Triggers, The Nosedive and #PTSD

Nosedive“You dumbass.” I thought to myself as we rolled by the scene of the accident, “You had to look.”

Gently blowing in the wind was what should have been the yellow tarp that covered the body of the pedestrian hit by a truck.

The tarp did a crap job and the glance turned into just enough imagery of a misshapen pale body to set the propellers of my mind going. I rolled past further and the sun, not high in the sky, cast a long shadow on the lone sneaker in the middle of the closed highway.

“This is the Captain of your mind speaking. We are expecting some bumpy skies on our trip as we take you down out of these clear blue skies and plummet to God Only Knows Where.”

“We have plenty of fuel in the form of past engagements and anxiety, so sit back, space out and hold on tight.”

Hello Captain Saturday morning trigger. Thanks for the heads up. A$$hole.

An now, 4PM and hours later, I am sitting to try and work this out.

Evasive Maneuvers

When the triggers strike I have my in flight routine.

I immediately told my wife and let her know I was heading on my little joy ride.

I texted my best friend whom I unload this sh!t on frequently and I am extremely grateful he continually picks up the phone. He directed me back to this screen, to flush it out and take notes.

He and I talked about the particular engagement of which this poor kid reminded me. I think what connected the two was how the body was treated. I understand that there is a job to do when an accident like this happens, just as there was a job to do when we engaged insurgents in a building. But, I was mistakenly getting comfortable ignoring my past and the clean up jobs. I was(am) angry that these Police officers did not treat the victim with enough respect to cover his body adequately and spare the rest of us a potential trigger. Some people want to see it, and that is there prerogative. Nobody needs to see it. I sure as hell didn’t.

So after working through that I think I have at least some bumpy cruising altitude to spare. The descent is slower and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to finish the full pull back on the stick (my zoomie friends can correct me if that is not what it is referred to…)

Collateral Damage

Still, in my nosedive, I managed to bring down some family members. I was short and mean to my mother and I have been apologizing since it happened. I pissed off my wife by zombifying myself. And let me be clear, these are not excuses, this is what happened. I owe it to them to fix myself and this situation.

So, I huddled up the kids and released my wife for a few hours. She provides so much for my boys that it is the least I could do. I apologized to my mother. Profusely. But, I will have to pick it up a bit more before today gets away from me.

The last Trick up my sleeve

I have been exercising and getting physically right for some time now. I took yesterday off, and planned on taking today too, but I need to go and exhaust myself for a bit. Clear my mind. And I hope, that last little bit will get me back to flying straight.

Time will tell.

Hopefully the rest of today is uneventful. The sky is blue. I can hear a prop plane overhead. Time to exercise. Over and Out.

9 thoughts on “Triggers, The Nosedive and #PTSD

  1. Danielle Gordon

    Keep working on yourself. You’ll get where you need to be. You’re very in tune with your emotions so there’s no room for them to trick you. Practice being in the moment. This moment- second by second. Now. Now. Now. No future- no remembering. Just pinpointing your consciousness down to a single thing- your toe on the carpet- a finger tapping- your son playing and live in the present moment. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. The Mad Hatter


    Sometimes I hole myself up at home so I can avoid just such a thing. But that’s not really helping me any either. Hope the rest of your day was uneventful but at peace. One day I will buy you a beer — if you drink, that is! Otherwise, I can drink yours and mine!

  3. mikeypiro

    Danielle, you sound like you meditate often. That is a skill I am trying to develop. Thank you for reading.

    I was able to get to take my son to a birthday party, but I am still wound up. Thank you for reading.

  4. mikeypiro

    Mr. Hatter! Only beer I drink these days is diet root, but its a date! I try to avoid the avoidance technique. I have been able to tackle this head on thus far. No retreat. No surrender. Who were you with?

  5. The Mad Hatter

    Well, I’ll buy you a case then! My wife said you go to the Northport VA near me. I pretty much employ avoidance 99% of the time, something I’m trying to move away from. I was with 3rd ID out of Stewart, circa 2004-2007. Sandbox in 05-06.

  6. Annie Rachele Lanzillotto

    Mike, I love you. Time you wrote a book. I can help pitch it to my publisher. Your voice can help so so many others. I see the impact my book is having on young lives, people in LGBTQ rough spots, young women in violent households, young writers, all kinds of people, even a vet dying in the Brooklyn V.A. who had a childhood like mine. I love you. come see me in Yonkers.

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