My every dream is for you to know me. But my experiences have hardened me, you would not want to.

To you, I may appear calm
You don’t know, there’s a storm raging inside me

You see my restlessness
You don’t know, inside, I am reliving my traumas

You hear me laughing loudly
You don’t know, in the night, I cry endlessly

My smile appears warm and wide
You don’t see…

PTSD is a normal response to a deeply shocking and extraordinarily abnormal situation.

***Content Warning — Graphic reference to violence and death.

I’m Sick of…

Pretending I’m “ok.”

Yelling at myself in the mirror

Feeling down

Being lonely


Losing every relationship

Having a broken heart

Not being held

Feeling rejected

People avoiding me

Randomly crying

Being easily angered

Bursting into a rage…

When a heart shatters, does it make a sound? Is there an expectation it shouldn’t so we can suppress it?

Today, I hiked alone, in the sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan
To the place we used to sit and stare at the night sky together

Marveling at the infinite splendor of the universe
I told you how lost and lonely it would be floating up there
You leaned in and told me…

Only very rare things truly beautify with time.

She is a beautifully colored piece of broken beach glass

Made smooth by the work of her own hands

A cruel world only sees her tarnished by the weather and waves of time

They miss what I see; the beauty of how she’s put herself together

The powerful soul inside her made her whole again

She glistens brightly in the warm sunlight among the regular stones on the beach

For all the world to observe in awe of her grand beauty

Chris Patton is a writer focusing on helping readers feel the experience of PTSD flashbacks and other symptoms, rather than just reading about them.

Chris Patton

Ret. State Trooper. I share my journey with PTSD. I write from the perspective of experiencing PTSD flashbacks & nightmares. I also write the occasional poem.

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