It eats at you. It gnaws at your insides. It poisons you and your family. I can't imagine my life without it. I don't think I've ever known a day without it.
That's not true, there've been plenty of days without it. I remember them like they happened a thousand years ago. Before the war, before the pain, before the kids, and the mortgage and the responsibilities and the and the and the and the... It goes on and on forever ad infinitum.
The anger that one man can feel is truly astounding. The lack of a reason for such anger is also just as astounding. They tell you that you've got PTSD and somehow that's supposed to be helpful. Sorry Beavis, but not really. So now I know why it's there but I don't know how to get it out. The out is the part that I care about and the fact that I can't get it out just makes me all the more angry.
That fucking war was 7 years ago, for me anyway. Seems like quite a long time ago. Until I start thinking about just how far I've actually come since then. Which isn't very far. I've never been far from the FOB in my mind. It's one of those places that tends to stick with you.
Why does it have to? I want to know how come I can't control the place in my heart that's given to war? Why is the heart, at least the existential version of the heart the one organ we can't really control? I control my legs, my arms, my fingers etc. But I just can't seem to control the place in my mind occupied by this fucking war.
It dominates my days, even this far on, I am never more than a heart beat away. A familiar smell wafts by, I'm back. A sound echoes through the air, and I'm back. Words are spoken and I'm back. A child cries and I'm back. My own child cries and I'm back.
My wife tries to help me but how do I explain to her or to my family that I can't control my brain and something that happened to me before I even met any of them is dominating my mind, when I should be concentrating on them? I've got kids, kids who need me and a wife who does too, yet there's this place in my mind that is reserved just for Afghanistan.
And the fact that I can't evict it from my mind is, as best I can tell, the source of all my anger. Catholics, which I'm not, have a saint for everything. I wonder if they've got one for anger. If they do, or if they don't, Saint Anger, pray for me...