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Startled Awake PTSD Nightmare

July 23, 2011

I was startled awake a few minutes ago.  It is almost 2:00 AM and it has been a long time since this has happened to me, a PTSD nightmare.  As I laid there, I couldn’t stop thinking of others who might be doing the same thing at that very moment.  The nightmares are the worst part of PTSD.  They seem so real.

Of course, I have the Military PTSD Forum that I can come to, to write down my thoughts but I want to assure you that you have it too.  This is your site.  The wonderful thing is that it is uncritical and it is always available, like tonight.  I used to think that no one could understand what I was going through so I just kept my feelings to myself.  It was selfish on my part and as I look back on it, almost like PTSD was a punishment for my own sins.

I remember when I was a child.  I was raised in the Catholic faith.  At a very young age I went to my first Confession before my first Communion.  Atonement is also practiced by other faiths so I’m not pushing the religious part at all.   The telling of sins was the part that I remember most.  How light I felt when I walked out of the confessional.  The only difference between who I was before I walked into the confessional and who I was coming out was the unburdening. 

This is the same feeling that people experience when they go to psychotherapy.  It is a safe place to go to unburden for a few minutes out of the week.  The therapist listens mostly and provides a willing listener who doesn’t judge.  Ideally with the Military PTSD Forum I can ultimately reach many people who are searching for a way to get back to “normal”.  PTSD has thrown the PTSD sufferer off and they have certainly changed in their own and other’s eyes and not for the better.

Suffering in silence is selfish.  It is selfish to your spouse, it is selfish to your children, it is selfish to your parents and friends. You can not remake the past but it is your silence that shackles you to remain emotionally where you are.  You are changed but it doesn’t have to be for the worst.  You have the power, within you, to start the process of healing.  There are no pills to take.  Your cure can start by sitting down in front of your computer and telling your story. It is the essence of the talking cure used by psychologists every day, all over the Country. This isn’t psychotherapy but it is a step in that direction.

By telling everyone your story you will begin to unburden yourself.  You can come here as often as you like and there is always room for you.  Whether you have PTSD yourself or you are a PTSD Spouse suffering in silence along side of someone who is the PTSD victim.  You need to come and say what you need to say.  Say it over and over again, if you choose, but start the process.

For those who are simply reading this, you have an obligation too.  You need to wake up and reach out to others who you might know or who they might know.  We are all in this together. This is a real thing you can do, if you really want to “support the troops” .  Our responsibility is to do whatever we can.  If all you can do is to pass this on to friends and ask that they do the same this is how you can help. This will mean more and more servicemen and women will find us and your efforts might be the one thing that started the healing process for someone that you don’t even know.

I’m going back to sleep now.  I feel so much better.