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Tom Higgins

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PTSD What Their War Has Done To Me


I'm twenty three and just back from their war
With no idea what I've been fighting for.
I've not been myself since I got back
Trying to live within a panic attack.

I know one thing for sure, that my family
Always have, and always will love me,
And I know that they can see that I
Have become a totally different guy

To the happy young man I used to be
Before I saw the things I came to see,
But no matter what they do or say
I still look with dread on each new day

Since my best mate died in Afghanistan
Blown to bits by the Taliban.
'Bad luck' they said that he had to die.
I've never let anyone seee me cry,

That isn't how a soldier behaves
No matter how many go to early graves.
So now here I stand, mentally torn
Wishing that I had never been born

Into this cruel, unthinking world
Where every time the flags are unfurled,
The politicians spout more lies which we swallow
Then we flock together as we follow

These Judas goats who lead the sheep
To slaughter and everlasting sleep.
Inside I feel I have reached the stage
Where the fires of hurt have begun to rage

Against what is left in me to fight the pain
Do I want to face this all again?
Another day with my best mate gone
Do I really want to linger on

Asking every time I awake
Why was it him not me they had to take?
I just feel I can no longer cope
Does the answer lie in this length of rope?

Tom Higgins 16/08/2013

Submitted: Saturday, September 07, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 09, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Twenty seven serving members of the British armed forces committed suicide in 2012. I wondered what torments drove previously strong healthy, fit young people to such a desperate act.

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