PTSD Destroys Souls

There is a special kind of loneliness and separation from the world that PTSD forces upon you.  I may be surrounded by people but I connect on a human level with none of them.  I listen to their vapid, meaningless conversations and all I can think is “Do you have ANY IDEA of the hell that covers this world?  If you saw what I’ve been forced to witness, if you had done what I had done because I was ordered to do it and I was too young and too indoctrinated and too afraid to refuse, would you still think your tiny little world view has anything to do with reality?”

I don’t care about your stupid music.  It gives me no sense of relief.  It makes no difference in the world because it is all tested and marketed and created only to sell and the country buys it without thought because they were told to.  No one really uses their talent to do anything but make money and be famous among those who are not aware of reality.  I don’t care about inane quotes about how wonderful life is because it isn’t.

I don’t understand how people can gleefully support “leaders” who wage war against people who have done us no other harm than to live atop the resources we crave to satisfy our addictions to crap.  How can anyone not scream out against a government that happily makes lists of its own citizens it wants to kill?  How can anyone not recoil at the sight of hundreds of absolutely insane people with weapons gathering in our capital and never being challenged but watch helplessly as people of conscience come together peacefully and then be beaten and arrested and now even shot?

Does anyone else go to bed and lie awake thinking about the reality that children are starving to death all over the planet?  Does anyone else lie in bed and think about those tiny little souls seeing their parents murdered or, worse, dying themselves simply because we have the weapons to kill them so we do?  Does anyone else ever hear the screams of those children or their parents?  Does anyone even care?  Seriously?

Try to imagine living a life where whenever you see small children playing, your eyes see the child but your mind drags up the memories of tiny pieces of tiny bodies left scattered on the ground, not because they ever did anything wrong but because, and only because, people who should know better ignore their pain in search of money and pride and power.  Try to imagine living with the memory of a small girl being gang raped by many, many men for the offense of refusing to speak to one of them and being there and having absolutely no control over that situation and then, as you force yourself to walk away or be shot by your own comrades, you hear that final shot that you know put an end to her misery.  That is what PTSD means.

I take the drugs the VA gives me but they do nothing but make me tired.  I try to talk all of this out but I see the emptiness in the eyes of those I speak to, that emptiness that says “I’m here because I’m paid to listen to you and, oh look, our time is up for this session.  See you in a couple weeks?”  I’m afraid to share my hell with anyone else because I know that they will be repulsed by what I have to relate.  So I live it alone.  That is PTSD.

I honestly do not believe I will ever find peace in this world again.  I think peace is simply the absence of real thought.  I think peace only comes when you learn to ignore the hell you live in.   I think hell is other people because I know they can see me for what I am but still I yearn for someone to just be with me, to listen if I need to talk and to be silent if I just need comfort.  That conflict of wanting someone and wanting solitude is hell.

I have exactly one reason that I remain on this planet and that’s my son.  I know he needs me since he’s been basically abandoned by the rest of his family not for anything he’s done but because I’m his father and I am hated.  His learning disabilities make him the most special human being I have ever known.  I cannot bring myself to leave him until I must.

This is my world.  I probably explained it poorly.  There are some things that words fail to even approach.  I wish I could grab all of the idiots that so love war and make them see what it does to your soul.  I can’t and, honestly, if you see any reason for war then there is no hope to describe it well enough to open your eyes.  That is just another failure in my life.  There is no way to explain PTSD.  You can only try to survive it.

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6 Responses to PTSD Destroys Souls

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  2. daniela says:

    Hi John, thank you for sharing your story. I am currently writing a school paper on how the senses and memory play a role in constructing our reality. I immediately thought of making their role relevant by relating it to individuals who have suffered trauma, such as freak accidents and ICU experiences, and individuals who live with PTSD, minor or complex. Seeing as to how I do not wish to share my own experiences to the public yet I searched the web trying to find a case study that lead to personal reflections, I came across your blog. Personally, having lived through a long series of traumatic experiences myself, of a very different nature than yours, I salute your bravery in expressing what you’ve lived to the public. Living with PTSD is not easy and your blog brings attention to that and many other important issues. Hopefully one day I will be as strong as you to create a social discourse on my own experiences. Some may think it is silly to share your life story, but you never know the effect it may have one someone. In moments of personal reflection, it is the strong like you that offer one more line of encouragement to be stronger and no longer identify myself as a victim of my past, but rather a strong and independent female who demands respect.

  3. John Cannon says:

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  4. Christina M. says:

    Thanks, I needed to read such a story. I understand. I always feel like a fool when I remember how I believed the world was a decent place…that the US actually helped countries in need. My eyes are open, and theirs are still shut. It’s like being in the company of children…and I was like that long ago. In the beginning I was angry, then I tried to explain, to convince. Now I am just tired and defeated. The problem is that no one WANTS to know. It would mean giving up their comfort and carelessness. Sometimes I get lonely and try to make friends, but I always feel repulsed soon after. I was getting lonely again. I think your story has helped me overcome the feeling. I guess we can only accept the fact that humans are animals. May you find peace in life, brother.

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