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Saturday
Feb262011

Introduction

Hello. I'm Don L. Turner (a.k.a. TaoMannaDon). Welcome to my blog.

This site exists to provide a home for, or links to, my creative efforts as I deal with and recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the other mental ailments that flowed from it.

I was born in 1948, the son of a sharecropper who had been an ambulance driver in World War II. I was drafted into the Army in 1968 and served one year in Vietnam. The trauma I experienced during that year led to forty years of denial about how Vietnam had affected my mental stability. Years after his death I came to understand my father's war experience had destroyed his life, much like my war experience almost destroyed mine. We had much more in common than I ever appreciated.

During Jimmy Carter's presidency I began a process of slowly evolving from a politically disinterested, uninvolved liberal to a motivated conservative, hungry to understand the principles of conservatism, libertarianism and objectivism. My political commentary is heavily influenced by those ideologies. 

I have written songs and poems since my high school days. A few years ago I began writing short stories inspired by my life. Ten years ago my world went dark as PTSD, anxiety and depression overcame me. I quit my successful career as an administrator in the construction industry and I quit living. For eight years I hid from every single thing that caused me stress; and nearly everything did.

Two years ago I almost ended my life. I woke up alive, terribly hung over but the pills were still in the bottle. I was totally broke, no more money for liquid courage to help me end it, no more choices but homelessness .... or seeking the help I had needed for forty years. I called my sister. She had no idea of my mental or financial condition. I hid everything from everybody. She and her generous husband opened their hearts and their home to me. They gave me another chance at life.

I started therapy provided by the Veterans Administration. I still have a long way to go but I'm getting better. Recently I began seeing a private therapist.

A year ago I joined Twitter and began tweeting about political issues. My brain had become so damaged by anxiety and depression that writing or even reading was a chore for me. I sometimes couldn't finish a sentence without troubling thoughts invading my mind and leading me off into the darkness of my mental illness. Tweeting was good therapy. It required me to focus on one thought and try to fit it in to 140 characters. The interaction with followers boosted my spirits and gave me strength to ponder even more creative works. The ideas began to flow.

Recently I took up landscape photography as a new hobby. I had often seen views from the trails I hike each week that warranted being preserved in something more permanent than my faulty memory. Some of my better photos are posted on Flickr.

This blog and its contents are part of my ongoing return to normalcy. My political and other commentary, short stories, poems, songs, links to photos, Facebook, Twitter and (eventually) links to YouTube videos revealing personal performances of some of my creative works will appear here. I claim no special knowledge or special skill. I am just a guy with PTSD who is trying to get better.

I have a sense of humor. Some of the things I'll post to this blog will be humorous. I'm the guy who originated the political tweets:

  • President Obama may not walk like a duck but he certainly quacks like a socialist.

  • Political equations: President Bush is to John Wayne as President Obama is to Pee Wee Herman.

  • A liberal, a socialist, and a communist walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Mr President, are you drinking alone tonight?”

My sense of humor extends beyond politics. I have some funny stories that will get posted into the Slices of Life section of this blog.

Thank you for visiting. Friendly and civil comments on the articles and suggestions on how to improve my blog are welcome. If you leave comments on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ I will see them; but I hope you will leave your comments here in the "Comments" area at the bottom of each blog article. I enjoy going back to read your comments whenever my spirits need a boost; they will be easier to access later if you leave them here. I also invite you to share any of my blog entries on Twitter, Facebook, etc. using the “Share Article” function at the bottom of each article.

Links to my Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Google+ accounts are near the top right corner of each page. Join me on those sites. I “follow back” on Twitter and I honor all requests from conservatives, libertarians, objectivists, and like-mind lovers of freedom to be my Facebook friend. If you are on Google+, include me in a Google+ circle to see my posts and I will do the same for you. If you are on YouTube, subscribe to my YouTube channel now and you will know when I post my first video some time next year.

Click on the blog page links near the top of the page to view the different blog sections (Home, Political Commentary, Slices of Life, Wellness Triage, Poetry, Capture and Release, Odds and Ends, and Video).

I hope you enjoy my work and return often for updates.