Meghan Dilley received her BA in English from Franklin and Marshall College in 2001 and after teaching for two years decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. She graduated with her DPT in physical therapy from Rutgers School of Health Professions, formerly known as The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2009 and has been working in the field ever since. In her spare time, she likes to play sports, hike, be near water, listen to music, spend time with her two cats Vicki and Prescott, along with her foster cat Ellie, and be around family and friends.
Hearing What I Hear, Seeing what I See: A Poetic Journey through PTSD
Never in a million years did I dream I would publish a book of poetry that involves all the raw emotion brought about by the trauma incurred over the last year. My very steady and calm personality was challenged as I was diagnosed with moderate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which festered April 6, 2020. I saw things I never imagined I would see and those memories will always remain. Initially, I thought I was fine as I had been through many physical and mental challenges in my life, but the horrific nature of this trauma set off PTSD symptoms. The trauma caused triggers, which would cause me to revisit that day, anxiety, trouble focusing, and severe noise hypersensitivity that is very difficult to explain. I am ok with the new person whom I have become and have found solace in new spaces that take me away from the trauma of that day and year. In August, I began writing poetry; these poems are a very private look into the experiences and growth that have made me who I am following the trauma. I hope it can help others who may not understand their feelings during their struggle with PTSD as well as give a glimpse of this life to those who may not understand how it affects people. PTSD is not just a mental health disorder affecting war veterans; for me it was seeing a great deal of death in one day and the inhumane treatment of these bodies without processing it at the time. It is about balancing the wave on a daily basis.