Of Dragons and Rain


“PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.”   ~  Susan Pease Banitt

We all have our dragons to slay, right? I think of that wonderful, horrifying scene in Terry Gilliam’s “The Fisher King” where Robin Williams, bless his soul, meets his dragon, in the form of a way spooky Red Knight, on a back street in Manhattan. His character has PTSD, in a very bad way. Robin inhabited that role, and now we all know why. Back when I first saw that film, which you really oughtta do if you haven’t, I was unaware that I had PTSD. It stemmed from a terrifying bicycle accident in 1984, in which I tore my face up in a big way and placed a touch of brain damage in my rather large head. I knew neither about the brain trauma nor the psychiatric disorder until within the past two years. Call that a 29 year wait. Funny thing: the attending physician to my case, at the Jackson Memorial Trauma Center (University of Miami), assured me that no neurological damage had occurred. Dude said there was no concussion, so case closed. Silly man. I have Doctors William Wangs and the lovely Debra Solomon to thank for providing me with the truth. It doesn’t make the damage go away, but truth gives a little more wiggle room, which provides a little greater level of perceived freedom. One of the first benefits I derived from this truth is that the PTSD, along with the also recently diagnosed Bipolar 2 Disorder, likely ended my hopes for retiring from Cid’s Food Market, but I didn’t know how these disorders affected me, I didn’t even know that I had them, so I lost my job, and  .  .  .  well, let’s just say poor me. That was one of two valued jobs I’ve lost since moving to Taos, just by being me. Dude like what’s up with that dude? I’ll let it go at that, first saying that I am in treatment, for all that’s worth. And  .  .  . and  .  .  . the other job was at the animal shelter, where at least I had daily therapy richly provided by animals. People? I came out of the traumatic accident with a calm fear of people. Please make note of that term: “calm fear”. It is not an oxymoron! I’ve learned to keep calm, but the fear never goes away. Shit, I’ve learned to keep dry when it rains, but that doesn’t stop the rain. It’s not that different. You’ll have to trust me on that one.

Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down
Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.   ~  John Fogerty

It rained overnight, it ain’t all that cold, first light sneaking over the Sangre de Cristos, coffee all gone, yet it all comes together after all. I’m finally on the rise after a notably bad week. Lucky me. When the dark side lays siege, a positive attitude sits in wait, hunkered down in a safe place, hiding out from the storm, a seemingly thankless task, but you end up saying thank you anyway, but only when the storm abates. It helps, no doubt, to stay positive. No doubt. But pain is pain. I’m in a reflective and contemplative mood today. I might just carry this load of aluminum recycling into town. I’m afraid when driving. With the trees flaunting peak color it’s not so hard to drive down there, even when tailgaters are so ubiquitous as to seem justified in their ridiculous affronts to the laws of physics. Friggin science deniers!  How do you expect them nitwits to consider climate change when they are all over your friggin ass on the friggin road?!! Where’s Neil deGrasse Tyson when you need him? Just sayin’.

Peace out, y’all, goof gloriously.


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