Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, Treatment and Self-Help (from helpguide.org)

“After a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected. But if the upset doesn’t fade and you feel stuck with a constant sense of danger and painful memories, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can seem like you’ll never get over what happened or feel normal again. But by seeking treatment, reaching out for support, and developing new coping skills, you can overcome PTSD and move on with your life”.

http://m.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

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About Janet B

I am a Mentor to Survivors of abuse at Verbal Abuse Journals: verbalabusejournals.com facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

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facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@within_freedom

Pinterest: Freedom Within

Linkedin: Janet Brownlee

Can a Narcissist Move On?

A reblog from another blogger. A must read if you have left a Narcissist.

Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

These are search terms that come up on my stats page quite frequently.  Readers want to know if a Narcissist can move on from their relationships.  Honestly, it depends on the depth of their Narcissism and typically depends on one factor:

Whether they left you or you left them.

Narcissists are all about power and control.  If they leave you after devaluing and discarding you, they’ve retained the power in their mind, so they can leave the relationship without a second thought.

However, if you leave them first, they will go on a revenge campaign that will make you question your very reason for existence.  If you happen to have children with them, it’s best to prepare yourself for Dante’s circles of Hell, circa 4-9.

sketch ~ Dante’s Inferno Sketch

In fact, their hatred for you will seem as fresh five years down the road as when you first…

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Supporting a Loved One Through PTSD or Panic Attacks

Here is a reblog (from another blogger) for the Supporters of those who have PTSD or Panic Attacks. Feel free to share with your loved ones.

sometimesmagical

This cartoon (from Robot Hugs), in my opinion, illustrates the perfect way to handle every PTSD or anxiety episode. If I could actually live inside a blanket fort forever, I would.

Unfortunately, flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, memories, triggers, and all those other lovely things that survivors have to live with don’t have the courtesy to always wait for blanket forts to be available.

It’s scary for the person experiencing the attack, but it’s also scary for any loved ones who are trying to comfort and support someone through an attack.

This post is for the supporters.

Often in the midst of the episode, the distressed person doesn’t necessarily have their full vocabulary and can’t articulate exactly what they need in that moment. Afterwards, they may avoid talking about it out of embarrassment, fear, or a desire to preserve the peacefulness of the present.

So how do you…

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Holidays with an abuser

As we enter this Easter holiday I am filled with mixed emotions. I love seeing my children’s excitement over the Easter bunny and I value my religious beliefs around this weekend, but my thoughts also drift to another aspect of the holidays that many of us have or are enduring;

Abusers

Holidays with my ex were always a time I dreaded. That and my birthday. My favourite holiday is Christmas. My ex knew this and deliberately went out of his way weeks ahead of the season to make sure I was miserable. Every year he would reduce me to tears, bawling actually, and just wishing the season would be done. My Birthday was the same. In both I was made to feel guilty for wanting to celebrate cause how could anything I like be important? I also feel he wanted that light in my eyes, that excitement, to be eternally snuffed out. He could not see me be happy.

broken  Christmas  decoration.

For many there is an increase in physical abuse during the holidays. Statistically December has the highest number of calss to 911 for Domestic Violence. Some blame it on alchohol but I simply believe abusers don’t want their victims to feel joy, to get attention, to be loved and honoured. They can’t feel those happy feelings themselves so there is no way anyone around them should. Some also say its the pressure of holidays, especially Christmas, that get to abusers, but I don’t really believe that. We all feel some pressure at Christmas but we don’t all go home and beat up our spouse.

Whatever it is that triggers abusers over holidays or birthdays it is a horrible time for their victims.

In my first year, postseperation I became really cranky at every holiday and my birthday. I could not figure out why. After some thought I realised I was still waiting for the axe to fall from my ex.  When that didn’t happen I had no idea how to cope. It has now been four years without him and I can say as each year passes each holiday becomes easier to enjoy. Slowly life is proving to me that it is ok to be happy on my Birthday and its ok to celebrate Christmas.  He won’t be jumping out of nowhere trying to destroy my celebrations.

Wherever you are at in your journey this holiday weekend please know I am thinking of you. I know holidays are not easy. Do what you need to do to get through it. Love yourself, be safe, try and let yourself feel the joy and know you are not alone. There are many of us who are having mixed feelings during this holiday weekend.

Be Safe

If you need extra support during this Holiday Season there are a number of Hotlines and Shelters Available. Please follow this link to find support near you http://www.hotpeachpages.net/

About Janet B

I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors,  with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at  http://ow.ly/LSii8

Verbal Abuse Journals facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

My facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://facebook.com/fw.dvptsd

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/within_freedom

LinkedIn Profile: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“>

Pinterest: Freedom Within

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Brave Heart Award

Brave Heart Award.

Tonight I was nominated for the Brave Heart Award. Thank you http://avictimsjournal.wordpress.com

I was nominated for the Brave Heart Award and gladly accepted!!
I was nominated for the Brave Heart Award and gladly accepted!!

I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors,  with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at  http://ow.ly/LSii8

Verbal Abuse Journals facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

I have been working/volunteering at Verbal Abuse Journals as a Mentor to other Survivors of Abuse.

My facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://facebook.com/fw.dvptsd

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/within_freedom

LinkedIn Profile: <a href=”http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“> <a>
Pinterest: Freedom Within

Finding Self Worth

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In life there is a battle I think most of us have; finding our self worth.?  I know feeling worthy has been a battle for most of my life, but as of late I feel like I am finding it. Finally.

My battle with self worth started when I was young. I was in a fatal car accident that took my mother and left me terribly injured. The accident was in the summer so when I returned to school in the fall my injuries were healing but I still had to use crutches and my cheek was still swollen from a broken jaw. I had also lost an extreme amount of weight due to my injuries. I looked different than others.

Up until then I had felt confident in who I was inside and out, but the accident and going back to school changed that. Kids teased me mercilessly about my looks and I started to see myself as ugly.

Another prominent moment where I questioned my self worth was when I learned to walk my own again. One of my physical therapy exercises was to walk between two vertical bars back and forth gaining strength. My dad was a priest and the house we lived in and the church were attached to eachother so I would practise my exercises in the church. My father turned two pews back to back and I tirelessly tackled the exercise every day. One day I told myself to take a step without the help of the pews so I did. I nervously stepped forward and I did not fall!! I was so excited and so proud of myself. I walked into the house (very hobbly but still walking) and announced to my dad that I walked on my own!! I expected him to come over and give me a huge hug, but instead he barely looked up from his paper and said “Oh yah.”. I was crushed. Was I not worth praise? Then the phone rang, he got up to answer it and proudly told the caller about my accomplishment. I remember standing there confused. It was then that I learned to be worth something to my father it had to be something that made him look good. It wasn’t about me being worthy, it was about my actions reflecting upon his worth.

Later my father remarried. He married a woman that I tried to like, but she emotionally abused me and my father stood by saying nothing. Again I asked myself, am I not worth it?

As a teen I struggled with various teen issues; puberty, friendships, learning who I was and sadly rape. I was raped by a boy whom I knew while his friends held me down. As they left the boy looked at me and said “Lets see who will touch you now.”

I dated a boy shortly after this and as we got closer I felt unworthy, tainted by what those boys had done and I heard their words in my head so I pushed my boyfriend away.

I took this lack of self worth into my marriage. I put up with far more than I should because I simply did not feel worthy of more.

While I was pregnant with my third child and following his birth my husband was having an affair. The woman belonged to the Fire Department he volunteered in. Her husband had recently left her with two small children. We would see her at BBQ’s with other Fire Department friends. When either would arrive at the event the others face would light up, when I was at work, and he was at home with our girls, he would spend his days at her house. He would take her out golfing because she was lonely yet he never took me anywhere. When the affair was brought to the light of day and I looked at how differently he treated me and I thought once again, am I not worthy of more?

This lack of self worth along with the frightening dynamics of a Domestic Violent relationship kept me in my marriage for three more years. Near the end my husband started to continually rape me and afterwards would call horrible names such as whore, slut, idiot and bitch. I started to believe that I was those things and this only reaffirmed what the school boy said to me after he had raped me, “Lets see who will touch you now.”

I truely believed I was absolutely unworthy.

Has this ever changed?

I am happy to report that it is changing!

When I left my abusive marriage and built my network of support I had people tell me that I was doing all the right things. I started to feel that perhaps I was smart enough. I also had people who blamed me for my husbands arrest and being charged with assault. I realised that his arrest was not my fault it was his. HIS actions had got him arrested. Again my self worth GREW! I started sharing my story with others and helped other Survivors of Domestic Violence. I was told how much they appreciated my help. My self worth started to EXPLODE!!!

Yet when I was on my own and I looked at myself in the mirror I still heard what the school boy and my husband said. I didn’t see any beauty in the mirror. I saw a tired, worn out woman heading into her 40’s looking like she was 50.

Then something changed. Do you remember the other school boy whom I had dated? The one I pushed away because I didn’t feel worthy? Well he came back into my life and we fell in love again. He told me everyday, sometimes more than once a day, that I was beautiful. At first I brushed off his compliments, but one day something clicked. I looked in that mirror and thought, “maybe I am pretty, maybe I am worthy of his adoring love” and I started to believe that I am.

I see the beauty inside and out of me now. I see my strengths and know that I am worthy of happiness. I do not deserve to be someone’s second choice. I do not deserve abuse.  I am strong, smart and sometimes even a little witty. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of good things. I am worthy to have a great life.

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Mentor Survivors of abuse at Verbal Abuse Journals: verbalabusejournals.com facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

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facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@within_freedom

Pinterest: Freedom Within

Linkedin: Janet Brownlee  http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“>

Moving forward with PTSD

26155952fa89f3c5d58d3fac796d05d3  Recently a friend posted a timeline photo on my facebook wall that’s basic message was “let go of the past, it’s time to move on.” I’ve seen messages like this in the past and they always make me feel like I have been punched in the stomach. Let me explain.

With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) you are constantly being pulled into the past by flashbacks and triggers. Even if you wanted to leave “the event” in the past your mind is working against you. It’s a constant tug of war. It is not a case where I want to be there, but a case where I now have a traumatic brain injury that keeps taking me back there. I see those “get over it” messages and I just want to scream, “I WOULD IF I COULD!!”

The other reason I can’t just let go of the past is because it is still my present. I was diagnosed with PTSD after 15 years of Domestic Violence and 9 months of marital rape. My ex was charged and has plead not guilty. We are set to go to trial sometime in the future. There I will be put on the stand and have to talk about what happened. So again my past will become my present. I also have three children who are at various stages of healing from the abuse that was in their home. Everyday something comes up about it and once again our past is our present.

When it comes right down to it no one has the right to tell another when it is time to move forward. It is their journey and they need to go through every step, even if it is a baby step, to heal.

I ended up removing the picture from my facebook wall. I know my friend meant no harm and I do not begrudge her. I just couldn’t keep looking at that message as it made me feel I was failing in some way. That I am not where I should be on my journey. In reality I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

If you know someone, or you are that someone, who has gone through trauma and trying to heal know that they/you are right where you are supposed to be, taking steps forward when you are ready. You are getting there one step at a time.

Here are some ways you can help someone recovering from Trauma and/or has PTSD.

  1. Learn everything you can about PTSD. By knowing all of this information, you will be better able to handle the situation.
  2. Exercise together. Exercising strengthens the overall body and improves health.
  3. Don’t judge them.
  4. Be there to listen. Make your self available to them when they need to talk. Be an active listener by giving input when needed.
  5. Show respect. Respect them even though they may be having a difficult time at the moment.
  6. Look out for them. Show you care by recognizing when everything doesn’t seem to be okay.
  7. Allow room for mistakes. Recognize that they will make mistakes, but always be there to forgive them and offer help if needed.
  8. Talk positively.
  9. Give them their space. Your loved one may not always want your opinion on everything, be willing to step aside every once in a while and give them some space.
  10. Be active together. Planning and participating in family activities can be a fun way to interact and show them you don’t look down on them.
  11. Love them.
  12. Don’t belittle them. While it is important to not expect too much, not expecting anything at all is unnecessary and can be hurtful.
  13. Be patient.
  14. Avoid harsh remarks. Stay away from telling your friend or family member to get over their problems, this may only make problems worse.
  15. Encourage their self-esteem.
  16. Take care of yourself. Remember that you can’t take care of someone else if you haven’t dealt with yourself first. In many cases seeking out a friend to help you is beneficial.

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About Janet B

Mentor Survivors of abuse at Verbal Abuse Journals: verbalabusejournals.com facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

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facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@within_freedom

Pinterest: Freedom Within

Linkedin: Janet Brownlee <a href=”http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“> <a>