(part-time master of post traumatic stress)

I had a blowout on the freeway and I made it home safe.  Yet, in dealing with it, I had a collapse of confidence in myself and respect for my abilities.  I wanted to call myself so many names due to my disappointment in yesterday afternoon’s events.

That is the essence of what happened yesterday afternoon.  No complaints were filed by me on the internet, as I gained perspective on life as soon as I plugged into Facebook yesterday.

I saw my friend and longtime associate in oath SSGT. G***, USMC, posting on FB the recruit training photos of his unit brethren who perished in battle 12 years previous tamiflu cost. 

I had no encounters with anything remotely distressing enough to post outright that “my day s@cked” or ‘life is sh1t’.  I did, however, have an encounter with PTSD, and I am here to talk about it, after a brief claim:

I did not suffer any stress in my military service that has any bearing on the following claims of PTSD.

My parents fought awfully when i was a wee lad.  Those were the earliest traumatic events. 

The more frequent and physically intense traumas came from motor vehicle accidents (as a passenger/single car in 1994, 1995, 1997, driver/two-car in 2001).  The freeway accident in 1997 was an astonishing birth of an immense trauma at 430AM, 16 June. It was dark, there were no street lights along US Interstate 476 near Philly. 

I was splayed the f%ck out on the freeway for about two full seconds.  Landed on the asphalt after being ejected from the Wrangler, and rolling several times.

“Darkness warshed over the Dude – darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom.”

very-undude

I was out cold, splayed the f*ck out on interstate 476 at 430AM for about two full seconds.

Throughout the last 19 years, this accident has factored into several of my daily practices. 

Allow me to state that again, without yelling (picture me fixing you with a gaze)

Every physical action in my day is informed by the injuries incurred during the above stated MVA

-from how I negotiate a good sleeping position

-to whether or not she and I have coitus immediately following reveille

-even the order in which i wash my naughty self in the shower

-and most importantly, the clothes I select for training and work

19 years later and I am getting a better handle on sleep, sex, exercise, nutrition, and performance enhancement through quality practice (exercise) due to the fact that I have these traumas, not ‘in spite of’ these situations. 

That sh*it all made me better, is what i tell myself.  Yay, I can do it, I tells myself.

Until a blowout, southbound at 78MPH.

Got from fast lane to median/oasis no problem.  Vehicle had donut and tools, no problem, I have changed tires before, no problem.  But, wait: I’m scared!

As I stood there and took inventory of the Audi A4 tool kit for wheel exchange, the sound of a wall of traffic, five lanes deep and 85MPH strong rushed past me and set of my Poppa Tango Sierra Delta.  That is not my dad’s dance partner from Mississippi, that is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder being touched off.  The following symptoms were present:

Disorientation, or, immediate fear as soon as I turned my eyes to the task of setting the hand-jack to lift the car.

Psychomotor retardation, or, the inability to perform simple tasks with a noteworthy impairment of speech or affect.

Panic.

I panic’d. 

I have changed tires as recently as two years ago, and I also provided aid to a disabled vehicle’s owner in the rain on 76 East at night, and did not freak out then.  Yesterday was different.  When I took my eyes away from the roaring traffic to crank the hand-jack, I flipped out.

Now you are to discover why the title of this post is ‘Watch Your Pronouns’.

“Don’t be a p*ssy!  Don’t b!tch out! Be a man! You went to blah blah blah 19 years ago. . .”

These gerund phrases in which I aimed to rally my motor skills beyond a wall of scars did not place me in a quality state from which I could maneuver, or, address the situation. 

Telling myself I was a p*ssy, or a b^tch did not jive with my goal- getting to a better state and fixing the tire.  Instead, it reminded me of a conversation from 2009, wherein a California girl asked me “what i meant when i said ‘Don’t be a bitch’ or ‘don’t be a pussy’ “

All I could detail for her was that i meant don’t be lame, don’t be a wimp. . .

She then asked why did I not just say that?  Well, I replied. . .and then trailed off.  I had to think about it.  While I did, she offered a final item:

When you apply the words pussy and bitch in a descriptive capacity, you are intimating that these unfavorable characteristics (being lame, being wimpy) are feminine. 

Jaw agape, i tried to lift my knuckles off the floor when I walked away.  Nothing in her manner or tone was condescending or scolding, yet I felt cretinous.  Later in life, or, five months ago, I had an excellent conversation with a co-worker at a bar in Philly.  I mentioned to him that I held the door for some customers on their way out and I said something to the effect of ‘. . .ladies have a nice evening’ and there was an individual who was clearly in transition in the small group.  I did not know or care what their trans-vector was, and they turned to me with a smile, a real smile, and replied “not all ladies”, smiled again, and rolled out.  I relayed the story to my mate C, and he told a tale (and provided images) that went somethin’ like this:

C’s close friend is a gay lady who , before introducing her new partner to Chris, showed him a photo.  He thinks to himself “ok, she went back to men. . .”.  This, however, was inaccurate, as the new partner had transitioned, and was visibly committed to adding lean muscle mass and developing a physique which aligns the physiology to their psychology.  I thought it was awesome.  Two people were in love and having good sex (i hope) and two people got informed.  When C told me that his friend told of her partner’s transition, his thoughts were “watch your pronouns, gotta watch your pronouns these days, at work and in friendship”.

So, here I was, unable to perform on the freeway, berating myself in language i don’t even brandish anymore, on a small triangular concrete on-ramp oasis next to an interstate.  Fretting, instead of acting. 

I usually take the advice of my least favorite president-T. Roosevelt, and chose to “get action, be sane” when the going gets tough. 

In this case I experienced psychomotor impairment due to onset of stress response due to past trauma, and then had a fastidious debate with a person in my head.  F*ck my eye and call me blind. . .I was not a real adult yesterday.  I had a real tough time out there on that freeway on-ramp median, though it was safe.

I called roadside assistance, thrice.  There were two dropped calls, and the third was inaudible due to the interstate commotion.  I bailed.  Called an Uber, went home, waited for the dog daycare chauffeur to return my male 60lb. Catahoula, Riggs Balboa, or “Rocky”.

rockunitas

When he was home, fed, and crated after 9 hours with other dogs, I struck out in my USA assembled Dodge pickup with a socket set, WD40, a flashlight, and a giant pink lemonade to remedy the situation.  I drive for money, after all, and had to be up and running ASAFP.

Went back there can called roadside, it was all good in about 45 minutes.  I picked my girl up, and retrieved the car.  Went to Five Guys afterward.  Had a pair of double cheeseburgers with LTOP Ketchup & Mustard.  Also, a malted milkshake with whipped cream.  I had a black coffee afterward, and told my special lady to call me Jack reacher XXL.

I have bad feet that can not be detailed for the masses.  My feet are growing rapidly (bunions) and I have been at 250lbs., or more, of bodyweight since 2012.  I moved to a glorious area, where I can hike every day.  However, after two months of 10+ hikes over 8 weeks, I suffered a very small, terribly placed split on my foot.  This was a wound so small, I could not even take a picture of it.  It was a minor laceration due to dry skin/bad feet/being 20 lbs. overweight.  It was located on my foot in a spot which, with every step, sent a lightning quick strike of pain all the way into my intestines.  I chose a path, that day.  I now apply lotion to my feet several times a day, and wear three pairs of socks in 24hrs.  I can not be reduced to a whimpering, shower shoe wearing Uber driver that can’t even put on sneakers, ever again.

 

This unfortunately placed situation kept me off the trails, but drove me into the pool.  At Burlingame, HS, outdoors, under sunny skies, I have been swimming short course for the last month.  At $6/drop in, or 20 swims for $100.00 USD, it is a very good deal.

My workout consists of the following, in no specific order or ratio:

Cossack tread, that is to say, treading water with only leg action.  My hands are folded over my chest or at my hips. 10-15 minutes at a clip.

cossack

When I swim laps, they are a short course medley.  The pool is broken up into 18 x 25m lanes, and a 50m traverse takes 1:20 to 2:00.

If I clear 50m in less than a minute and a half, my HR is around 124+ beats per minute.  I can handle that without any pot-smoker’s paradox.

If I stack fast laps into a 150m set, my HR is about 146+ and climbing!

The faster 50m are usually a side stroke/power skiff maneuver that I use specifically to address the 1997 and 2001 motor vehicle accident injury residue.

Slower sets are back stroke, or other CWS moves.  HR around 84 BPM.

Thank you, have a nice day.

-Wille

 

I have pondered changing my name recently.  William Penn.  Will Ericsson.  Wille WC.

3-flag

Eric Californiams sounds good, today. . .tomorrow is not promised.  I fly these flags because they are my America.  They are my college, my dream, my birthright, and my chosen responsibility.  I was born in the place whereupon this nation was declared.  I was born in the same city as the Marine Corps.  I have the blood of the continental native in my blood and the following statement is my declaration of dependence.

I have completed my vote by mail ballot in the state of California. I listened to Asian Dub Foundation and RATM while researching to confirm my vote. The electoral college is what I mean when I say “a rigged system”. Though I am 100% with him on that, I did not vote for The Donald, as he can’t possibly be talking about what I am saying. I do belive state and local ballots are NOT 100% rigged, so naturally I cast my full, four page ballot. Please do your research. Know the electoral procedures for your state’s electoral votes. They may sit beholden to the party, but you can shout, and grow, with each election, especially every 2 years. . .

I would not have had the chance to cast a CA ballot, or even know myself a little more this year enough to do so, without my love, and partner, and client, and best friend Jacqueline Michelle, PhD.

Captain Crunch for Harbor Master!
Judge Reinhold for whatever the title of the unopposed position!
Gotta have some fun. I used to write vulgar stuff all over HHS in a giant toxic marker, recall those days? Thank you to Dr. Rotoli and Carol Durso and Bubba and Danielle and Scott A. and Greg and Sarah and Jay H. and Trusty and Terrance Gant and Kurt Vonnegut.

Honorable mention to the The Green Cross medical cannabis and Lagunitas Brewery for getting me through these last few months.

“Cause I’m cell locked in the doctrines of the right
Enslaved by dogma, ya talk about my birthrights
Yet at every turn I’m runnin’ into Hell’s gates. . .

. . .with five centuries of penitentiary
SO LET THE GUILTY HANG
in the year of the boomerang

Now, it’s upon you”
-Zack De La Rocha