PTSD Awareness

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I’m trying to sit in the dark,
Late at night, staring out at the stars,
While sorting out my thoughts to write another poem.
Yeah, it might sound like the same old song,
But the pen and pad are the only things I can depend on.
It’s hard to have family and friends
Who can’t see or understand any of my social problems.
Some days I’m quietly awkward,
Other days I’m rudely obnoxious.
Maybe I’m a good actor,
Or maybe, I just don’t know how to act.
I am sure people think I am just playin’
To get money from the government,
But if I was doing that,
I’d apply for other assistance,
Along with food stamps.
I don’t want any of that,
I just want to live peacefully before I’m dead.
If I was faking my problems,
I wouldn’t have prolonged my issues from 2009,
Or even longer, like…

…my whole life…

…I wouldn’t still be walking that fragile line.
People just rather be blind,
To the facts of my short term memory distortion,
My insomnia, and the voices in my conscience,
That transfers through my body, to my fingers,
To the pen to form these words on this notepad.
In my eyes, I don’t see insecurity with my vulnerability.
If that was the case, I wouldn’t have the courage to share my story.
So what if I am a bit sensitive or even a bit pensive,
My depression and anxiety has always been repetitive,
I’ve accepted these anti-socializing traits,
The best of this world’s artists can relate.
I am sure other kids can to, but too scared to navigate,
And get lost deep inside their heart,
Emotions, and words to collate, in return create this art.
So if you’re afraid, just turn to my unique poetic philosophy, Descartes.
I wish people would stop being concern about how the world looks at me,
I’ll be the executive producer of my decisions and consequence,
Revealing the tattoos and scars that live deep down in my heart.
It’s my skin. It’s my ill mind. It’s my life.

So I’ll keep dishing these poems like my pen is a spoon or fork,
Because it seems it’s the only therapy that truly works.
So if you think I am writing to ask for help,
I’m not. By the time this poem ends, I’ll be my better self.
I just want to thank you for reading and listening,
To my rhymes, my provocative conditioning.

2014 ©H.M. Gautsch

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Day to day, I keep questioning myself…
How do I express my feelings without offending you?
I guess you should have thought twice,
Before you put me through what you put me through.
How would you feel if I revealed the truth,
The real roots of my PTSD and the rest of my mental issues?
Still today, I’d rather be back at the front lines of war,
Then be on the home front, being repeatedly reminded of my childhood nightmares.
The noisy citizenry is now wondering where, what, why?
Do I dare to even open that door?
The door to my closet, where skeletons lay all over the floor.
Piling up as if I am just a professional hoarder,
My closet is a mess; it’s all out of order with the door half-broken.
I am almost thirty, and I still fear of having children.
The fact I fear the most is being like my parents.
Do I dare explain it on my end?
My emotions have hit rock bottom.
I don’t know any other way to release them without the bottle.
Personally, that’s my problem. Once an angel, now fallen.
I got to try to find a way for my heart to blossom,
before it hardens and becomes rotten.
I am almost thirty, and I still fear of permanent commitment.
My father expressed it with his actions, through his heartless abandonment.
I was never taught properly how women should be treated by men.
I mean, where was he when ma found out I was being molested?
So when a good man is found, I just find a way to end it.
I act as if I have a lack of confidence, but really I am just full of my conscience.
People stress to me that I should let my past go,
Easy for you to say considering you never been in my shoes.
Behind closed doors was a whole different show that was played for the views.
Til this day, I still get the abrupt end of verbal abuse.
Til this day, I’m trying to find a way to heal the scars and massage the bruises,
Without necessary making accuses with my distancing excuses.
So the only way I’ll be able to let it go is if I talk about it.
It’s unfortunate that I never got the professional help I needed as a kid.
I guess my writing and my spoken words are a reaction for what should have been.
Before blame is put on me, look in the mirror and think of the things you did.
This poem reveals that my rage and my resentment, is still alive and kicking’
But instead of beating around the bush with the little white lies, I’m only being honest.
Isn’t that what you wanted? Even if it’s written, although I am feeling a bit smitten?
Is it a crime that I’ve given you a sneak peak into my flaw-filled closet?
My pain through a rear-view mirror, just a bunch of ugly roots.
This was just a preview of a chapter that is to be continued….

2014©H.M.Gautsch

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I stand in front of you on this stage with a smiling mask.
But give me a minute or two to unmask and ask,
What do you really know about post-traumatic stress?

Day in day out weight is oppressed in the hearts and chests.
Very little does one see his/her life as a personal success.
For adrenaline, many involve a life that becomes transgress.
Through time natural facial expressions and habitats change.
Insomnia becomes normal, even the bags under the eyes become rearrange.
Our moods are irritable, anxious, and estranged.
Nightmares, flashbacks, and reminders limits activities,
Fireworks are always ruining summer festivities.
Very rare can one ever overcome this particular sensitivity.
Frustrations and sympathy grows for the high number of suicides,
There are more of us alive than those who gave up on their lives.
The ones who are still breathing, still feel invisible to the world.
Many try to use humor and sex to cover up the actual feelings.
Instead of opening up, solitude is actual a comfort to hide the dealings,
Of strangers and family who fears the lack of knowledge and adaptations.
Truth, there is the misconception of medications, very rare do they improve,
Drugs and alcohol are the first things those who only want self-help turn too.
Natural healing & therapy is best suited for those who are desperate to move on,
We may look strong on the outside due to the imprinted war face,
Nobody ever takes the consideration, deep down fragile as a pencil case.
Doesn’t mean the survivors are more dangerous than a terrorist.
When it comes to the survivors of post-traumatic stress,
Majority find exceptions in the imperfections, a new strength.
That is the most important factor in an unfamiliar multitude force.
2014©H.M. Gautsch
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.