PTSD is not just for soldiers

On UK television tonight is an excellent programme about PTSD and its cost among young soldiers.

A soldier’s friend on the programme said that PTSD is not just a ‘black dog’, it’s more like living with wolves who won’t leave you alone.

Last summer I wrote this, from the depth of a series of PTSD holes.

Wolf memories (‘trauma memory’)

Wolf-memories weave around my legs.
Docile now.
I tiptoe. Whisper.

Wolf-memories startle. Leap up, snap,
shove me over,
rip at my throat.

Wolf-memories lap my blood, slump
against my rib-cage,
snarl in their sleep.

Wolf-memories wake when they like.
when they like. When they have done with me.

Wolf-memories rise, shake free, lick
themselves clean.
Saunter outside. Sated.

Sunlight through curtains. I
for wounds. Test my feet beneath me.

Each bout with the wolves leaves me
she says. More restored.                                           I hate wolves.


‘She’ is my therapist and I’m grateful for her. She helps me to understand that PTSD as a healing process, keeps reassuring me that it is the normal response of a normal person to experiences in my past and that the way to ‘bounce back’ from PTSD, to ‘fight’ it, is to treat the wolves with respect, even welcome them and learn from them.

It’s not just soldiers who have PTSD.

Where can I get hold of Six-Count Jive?

Six-Count Jive is for sale in these marvellous SHOPS. As with any very new book, you might save time if you ask staff for help to find it:

Harbour Books in Harbour Street, Whitstable

Waterstones in Belfast, Canterbury and Deal

The Chaucer Book Shop in Canterbury

The historic Crooked Book Shop in Canterbury (where you can help the charity Catching Lives by buying)

Top Hat and Tales in Faversham

Heffers and Plurabelles in Cambridge

No Alibis in Belfast

You can also find it in these LIBRARIES:

the Linen Hall Library, Belfast (Northern Ireland Publications Resource – NIPR – collection),

the University Library, Cambridge,

the library of Churchill College, Cambridge and

the National Poetry Library on London’s South Bank.

And you can buy it HERE – I’ll be happy to sign copies for you if you like or from Lapwing Publications direct.

Happy reading!