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TRIGGER WARNING What happens when all we see is RACE and HATE? #PTSDChat

She was screaming with blood streaming down her little frame, her nanny running towards the barracks at the border post calling for help in shona, her beautiful dark skin now grey, covered in the small red head’s blood that was congealing to a dark black smudge under the hot sun.  They went back to find what was left of the “garden boys” who had defended the little white girl from the machetes.  Her little bicycle was also found.  I didn’t see my sister much after that, they sent her to boarding school in Salisbury where she lived out the rest of the war separated from my brother and I who remained on the coffee estate that straddled the Mozambique Rhodesian border.  The year was 1972. When I was frightened it was big dark hands that picked me up and took me to a quiet shady spot, distracted and played with…

What is PTSD? #PTSDChat

Google it and you will find Wikipedia (that compendium that provides me with an opportunity to be an expert in sixty seconds flat, any subject …name it!) states that it is a MENTAL ILLNESS.  Right there is an enormous problem.  Not Mental Injury but “Illness”, ergo, contagious? Something that falls within the realm of physical medicine? Does it heck. I took a run at the Current and Ex-Presidents of the Ontario Psychological Association; they’re good enough to tolerate me from time to time.  I demanded (precocious army brat) that they support efforts to force DSM-5 to change Post Traumatic Stress DISORDER to Post Traumatic Stress INJURY.  It is after all, exactly that!  Dammit. {Pause for foot stamp.} Why is this important?  I wrote “whilst ‘Disorder’ might be valid for you doctor types for an individual who’s entire career is predicated on ‘tough’ (mind and body) it says they were born wrong.…

#PTSDChat : Cannabis – Exploding and Exploring the Prejudice

Cannabis scares me. I fear it and those who use it.  I fear the smell.  I turn tail and run from it.  Or I topple over like the human fainting goat that I am. Any which way I cut it, Cannabis is clearly the stuff of the devil. Then my friend who is one of my heroes in life tells me that he’s had a medical breakthrough.  This is my friend who has kept me awake at night when he’s gone radio silent (not that he knows it nor would I tell him until he was through the PTSD badlands); a cop who has fought the darkness, put his life on the line to protect and serve.  Literally.  He witnessed too much, saw too much death and too much pain.  His own life under threat and finally, the breaking point comes. His life has been on the line for almost…

#PTSDChat: Remembrance Day / Veterans Day THE PAIN OF SURVIVING REVISITED

My children understand that there is a deep, dark, endless well of sadness within their Mum that has something to do with her childhood and wars; when most children might argue about going to stand for an hour in the freezing cold November winds of Ontario to honour  those that they have never met nor ever will, a war long forgotten, they do not.  Quietly and respectfully they support me in a way I will be forever grateful.  Kindly and gently they stick close when they see the tears trickle silently down my cheek behind my sunglasses, they say nothing of it but simply step closer into me, wrapping my arms around them I stay present … mostly. There is a heaviness in our souls and a crushing weight in our hearts that gradually becomes unbearable at this time of year.  It is the fact that we survived when others…