This project has and always will be focused on helping the nation and the world better understand the trials and effects that PTSD has on those afflicted with it. My life is a study in itself of these afflictions and what happens when they are not addressed. The art we showcase is a small window into the souls of those who deal with this disorder both prior to, during and after. And though I am not an artist, words have always been my outlet.
For years, those that have surrounded me have desperately tried to assist me in garnering the help I needed to make the changes for a better life and for years I have all but ignored them. The frustration of watching their loved one descend down deeper and deeper into a hole of darkness is
extraordinary and something I will never fully grasp. Slowly but methodically, I alienated those closest to me, pushing them away as I continued my dark journey. I took their love and companionship for granted, believing that I could continue this route as if nothing would happen, as if my relationships were iron-clad and indestructible. I don’t believe that I ever really voiced that or even consciously thought it, but my actions over the past few years practically screamed it.
I poured over my work and filled my days with busy tasks, forgetting about what is most important and neglecting those around me that kept me going, day by day, hour by hour. My focus was this project and my work with Maxim and nothing else. I believed that if I could achieve success with
this project I could bury the wounds of my past and then concentrate on the family I had long forgotten. Sadly, the family that I had long forgotten had built walls to protect them from the pain my actions had caused them. When the spinning plates I call my life began to fall all around me, I searched for my comfort and found cold stone and steel had replaced the welcome mat. As the disaster continued to rage around me, I was trapped with no one to run to for help. I was alone.
I had betrayed them, forsaken them, pushed them to a new life that I was absent from but who could blame them, this was the life I had built for myself. Weeks turned into months and I could do nothing but watch as those three that I do love so dearly, began their lives without me. There are no words in this language or another that can come close to describing the pain and anguish I suffered watching the one beautiful thing in my life slowly disappear. My soul groaned and ached but solace was out of reach. I stood at the edge of my life’s abyssal plain and peered into the deep. I researched ways to end my life, days and nights filled with this macabre activity, but an easy way out alluded me.
This story has no happy ending, as life is no fairy tale, however, the spiral has stopped and I have found solid ground to work with moving forward. The casualty of this disorder is my marriage but my survival remains intact. The next steps of my new life are going to be hard, desperately difficult and at times I can’t think about them for fear of a panic attack. That said, I will move forward, I will move on and though happiness may allude me for years, even decades, I cannot give in, I cannot give up.
My hope, well my realistic hope, is that my suffering will benefit another somehow. Perhaps someone out there is where I was 3 years ago and maybe by reading this he or she will realize their position and do what is necessary to ensure they save their marriage. If I had only listened to those
around me, if I had only made a different choice here or there, the jewel of my life might possibly still be here. I beg those who are traveling in my tracks to wake up and turn around, to grab ahold of their loved ones and get the help they need before they end up like me, shattered and hopeless. This isn’t a life you want, this isn’t a path you should choose. There are ways out, there is another path to take, there is hope for those afflicted as we are. Heed my warnings, take control of your life by giving the wheel to a professional and let them drive you out of this dark tunnel of hell. It isn’t too late.
After I complete this 2-phase clinic in North Chicago, I will be returning to this project and continuing the mission we set forth in 2010. In the interim, feel free to post on our Facebook page, or contact Rob Craven (firstname.lastname@example.org) as he will be the lead contact for the project in my absence. Thank you to everyone who has been so faithful in this effort and given their time, talents and ideas to our little project, all of us those who are still with us and those who have moved on, are eternally grateful for what you have done. Beginning in early 2013 we will be firing up this project and leaping forward. Thanks to our friends at Partners International (www.partners-international.org) we have some great things happening for the Spring of 2013 so don’t give up hope, we will make the difference we set out to. We have given up too much to let this die. See you all in a few months!
Jaeson "Doc" Parsons