JASON'S DEMONS is a full length novel about a Vietnam veteran named Jason Orr, who served with Naval Special Warfare, Assault Support, Boat Services Unit, DaNang in the 1968 time period. The book portrays the present-day struggles with delayed Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in an adventure fiction (61,000 words) and centers on Jason working through the problems PTSD more than 25 years after his experiences in Southeast Asia.
Typical to the PTSD syndrome, his life patterns have deteriorated, his social life has suffered, and he has been diagnosed with a severe panic disorder. These conditions have destroyed two marriages, ruined his professional career, and now bring him to the path of self-destruction.
Generally, Jason Orr is not doing too well. In fact, you might say he's a terminal case. Not that he hasn't tried to deal with his problems. They're just bigger than he can handle. He's been dragging them around for more than 20 years. And now they've finally caught up with him.
As Jason works through the healing process, in conjunction with a local VA PTSD clinic, he is forced to confront his past experiences and his present state of mind. He must distinguish present reality from the recurrence of combat flashbacks and several layers of guilt which have developed since serving with the Naval Special Warfare Unit as Boat Support to SEAL Team operations out of Da Nang.
The story is both a powerful presentation of Viet Nam flashbacks, and a disturbing insight into the psychology of PTSD and panic disorder by providing the reader with a direct excursion into Jason Orr's mind.
Jason's Demons has been used at the University of New Mexico in the English Department curriculum entitled: "Literature of the Viet Nam War: Engaging Alienation."
When the Demons come
there is no place to hide,
as the iron glove reaches in
to slowly crush my heart.
And the steel band tightens
around my chest,
like an ugly doorbell,
announcing their presence
as they stand on the back porch,
The vacuum cleaner
starts sucking backwards and down,
emptying the contents of my head
into the abyss that has crept up behind me
in the fog
like a cold wind.
Then the Fear is upon me
and I have to run......
with no where to go......
as the heavy bootsteps of my heartbeat
dash wildly around the walls
of a claustrophobic cell.
Nothing inside belongs to me
and no one outside
can hear my screams.
Life and death
are no longer a simple matter of choice;
only a fool's wager
with the loaded die.
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