Sunday, August 1, 2010

PTSD. My story

Personal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Stories

Airborne One

Oh Lord, what am I doing here? This place is such a dump. Although I must say it was very kind of that relative stranger to give me the key to his hunting shack, so that I could get out of the public eye. My nerves are completely shot. All this shaking makes me feel like a Parkinson's patient. This place smells of mold and piss. The floors are rotten and the mattress feels like a dirty hot dog bun. What a dump, I feel so alone. God, I want to go home, but I am afraid he will try to kill me again if I do. Please damn the doctors for mixing his medication; they have stolen the man I have known away from me. His brown eyes are gray now and his skin is speckled with white spots. His face looks like someone else's. God, please keep my daughter safe, I cannot look at her right now. As a matter of fact I think I might just lay here and die. God, I am unable to write. Will you please tell my family I love them? I know nobody will understand. But my heart cannot beat anymore tonight.
My veins began to feel like ice on this hot summer day, as I fell deeper into shock. I really meant it; I couldn't take anymore of the crazy traumatic events. My life had become a shamble since my husband's arm went though that meat grinder. Surgeries, doctors visits, more meds, insurance companies, bills, mental illness and suicide seem to have become more frequent than not. Ironically, I lay here wanting to die because I saved my love from his own hand, only for him to try to kill me for getting in his way. He was the only person in my life that I have ever trusted, and he put a large butcher knife to my throat and he meant it. I bashed his head in to escape.

Oh God, I sobbed; I can't believe I busted his head open. I want to be dead. The revolver I found in the drawer was becoming my new lover. I caressed it gently. My life had become a shamble, a joke, an absolute joke. I no longer felt any hope. The blood gushing from his head, replayed again and again as if it were right in front of me. My body was unable to walk or hold down liquids. I have lost so much weight that I look like an Ethiopian. I have gone to the E.R., four churches and called a hotline. What a joke. Nobody really gives a shit. They are all in their fields to stroke their own egos, not help someone like me. I can't even look at myself. When I try, I see eyes that are vacant. There is nobody home.
Settling in to do the dirty deed, I realized I was not alone. A shape, a shape of a man with ears that stuck out just a little, stood there. He had a firm jaw line and a small but muscular build. He wore a white tee shirt, blue jeans and had a lit cigarette.
"Really…great I truly have lost my mind, now I see a smoking ghost, okay fine, I had better do this before I get committed." Strangely though my veins suddenly became very warm, and I felt a profound indescribable love and well being.
"Are you an angel?"
The man found that statement overly amusing. Laughingly he replied, " No doll I'm no angel. I am just your guardian."
He sat down beside me, and the warmth became more intense. As he came closer I saw his eyes were blue. He reached over and touched my hair in a matter of fact way.
"Such a pretty, pretty little girl is all the paramedics are going to say as they shake there heads and haul you away. They will all wish they could have saved you and then go to bed thinking what a damn shame."
He went on speaking, "You cannot die tonight. The others on the other side will view ending your life in poor taste. They will label you a coward and they are not at all kind to cowards. Besides, if you are not afraid of dying, you should not be afraid of living. What is the worst that could happen? Maybe die?" He then chuckled at his own funny.
"At least if you die in battle you could say you at least had the balls to try. Besides I believe you have a mission to complete. Even if that mission takes your life, you must complete it."
"Who are you?" I blurted almost in a panic.
"Robert Freeman, Lt. Freeman, other wise known as Airborne one."
"Why are you here?"
"I'm stuck, why are you here?"
"I have no where to go and what do you mean your stuck?"
"Well apparently when I died on September 7, 1943 in that attack over Italy I wasn't ready to go. It was a huge explosion. There were pieces flying everywhere, but I couldn't find Mary." He paused and looked sadly at me.
"You look just like her, she was a hell of a pilot. I was in love and I couldn't leave because I had to find here. So now I am stuck, co-peach compadre?"
"I'm sorry, how old were you?"
"Twenty eight."
"Did you ever find her?"
"No apparently she crossed before she hit the water. She always was smarter than me." He flicked his cigarette in an agitated manner.
"Why can't you cross?"
Mockingly he chuckle and lit up another cigarette, "because I'm no angel."
"You on the other hand, have to do what it is you have to do. First, you have to believe in me. I will help you. Me and my boys."
"Your boys?"
"Honey there are more dead soldiers roaming the earth than you could ever conceive. We help our own kind. You are a leader; we will be your army. You're a tough little girl. I saw the brut strength you have. Why do you collapse? He fucked up, but he is not well and you know it. You know what the doctors have put him through; you cannot abandon him or your daughter. Go rescue him, rescue your one true love or neither of you shall ever find peace."
"The counselors and reverends say I should leave him. They say he will try to kill me again if I go home."
"Don't fear death doll. We will protect you; nobody can harm you. Now get up and eat, shower and get some sleep. You look like shit girlie."
Strangely, my body was no longer shaking and my legs worked long enough to rinse off in the shower, but I found no food. At four a.m. I dozed off.

My eyes fluttered open to the sounds of cows grazing not far from the house. The sun was shining brilliantly in a crystal clear sky. I sat up and wiggled my toes. "Sheesh eleven o'clock. I can't remember the last time I slept until eleven. Okay I guess the first thing I need to do is clean up around here, and then go and buy me some clothes, shoes and makeup." I had been run out barefoot with just my purse and keys.
"Don't forget the beer!"
As I spun around there stood another soldier.
"Who are you?"
"Danielle McKeinzie."
He was a bit of a round soft man with a baby face, blue eyes, a very short crew cut and a gentle grin.
"Oh and cigarettes, but none of those light ones, those things are like smoking air."
Stupidly, I stood there in disbelief. Okay fine I have lost my mind. Beer and cigarettes. Anything else?
"No nothing else. Yeah, Robert told us your were a little freaked out, it's okay, we love you anyway. Hey, don't you remember us? Or don't you remember the attack in the freight yard in Italy?
"Excuse me?" was all I could manage.
"Yeah you know when I got shot in the belly, I begged you to go on without me and tell my mother I loved her. But no, not you. You drug me all along those tracks and tried to patch me up. I remember my head kept getting banged on the tracks and you kept saying oh, I'm sorry, please don't die, don't fucken die on me! I was really touched by the sincerity of your tears, I remember wanting to reach up and kiss you. Is that wrong?"
Dazed I realized he expected a reply of some kind, "Is what wrong?"
"That I wanted to kiss my best friends fiancé?"
"Under the circumstances, I guess one would be forgiven."
"So you really have no memory of it?"
"No, no, no I…I don't, not at all."

I edged out the door and got into the car, this week was getting really weird. I went and dressed my self properly, although the looks I received going into the shoe store barefoot was a bit amusing. Thank God for credit cars, but I think the store clerk really thought I had stolen it. I brought back a carry out hamburger plate from Applebee's and a few groceries. I ate and slept for the next five days to rebuild my strength. The conversations were endless.

I also got to know Scotty, a small man with sandy hair, brown eyes and freckles across his nose. He had been a cook and had the sweetest disposition; he tended to be easy going. Then there was Vern. Vern was a trip. He was a large man with thick unruly dark hair and just one large eyebrow and dark framed glasses. Vern rarely smiled and seemed tense. He was the troubleshooter, the mechanic. He was somewhat an idiot on the matter of emotions but he was extremely intelligent in the laws of science. Then there was Richard who had been a bomb technician. He was a rebel. He was too tall, to thin but possessed a devilish grin. Richard was fearless and energetic, with dark hair and crooked teeth. He could pry from me a grin every time I saw his pale gray eyes light up at his own warped sense of humor. They were a good crew full of humor, and in their presence was an infinite love. Words cannot possibly do this feeling justice, but I would compare it to the feeling of holding your own baby for the first time, there just really is not anything else like it.

I did return home as a warrior. Many of those I had known swore they no longer knew me; they said that I was different. I could not tell them why. That was in 1996. I had become fearless with my boys at my back. They had my back. Many more came to call. Often they would just rattle on and on about everyday things and most seemed totally amused by new technology. Robert sat on my bed at night and rubbed my hair. Every time he touched me I felt warmth flow through my veins.

It was with their help I saw my husband make a full recovery and I was able to provide a stable home for my daughter. It was not an easy endeavor, it was a war, a battle that required not stepping on the land minds and making things happen that might ultimately led to peace. I often did not think I would live, but I seemed to be okay with that. My boys always talked me through the tough moments. They gave me information, warned of danger, and reminded me I was protected. They humored me, pushed me to do more for myself and it seemed I had become indestructible. They brought to my life a profound faith in God and the element of hope. I often had seizures and felt rage that made me beat my head out of frustration. But my boys were there every time to pick me up, they said they understood the pain, they always told me that they cared. They loved me and tended to me when I became ill.

PTSD became the diagnoses in 2000 following a trip to my hometown for a funeral. As I tried to integrate back into society I also tried to rationalize that my soldiers were not real. I mean society just could not accept my experience; instead they would look at me as if I had three heads, so I felt it should be done away with. I sent them away telling them I had to do this alone. I was grateful to them but felt it was time to regain what is considered a normal life. The more rational I became the more depressed and lonely I became. When I severed my ties with my boys at the bidding of society, in order to find acceptance, I lost my faith and my hope; life felt empty and barren. Then I found they were still there, I had just chosen not to see them.

Society in general seems to believe that insanity is always bad, a thing to be cured. I think maybe it is not insanity, as much as maybe there is more out there than a rational mind can possibly understand. Why is that insane? Why should that be cured?

I will always love my boys; to me they are as real as anything anyone can touch. They are as real as God. They serve God. I cannot have faith in one and not the other. I owe them my life. To be so called cured would be to not believe in anything.

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