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Here's the Rainbows, Unicorns and Puppies

CanPraxis have us firmly focused to ensure that whatever PTSDChat is, it is HOPE. This is a tough mother of a topic to hit.  Child Abuse.  Run screaming from the room.  Either we are survivors of it or we are terrified that we have in someway damaged our children because of our own mental health challenges. I have Complex PTSD.  I have had it since I was tiny.  I also have a life threatening auto-immune illness as a result of that very same, and ever so fabulous, PTSD.  I am a suicide survivor.  But what defines me is none of these: it is that I am a Mother, an Artist, a lover of the broken who have huge hearts and souls, a believer in the goodness of mankind. Do I fail? Yes.  Often.  I full adhere to Winston Churchill’s “Success is failure after failure without the loss of enthusiasm”.…

"Success is going from Failure to Failure without any loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

“Success is going from Failure to Failure without any loss of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill By which definition I am one hell of a success. I fail so often you’d think I was doing it on purpose.  Dust myself off, try again.  And so it goes, for 46 years now.  But I think those failures are why I’ve kept going and not packed it in.  I’ve had plenty of opportunities to hit the exit, most recently with a minor stroke (courtesy of my antiphospholipid syndrome, which in its turn is courtesy of a lifetime of Complex PTSD): only, once have I ever been content to accept the “OUT”.  My incredible Singaporean doctor (also head of the medical board of Singapore – only one brave enough to take me on) had other ideas, she’d put together a phenomenal team to keep me and my baby alive; but it was her deep spirituality…

A new perspective! #PTSDChat #AskDrJen

When I started #PTSDChat (brainchild of WHOA Media) it grew exponentially in a heartbeat, which almost crushed me.  The need for an anonymous regular outlet for information, support, connections was mind-blowing.  But what struck me most was this: “I’m not a veteran/cop/fire fighter/etc, I’m just a ..   but I have PTSD.  Can I join the community?” The first time I was asked this I didn’t understand why anybody would ask such a silly question.  Of course you can join, this is an inclusive social alchemy at its best, we are all one big PTSD family.  But I was wrong.  There really is a sense of First Class PTSD, Second Class PTSD and … the subset PTSD’ers.  It’s one of the things I’d like to blow out of the water from the get-go. First step in this direction is to look at something so common, so universal that few realize…

Cane Fields: the killing fields of my flashbacks

Sugar cane.  I hate the bloody stuff. Costa Rica and a bus full of happy, clappy tourists; my children are nervous-excited to be going on a boat tour up a crocodile infested river.  They are with their Mama whom they know would single handedly wrestle a crocodile to death if need be to protect them, so nervous-excited rather than scared.  I am staring at the fields of evil.  The tour guide whitters on about the harvest season.  I stare in blind horror at the fields of thick cane; there is a wilderness at the cane’s base which I know harbours snakes, rats and a violent death.  Macabre terrible death. Before the war I think the sugar cane fields were not a place you wandered into without a machete.  It’s where the boys went to find snakes and huge boa constrictors hid before sliding out to find its prey.   Really,…