Off the Shelf
Leave a comment

The Silver Bullet: A PTSD Story

A Silver Bullet
The tiny guns held by my little action figures
still remind me of that god forsaken trigger.

A Silver Bullet
The man came to do an evil deed;
yet, I was the one who was in need.

A Silver Bullet
The money is all that he wanted;
yet, to this day I am still haunted.

A Silver Bullet
But, no! The banker did not give him any.
NO, not even a small, single penny.

A Silver Bullet
The man became furious,
and I became curious?

A Silver Bullet
I would save us — take away his gun.
Then we could all be safe! And run.

A Silver Bullet
I ran at him ready to kill.
The man was shocked by this thrill.

A Silver Bullet
With hesitation the trigger was pulled…
NO, he was not a man to be fooled.

A Silver Bullet
The blast was tranquil, but o’ so loud —
Not a single breath came from the crowd.

A Silver Bullet
My life flashes!
The plane I was supposed to be on crashes…
And burns to ashes.

A Silver Bullet
But my body was fine?
Once more I could dine.

A Silver Bullet
But if the silver bullet had shattered my head,
why did she lay there peaceful, beautiful, and dead?

A Red Bullet

This story was written based on a patient I had the privilege to work with during my psychiatry clerkship rotation. The patient had been present during a bank robbery. In the heat of the moment, he decided to challenge the robber and attempt to disarm him. In the chaos, the robber fired his weapon. The patient described that the moment he heard the gunshot, he thought he was the victim. His life flashed before his eyes. In reality, the bullet had missed him. Sadly, it had struck an innocent bystander, who passed away from the injury. The experience changed the entire trajectory of this patient’s life. He ended up developing post-traumatic stress disorder and has struggled with flashbacks, anxiety and depression since the incident. Fortunately, at the time of our meeting, he had been making much progress in therapy and responding to medications.

My interaction with this patient was a very meaningful one, and inspired me to write this poem. This patient’s story also reminded me to be grateful and enjoy everyday, as at any unexpected moment one’s life can change entirely.

Parsa Salehi Parsa Salehi (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Yale University School of Medicine

Parsa attended Cornell University as an undergraduate, where he majored in Human Biology. He had a particular interest in nutrition, healthcare policy, near eastern studies, and human development while in Ithaca. He completed medical school as part of Drexel University College of Medicine's Class of 2017. He is currently an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Resident at Yale University.