Post Traumatic Stress (Poetry)

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 to.
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

My Operation Iraqi Freedom Playlist

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My battle, D, & I in Taji, Iraq

Music is my life and it’s one of my biggest escape routes to just forget how things are now and let me replay the memories, good and bad. Music is also a great way to express what you are feeling here and now.

For me it’s essential to reflect back to the then and compare it to the mentality and growth that I’ve been working on today for myself and my future, and remind myself of who I used to be compared to the individual I am now.

When you see my playlist, you will see a lot of mixed feelings in this journey, but you need to realize a lot of soldiers go through a lot of emotional pain, physical pain, and spiritual pain, whether it’s on the surface or not.

Keep notes that this playlist is of my world and mentality back in 2006-2007. Even though I still enjoy all the music below today, does not mean I feel exactly the same now then I did back then.

First, I will give you my Top Ten of songs that symbolized myself, my hardships, and my mentality when I was in Iraq, also, these songs kept me straight throughout the year in the sandbox.

10. Blue Oyster Cult – Veteran of the Psychic Wars

9. Drowning Pool – Soldiers

8. Toby Keith – American Soldier

7. Tim McGraw – If You’re Reading This

6. AC/DC – Highway to Hell

5. Three Doors Down – Here Without You

4. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of

3. Crossfade – Washing The World Away

2. Mark Schultz – Letters From War 

1. Fort Minor – Where’d You Go

Here is the rest of my playlist that I have created for my Operation Iraqi Freedom soundtrack called “Boots on Ground” that’s created with some Country, a touch of Hip-Hop, and various Rock music.