Colin F. Jones


There’s someone in my house who does not belong
Who changes how I feel and nurture’s rage
Who takes my thoughts and writes a different song
Who alters all the words upon my page
Someone who creeps in stealth into my whole
And causes me to hate the man I am
That I am never quite the loving soul
Who went away to fight in Vietnam
I am so like the Jeckle and the Hyde
For often I am not what I want to be
There is a Devil living deep inside
Who lingers there to ever torment me
My soul will never know an inner peace
For this foul intruder’s evil will not cease

When my other me leaps out through my eyes;
Controls my tongue that foul words I do speak
That everyone about me I despise
And all I want is somewhere else to seek
Then I am like a river in full flood
A wild fire that water can’t control
I am an ailing monster with bad blood
A helpless desperate shadow of a soul
Then alone I cry, with harsh regret
How can I be all that my heart detests?
What is this evil torment that I get
That all my gentle thoughts with ill infest
Tis just a mind I have the thoughts are mine
Yet from whence this evil comes, I can’t define

Author’s Note: It is often that reference to a TPI becomes casual because no “problem” is obvious in general activity. I cannot assume the effects of PTSD in others, but in me it is somewhat like a volcano ready to erupt at any time. There are always signals; warnings, but occasionally it slips under my guard and others who do not understand are shocked by my seemingly unprovoked rage – then follows the long days of pain and regret.

It is a very humiliating time, because it is like a volcano living inside that one can do nothing about when it flares up. The only thing a veteran has going for him, is that he knows he shares the problem with many others. But this does not reduce the impact.