Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Violence, PTSD, and Me

Yesterday and the first hours of the morning were a bad time for me. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Right now, I can’t remember all the proper terms involved. I have to wait a number of hours after taking my morning meds before I can have anything more solid than water.

I had another of those unwelcome and unwilling walks down memory lane, and leaked around the edges on two messageboards. It happens from time to time.

So long as I was raising my daughter, Sovay, I was able to repress the worst of it. I thought I had everything under control. Seven years ago, Sovay moved off on her own. Suddenly the house was very quiet. I can’t say that things are peaceful — I live in a rough neighborhood. In the stillness, my memories that I had blocked off began to return. I started having violent flashbacks. I have heard that this is not unusual.

I got tacked to the wall of an empty house with a knife through my arm when I was ten. The kid who did it was twelve and thought it was funny. he did not think it was funny when I caught up to him a few days later in an alley with a sawed off baseball bat that had been trimmed to fit my small size by a relative. Mama (grandmother) had raised me saying “If you can’t beat them, at least write your name across their foreheads.”

When I was eleven, I begged Mama (I was a latch key kid), to let me stay home and finish something I was working on. I always had projects of some kind. While she was gone, one of my uncles and his wife came by. Frank was a bona fide sociopath and a serious alkie. He and Liz spilled out of the car drunk and onto the front lawn where he knocked her down and started beating on her. I ran out with my bat and got in a few blows. All i managed to do was make him angry. I fled back into the house, locked the door, and ran to the back of the house where my bike was. I went out the back into the alley and peddled madly to the home of another uncle. But I had achieved my objective. Frank had stopped beating on Liz to chase me.

Liz died of cancer a few years later. When I was sixteen, Frank encountered someone who was meaner, crazier, and tougher than he was and he got killed in a bar fight.

All of that was typical of my childhood.


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This entry was posted on December 8, 2007 by in Janrae Frank and tagged .

Janrae Frank

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