Some time ago at one of my many shrink appointments the guy tells me I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder along with the O.C.D. and depression I already knew about. I buy the O.C.D. thing. I'm not a handwasher but a looper. Thoughts come in and just loop around in my head until I jog 18 miles or get wasted. They could be creative song shit or paranoid boyfriend fucking someone else thoughts or too much to do in little time according to ME. Anyone else just goes along and makes mental notes of their to-do list. I have legal pads with lists in every room of this house. Tweaker. But P.T.S.D. is for dudes who have been in wars and seen bodies and guts everywhere. Oh yeah, that's me too. I did see bodies and guts everywhere at a young age. Three different occasions come to mind. Curious aren't ya? I'll get to that.
I wonder if P.T.S.D. would explain my very poor memory or maybe the constant rocking. But I have been rocking, literally, side to side (not just rock out with your cock out music type rocking) since I can remember. In bed, in cars, at the dining room table. No music needed although as soon as I do hear it I'm rocking in my seat no matter where I am. When I read a book my head is rocking front to back, when I watch a movie I'm rocking my head. Weird right? Reminds me of my first night in College in my dorm room and I was lying there on the bottom bunk dying to rock and doing so ever so softly and the chick says "what are you doing. . .the bed is moving?" So maybe that is a symptom of P.T.S.D in some people but it dates before my traumatic happenings. Pediatricians told my mother the rocking was a calcium deficiency. Shut the fuck up. I ate cheese everyday. Anyway. I do not know exactly why my squash rotted head is the way it is but I do know what I saw. The story goes something like this.
Heading home with my boyfriend and parents from an outdoor Arlo Guthrie concert in the Berkshires. Winding roads. Michael and I in the back seat. We turn a corner and BLAMMMMOOOOO we are the first car in line to witness two pick up trucks hit head on. One full of kids coming from the concert and the other an elderly couple. The kids were thrown from the cab and the back of the truck. I think their truck was flipped over. In any case bodies were everywhere. Trapped under the truck and launched from it. I got out of our car like a robot ready to help in any way I could. I was fully trained because of my State Lifeguard Job in c.p.r., emergency car extraction (isn't that weird) and almost everything else someone in my shoes had to know. I had no fear or hesitation to get my hands dirty. I remember moans and blood. A womans chest ripped off. Someone folded in half in a very strange anatomical way. I remember having to decide who was dead and who needed help. Cars were surrounding the scene from both sides but I was unaware of it at the time. I remember talking to "Angela" and asking how many people were in the truck. Both wanting to see if she was coherent and wondering if someone may be off the side of the road.. She kept asking for someone and it didn't match the count of bodies I saw. Turns out the drunk driver split the scene cradling his chewed up arm into the woods and passed out somewhere later to be found by cops because of Angelas ranting about so-and-so. Well we had to stay at the scene and tell cops what we saw and what we did. I clued the EMT's in to what I knew during my time there. While sitting and waiting bodies were being covered up or carried into ambulances. I know there is more to the story but I cannot REMEMBER. "That" my shrink says "is symptom ONE". My new Arlo T-shirt was covered in blood and my boyfriend was nowhere to be found. I think my parents stayed in the car for quite a long time too. No one in their right mind wants a close up look at blood and guts and shit and hell. Following the incident I didn't receive counseling and according to the shrink that was a crying shame. I still have the T-shirt.
Fast forward to my twenties and my cover band years. Playing every weekend in Springfield which was a tough place back then. Singing and rocking my ass off and someone comes screaming into the bar yelling about something gruesome happening in the parking lot. Once again I find myself in robot mode bounding off the stage barefoot and running to the lot. Under the street light lays a kid with his head run over by a car. It lined up so that his ankles were also under the wheels. Turns out it was a van and a bad drug deal. I'm inches away from his face yelling at him to wake up and one of his friends is hysterical and trying to reach into his pants to get the drugs. I'm trying to keep him from moving the poor guy and calm the screaming chicks down by shouting out orders like "give me your shirt" and "someone call 911." I guess I did a tourniquete around his head. Again I don't remember. I don't remember if he died. I know your thinking "how the fuck could you not remember?" Ask my shrink or google it. It must be for protection.
Same band, same parking lot, same scene some time later. . .someone comes running in. This time going directly to the stage and getting me. Barefoot again I run to the lot and see a kid I know with his face wide open from ear to chin from a lead pipe. Steroid rage. Maybe drug thing too. Don't know. I do remember asking our drummer for his shirt. I always wore skin tight dresses and there was no way I was ripping it off to reveal my bloated nakedness. no shoes, no undies. Dig?
So now you can kinda get the traumatic visions that swim in my head and have attached themselves to my cell walls able to send me into some kinda freak out at any moment. I guess that is enough for someone to experience P.T.S.D.
It makes me so angry when I see people playing video games with blood and guts as the entertainment value. Or watching shows where there is gore for the fuck of it. I feel like screaming "You think that's FUN? you wanna see some guts you fuck wipe You couldn't handle it!"