How did PTSD find you?
Most, who are regular followers here, know that PTSD found me sometime while I was in Vietnam in 1968-1969 and it followed me home. I’ve been struggling with it for close to 50 years. Keep in mind that I didn’t know what I was struggling with PTSD for years after returning, since there was no title for my visitor since the PTSD name tag came after I returned. Also, keep in mind, that for years after that, even though I figured out that I probably was suffering with it, I never was officially diagnosed with PTSD for many years later.
There are so many ways where PTSD can lie in wait. I was free and clear of it for 23 years while growing up. I had negotiated my way through all my school years and had graduated college and then enlisted in the military because I was about to be drafted. Vietnam was in my future, but I had no way of knowing what else was there for me. PTSD was lying in wait for me and would soon dig in its claws.
Recently, I read an article regarding the molestation of children in churches, schools, the Boys Scouts and yes even in the home. I had cruised my way through all these things, and it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I had to deal with the PTSD of life. These young children are struggling against this beast with very little skill or experiences to fall back on. They are just children who should see the World as a safe place, yet do not. The frightening thing is that this is not like getting a disease where once you get it you can not get it again. PTSD is a life-long burden and the pain and agony; the terror and heartache, are lifetime baggage that needs to be carried by those who have it.
The worst part for me is, though I know that this is true, I have never experienced PTSD through molestation. The sounds crazy but I feel like I can’t offer someone who has this extra weight to bear any “I know what you are going through”. They know, in their own way, that I really am only speaking the words. PTSD victims need allies. They need people to understand them and provide whatever support that they can. Though we all have PTSD circumstance of how we got it are very varied.
Come tell your story. Let others know the width, breadth, and depth of this problem. Visit us at www.beyondptsd.org.