She said our love was forever
apparently, those words meant
something different to her

The fire two nights ago, just up the street
triggered my PTSD and I shake
the nightmares stay while awake and asleep
as I struggle to get through the day
unbidden horror memory of my daughter
while she was still with us

I’ll spend the new year, in solitude and tears
with a forty of tequila and a bottle
of Vicodin forgetfulness
amidst the wreckage around me
I hope to be asleep by 10pm

Broken heart shattered my mind
in ways I could not understand
I pick the pieces from the cold floor
to build again a man of sorts
resembling in shape and form some human
thing with no core

I was baptized in blood and fire
now that’s all that remains
blood and fire and bleeding skies
and broken promises of better days

I’m busted inside
there ain’t no place I can find
solace from this suffering or empty decline
so I drink away the pain
until nothing remains
except the feeling I miss everything from your loving gaze

I keep trying to put myself back together
like a 1000 piece puzzle
with no picture to guide me
but some of the bits are missing
and the ones I have won’t fit together
the middle is empty

As I try and get over the effects of the fire up the street the other night, I start to understand just how vicious the effects of PTSD are when triggered. It isn’t just the panic and anxiety, the hyper-vigilance and nightmares (both awake and asleep). You lose your sense of self and being when it happens. You become nothing more than a ‘thing’ that reacts to stimuli and just wants it to stop. Almost an automaton, although one that can form sentences.

Having multiple events, and C-PTSD, can make this even worse, as they tend to feed off each other even if totally unrelated. Back when I was learning to fly, we were taught about the ‘graveyard spin’ which tends to be caused by multiple conditional factors coming together at the worst possible time (usually under IMC conditions). A loss of sense of the horizon, of level flight, and the reactions it causes. Your instruments say one thing but your body and mind say another. This is somewhat similar, and probably the best analogy I can come up with to describe it. The spatial disorientation in a graveyard spin when flying is, I think, reflected in the emotional spin that occurs with PTSD triggers.

Just a thought

I love you still


The fog rolls in the first sunrise dawn, bathing the world in misty silence. I meet Jesus, he’s sleeping on a bench at creekside, his head pillowed by a backpack and an old blanket wrapped around his form. He wakes and tells me it’s his own damn fault. I nod in silent agreement, it’s always my fault too. I empty my wallet and give him money. For coffee, for food, to feed an addiction. Whatever he needs to get through the day. We pass words back and forth between us like a flask of rare whisky. Jesus needs a bath and a hot meal. Jesus needs a friendly voice and finds one dressed in studs and ripped jeans and wearing compassion like a shroud. Jesus looks worn and faded and deep into a meth bender. He may need more but we settle on this; a few spoken words and the cold comfort of empathy. I walk on now, touched by his plight, and Jesus fades into the distance behind me.