Hard to Believe PTSD Posting Does Work

August 19, 2011

You know it is hard for a PTSD sufferer to believe but the old quote “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”  I know that if you are reading this right now this is a very hard thing to believe.  I’ve been in the clutches of PTSD and I know a little bit about it.  In a bit of a round about way let me explain.

When my wife and I were first married we were going to have our first child.  We were so much in love and this was going to be an extension of that love that we had for each other.  Because of whatever (no apparent reason) this baby was a still born. I was shattered and looked for reasons, no matter how far fetched, for this to have happened to us.  Cause and effect, you know, is drilled into us.  For every action there is and equal reaction.  Therefore, if something bad happened to us it must have somehow been caused by us.  I can remember, at one point, pulling the covers over my head, just wishing that the nightmare would go away.

Some friends were reluctant to visit or contact us  because they said they “didn’t know what to say”.  Others, who did visit, often said the stupidest things.  “You can always have another child, you’re young” “This was part of God’s plan” “Everything happens for the best” and finally, “I know what you are going through” among many other platitudes.

Really?  I can tell you, these comments hurt more than helped and only because they were friends and family was I was able to accept them as being well-meaninged under difficult circumstances.

These were variations of some of the same things that were said to me when I came home from Vietnam suffering from PTSD.  It was as if no one really knew anything about what I was going through and these statements came off as uncaring, as if a trite phrase could make it all better.  I felt that what they were really saying was “I don’t want to deal with your troubles” No one, not even me who had a similar experience, really knows what you are going through.  But, believe it or not, at this time you will be stronger for it.

Let me state how this applied to me.  It was only years ago that I realized that there was something “good” that came out of our lost baby situation.  I became more compassionate to others who were suffering.  I really did care.  I was not afraid to face an awkward or difficult health situation or even death.  I helped my dying cousin face death and was there by his side until the end.  I did it not for any reason except that I wasn’t afraid of it and I understood and cared.

The same thing is true about PTSD.  I am here to try to offer some support, for no other reason than talking about things helped me get through it myself.  If you choose to post, your own words will find a way to come out.  Once you read what you have written, it might not be exactly what you wanted to say.  That is normal.  Once you put words around the feelings they sometimes don’t exactly match.  Then write again.  Write as often as you need.  This is not an exam that will be judged it is only a safe place for you to be heard.

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  We don’t censure or criticize what you decide to write.  This is your site and you are always welcome.  There is a light out there. Sunlight is te bes dsinfectant.