mornings, smokes and mayhem
This morning at 4:30 AM I was out on the building’s amenity deck having a smoke. The deck itself is locked down during those hours but there is a little tiny smoking patio there outside the building doors. And I had my smoke. And I headed back inside.
And there was screaming.
Full throated screaming. Like someone was getting stabbed to death screaming. And slamming sounds. Like a body being hurled into walls slamming sounds.
I freaked the fuck out. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Maybe the stairwell at the end of the short hall. Or an apartment on that hall. Or an apartment on a floor above. It was so loud. It could have been a floor above, traveling through the floor.
I was terrified. Afraid to move forward, afraid to try to get to the elevator, afraid to try to get to my floor and my apartment, I did not want to walk into THAT.
I could not go backwards though, and could not stand still, so I pushed through and
got to my place and slammed the locks home and called 911 and texted a policeman who lives in the building. And shook. A lot. For a long time.
It was a man screaming. I thought it was a woman when I heard it. I have never heard a man make that sound before. He’s a veteran. He was having a PTSD episode. They talked him down. He went to the gym to exercise. I guess that is how he burns that off.
People talk about PTSD a lot. Toss the term around a lot, casually. Accrue it to ourselves when we’ve been in some stress situation and so get stressed in similar situations.
We should maybe be a little less casual with the term. I get stressed out. I have been in some violent situations and shades of the similar can make me angst. But not like that. Not like what I heard this morning. Never like that.
THAT is fucking PTSD.
I’ll never use that term casually again.