10 Ways I Cope With My PTSD

  1. Acknowledgement

My birthday is coming up in a week, April 22. The general public assumes a sensational excitement when the sun returns to its position on the day of one’s birth. This feeling is something I cannot share. I may have once felt this feeling; I may have once felt like I could relate to the delight of having people pay attention to a day that seemingly belongs to me. Yet, my birthday does not belong to me. This day belongs not to the celebration of my birth, but to a loss, the loss of my mother. When people ask me about my birthday, when they remind me that the date is approaching, I pull back, I slip away. I can’t hear them and all I hear is an agonized ringing, masking distant myopic whispers.

  1. Flashbacks

At times there is this unbearable weight in my chest. I cannot discern what triggers this sudden acquisition of mass. It can come on abruptly, without real notice. My chest tightens, a shallowness of the breath follows and I find myself struggling to stand up straight for there is this gravitational pressure. My eyes widen and I wither into a memory. A memory repressed, flashing back to me with a raw vividness. I see myself, from an omnipotent viewpoint, at the age of sixteen walking home from class. I walk up to the apartment, sluggishly heaving myself up the staircase and unlock the door.
“Mom, I’m home,” I shout from a farther room.
A response of deafening silence. I shout again, “Mom! Hello?!”
Again, silence. I can smell scorched enchiladas blackening in the oven and I now begin to sense that something is not quite right. I walk into my mother’s bedroom. The room is still; solely illuminated by clouded daylight leaking through a window decorated with faded fingerprints. I look to my mother’s bed. There she lies on her back, open-mouthed, eyes shut. I slowly glide towards her, the covers tucked peacefully into her usually warm lumpy sides. I press my fingers on her left hip, that usual warmth of life felt when touching someone was gone. She feels cold. This was not my mother. No. Mom. This is not you.

      The vision of the room began to spiral, warping into voided blackness.

  1. Creative Expression

They tell me self-expression can be a helpful coping mechanism. So I take a stab at writing my own shit. 

(My Take On) Romance

You’re not really serious when you’re seventeen
You’re not really serious when you’re eighteen either.


Heartfelt sentiments,
Spoken by an iridescent angel.
She sits across the table from me.
Despite her close proximity,
She is suffering in a sacrificial silence
For I cannot hear her speak
I am absent. 

My heart goes crusoeing.
For despite her unfailing kindness and generosity
She is not satisfactory.
My umbral shadow eclipses her soul.
I don’t think I want an angel.

Mindlessly confessing amorous phrases to this angel
As I stroke the soft surface of her ear… 

…Fuck this.

 4. Marijuana

SCIENTISTS CLAIM THAT MARIJUANA HAS NEUROPROTECTIVE PROPERTIES a newspaper headline reads as I dart out of a convenience store with a cheap drip coffee in hand. Thank god. Thank god for Israeli Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. He has given the world scientific proof of marijuana’s neuroprotective effects on the brain and an authoritative voice to its application to neurological disorders.
Since the date of my birthday two years ago, I have not gone a day without smoking weed, dope, herb, grass, marijane, or whatever name you’d prefer to give her. She is my constant. She has aided me in handling sudden urges of anxiety and paralyzing panic attacks. Nearly about a year after I lost my mother, I decided to scam my way into getting a Medical Marijuana license. It was a much simpler process than most people’d assume. I handed my doctor $50 in cash and told him, “I need a green card, my sciatica is causing me excruciating discomfort.”

He signed away and now I have a medical marijuana card, ensuring me an endless supply of deals on good herb.

*   *   *

I once took a greyhound to return to Seattle after visiting family on Vashon Island. After I sat down on the bus, a woman sitting near me got up from her musky-smelling carpeted seat and darted down the aisle to tell the bus driver that I reeked of marijuana. The bus driver got up from his seat and confronted me about my possession of marijuana. Yes. I had marijuana. I have a license. My possession of it was legal. I wasn’t smoking it on the bus, yet this asshole was not buying my completely logical argument.
When the greyhound stopped at its destination stationed in downtown Seattle, I got off the bus and found two security guards patiently waiting for my arrival. They both approached me, inquiring about my possession of marijuana. I told them I could show them my green card, but they didn’t seem interested. One gentleman, or should I say piece-of-shit, grabbed my arm. I calmly looked down at his menacing grip, and then I slowly raised my head to make eye contact with him. Once our eyes met, I asked, “Are you feeling like a big man today? Do you think you’re going to go home and this is going to make your family proud?” He loosened his grip and appeared as if he was about to hit me. It was then that I jolted, sprinted from the scene. Luckily, I was much lighter than those two corpulent men; bet they haven’t seen their toes in at least ten years. The most appalling part of this story is how they ended up finding out my identity and calling my school. I was suspended for three weeks. Fucking pigs.

5. Escapism 

Drugs: Cocaine, MDMA, MDA, Shrooms, LSD, Ketamine. Whatever I can get my hands on. I don’t want to sound clichéd or corny, but they really do take me to places that I actually want to go to, while the surrounding earthly reality me sickens me with its banality.

  1. Emotional Distance

I cannot remember the last time I have cried about something. Perhaps the last time I cried was up until several months after my mother’s death. Hell, I’m sad sometimes, actually most of the time. I get these waves of depressed thoughts shooting across my prefrontal cortex and my mood drops. Everyone around me becomes affected by my poor mood and attitude and I push you all away. I push you away. Get the fuck away from me. Shut up. I don’t care. I don’t. I may be a narcissist for my inconsideration, so what? Shut the fuck up. Leave me alone.
Yet, this loneliness does not answer any single of my desires for otherworldly signs for direction. It leaves me alone plain and simple. Wait, come back, please. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry. I am sorry. My angel I am sorry.

*   *   *

She tells me I am a Venusian lover. She says that she is a Moon lover. One of the nicest things I do for my angel is pretend to listen to her yak about esoteric astrological bullshit. She tells me that I am Venusian in the way that I am charming and sociable but distant. Not fully emotionally available. Whereas she is the most emotionally available person I know. She is vertical, constantly rising up and sinking down. I am horizontal, merely moving back and forth, from East to West. She speaks to me of comparisons between Venusian and Lunar symbolism. She says that with Venus the separation between the two people involved in the relationship is clear. However, with the Moon there is no boundary between the two people involved, the separation is absent. Venus is affection, what we like; the Moon represents our emotional needs and our desire to be nurtured.
“Venus tastes good, but it can make us feel empty in our bellies. Akin to a diet of sugar, it is not sustainable.”
I am not a guy who creates relationships with women in order for them to be sustainable. I rarely talk to any of the women that I used to see.
“In order to fulfill our deeper hunger, we must experience the Moon level of a relationship. Profound intimacy and closeness is not possible without ascending to this level of the relationship.”
She also tells me that I am more susceptible to infidelity due to my natal Moon squaring Venus; which in translation means that my emotional needs do not match my preferences for sex and affection. I do not let anyone dive down deep into my emotions or have them figure me out, really. That is truly why I am the Venusian lover. I do not think I am able to hold a Moon level relationship or truly become intimate with another to the point of our souls fusing together. I cannot take that risk.
I still want to fuck her though, for the time being. So I just let her gab and wait until she shuts her yap to fuck her sweet little brains out.

  1. Fucking

I used to be this obese fourteen year-old. My mother, being the cook that she was, would experiment on me with her endless creations and I shoved every single one of them in my fat face.
But hey, despite being obese, I lost my virginity at that age with a sixteen year-old in the back of her father’s pick up truck. It was probably the worst sexual experience of my life. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing, or anything about the female anatomy really, and after a while of our performance of the old in-and-out, her dad came to visit us with a smiling gun.
Thirteen girls later and 60 pounds lighter; sex is much better. I keep finding girls that are sweet, innocent, and charming. All of them end up being virgins; christening the last five women I have slept with.
The current girl I am seeing, man, she’s whipped. She’s a whipped up angel. She is constantly staring at me. I ask her why and she replies with a coy
“What? C’mon.”
“Okay… it’s just. I think you’re a good looking guy.”
I stare back into her eyes, because she seems so intent upon staring at mine and I see this fierce intensity concealed behind her demure appearance. It kind of freaks me out. It kind of makes me think she’s plotting to kill me and that I must think of a way to save my skin and soon before she takes my life.
“My god. If I saw you stare at me like that, and we were in a war zone. I’d have to kill you.”
Instead of a verbal response, her body skates towards mine. She fingers my revealed collarbone with such detailed caresses that it makes me sigh. She is an angel, a true sweetheart.
But I am not. Despite how good she is to me. I am dying to fuck other women. I cannot help it. I am a flighty restless soul by design. I hunger for experience, in every sense of the word. I cannot possibly let anything or anyone hold me down.

Consistency, meticulousness; two nouns that are synonymous to my angel, are also two things I abhor.

And yet, her kindness and attachment feel nice. They make me feel important and the sex is good. Her emotional claws reach at me creating a dramatized effect on the whole experience. I respond by feeding her some impassioned strokes and phrases. She swallows them whole.
My god, she is so naïve, and incredibly generous. Her generosity also translates into bedroom activities, willingly attempting any fantasy of mine and she does so with fervor.
So I’m not going to go about ruining a good thing until I’m entirely sure that I need a change. Besides I’m leaving for Los Angeles in a week or two. I shouldn’t decide to switch things up sexually until my physical absence. I wouldn’t want to make too much of a mess of things.

  1. Therapy

My father thinks I need therapy. He’s worried about my wellbeing. I’ve been to numerous therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists. I think they should just fucking shoot themselves. Every question that trails out of their small, tightened lips is complete bullshit. Empty, soulless mortals. The last one I attempted to see was John Morsel. What in the hell kind of last name is that? Morsel? You think I’m kidding, right? Well believe what you want, that’s what it said on his mother-fucking tag. He kept asking me those clichéd questions after every comment I made, “How does that make you feel?” and “How do you feel about that?”
I just gaped at his narrow almond-shaped face and I thought to myself, I don’t fucking know. How am I supposed to know what I feel? I mean, sometimes I think I can’t feel anything. He doesn’t care about my life, really. So inauthentic, so hollow his words. After about twenty minutes into the session, the reverberations of his voice became muted and again I began to withdraw; my ears filling with echoed ringing. I shook my head, got up.
“Thank you for your time.”
He acted surprised and was making pathetic attempts to get me to stay. I just kept repeating, “Thank you for your time,” and I left. 

  1. Anger

I know the appearance I give off to others. People see me and can sense the seriousness in my demeanor tiresomely covering up potential displays of my anger. I am angry. I am bitter. No lie about that. I tend to take it out on pricks and yuppies. Hell, I love to pick fights with pricks and yuppies. I went to a protest last weekend during the horrendous holiday of Black Friday. BUY MORE STUFF! BUY MORE STUFF! I shouted at those senseless fucks spending as much money as they can on useless items in effort to fill the void in their souls. I sure got a kick out of it.
Generally, when in a whiskey breathed stupor, roaming the streets of Ballard with my buddies, I yell at stupid fucks. I yell at them to express my rage at society’s current pitiful state. I want to shoot all those mindless sheep wasting their time in candle shops and juice bars. I want a bullet to blast through their brains. The world would be much better without them.

  1. Restlessness

Commitment is probably the word that induces the most fear in me. I cannot sit still; I cannot tolerate stagnancy for long. I get anxiety when feeling trapped. When I am with my angel, I feel loved and cared for but I also feel trapped. She is so solid, so stuck on the ground. I am not. I must leave. I must leave her. Perhaps things will just waver away, our contacts will be shortened and I will never have to speak with her again. I think I may never settle in one place. But hey, that’s ok with me.

It is what I desire, it is what I feel, and it is what I need.

At least I know my flawed needs that most people deem inappropriate, bad, or try to cover them up with their conditioned sense of moral obligation and suggested discourse from self-help books. Fuck you pricks, trying to be something that you’re not. At least I am honest with myself. I am fucked up. That’s who I am and it’s not going to change.