Crazy Tales of Combat Psychiatry

Book 1 of the Paul Marzeky Mystery Series

In this book, I talk about the madness of combat psychiatry on many levels. I share some of my experiences as a Social Work/Clinical Psychology Specialist in Vietnam 1968-1969 as a member of the 326th Medical Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. The experience was “crazy” up front as living in a combat zone must be for the utter chaos and unpredictability. It was also insane because of the dynamics imposed by politics, and the many-pronged attempts by the military to impose mostly outmoded and inappropriate “Stateside” regulations and tactics on a guerrilla war, on the men doing the fighting and dying.

We were an emerging generation of young men experiencing the power and connection we felt as brothers-in-arms. This in and of itself would have added plenty of fuel to the fires of opposition burning in us. As I graphically illustrate in this book, the presence of copious amounts of drugs of all sorts, and the utter willingness to experience as much of life as was possible, living each day as if it were the last, took all of us into the fast lane. And through it all was always woven the shared bond of blood and brains that will forever make us brothers.

Spirals of Time

Book 2 of the Paul Marzeky Mystery Series

Paul’s life has become a series of spirals, going forward and back, incorporating ever-new life experiences as he plunges head on into the veritable cornucopia of delights presented to a young man fresh home from the war, and living in San Francisco at the end of the 1960’s. One of the many worlds in which he is involved is working on in-patient psychiatric units and attempting to apply his nascent healing skills, while at the same time fully indulging fully in the psychedelic world of Bay Area music, art, and the still potent dreams of revolution.

Unwitting Witnesses

Book 3 of the Paul Marzeky Mystery Series

Paul has returned from Vietnam, and has been growing his clinical skills for a number of years working on high volume in-patient psychiatric units. He is daily immersed in working with people, often involuntary patients hospitalized because of their potential as being a danger to self or others. He comes to work one afternoon to discover that a violent, intrusive patent has been murdered in one of his unit’s locked seclusion rooms. With everyone as a suspect―patients and staff―the investigators put everyone’s lives under the lens of the forensic microscope. Paul gets more and more drawn into the case as patients confide in him, testing the limits of his being able to keep confidentiality, when incidents form his own past get called into question, shining the spotlight on him. Paul finds that he must make some excruciating decisions to salvage his career, maybe even his life.

Alchemy’s Angel

Book 4 of the Paul Marzeky Mystery Series

Paul Marzeky has established a private practice, and continues his own unique brand of psychotherapeutic healing with a variety of clients in San Francisco. This book takes the reader inside Paul’s office as he works his mental magic with a wide variety of clients, one of whom may have more than one personality. At the same time as he is putting forth his best effort to heal others, he is confronted by, and must perforce work on, his own on-going issues. This work takes him through private sessions as well as encounters with in-depth group work and into the burgeoning field of men’s work. All seems to be flowing along rather smoothly until Paul gets an urgent call from a client who has just found his wife dead—and one of a prized pair of his knives in her throat. As the criminal investigation unfolds, Paul is thrown into often-unwanted contact with Detective Phil Mc Laren and immersed in the whole process as his client is accused of the murder, and continues to vehemently deny it.

The Gilded Edges of Shadow

Book 5 of the Paul Marzeky Mystery Series

After witnessing the bizarre suicide of a former client who he had initially helped clear from murder charges (and who admitted his culpability just before killing himself), Paul goes into deep mourning and self-blame, believing he could have done more. He temporarily abandons his private practice to allow his mourning to take its own course as he knows it must. Then he accepts the referral of a young man who is the scion of an abusive billionaire father who is his legal conservator. Henry, the young man, has a half-billion-dollar trust fund of his own as well as delusions regarding the involvement of the U.S. government reverse engineering alien artifacts from the Roswell crash—a project in which he is firmly convinced his father is involved. When his father is brutally murdered in a manner Henry has described in his fantasies, Paul advocates for his client against the forces of law and order as well as the psychiatric authorities.

Crucible of Shame: Trauma and Transformation

In this non-fiction volume,Crucible of Shame: Trauma and Transformation, I nominate shame as the elemental foundation of the phenomenal world, warping the way individuals manifest their “reality.” I track this through the history of corporations and permanent war as economic features. I show the process by which everyone experiences the loss and diminishment of self, of the innate power and joy that is our birthright. I also propose that all of this is somehow necessary―including addictions and “mental illness”―in order to birth the renewal of power and spirit such that each of us might have a profound personal spiritual emergence, and contribute to the awakening of humanity in our times.