest when I die. Sounds, even the faintest of sounds deafening, and echoing in everything that is me, losing my breath, and frozen.
The minutes became hours, then days, and weeks became months, then years, always waiting, always hoping, that I could find enough boxes to lock away the trauma and pain that I had endured. Ever so slowly, it chipped away, small pieces, then larger, until that pain, consumed my being, leaving ash scattered like that snow, everywhere and nowhere.
Now, with courage, and faith, I reach for those pieces and ash, and I create something unrecognizable, something new, something supremely beautiful. A life, a connected, rich, meaningful existence, that is humble, grateful and giving of thy self, and a life that places others before myself, connecting, helping, guiding, and ultimately being the change I wish to see in the world.