Something bad happened last week. My thoughts would be with those that have or are suffering from the senseless acts of violence in Boston. Would be, that is, if I didn't have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Empathy for other victims of violence opens the door into the prison that is my mind and, except in fictional best sellers, everyone knows that nothing good ever escapes from thought prison.
(more despair after the fold)
You see, my thoughts aren't really under my own control. I can slightly shape them. I can attempt to redirect them. I can even end them (at the cost of my own life). What I can't do is prevent the everyday reportage of violence or rape or, well, even football, from triggering my PTSD.
So, I want to wish those suffering in Boston and elsewhere well but I've spent the last week basically completely dysfunctional. The thought of helping the misfortunate, no matter how well intentioned, doesn't complete. My brain redirects to my childhood and I am just along for the ride. I re-experience sights, sounds, smells, feelings and even physical pains; there is no cure or even a treatment that has been effective in stopping the flashbacks. The memories just keep pounding me and pounding me until I am begging an unseen and unheard from God for any kind of relief. Relief that never comes...
I wish I could write something helpful, like a rousing call to fight for more PTSD studies that aren't designed to get approval for a new, expensive and mostly ineffective but highly profitable drug. How's about an insightful diary post filled with brilliant self-examination that finally ends the decades long nightmare that is my existence? Or maybe, if I phrase it just right, a wealthy benefactor will discover my writing, be horrified by my plight and will offer me financial support so I can write my plays whenever I'm not cowering in my bed, waiting for the flashbacks to abate.
The reality is, none of these interesting but pipe dream based solutions is going to happen. I will continue to be overwhelmed by the tolling news of the afflicted. These never-ending death knells undermine my will to survive. They grow louder and louder while our society's willingness to hear grows weaker and weaker. In the end, I have no doubt that the final tolling of my life will remain unheard as well.