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Life After PTSD

One of the things I noticed in the world of mental health advocacy is that maintaining relevancy for the cause, apparently, requires us to remain broken. Broken?  The same cop stands up and tells the same story: it happened 15 years ago and in that time he’s had 100’s of hours of counseling but it still keeps him locked.  Trapped?  His service dog is still a crutch he needs to be in public or to speak.  The PTSD/Depression/Addictions/MH Whatever book is released and suddenly a trip back to the emergency is on the cards, with full social media fanfare.  The veteran angrily defends his right to be, well, angry.  The stereotypes dance and my brain rejects the entire display. As I watched the dance and listened to the babble of the broken, I began to realize that once somebody has stepped onto the Mental Health wheel of fortune it is…

DEFEATING PTSD ISOLATION – A Personal Reason behind #PTSDChat

As we hit the one year mark for #PTSDChat, I took some time to think about where I was a year ago. And, fainted. When I got back to standing I realized how far I’ve come from there. The isolation of Complex PTSD and other forms of PTSD, is crushing.  It can kill us if we do not find a solution to it.  The STIGMA around PTSD is still enormous, especially for those who work in the military or as a first responder.  Is it any less for those of us who don’t?  I don’t think so.  As hard as we fight to defeat the pain caused by those around us when we admit to having a mental health challenge like PTSD, I sometimes despair of ever seeing any real change in understanding.  When a man I respect greatly can still see those who claim to have PTSD as “shirkers”…

BEATEN BACK TO THE DARK PLACE

What does it feel like to be triggered back to hell? At first there is a feeling of intense claustrophobia breathing is difficult and there is a roar in my ears, intense and solid it’s almost impossible to think through it.  A creeping numbness crawls through my limbs, panic slowly builds and I need to run. I need to get away from this place. I can no longer see the people around me.  My children yes, but anybody else?  No. If I am lucky it is at this point that I pass out.  If I’m lucky. If I fight too hard and my children are close by, I will fight to stay conscious but this comes at an immense cost.  First of all, I am a wounded animal that is holding onto consciousness with every fibre of my body.  Any attempt to hold me, contain me or comfort is seen…

When Parents Hurt Kids To Appease Their Ego & Self-Interest

There is a child I know who lives with anxiety.  His self-confidence is zero, his ability to self-soothe is in its infancy and his voice muted to the point of barely audible. One of the things I know about anxiety is that the only person that can combat it is Me.  The only person who can measure it, curtail it and tame it, is Me.  I have lived with Complex PTSD from toddler-hood.  I have fought that dark demon with all my strength from the moment I realized that I stood on the precipice of madness – aged 3 (yes I actually remember the moment I stepped back and thought, no, not me, you won’t get me).  People all too often ignorantly believe that children, even very young ones, have no self awareness or ability to retain what they are experiencing, seeing and hearing.  That belief is beyond asinine. That…