Photo by Abbe Colgan on Unsplash

Camouflage of Normal: A Collection of Poems by Nekedra Bullock

Visible “Invisible” Wounds

Invisible wounds only because you choose not to see them

Invisible wounds because you chose not to listen

My invisible wounds are visible just like me

You were too busy and didn’t want to be inconvenient to see them

My invisible wounds cried and cries, yelled and screams

My invisible wounds know the science of dopamine and the familiar taste of charcoal

My invisible wounds had multiple conversations with you only to hear you say

Where is your faith, go pray, be strong, lose weight, you grown, it’s not that bad so move on?

You see my invisible wounds are not so invisible to me

They hurt, they talk, they push and pull, they demand, they cut, they go numb, they are wounded. They are mine. They are now. They are wounds. Wounds you choose not to see

In the end rather invisible or visible there is still a wound, and the wound is still me

A wound that is begging and screaming please someone


It’s me the wound, aren’t I still worthy? Aren’t I still worth it? 

Deploy, Deploy, Deploy

Never leave an Airman behind 

I was trained well. I was top in my class and moved through the ranks super-fast. 

I was tramlined well to deploy. Learned the cultured, spoke the language, studied the target, led the troops, gave the commands, and captured the flag. Yes, indeed I was well trained and prepared to deploy for that war. 

Excellent PT scores, marksmanship more than twice, top notch AG, and M4, M16 rifle, pistol, M240, Ak47 nomenclature queen. I was trained well to deploy so well that I’m still deployed.

Teach me to come home like you taught me to deploy and go to war.


Five letters that’s more than just an acronym 

More than flashbacks and dealing with memories with other war vets 

Its insomnia and depression, its dissociation and isolation.

It is being on guard and super vigilant; immediately looking for a way out in every new place. 

It is reliving each trauma as if it was yesterday because, your mind doesn’t know you’re okay and haven’t caught up with the reality of today.

It is the feeling of being all alone in crowed spaces but still have the desire to be separated.

CPTSD is knowing the loss of friends, security, and self and what’s worse is experiencing all three with no sense of trust, no place to escape, or home to feel safe. 

CPTSD is being okay with knowing that not everyone is able to handle me or that I’m still anointed. I have mood swings and moments. I love deeply and my superpower is to dissociate. I

can become too attached and then have a need to detach. I’m sensitive to specific noises and sensitive to your emotional pain which at times leaves me completely drained.

CPTSD is so much more than 5 letters or an acronym to me.

CPTSD is arriving at an unusual place, an unplanned destination, an unfamiliar territory, that was not on the itinerary. 

CPTSD is fighting the fight of my life that I did not chose but, I cannot lose!

Nekedra is a USAF Veteran and COSI Lead Coach and Instructor of Advancing Academic Achievement at PPSC.