April 19, 2016

Fear and Loathing in Iraq

Fear and Loathing in Iraq

...see if I can remember
hold on..

Act One:

We gotta address
the silence,
taking us out.

It’s an honor
to mediate
the psychology
of death.

To witness
an
atrocity
is a
life sentence
of
suicidal thinking.

To atone,
live,
die
or share.

Act Two:

Boom!

Driving under
the hump of night,
streaking red lights
across the sky.

Rocket plum-trails
flung,
strings of clouds
illuminated by flights
of fire.

Over the oval
periscope
night vision screen,
white interior
tan armored can.

Ordnance ringing
shock waves
and
reason escape
toward
my steel embrace.

Make a living
they said,
a button and bomb
war
you say.

Not by my witness.

On the
ragged edges
of thought deception.
With
canyons
of memories
gone.

Over 24,000 dead.
In a
three day
glory orgy
massacre.

An angry
long-range rocket
glare.
Depleted uranium rounds
beware.

Act Two, Scene Two:

Public relations
Downplayed
the ground war.
Oral history
Against
the
idiot box
repeaters.
Sling back
my pain;
hung, slung and sprung
for you.

With a twisted retort
they say,
“...you know,
smart bombs
bursting in air...”
On soldiers
without a chance,
eating bags
of rotten tomatoes
and not enough rice,
or ammo
for a fight.

100 hour ground war,
Infantry
pointing tanks
to kill.
A Saudi oil storm
and the
oligarchy
holds our hands.

Keep it in the ground,
or genocide the world.

Act Three, Take Two:

172 hours
straight,
to witness
a three-day
massacre.

We
were out of range,
They
were not.
On the edge
of insanity.

Little green men
running around
on fire
in my periscope.

Part Two, Scene Three:

Infantry
guiding our tanks
into place
to fire upon
tomato eaters.

Best path
for a contingent
of
Apache's and Warthogs
strafing,
pinning them down.

Apaches out front
raining hellfire
And a
50 cal machine gun
Hammering
little green stick men
into the ground.

Part..:

I cannot fucking remember
until waking dreams
and nightmares.
Scanning sectors
and
best kill boxes.

So many
lost
to the edge.
An alternative reality
next to you.

A Lost Scene;

Where I was
when you asked,
"...you okay?"

“Yeah...I'm okay.”

Another gurgling
conversation
I'm missing.
They don't want
To hear
why
cluster bombs
are bad.

Private Dumbass
and I were walking
through burned out
hulls.
Got my section covered
when he says,
"Hey, look over here!"

With his leg
cocked back
attacking my eye.
I grabbed him
slamming him
in my sector.

A
shiny can
with
Eight spider legs
sprawling out.

Cool!

I'd wanna kick it too,
if I were two.
He thanked me
after I said,
"You almost got us
both killed!"

Epilogue:

I am a contatinter
of that which splintered
singularly,
forcing the aperture
through which
I find my reality.

We tell a soldier or veteran
of war
Welcome Home
Because
the battle
never leaves us,
as we return
from conflict
everyday of our lives.

My shit
still tries
to kill me,
my war
1991.

Scott A. Lee © 2016

#veteransuicide  #22aDay  #MoreLike55aDay  #RaiseAREDflag

March 9, 2016

PASP on Letting Go of PTSD

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward. ~ Søren Kierkegaard

If suggesting that letting go was actually the best and easiest option, then the world be a different place and I would of “fixed” myself long ago. Might as well hand the novice a boomerang in a shaming pose and quietly say, “Throw it.”

I have been angry for most of my life and all too often I take it out on people close to me. When my mother was alive, she carried the brunt of my rage. I did not know why but back then it felt like she was the source of it all. It probably kept me out of prison. On some level she may have known, and took my verbal abuse. Betty was an anger sink for me, keeping me safe when blaming and railing against her for my vulnerability.

With my mother, I wasn't jesting with the world against the stacked house of facades we call society. Done enough, you may find your face filleted. If you are lucky, I'm told. I was better able to fair storms when she lived. When veterans and families have a strong support network, living with the consequences of war is hard enough. For those with little to no support, or loose it they will more often spiral out of control.

I am not here to deny that most of it was my wreckage, nor get into a trolling fight with agents against change. Mind bending, while great for special effects on an unattached screen it is better coped understanding what to expect. I am here for people with PTSD and other brain injuries to navigate the vortex of inner experience in hopes they can better cope.

The house of facades becomes a disorientating sea of emotions, memories and nightmares lost in the waves hurt, delusion, pain and rage for vets with Complex PTSD and Moral Injury. Any one distortion to our self-image could trip a hallucination, attack with your delusions and I

Hurt can become a stoking force under bridges. ~ Scott Lee

Moral Injury, it tries to kill me most days. For us trusting comes too quick, or not fast enough. Hurt, can become a heat sink drowning out reason and clarity. It is rooted in my hate for me, I get that.

I see the struggle for people to take the amount of sorrow silently exuding from my pores. Imagine the internal state one must carry to radiate this energy. It is uncomfortable, I get it. Let's not forget the lion tongue cuts both ways, see my face.

One of the best medicines I have found, is the person willing to sit with you in your sorrow. Whether I am raging at unseen forces, or help me brave the deafening silence.

The crashing waves atop the sea looks scary, to you. I know the unrealized terror of the undercurrents, invisible to the reality above and carry the most power. Where we begin to see scary sea swimming on top, my third eye is constantly churning. Just because we don't talk about it or have a good day, does not mean we do not think about what we did and saw every day.

Not one vet deployed to combat and seen or participated in inflicting high casualty rates comes back unchanged. Apathetic, angry at everyone, betrayed by the media and government on all fronts. Why wouldn't we feel apathetic to your plight, when our problems kill us? We get high profile "veterans" organizations pulling in multi-millions, but those vets get rock star treatment while it's filmed for promotional purposes.

Stop telling veterans to let go. The only way to let go of PTSD is by death, and too many veterans succumb to the ravages of posttramatic stress. I dare say few of us give up, more like died while waiting on care. Someone care now?

February 7, 2016

Veteran on the Edge

This post is inspired by reading Patience Mason's PTSD Blog about her new book idea. She asks, "Reality is that most people who come back from war, or survive another trauma, are not fine, so if that might fit you, here are some questions to think about: How or why might you be fucked up?"

Dear Joe Public,

I would doubt you were in the military or a veteran if you could not recite two or more times a curious and insensitive clod trampled through your trauma to relive his boyhood romanticized thriller of the military life.

For the insensitive thinking that leads a stranger to ask intimate questions, and then discount my story because it does not match the official narrative. Even though most know the television and government lies about everything.

I am not fine. Why the fuck would you expect me to be? Because my war was a little war and does not matter? I hear this all too often, recently and even from veterans.

I am angry and full of rage when not numb or heavily medicated. Hear my witness, in three days my brigade killed over 24,000 Iraqi soldiers under the Desert Storm.

When I got home the idiot box repeaters called me a liar further altering people's perceptions of me as unstable. Caregivers know the safest people in the world are standing next to veterans with PTSD.

When I got home it took filing seven times with the Veterans Administration to get a 0% service connected rating for hearing loss.

In 2005 unchecked PTSD led me to get stabbed in the face and precipitated a crisis. Hospitalized for two weeks in psychic ward and then transferred to a two-year intensive treatment center for veterans.

It took the ninth case, to get a 30% rating for PTSD. Without the support from the treatment center I would not be alive or have a stable life.

Fast forward past the bouts of homelessness, and over 12 hospitalizations for suicidal ideation, in 2007 and the eleventh case, I was finally awarded an 80% service connection for PTSD, hearing loss and tinnitus. Which seriously exacerbates PTSD and infuses the flashbacks and hallucinations with sound, when I am doing deaf.

Do not ever forget. I participated and witnessed in a massacre. For I cannot. My mother shared stories of our great-great grandmother walking the Trail of Tears as a child. I now know her level of sorrow, a lost Cherokee of an unknown clan, branded with genocide where the past meets the present.

Today, if I make perfect financial decisions every month I can barely get by. But, I am not only human and prone to the same mistakes and stresses everyone faces. That is a base for a veteran with combat PTSD, MST and TBI, welcome to our good day. Now heap on hyperstress and crippling anxiety that literally makes your skin crawl. Welcome to our good day. For a great day, heap on cannabis. I don't make enough money to have that the whole month though.

Why the fuck would I shoot bullet eyes when you ask, "Are you okay?" No, I am on the edge. Are you ready to listen?