I am a 5-star general.

I haven’t been deployed to another country for battle but have been in my own combat zone. I’ve had to run, hide and plan ingenious strategies to survive.
 I was not trained for this war. I was thrust into it and like a savage I had to build my own artillery.

I live in a war zone. I am ambushed by memories and symptoms that wage inside of me.
 My life has been steeped with trauma causing my limbic and somatic systems to rest in high alert.
I get disoriented because I have run to what I thought was my camp, my people, and my bunker, only to find out I’d been tricked. Those who were supposed to protect me didn’t.
I am hyper-vigilant and have learned to watch my back. I’m a sniper on the field learning strategy and plan. I can’t allow the terrorist to target me again.
My world spins in circles.
My plans fail me and my mind goes blank when I stand eye to eye with the enemy.  Unable to process what is happening, a natural drug kicks in and my defense system goes off line. My circuit board has malfunctioned.
I am trapped on mazed ground.  I think I find the exit paths only to find they have been replaced with land mines.
Deafening screams mock me as I attempt the trenches that seem too arduous to climb. I am overwhelmed as my brain loops over and over on the same path trying to escape.
I cut to see blood, I want the poison to leave. I am numb and need to know I am still alive. I drink sometimes to escape. I want to die. It’s as if an ax has split me in two causing the sides of my head to fall in opposite directions.
I look up and search for light but instead see black clouds filled with evaporated hope.
The rain comes and I fear I will be washed away so I cling to old habits as the water rushes around me only to be swept away again.
I long for rest but can’t. Trauma doesn’t sleep or follow the rhythm of a clock.  It wakes me at one and three and whenever else it chooses then follows me through my day.
It is an acid that has eroded my world over time.
My uniform dignifies me, I look composed and together while inside my brain is like an office that’s been ransacked. My files are strewn everywhere.
I am incubated in fear and terror.  I hide. I don’t want to show myself and am desperate for someone to see me.
I have so many words and yet I have none.  My body heaves as deep sobs that hold so much bubble up.
I manage marriage, life, and kids while forced to live in different rooms during the day. It is here I have had to make new hiding places to keep my younger places safe.
I say my prayers and march in line.  Maybe if I do it all right this will go away and the enemy will surrender and leave.
My despair overtakes me and causes me to double over, my breath has been snatched again.
“Jesus sees you and He is the great comforter”, these words can’t penetrate the hardened places.

Worship soothes me but doesn’t extricate or dismantle the torment.

I silently suffer. No meals will be brought or get well soon cards sent in the mail.
Even those close to me don’t always understand. They think I am tough and sometimes forget about my deep pain.
These five shiny stars are flashy.
I pay for time each week. An hour to try and explain, in hope my war will be understood. It is now, and only now my trauma is on the clock.
New strategies are made to try and push back the enemy line, in hope for some relief.
It feels so cruel that I have to work so hard to escape the injury that others have caused in this combat zone.
When I get up to leave the sirens in me go off again.
A do
My stories feel strewn across the walls, in the cracks of the sofa and on the lap of the person sitting across from me. My tears are soaked in tissues that will eventually be thrown into the dumpster out back. These are holy tears; evidence my heart is still alive.
I look up. The black clouds have moved leaving hues of blue.
A costly ray of hope penetrates my tired heart as parts of me begin to immerge.
I am deployed back to my body.
*This is a collective piece describing what it has felt like to live with trauma, this is not reflective of Megan’s current state today.

On a perfect day Megan would be sitting in a cozy chair or perched on her porch swing listening to the hearts and stories of others.  She is a dreamer of hope, healing and redemption. She has been married 17 years  to her creative,tender-hearted, piano playing husband . She is  the mother of 6 spirited children who bring her  deep joy.   She loves Hot Tamales, reading and singing in her sauna, dirty chai’s, and essential oils . She is a natural gatherer and organizer. You’ll often find her listening to audio books while doing laundry and Costco runs.