P.T.S.D a post revisited

It is, I am told, Mental Health Awareness week. Alienora Taylor wrote of her own experience in her blog today. I have chosen to repost the piece below. It can happen to any of us, for whatever reason.

For me it was the attack on my son. A mindless attack, for no good reason, that left him in a coma, close to death, expected to die, with a screwdriver rammed through his brain.

I didn’t realise how bad PTSD is till I lived through it.

Put a bone under too much pressure and it will snap. So can the mind, in varying degrees.


The ripples from an event like this spread far.

One thinks of post traumatic stress disorder in connection with major tragedies, soldiers on the battle front, natural disasters.. but it gets even the least of us, quietly, and often goes unregarded.

For me, the nightmares started early. That first week. I woke screaming. After ‘watching’ every member of my family, ever person I have ever loved, be mangled, dismembered, flayed and left for dead in agony.

But that, one assumes, is normal under the circumstances, a normal reaction to the horror we were living through. How could it be otherwise?

But when, a year later, a whiff of the aftershave Nick used to wear makes the supermarket dissolve away yet again and leaves you back at his bedside in ICU, standing stock still, unaware of normal life, time travelling back to the point of horror, then you know something has to be done.

Flashbacks take you back ..not as in memory, but as if you are there again. You see, hear, smell, feel and experience what was, while what is fades from existence. It can happen once a blue moon, or ten times a day. You can’t see it coming and can’t escape it once it starts.

It colours every aspect of your life, leaves you afraid to sleep, destroys relationships and normality itself. And yet, you still have to function.

I wasn’t the only one affected. We are still suffering the consequences and damage this attack caused to us all and while we, as a family (or what is now left of it) continue to be blessed by my son’s impossible recovery, by the support of people like you, who read this, and by messages from all over the world, please don’t be fooled.

It still hurts like hell.


Pillow-muffled screams.

Only another nightmare …

Scarred images in

Technicolor horror.

Trembling fingers

Reach for another cigarette,

Another sleeping pill,

Unable to forget.


Always the gore,

The torture of loved ones;

Illogical imaginings

Correct in their essence.


Simple actions

Trigger the flashbacks…

Reality dissolved,

Engulfed and excoriated,

Strangled by memories

Silently screeching.


Dying daily,

Inside, quietly.

Seeking escape

Or understanding.

Ravaged by vision,

Dreading the dreams

Expecting the torment.


Nick before

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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11 Responses to P.T.S.D a post revisited

  1. LyannV says:

    “It still hurts like hell.” I can feel this. I can understand and relate, though for different reasons. I admire your writing; what I have read is so spot-on that it resonates with me even though we live entirely different lives. That is powerful. I’m grateful to have come upon your blog, and I will certainly be a follower.


  2. Echo says:

    Oh, that is lovely! And joy is something I am very blessed with. Today my son, the one who was attacked, was waiting for me, dressed in a monkey suit… OK, he’s 28 and six foot.. but after the heartache, to find him thus, in his own home, waiting to speak on the phone to his new fiancée.. Well, it is, perhaps, as near a miracle as I could ever hope to see.

    There are problems still and always will be… he cannot walk unaided, his speech is not perfect, his sight damaged.. but his mind and heart and laughter are all there, and he is happier in his new life than he ever was before the attack.

    With such things, joy is inevitable 🙂


  3. Today of all days, that I come across this, when there is so much sorrow and tragedy with our Ct. friends and family and what you reposted is so timely, so valuable. Sending you a big cyber hug. And, thank you for visiting my site. I’m grateful for this sharing.


    • Echo says:

      The tragedy in your country has, I think, touched the hearts of the world. I am lucky and through this.. my heart goes out completely to those who still have to face it.


  4. marga t. says:

    Beautiful sharing here, Echo! So glad to be able to connect with your story, while also being able to glimpse into his present, graceful unfolding now. Seeing you surrendering to the journey and sharing the experience with such brave authenticity inspires me to add my little key hole glimpses from my corner to our collective human stories as well! X!marga


  5. Echo says:

    Thank you, Marga. It is a brave journey my son has taken and one that has taught us a great deal. But everyone has a story, just as important, even if they are not always as vivid as my son’s. And all stories should be shared and heard with love. x


  6. rohan7things says:

    Great post! So glad to hear your son is ok! As for PTSD the Somatic Experiencing technique created by Dr Peter Levine is the best thing out there. His book Waking The Tiger is a must read for anyone who has suffered trauma or full blown PTSD. I’ve seen the results first hand with myself and also family members, well worth checking out.

    Good luck with your continued healing 🙂



    • Echo says:

      Thank you, Rohan. I will be sure to have a look for the book.

      My son continues to heal and make progress and astound us all.. which is wonderful. As for me, I am grateful for that beyond measure, and grateful too for a small insight into what so many others go through for far more horrific reasons.


  7. Pingback: Shaping the day | Daily Echo

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