A Snippet From The Road To Healing Project

Leading a horse to water.

So for my birthday this week, I requested to ride Sterling. I didn’t get much time, because again, I am not very time oriented. I tried to pull off normal during my session. It didn’t last long. I didn’t open up much, but Sterling did react to my high anxiety the moment I stepped into the arena with him. My horse trainer spoke up about it.

Anxiety plays in a number of events in my life right now. I am permanently done with the army life, therefore a second try to a transition to civilian life. I am moving to a city that’s four times bigger than my present city, and I am finally figuring out my purpose in life after long adjustments in my personal life.

When stress is high in my life, the nightmares return and I become more restless than I already am. Not the war flashback nightmares, they only come so often. My nightmares are more symbolic and line up with my native spirituality whether it involves animals or natural disasters. Most commonly, tornadoes. This past week I was introduced to rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes. I think I have some research to do to find the meaning.

Anyways, back to my therapy session. The horse trainer was concerned. She warned me that if she felt tension and no comfort in Sterling, I’d have to get off right away. It was a chance I would take just to be on him. I trusted him and he trusted me. Sterling knew what to do though with my condition, before and after I was on his back. Sterling relaxed while I was grooming him and prepping. I kept hugging him to feel him breathe and sync with his calmness. Everything went smoothly regardless of having a new intern with us and my high anxiety issues for the day.

It was a bummer he doesn’t do bareback like Joseph does, but it felt good to be riding nonetheless. Bareback is how I also prefer. You have a better connection with the horse, feeling skin on skin. It’s the spirituality in me that allows me to feel the spirit/humanity in animals, let alone horses. Not everyone has the gift, but from day one, my therapist and my first horse trainer asked if I was a horse whisper. I guess the gypsy soul in me links with the spirit of a horse.

Everybody Handles Their Shit Differently

Working on “relationship issues” by
working on my relationship with Sterling.

Equestrian therapy has been an intervention for me in a sense. A relationship intervention mainly in hope to being able to trust again fully to open myself up and fully be comfortable to be naked with my soul mate someday (I’m not talking sexually either). I seem vulnerable, because I am an unfiltered individual. It has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

Especially when you were told that children are raised to be seen, not heard. I never could take that outlook likely. I still don’t, but from positive role models in the public eye, I learned myself that actions speak louder than words and words can be powerful even if they are selective in deliverance. You just need the skill set to be persuasive. It’s easier when actions are backed up by your words.

Anyways, I had time to think outside the box a bit today considering my therapy session was light-hearten by freelance photography and interaction with the other horses throughout the pastures. Not sure if Sterling was truly happy to have the day off unannounced or not.

The advantage of today was to think of how other PTSD survivors cope with their life, because reality, we all don’t really heal fully back to our original selves, prior to the events that changed our worlds. We just learn to cope with it.

For me, I cope better due to knowing my comfort and my passions that are outlets to my anguish. For others, dogs do wonders. For me, it’s my relationship with horses. I can’t describe it, it was mystical since the day I placed my foot on ground here at Trinity. Yeah, I have dogs for pets. There for home remedies only, not social remedies. Again, that’s the horses’ job.

When it comes to socializing with friends, I have to keep my small circle close and the bar to be pretty much empty. I close up when random drunk strangers are in presence. This is why I barely go out anymore except to my regular spots in town during the week. The weekend is out of the question when it comes to socializing in public. Another reason why you see me very seldom go to concerts or big events, and if I go, I have to be in reserve seating and not on the floor with mosh pits or large crowds. Why I prefer country music concerts, less chaos. Give me a few friends and a bonfire. I am set. Just don’t try to persuade me to drink and the night is perfect.

Other survivors are more sensitive when it comes to being unfiltered. Other survivors don’t have a problem getting on stage and doing a speech without panic attacks. Other survivors need large crowds and can’t handle being alone. Other survivors need service dogs to assist them. This is just a reality of people handling their coping mechanisms differently. I can be alone, because as a geek I can keep myself company with coffee, and my favorite films, books, & music. Thank the Lord for allowing me the gift of appreciation to the arts and entertainment industry.

I try not to judge anyone’s journey or weaknesses, for I understand. I just ask for you to not to judge mine.

The Road To Healing (Poetry)

Be the change, don’t wish for it.

I hear it over and over again.
I do what I can, when I can.
Damn, I try.
Finding my purpose in life.
Not an easy pathway,
But I think I’ve found the light.
A new day passes.
The end of the tunnel expands.
The sun rays, I feel on my skin.
Clouds creep from the distance,
Threatening the moment.
I throw out the umbrella; let the storm come.
I’m at the finish line, I’m done running.
Fists up, ready for what may come.
A passive lover turned aggressive fighter.
Wanting all that I’ve earned,
Accepting the gifts I’ve been given,
Using them to make for a better tomorrow.
The road to healing is turning its course.
Arise from the mercy of the knees,
Re-baptized by the Earthly rains.
2015 Copyright @ H.M. Gautsch
All Rights Reserved.

Teaser for "Psychological Demons"


 I will not reveal the part of the story this teaser is from, but here is a sneak peak of one of the novel projects on my list. A suspense/drama about a female combat veteran fighting her psychological war, as she tries to keep her relationship with her father alive. You can find the rest of the synopsis under the “Projects Wall” tab. Hope you enjoy it!
            The alarm clock’s neon light blanketed throughout the bedroom, as it displays 05:30am. The door is cracked open, with a bit of light from the hallway shining through the small space. In a blink of an eye, the alarm goes off. A man’s hand reaches out from the quilts, from the bed, as it firmly presses on the snooze button on the alarm. More features are revealed from the bed as the man slowly makes his way up and stretches to start the day. Superb details of his features rain in like melody with the ashy hair with small highlights of his remaining brunette roots, and the deep blue-grayish eyes. Just as the alarm clock goes off again, the man, known as Joe Sydney, beats to the snooze button and then turns off the alarm settings.
            Joe makes his way across his room, as he heads out towards the hallway. He follows the lights down to a second bedroom, cracks upon the door and peaks in. The queen-size bed has been ruffled, but yet not made as if someone has awoken from their slumber. Joe then turns his head towards the dining room area and hears clashing of pots and pans in the kitchen. He smirks at the productive noise and heads on down towards the racket.
            In the kitchen is a young woman, in her mid-twenties. As Joe turns the corner, he comes to the discovery of the lady attempting to make breakfast. The woman, Eve Sydney, is startled a bit from Joe.
            “Dad! I didn’t mean too…” As Eve tries to apologize, Joe cuts her off.
            “It’s okay, sweetheart. Good morning.”
            Joe makes his way to kiss Eve on the forehead and embrace her.
            “Dad, I’m not a child.” Eve squirms away from her dad’s morning love.
            “You know, if you reserve that love for a woman, you may be able to get a girlfriend in your life.” Eve continues on with a witty comment and a smile.
            “Ouch, that hurts.” Joe replied with a sarcasm remark and a smirk of his own. “So what are you making?”
            “Omelets. Just the way you taught me, or tried.”
            Both look at the pan with the omelets, filled with mushrooms and spinach, but nowhere near the awesomeness of Joe’s craft with his chef skills. Joe notices coffee is made in the coffee pot, grabs a cup from the cupboard right above, and pours him a cup as he also continues on the lovely morning conversation.
            “At least you make better coffee than me.”
            Eve starts laughing and replies with, “Dad, you are ridiculous.”
            “What?”
            “Well, I tried.” Eve continues, as she grabs a plate from the cupboard and dishes the hot mess of an omelet, which by now looks like a scramble of some sorts that’s overcooked. Joe willingly grabs the plate, along with his black coffee, and makes his way to the dining room table.
            “It’s the thought that counts, hon.” Joe replied.
            Eve makes her way to the coffee pot and grabs a coffee cup from the cupboard, but this isn’t just an ordinary coffee cup, it is one that she purchased while being deployed to Iraq. As she examines the broken handle and faded décor, a flashback hits her.
Eve is joy-riding around the Green Zone in Iraq, with a couple of male comrades, on her downtime from her duty shift. As they come up to a round-about, their smiles and jokes quickly turn to blank stares as they spot a local national digging on the side of the road. With no hesitations, the driver pulls over, but keeps the truck running.
“Stay here, Eve.” The driver insisted.
As both the male soldiers slowly make their way, pistols pulled from their holsters, towards the man. The man drops his shovel and starts running away from the two soldiers, but with their speed, the two are able to quickly catch up and tackle the man, cuff and blinded the suspect. As this event occurs, Eve watches from the truck.
As the soldiers and suspect return to the truck, the driver throws the man in the back with Eve and hands her his loaded pistol with the instructions,
“If he moves one inch, shoot him.”
Eve suddenly feels a nudge and comes back to the present day. She sees her father on her side with concern.
“Are you okay?”
Eve shakes off the flashback and puts the coffee cup in the trash and grabs a new one from the cupboard, as she quickly changes the subject.
“It was time to move on from that cup anyways.”
As Eve continues to make her coffee, her father observes her behavior.
“So, you go back to your treatment tomorrow?” Joe insists in continuing on the conversation. Eve replies, “Unfortunately.”
She avoids eye contact by looking down and fiddles with her newly filled coffee cup.

Kicking Motivation In People’s Ass With A Steel Toe Boot

Courtesy of Veteran’s Today

The clock is ticking. Fifty minutes before I have to be where I seriously don’t want to be. I barely have any motivation for my current employment at the moment anymore, but I have a job. 

I really hate publicizing my personal life. I do. I am not writing this out of pity or asking for sympathy, because I feel I made the choices that got me here. Could employment be better? Yes. Could the economy be better? I fucking wish. 

I do feel my life sucks, but I know it can always get worse. Even though I am on a brink right now, I keep pushing with whatever strength I have. I should be finishing up training in Virginia right now, with a second pay check from the military to take me to my vacation spot in Florida for another week. But, I am not. I am stuck back home in Wisconsin watching our first snow fall and watching our seasons change for winter rapidly. Rent is late this month. Because I work for a corporate that doesn’t feel like increasing their minions’ wages to be able to help them make a living. The corporate doesn’t even want to function with the government with the raise of minimum wage and yet they are the most successful corporation in the world.

Am I doing anything about it? Yes, I am applying at other jobs, all the while, continuing to try to per sue my dreams in writing the best I can right now. I had a goal to be moved out to California by my 28th birthday in June, but that opportunity seems to be getting throwing out the window. 

Courtesy of Stylez Fine Arts

I don’t hardly socialize anymore, unless I am able to afford to go out for dinner.  I am tired of the bar scene and that’s all this society I currently reside in are all about. I even stopped going to karaoke. We have the largest six-pack in the world at our local brewery. Every year during Oktoberfest, college kids feel it’s beyond cool to flip cars and go fucking crazy. Sad, but true.

On to better news, I am also swallowing my pride and seeing if I can get assistance from the Veteran’s Affairs to assist me to get back on my feet, permanently. It’s frustrating, because I am one of those struggling veterans when the rest of the people I surround myself with are doing amazing, whether it’s with finances, families, friends, fame, etc. So it sucks that I need all this help and I can’t sense to find anyone who has the same issues that I do when it comes to life. 

Regardless of all my current issues, I am still blessed. I got two best friends that are furry and weighs less than twenty pounds. I still have my hearing to embrace my music inducing moments. I have my eye sight to embrace my movie inducing moments as well.  I still have a roof over my head even if rent is late from time to time. Shows how supportive my landlord has been during my struggles, past and present. I may not have a companion to share my life struggles and success with, but I also am not a single mother stranded in this world with welfare. I have a mother, stepfather, two brothers, their girlfriends, & three nephews, who are all healthy as healthy can get. I also have a vehicle, with a monthly payment of course, and not of a GEO Spectrum kind. Do they even make those things anymore?! Anyway, if I do lose my apartment, at least I have a place to stay warm, especially for this winter… And that’s in my truck.

All kidding aside, I could be sitting worse than what I am now, no matter how much my life sucks. Did I mention I can still manage to pay my internet bill, so I can write this for you, my audience? A lot is going on in my life at the moment, but at least I am not sitting on my ass feeling sorry for myself. I am trying to take as much action as I am able too. I learned from the Army life of, “Hurry Up & Wait.” That is at every aspect in life. 

So if you feel like life isn’t feeding you sugar coated candy, think of me or better yet, think of a homeless vet that is trying to get the help that I am able to receive at this moment in my life. Life is all about perspective of things. It does suck to try and think of positive outcomes when your emotionally drained and washed up with depression and anxiety. I deal with that shit on a day to day basis too. What isn’t right with me, I often ask? What the hell motivates me to not give up? The hope and prayers that I can be one who makes a difference in enough peoples’ lives to save theirs like my heroes has saved mine in more than a couple times in my life’s testaments that God has given me. Roy Dupuis & Romeo Dallaire. Look them up. My inspirations on an every day basis, no matter how many tears are shed or how many things get thrown in the house.

Until Next Time…

2013©H.M. Gautsch