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29 November 2010

Time. Not on my side.

Time is always moving forward.  Yesterday, today, tomorrow.  Today is where you are on the line. 

Now.

Tomorrow isn't the issue, or even today.  The issue with PTSD is yesterday.  The day before today.  You can look at a calendar, and say "Today is Monday 29 November 2010, so yesterday was Sunday 28 November 2010", and you would be technically correct.  Your statement is true.  However, in my yesterday, I was in the middle of a city in the middle of the Desert, in the middle of a war.  I was in my grandmother's house, in the middle of my family who was supposed to protect me.  I was in the middle of a marriage and a life that was falling apart.  I was in the middle of my living room, with only candle light and no heat because I couldn't pay the electric bill.  I was waiting on a street corner for a bus that would take me to the VA hospital.  I was this close


I'm late, a lot.  You know that rule that says if you're ten minutes early, you're late?  I can never follow that rule.  I think I've figured out why.  PTSD takes away your sense of time, blows it up, scatters the fragments in the wind.  I never know what time it really is, because my mind doesn't see my life as a timeline.  So many things that were really long ago, feel like they were yesterday.  I've relived so many things, again and again, that they seem like they just happened.  Twenty years ago, I was in the Desert preparing for war.  Twenty years.  It seems like just yesterday.  So it's hard to know that it's 0800 and I need to get up for class when my brain thinks it's 2200 and I'm standing on top of a villa staring at faraway lights in the Desert night twenty years ago.

It's not so much that I see the Desert night-- it's that I don't feel here.  The past is hard to grab onto; it's much like a mirage, I see it in bits and pieces that swirl in and out.  It's like trying to step on a sunbeam.  You can put your foot on it, but you're really not stepping on it. 

Here and now is the best it's ever been, but I don't feel like I'm really here at all.

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