So? You think you know.

A smile, a laugh, a hug and some jokes, you see me as I am and you think that you know. It’s the same old ground I’m always walking, with a head held high, false face, and fading reality.

You think you know.

This shadow of mine casts a dark reflection for which carries my soul. Walking side by side, flesh, muscle and stature tells you a tale, but my shadow harbors the truth. It’s darkness and rage, horror and fear, a shadowed jail that no one sees when peering at it’s presence upon the ground but me. Yeah I see it; you only see me.

I pray for cloudy days, for rain filled with pain, pressing so very hard upon my skin like needles tearing flesh from the bone. Helping, this searing sensation creates a neural overload strengthening my resolve when ever my shadow is gone. Building up future energy and tolerance for when the sun shines around me so I may survive it’s golden rays for just one more day. I have no place to hide.

You think you know

You think you know me when we meet, my smile and kind looking eyes but it’s all an act. My laughter and tears are played for an audience, I have become a master actor at life. Doing what I can to appease my shadow, to help hold these demons within. But much like an actor I must retire into solitude, and darkness, to a place inside my head where I can safely practice my lines. It’s a moody uncomfortable place where people can and do get hurt. But regardless it must be.

What you don’t know or will never understand is the sheer context of my life. I feel like a broken glass. Shards chipped, broken, then broken again. Placed carefully inside another glass for all to see.

You think you know

You mean well and want to help, but you have no way to reach inside this jar, pick a shard to begin putting me back together without hurting yourself, without bleeding and breaking just a little each time you try. Blood mixes with pain to become rain that falls back down on me. It hurts to much to try.

It’s all there for you to see. I’m all there, confined within the very transparency of glass for all to witness, not fix. Ultimately it is my gift to you. My way of helping you to never become broken, and for those already broken to understand it is ok to accept the truth and to be seen by those who care but don’t know.

So next time you see me, please don’t act like you know.

Because you can’t……

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9 thoughts on “So? You think you know.

  1. You are not alone. Just because some of us put on our own facade of being okay doesn’t mean we are okay. We all have our own demons and put on our own facade. It was so nice to finally meet you in person on Saturday. What I know is that you are a fine, decent man who cares deeply for his wife, family and friends. A man who serves his community in a very stressful and demanding occupation. I admire and honor who you are.

      1. Thank you for your nice response James. And yes, I found my purse. My personal struggle is a senior mind! I’d changed purses and was looking for the wrong one!! My friend and living partner Deanna who is a cancer survivor and in chemo every three weeks for 5 days in a row so very much enjoyed signing the pink fire truck and police car! She, like Jaycee is a strong warrior. Deanna’s had 4 different cancers over a period of 15 years and this particular bout has to do with going toward leukemia. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you, Jaycee and your family for quite awhile now. God bless you! 🙂 Susan

  2. I still haven’t met you in the flesh. I feel your pain as I have deep pain I have experienced but have not shared. I hurt for you and your children, I ache for Jacy and for you when I pray for you. I believe that when someone says they understand that just maybe their pains can help them relate. No I don’t know you but sir I feel you.
    May God give you strength to get through today, may He give you never ending faith. May God continue to be with you.
    I hope if we ever meet face to face and hug you will feel I feel.
    Debbie

  3. Your writings amaze me and I so look forward to your posts. You always seem to say the right words when I am having a rough day, week, month or year. We all struggle but to be able to share it the way you do is wonderful. Your love for Jace, your children and your job warm my heart. You are truly one of the good guys. Stay safe.

  4. I am 21 months out of work battling the beast (PTSD)… and like a true addict, all I want to do is go back to work. I have read many of your blogs while I have been in recovery. This particular post hit me hard and I have read it over and over, as it echo’s my own story.

    One of my last days at work, someone said David, how do you do it, you always are happy and smiling. My response, ‘its just a facade hiding what’s really down deep inside me.’ 21 months later, no one understands, unless they do the things we do. And even at that, each of us is impacted by each event in a very different way.

    I find writing was originally my only outlet, the more time passes the more I realize talking to friends and family what I’m experiencing is a huge release. I’ve reached out to more friends in the last 30 days, than I have in the past 20 years.

    Isolation… always alone, even in a room full of people I know.

    Writing is still my easiest outlet…

    21 month later, I’m only now starting to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. I continue to unload the shame and guilt of feeling like a failure.

    People keep asking me, why do you want to go back to work… My answer, ‘because I’m not done yet, there’s so much more I still want to do… and I’m still young!’

    Keep up the great writing… and there is no doubt, we are not alone! We just need to get the word out!

    A fellow PTSD fighter… http://www.returnofthesmile.com

    I wish you the best!

    1. First let me start by saying thank you.
      Thank you for having the courage to reach out and comment on this piece.
      I wrote this in a fashion that exposes a simple truth. We all suffer in our own way. Each one of us that lives with some form of PTSD, can relate to others experiences but we can never truly know what the other is thinking or feeling at any given moment.
      Writing is so very good for you. I have a thumb drive filled with writings that will never see the light of day. (Of course I say that now) and also being brave enough to begin sharing with those around you is a gigantic step in moving forward.
      I personally have found a certain solace in being alone. No expectations from anyone to meet when you have the ability to hide within yourself. But it mustn’t become permanent. At some point finding a way to come out of your shell, no longer allowing that feeling of isolation when surrounded by people is paramount. But in good time and only you will know when you are ready.
      I will keep spreading the word if you will. It is very important.
      You say you don’t feel as if you are done yet. I agree, I feel the same way, but my way of not being done is by doing exactly what we are doing right now.
      Talking…

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