What have you to learn


I wish that I could tell you,

How it haunts me every day.

This smile that I wear

Is so you think that I’m okay.


You go to work and grumble,

just like everybody else.

And yet when you go home,

You can put it on a shelf.


I get no breaks; it never stops

The thoughts don’t leave my head.

It’s weird to know they never will

Not until I’m dead.


I thought about it, long ago:


It seemed the only escape

I couldn’t stop the memories

Of beatings nor the rape.


But you don’t need to know this

And I don’t want your advice:

“Think positive”

“Be nice.”


What if my “disorder”

Was really called “disease”

Like cancer, pneumonia, dysentery?

Then would you be pleased?


Would it make you happy,

To see some outward pain?

To see scars on the outside?

Not just my guilt and shame.


I wish that you could see

How the triggers stop me cold.

A sight, a sound, a smell

the memories unfold.


The memories they come so fast

And then they fade away.

Here I’m left to gather myself

I’ll live another day.


I long for greater awareness:

PTSD, anxiety, depression

and the list goes on and on.


I’ve learned to live

I’ve learned to love

I’ve learned to sing my song.


Some are not as lucky,

They don’t have the will to fight

They lost it on the battlefield

They will linger in the night.


I wish that you would think

Before you judge another creature

What could they be going through?

How could they be your teacher?







2 thoughts on “What have you to learn

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