A Tale of PTSD

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a Counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who are housebound or located in rural locations where therapy is difficult to find. Online Therapy details : Here

One of my clients who recently finished therapy asked me if he could write about his experiences on my blog. I readily agreed as I believe in the power of the word. The letter he wrote me is below and really needs no introduction. Those of you suffering from PTSD will recognise the raw content and truly identify with it. He has asked that I do not reveal his name or of course, any details of his therapy. However, this is not needed…the letter speaks for itself. There are no details in the letter about what he went through, just how it made him feel and the effect it has had on his life. This was all he needed….

The Smell of Pain

Oh no, not again…that was my first thought as I woke up and had that familiar smell in my nostrils. That smell that came from the past…from a place where life was much different. My life that was turned upside down that Friday afternoon when I was looking forward to a quiet evening with my wife instead of laying in intensive care. As I rush to the toilet to vomit, the smell is still there…that smell that was there as I laid in the dirt waiting desperately for painkillers and medical aid. That smell that seems to be my own personal possession in the fact that no-one else can smell it, only me. It is engrained on my brain like it was put there by a branding iron. It never leaves me and has the power to control my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I had other symptoms associated with PTSD. The nightmares…taking me to that scary place that would guarantee that I couldn’t sleep….the flashbacks that dragged me back to that very moment when my life changed forever, bringing with them sights, smells and feelings….the avoidance, the procrastination, the depression, the anxiety…they were all there but the smell has lingered. How can I describe this smell…it is a musty, dusty odor that pricks the nostrils with increasing intensity. It feels like it had lain dormant for years until someone released it like some demon in the night, ready and willing to wreak havoc at the slightest indication of weakness. When I cannot control it, it runs amok, dragging me back to that time like the Grim Reaper, holding me responsible for letting my loved ones down, not being there when I was needed and neglecting my duty as a husband and father. Have I thought about ending it all…many, many times but I have come to a point where I am willing to fight for a better life. Dr Jenner has shown me the way…it is my responsibility to follow the path he set out before me. When I reach the end of this road, I am hoping the demon will be slayed forever.

  4 comments for “A Tale of PTSD

  1. eatwilmington
    September 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I can hear the pain in this man’s words, yet also his hope. The progress he has made toward reclaiming his life is obvious in his ability to share. I think that he has much to offer others who suffer from traumatic experiences – he has a way with words that cuts right to the heart of the matter and allows the reader a glimpse of what his pain is like. But he chose not to stay in the pain, rather to move beyond it. I hope he will consider ways that his life might be enriched by sharing his experiences with other sufferers, for there is much healing in that sharing for him and for those who would be blessed to know him and his story. Thank you to both of you for sharing.


  2. September 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for the comment. He was a pleasure to work with due to his willingness to accept and change the way he thinks about the “event”. We will have some booster sessions every six weeks and I can only see more and more progress.


  3. September 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Poignant story.


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