Category

Living with Ghosts

Category

Tattoos and Talismans: A story of terror told

Driving through a heavily forested area with banks on either side will see me slam my foot on the accelerator, hand on the stick-shift ready to face whatever is coming at a velocity that reaches 140mph on the straight and no stopping, regardless of what comes my way.  Corners are taken nose dipping, handbrake spinning and back end swinging.  Heart pounding.  Body tense.  I see everything.  I hear everything.  I am aware of every nuance around me: feeling for life forms as I speed through the darkly tree mottled road.  Turns out that this instinctual go to mode can be a tad traumatic for passengers who thought it would be fun to ride with gentle, sweet little Katie to a Northern French weekend retreat, riding in her little British green TVR.  My bad. I didn’t drive like that on purpose.  It was just a thing I did.  A…

ONLY THE BRAVE SHALL READ; ONLY THE BROKEN WILL UNDERSTAND

African nights echo with the noise of the crickets, the rustle and bustle of creatures.  Lying awake staring at the ceiling, my pillow ready to tuck my head under, I loved listening to them.  It meant I was safe.  For now.  I still tuck my head under my pillow – you learn to do this when there is a risk of flying glass from explosions outside.  Every piece of body no matter how hot the African night may be is tucked under a cover, glass shards are no fun to pick out the next morning. The worst feeling in the pit of my stomach was the silence.  It came swiftly and without warning.  Always. Then I knew there was a predator outside the compound wire.  The compound set with booby traps and land mines, guards and dogs waiting for the attack that was never very far away.  I…

PEER SUPPORT: It is a lifeline for PTSD Shadowland Survivors

The PTSD shadowlands are a place of darkness and pain.  There is no escape it holds me trapped, unable to move.  It chokes my screams in my throat, my stomach convulses, heart pounding then in terror simply wants to stop.  I watch over and over and over again the blood, vomit, torn limbs, heads ripped from bodies…   for some it is being held down and raped, over and over again.  The horror never ends.  So much evil.  My child brain knew no peace.  Parents at war, even when I should have found a place of safety their poison, their violence never ended.  My mother’s need to cause me pain, to make me scream, break me.  She did not know that I had long since passed through to the disassociated state of the PTSD Shadowlands Dweller.  And again and again I would try to find my normal in this…

LOOK AWAY

Smells captured in a moment in time last forever. There is a part of me that can never smell a barbecue without wanting to run away screaming. Tiny charred feet. Body just a blackened mass of melted limbs but for the feet. Feet were always discernible from the black ash melted heap. Another village burnt to the ground. A new ideology rejected, retribution duly distributed. I walk with the white saviours. But what saviours are these that I walk with? That capture combatants and dehumanize them to the point that they simply accept orders, no questions asked as they walk back to almost certain death. What a hold we have on each other this thing we call humanity. On days I stumble can you see the screaming behind my quiet green eyes? I try. I fail. And then I try again to exist in this world and not that. Tyres burn,…