I've typically associated PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) with military personnel returning from deployments. However, I've started reading a book "Healing the Child Within" by Dr. Charles Whitfield. Through my counseling I am starting to understand that there is a part of me - a Child Within as Dr. Whitfield describes it, that was kind of frozen. I got this book in an effort to better understand and help aid in the healing process I need to go through so I can be a healthier person.
I have been reading today and just got into the chapter on PTSD. I thought about skipping it, thinking it wasn't going to relate to me, but the OCD in me can't skip a chapter...
Must. Read. Straight. Through.
He talks about how PTSD can manifest itself in depression, anxiety, numbness... he goes on to talk about stressors which can lead to PTSD. I suffered 3 of them - chronic parental fighting, divorce of parents, and sexual abuse. He says PTSD can be more damaging if it occurs over a time of 6 months or longer, if the traumas are of human origin and if those around the affected person deny the existence of the stressor.
Oh. My. Word.
This really doesn't change anything - I am in process, I am on a journey to healing - it just gives a name to what I already knew was going on. This also opened my eyes to see that many more people than I realize are likely suffering from PTSD. We live in a depraved and fallen world full of sin. People hurt people. There are mothers who don't know how to love their children. There are fathers who don't protect their children. There is abuse occurring all around us.
This saddens me.
This angers me.
This breaks my heart.
But this also motivates me.
It motivates me to take the pain and hurt of my own life and to continue working my tail off in the healing process. This has meant not being as active in church ministry as I would like. This has meant not spending as much time with friends as I would like. This has meant not being as available as I would like to help people in need. But I need to do this. I need to take this time for me to go through the healing process. There is so much stuff that has been bottled up for over 30 years - I buried it. I was trying to protect the Child Within.
I. AM. DONE.
She doesn't need protecting, she needs to be allowed to grieve, she needs to be allowed to have a voice, she deserves to be heard. I am going to keep going no matter how hard it gets. I am going to keep doing the work.
Whatever name you want to give it - even if you don't have a name for it. If you are hurting today. If you are struggling. If you feel alone. I am here to tell you that you are not alone. No matter how bad you might feel, there are people who care, people who love you. Don't let hopelessness take over. Reach out around you.
With faith and hope,