PTSD

They say you never forget the smell of the desert
The way the heat makes your skin crawl
The sand makes your eyes burn
Your heart
They say, even if you come back in ten, twenty, fifty years
Your body will instantly tighten
As if all the years that passed
Couldn’t shake the fear you buried under the grief
Under the anger
Under the indifference
And even at home after all the years that passed
They say your heart still stops at sudden noises
But your eyes
They never blink

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3 thoughts on “PTSD

  1. Have you read “Waking The Tiger” by Peter Levine? I have PTSD, as well, and once I understood that it is stored in the body, it made things a bit easier for me. He has a really deep grasp on how trauma affects us physically.

    • No, I haven’t read it, but I’m aware of that school of thought. I was in yoga class one day, and my teacher was talking about how for years she thought she had tennis elbow. Working with this concept she realized the chronic pain was a psychological manifestation of an incident that happened around the time she was playing tennis. Immediately made me think of my chronic lower back pain that developed right after my first deployment.

      Also, I’m aware of how PTSD syptoms are always embodied in some way when we receive stimuli even years after the fact, like I talk about here in this poem. Thanks for your input and book recommendation.

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