Integrated PTSD

Integrated PTSD, he invoked,

and I smiled blankly.

It’s actually really unhealthy,

he furthered,

and I received that he could say that out loud.

Sitting in a sanctuary

that grows me

with my parents it

occurs to me I am never

prepared for flux in sensations.

That my prayers for truth

cancel my prayers for calm,

and that my secrets are bobbing out of

the edge of my throat.

There, where my gag reflex lives,

I feel God most authentically.

Converged between repression

and expansion I freeze,

as a child does when

they are overwhelmed

and they know they’re being watched.

I am not alone,

and in this sequence

that bequeaths my distress

into a marriage with

a pending panic attack,

the way only grief can.

White supremacy

crushes all my healing efforts,

shirking my milestones

with its larger, longer internalizations.

I am not small enough,

and somehow,

I’m still too, too small.

Shrunk by a story I’m still living through,

immersed in a drain that tempts me to let myself be brought down.

Not harshly,

because water’s

harshness greets you

cleanly,

dipping you in its

power to transcend

what you have experienced

and somehow keep

your head from

falling below its current.

I try not to indulge

the impulse that

defies this buoyancy,

because I need

the water’s grace to embrace me.

To be enough to purge

this warring tumult

that ignores what can quench.

I need to sob,

is all I can feel,

I need to release this endless build up

of my own traumas.

The part of me that

is capable refutes

the chance to use force

on the sides of me

that are crumbling.

The integration he referenced

brings less explosive outcomes,

and,

because of that,

nothing quite leaves you

feeling better.

White supremacy was never a natural nurturer,

and it is built to calm us into believing its folly.

What could be more evil than a costume of ambiguity sanitizing away every truth.

--

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Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.

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Amanda Lindamood

Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.