Friday, 30 April 2010

Breaking Down

I wasn't nervous when I had my breakdown - I was terrified. In an overwhelming victory for common sense, school teacher Peter Harvey has been cleared of attempting to murder a school boy who taunted him without mercy.

My Mother doesn't discuss the months that led to my incarceration inside a secure Mental Hospital. It's as if that bleak part of my life didn't exist. I don't blame her for this. It simply breaks my heart. My Father once told me he often finds my Mother clutching a photo. He said she cries silent tears as she stares at the picture of my smiling face, taken on the day I left to join the Army.

I feel for Peter Harvey - he was at his most vulnerable on that day. Instead of being surrounded by supportive people, he was being secretly filmed. For reasons I struggle to understand some young people wished to 'YouTube' a mans breakdown on that fateful day.

My own spiral into insanity would have made for uncomfortable viewing. My sunken eyes would dart frantically about when I entered any room. I needed to see the exits. I had to have an escape route. I would quickly decide what objects would make useful weapons were I to be attacked.

I had relentless flashbacks. The shot away face of a dead boy would force its way into my mind. His broken body, bent, crushed and naked would fill my head till I was sure it would explode. I would remember the fear. My dry mouth and pounding heart. The desperation to live. To breathe.

The weight became to much. My mind collapsed inward and I fell back into the killing fields. I lay among the rotting corpses and screamed at the wild dogs feasting on them. I once again stared at the sobbing soldier who held onto his dead friends hand. Again and again I heard the voices of war over the radio tell me my comrades were dead - and I wept as I thought not of them but of me.

I feel for Peter Harvey. I chose to fight - he chose to educate. Perhaps now the man can move on and get himself put back together. The boy my Mother mourns for is long gone as is the soldier who came home. Perhaps one day I'll find them both and bring them home to Mum.

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