P is for PTSD

P is for PTSD

The taxi pulled up in front of my daughter’s home. I was waiting on the porch at the side. Shivering in the cold. My breath making clouds of cold steam. I hurried to the taxi, cane in left hand, small travelling bag in right hand. I opened the right front passenger door. I got in the front seat of the car. Closed the door.

“Please take me to the Greyhound stop,” I said.

“You betcha buddy,” the driver said. He started the car rolling down the gentle incline of the cul de sac that housed my daughter’s home. The pavement was covered by an inch of packed snow. Here there bits of ice peaked through. He reached the end of the street. It seemed like he had no intention of stopping. I glanced to the left. Saw a large pickup rocketing down the busy street which with the cul de sac intersected.

I screamed. Like my life was about to end.

Meanwhile, the taxi driver was already braking. It was never his intention to roll through the intersection. Never his intention at all. But my brain did not know that. It just reacted out of fear and terror.

“Sorry about that man,” I said to the driver. “I was in a terrible car crash. I thought you weren’t going to stop. And, that pickup would smash into us.”

“No big deal buddy.”

The driver never asked about my crash. And, I never told him my secret. We chatted about the weather and what was new and not so new in town. Ten minutes later he dropped me in the middle of town. The Greyhound pulled up fifteen minutes later. I was waiting in an alleyway next to a store built out of a cement blocks. I handed the driver my ticket. Climbed carefully up the stairs hanging on to the railing. I sat in the front seat opposite to the driver. Ten minutes later we began to drive out of town. Making our way slowly across a bridge spanning Mountain creek and eventually reaching Moutain Avenue and the exit to the Trans Canada.

The Greyhound reached cruising speed. I leaned back into my seat and thought about the incident with the taxi. “Fuck! I have PTSD from the crash! That’s got to be the reason I screamed. Shit! Shit! What am I going to do now?”

I pondered. And, pondered.

Then I remembered. Lynn! Lynn can help me.

Lynn was my former therapist. She had helped me immensely in working through my childhood sexual abuse. I had many sessions of EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming, to eradicate the trauma, the PTSD, resulting from the abuse. EMDR might work for this PTSD.

I called her up when I got back to Calgary. I scheduled a session for the next week.

Excerpt from CRASH! Memories of a Healing Journey, Lyle T. Lachmuth, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved