Several years ago, after more drama than I ever thought I would live, it was brought to my attention that I was suffering with PTSD. I was also informed that it was several decades that I had been going through it and all the weird stuff I did was part and parcel of just what life with PTSD was like.
It explained why I prefer to sleep on a couch than in a bed. It explained why I had to have the tv on just to fall asleep. It explained why I sleep better when Sam Waterston portraying Jack McCoy fought for justice overnight on Law & Order. I have a dvr and tape it so that I can watch it all night long. I say watch – I sleep to it. Very soundly.
PTSD – Jack McCoy Therapy
I am not sure what it is about Jack McCoy that makes me sleep well. I have followed Sam Waterston for years. I fell in love with him decades ago when he played Robert Oppenheimer on American Playhouse on PBS. Sam Waterston has played some amazing roles through his career and I have watched most of them, but Jack McCoy, well he stands out to me. He is tall, he is loud, he is passionate and he believes in Justice. He reminds me of my father.
My father was a marine. He became a captain, and after he left the service to join the FBI, we became his platoon. A good captain makes his soldiers feel safe even when they are facing danger. A good captain gives courage to those around him. A good captain never shows his hand, or betrays his troops. I believe Jack McCoy would have been an exemplary Marine.
It isn’t just Jack McCoy
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the characters. I love the police (especially Lenny Briscoe) I love the other ADA’s. I love them all. But when it comes to my body actually relaxing enough to sleep, I need Jack McCoy. I need his passion, I need his courage, I need the power of his convictions as he tries to put the real bad guys in jail for as long as possible. In the dark of night, the sound of his voice is so strong, and so assured that I simply drift into sleep, and stay there.
PTSD is not an easy thing to live with. It affects every aspect of my life in a way that others sometimes see more clearly than I do. I don’t think it is odd to sleep no more than 45 minutes at a time. I don’t think it is odd to need almost every light in the house on all the time. I don’t think it is odd to prefer to sleep on the couch when I stay at someone’s house. I dont’t think it is odd to carry my passport with me where ever I go. Other people point these things out.