23. I Got Guns In My Head

Rear-View Mirror by Emma Bush
2011

My past is right behind me
I can feel its breath on my neck
I can’t run forever
my legs are tired
I’m out of breath.
So afraid of what would happen
should I stop and face it,
I keep running, keep running
hoping time will erase it.

I’ve got guns in my head…AND THEY WON’T GO.

The first time I saw a shotgun wound “in-person” was while I was working on the ambulance.  I had seen things before…I had seen pictures or textbook examples of injuries while I had gone to school, but there was something starkly different about not just seeing it, but the smell, and the metallic taste of blood floating through the air you are breathing.  Some moments tattoo themselves on you.

For just a brief moment, I was somewhere else.  It was 1998 while I was living on board the M/V Anastasis.  I was in Conakry on the West Coast of Africa, staring down the barrels of assault rifles.

And I blink, and I’m back with the patient.  He is not going to make it.  I know this the moment I see the way his head has been opened.  He was shot at close range, to the back of the head…I was amazed he had a heartbeat at all.   I wondered what fear he must have felt? I wonder if he felt that same calm-in-panic that I had felt, when I realized my life was not in my own hands, but at the mercy of war-torn African soldiers, in Guinea, just north of where Sierra Leone was raging in a Civil War.

In some moments you are able to drift away a little bit, step back, and you can see it all in slow motion like a horror movie you can’t close your eyes to.

Life has been an amazing adventure!  Sometimes I am haunted by parts of the journey…  I don’t mean to flash-back- it happens like a reflex.  The way Jessica explained it to me when it began become overwhelming:

That stomachache or the way the hair stands up on the back of your neck when someone is standing behind you?  That’s just your body reminding you of something that was similar in which you felt threatened or in danger, so you’re body reminds in the case you would need to fight or flight.  Think of it as your body trying to protect you…But when you begin to be unable to correctly translate what or where or when you are?  You are losing to the fight or flight…you will find that once you learn how to listen to your gut and what your body is telling you?  You will learn that sometimes, you don’t need to fight or fly!

🙂 – Watch the video down below…I love this song…

 

 

 

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