Way back in high school, I got into acrylic painting. I did a few paintings kind of Bob Ross style and the teachers immediately bought them. Then
they had a collage professor, come in and teach a 6 week class, or try to anyways to us kids. (it was an alternative center/preg teen high school) I
gave her a lot of crap because what she was trying to tell me to do did not seem like art to me at all at the time. She wanted an abstract painting,
and I wanted to paint scenes and details. We actually verbally fought to the point where she almost quit doing the class. At this point, I would like
to say to that art teacher, I am sorry, wherever you are.I got more out of you than I realized until much later.
She made me do an abstract painting, and that made me mad, but I gave her what she wanted, I gave her more than what she was expecting, and when she
looked at it, her eyes lit up and she almost gasped. When she asked me what it was, I told her, which I cannot tell you, what it was.
She took my painting so she could apparently use it in her classes in collage. I was a messed up kid back then, with long hair,a leather jacket, and
it was the end of the 80's. I was honored but did not understand why she liked it so much.
I was rough. I had been kicked out of every Jr High in the city I was growing up in. I was sent into a children's home/treatment center for
"behavioral" therapy at the age of 12, and at the time I needed it. It did a lot of good.
After a year and a half, I was put back into the public school system, and within 6 months I was kicked out again. I remember my 4th grade counselor
telling my mom they didn't know what to do with me, I was a 40 year old in a 9 year old's body.
Back then they didn't know what was wrong with me, I was an angry child. Worse than most. Luckily, by the age of 15 I learned to control myself a lot
better. I had a problem with authority though, and any time I was told what to do, or felt threatened in any way, I would strike out with such a
violent verbal assault that well, like I said,I was kicked out of several schools,. That is where my P.T.S.D. manifested itself. It/I attacked the
teachers if I felt I was unjustly treated or wronged in some way.If all was well around me, and the environment was safe, I was good as well, but if I
felt threatened, I was like something else. Back then, I did not understand it like I do now.
Life goes on, and I did very well for a while. I had always suffered from depression, and never knew why, but it was no big deal, when you live with
it always, you do get used to it. I got married, had kids, all was great with the world, sort of. I won't lie, living with me was hard on my now
x-wife, I am sure. I had always had a snap temper, and mood swings, but nothing to terrible. As life wandered on I had to quit my job, and become an
at home dad due to 3 kids and the x making more than me. The day to day stress of being an at home father who is normally working started to take it's
toll and my P.T.S.D. came back slowly at first, and then with a vengeance. Eventually I had to seek out a psychiatrist and was diagnosed after dealing
with it on my own for years, with PTSD. It is a funny thing, PTSD, if you don't know you have it. You walk around in a state of anxiety that
electrifies the air. Every noise, every movement, every flicker of a light bulb, your mind catches it. Someone sneaks up behind you and yells "BOO!!"
and you almost drop dead from a heart attack. An over exaggerated response because you were already on alert, waiting for something....but you don't
know what, or even realize you are expecting it.
It is like a ghost in the mind that haunts, only it is more powerful. It is something that has shocked you to your core at some point in your life,and
it left trauma. It left a symbol, a psychic imprint so deep that nothing seems to fix it.
It is like driving a bulldozer directly though the middle of your brain. The trauma changes the brain chemistry, rewires it and information from that
point on is stored differently than a "normal" person.
You cannot erase the past.
When I divorced, I had a breakdown. I ended up placing myself in the hospital for my own safety. My PTSD which was already ruling my life came back at
me with such a vengeance that I almost didn't make it through.
My body after weeks of complete mental collapse began to shut down.It was adrenalin rush that never stopped.
Although I was diagnosed some years before with PTSD, the nature of my illness kept me from getting help. I was agoraphobic and had a hard time even
taking out the trash, let alone make it in to see a shrink.
When I finally broke down, I knew I was dead without help. I could feel my mind changing, the dark thoughts that would intrude upon me, the impending
doom, the paranoia that something is wrong but not knowing what. The wanting to die, even though I did not want to die, the thought kept pushing me.I
knew it was PTSD coming for me.
I got help, and although I am a survivor, it will never totally go away.
I see so much on TV now about PTSD, and it saddens me. All of these soldiers coming home with PTSD. They will have to live with something that words
cannot describe properly, something so dark and shocking that no matter what happened, it struck them to the core and changed them forever. And they
will be misunderstood.
The frustration with telling someone what PTSD is like ,is crazy in itself. You can explain until you are blue in the face about how you feel like you
are going to die at any moment, even though, you don't know why you should feel that way. People don't understand what it is like.....how do you show
it to them??? How do you get people to understand....to feel it???? How can I get it across to you???.....Here is what PTSD is as defined by me, a
person who lives it. It is all there in symbolism. Every aspect of the mental disorder.
Perhaps only I see it for what it is.....
If I never do another painting in my entire life, at least I can say I tried to do SOMETHING for PTSD survivors, even if it is only a view into how
But now maybe you will too understand a little bit better. PTSD is a terrible disorder and the people who suffer from it are trapped within their own
Armageddon. But there is hope and help, if I can do it, anyone can.
edit on 23-1-2012 by Darkblade71 because: speaking serious typonese