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Walking Triggered

by Kalli Terrell (she/her) 4 months ago in trauma · updated 3 months ago

A Poetry Collection Describing a PTSD Experience

Walking Triggered
Photo by Pablo Guerrero on Unsplash

Paralysis

They say what doesn't kill you,

makes you stronger.

I would like to revise that;

what doesn't kill you,

might gradually kill you.

*

As the list of things that didn’t kill us,

but entrapped us in internal peril,

ever-expands the older we grow,

we begin to believe

that we are alone.

*

The visceral tearing,

of the heart.

The crushing terror,

of a threat that is no longer present.

The intrinsic self-doubt,

encapsulated in the essence of who we are.

The inherent self-deprecation,

of which we certainly do not deserve.

The immediate mistrust,

with any notion of newness.

The frantic urgency,

with which things must be accomplished.

*

Whatever abstract,

indescribable ache

that you feel inhabits

your thoughts, emotions, and actions,

is reality for you.

*

How terrifying,

as you watch from above;

as it grows stronger and more fierce;

as it takes hold and parasitically

feeds on your soul.

***

Fast Lane

Silence

is not

the enemy.

Rather,

‘tis the drumbeat

pounding

in the chest.

The cars

racing around

the track

of the mind.

*

The invention

of hazards

that we veer

so wildly

off course

to avoid.

The fated

accidents

of the present

colliding with

the re-enactment

of a story within

our memory.

*

Silence

is merely

a reminder

of the detours

held in

physical form

that transcend

time and space

urging us

to process

the hurt

that blinded

the eyes

of an

Immature

body.

*

The reactive

tools

that once

graced

our histories

are now

a larger

calamity

in the frame

of the

motion picture

called life

that is stuck

on repeat.

*

This is

the racket

we are

conditioned

to hear

when the

sirens

are winding

down.

*

Silence,

is not

the enemy.

‘Tis the mirror

that holds

the path

through the fear

if only

we can stomach

to listen

to the screams.

***

Nightly Shadows

Slipping through

space and time

down a well

in the darkness

with no end in sight

*

Frantically grasping

while being consumed

by the inky abyss

for anything useful

to cease the descent

*

Stealing your power,

the illusion of gravity

pulls you deeper

into the bubbling

fear of reality

*

Falling to pieces

silently screaming

painfully aware

as you are

awakening

*

Jolting from stillness

a hand reaches in

to whisper a secret

in your ear

that inevitably wins

*

So urgently fumbling

you decide to show

a differing well

from the one that you hold

carefully conditioned

for nightly shadows

***

Arrhythmia

A twinge

A pounding

A dull or sharp ache

A tension rising

To push you

To keep you awake

*

A clenched jaw

A kick in the chest

A gasp for air

A strength test

To cause pain

To keep you scared

*

A similar feeling

A separate place

A recurring nightmare

A never-ending chase

To remind you

To keep you there

*

A trigger

A dissociation

A way to feel

An overwhelming emotion

To break you

To help you conceal

***

Flashback

It’s a snag in time

that tugs the line.

A pull that shows

its strength,

as you stumble

inside of your mind.

*

It’s a trip

you’d rather not take,

down the spiraling staircase,

exposing your anguish

as you try

not to slip.

*

A burbling container

overflowing

with slime.

You struggle

to seal it and return

to your timeline.

*

A wet heavy blanket

that blurs your sight.

Precious moments

are stolen

and quickly

replaced by fright.

*

You don’t know

when it’s coming,

that sudden attack.

You’re only aware

that it’s taking you

and you may never

find the way back.

***

Personal Photo

Yesterday

I keep envisioning my car sliding off the road and rolling end over end.

I imagine what the pain would feel like – with my lungs depleted of oxygen.

I wonder if it would bring relief to feel the wetness of blood dripping down my face as I fade.

*

I’m not ok.

Strangely,

I find comfort in feeling this way.

Like returning after an action packed vacation.

The whirlwind swirls around me to fly me home.

*

I am not inspired.

I am not numb.

I am hurt.

I am beaten.

Cemented.

*

It feels good to acknowledge the pain my life has brought me.

As if it reveals a deeper layer of identity.

Amidst the pain and fear,

I remain the same person who I thought I have always been.

*

Remembering helped me survive.

It is the logic that kept me sane.

It is the confusion that reminded me of my truth.

The difference between where I was and where I belong.

The reward is also the punishment.

Petrified in a holding cell among timeline ghosts.

*

I am sick.

Internally,

I violently regurgitate all of the anger directed toward me.

Constantly purging a remix of what has become my haunting.

*

My brain feels dumber.

My soul feels dimmer.

My spirit, heavier.

*

I struggle to lift my feet to shuffle through the day.

I am greeted by a racing pulse.

Tightly clenched muscles.

A supernatural awareness.

Simultaneously,

it drains my energy and keeps me awake.

*

I am not sure if it will ever end.

This cycling pattern of terror, self-doubt and hatred.

I need to slow down the pace.

*

“Lean into the pain,” they say.

Unaware that the underlying roots never seem to cease.

I’ve leaned so far,

I don’t know if I will ever stand straight again.

*

Permanently positioned,

my head is submerged in water filled with memories.

My feet dangling on the surface of the present.

I have no choice.

I breathe the water deeply and choke on words of scorn.

In disbelief, I feel razor sharp edges slicing through organs and tissue.

*

Repeatedly,

I gasp for air.

The solitary relief I feel comes from surrendering to the sting of internal wounds.

*

Who I see today is certainly a product of careful conditioning.

No one will ever know the torture endured to mold me into who I am.

It was hard to fight against what I was told.

Now it is even more difficult to recognize the person in the mirror.

I wonder what is real.

*

The way I breathe.

The way I put on clothes.

The urgency I feel to hurry through tasks.

The panic not to make a mistake in the process.

The anxious surveillance of the room for signs of anger.

The nightly terror fueled battle to keep my eyes open as the sleep aid takes hold.

*

I shake my head to release the instructions I have been given.

Hoping to silence the dehumanizing words that resound in my head..

The feathers of ferocity cling to the brain as if it were made from tar.

*

Fossilized,

no amount of scrubbing can release the entanglement.

They have become embedded in every move I make.

Every breath I take.

And every thought that aches.

*

No matter how understanding you are,

I can never utter the words to truly convey,

these mental details when you ask if I’m ok.

***

While I hope that no one has to experience what is portrayed in my work. However, I have published this here so that if you do, you know are not alone.

I sincerely appreciate you taking your time to read my work. Another collection of poetry with a more hopeful theme as a response to this one is on its way! Thank you for your support, "hearts", and tips when you feel called to leave one. You're all magnificent! 🙏🏼💛

trauma

Kalli Terrell (she/her)

The human experience through my personal lens.

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Kalli Terrell (she/her)
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