#TALKPTSD – The PTSD Documentary BURIED ABOVE GROUND – Interviewing Ben Selkow

Watch! This powerful trailer…Buried Above Ground

#TALKPTSD Click to listen… Very moving interview with Ben Selkow and Kate Gillie, CEO, PTSDchat.org

Buried Above Ground Facebook

WORLD Channel (PBS) National TV Broadcast Premiere Announcement and Mental Health America (MHA) National Conference & Film Festival

After eight long years of researching, developing relationships, fundraising, filming around the country, tears and laughter, witnessing pain and courage, years of editing, launching the film into festivals and community screenings, we are absolutely thrilled to announce BURIED ABOVE GROUND’s national broadcast on PBS America ReFramed on WORLD Channel, Tuesday, June 28th at 8pm during National PTSD Awareness Month! We are so pleased to be a part of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning American Documentary family to bring our film into households around the country.


I was deeply moved listening to the #PTSDchat Talk Radio interview with Ben Selkow last night. The debth and breath of this film struck me as one of the most pain shaking, delicate, and sensitive research projects yet on post-traumatic stress.   Taking over 6 years to direct and produce this documentary provides the viewer with a heart wrenching but hopeful journey of what we, as trauma survivors from different life experiences find a path of life-long healing.  It is a very crooked road indeed that is navigated successfully but not without setbacks and adjustments, including new traumas along the way.  Ben talks of discovering that post-trauma stress is not an individual matter because it affects the entire family and circle of loved ones in the trauma survivors’ life.  His conclusion is that we must see the larger societal and generational suffering that damages the very fabric and soul of our human experience, especially children and families.  Once we become keenly aware of ourselves and others who struggle with the life long affects of experiencing severe trauma, we will ultimately break the cycle of pain.  This hopeful message is very encouraging and shows that the good work and passion of so many will stop the stigma of mental health and help millions of families who suffer find a path to healing.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1&2… Click the highlighted text for my author page to order books and other stuff from Amazon…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Child Advocate, and member, Lincoln County Oregon, Mental Health Advisory Committee (MHAC)

My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 2…Survivor’s Speak by by Michele Rosenthal…

Saving your children, family and loved ones…


Heal My PTSD, Trauma happens, so does healing…
Dr. Gene Sharratt, Executive Director for the Washington Student Achievement Council, appointed by Governor Jay Inslee

“Steve is absolutely correct, instead of “what is wrong,” how about what happened in this child’s life that can lead to greater levels of support, connection and authentic interest in the child. A listening ear, caring heart, and genuine long-term interest a child builds needed connections, confidence, and respect for the unique and individual gifts of each child. All children need to feel secure, safe, protected and valued. These emotions build healthy childhood and adult relationships. Trusted adults are key to this success and they are found in parents, teachers, counselors and others who, daily, impact the lives of children. The legacy of any great country is found in the treatment of their children. Steve’s wise counsel provides a pathway for building a legacy of hope, opportunity and happiness for our children. His book is a “must read” for those interested in ensuring all children have the opportunity to enjoy a safe and rewarding life.”


Author’s transitional note:

steve sparks
Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Child Advocate, and member, Lincoln County Oregon, Mental Health Advisory Committee (MHAC)

While growing up during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, I felt very lonely and scared most of the time, especially at home.  Although I still live with the painful memories, my journey of healing has given me perspective.  My mind is at peace and there is joy for the most part in my life in these later years.  I now clearly understand that if there had been early childhood and young adult connections that were trusting, the heavy weight of emotional baggage entering the adult world at age 17, would have been much smoother…meaning a healthy growing experience and the challenges that go with maturing as an adult.  My trusted mentors came into my life after joining the US Navy in 1963…sooner would have been better.  As a result, denial kicked in like a strangle hold that wasn’t released until much later in life.

My goal with this chapter is to help kids, parents, teachers, and mentors come together as a closer community family without fear and with growing trust…it takes time.  In the best of circumstances, parents can learn from their children who are building healthy relationships outside of the home, in school, clubs, and at play.  As a community, we do this so much better in the 21stCentury, but it is still a work in progress…

Parents and Teachers Help Prevent Childhood Trauma (ACES)  Quote from this website article from ACES to High News…

“When parents bring a child who’s bouncing off the walls and having nightmares to the Bayview Child Health Center in San Francisco, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris doesn’t ask: “What’s wrong with this child?” Instead, she asks, “What happened to this child?” and calculates the child’s ACE score.”

Steve sparks book
Click the book cover image for author page to order books and other stuff from Amazon…


While growing up the question of “what happened to me” never came up…it was always “what was wrong with me.”  This was a terrible legacy as a child to carry forward as an adult.  Even in my later years I have to take a deep breath just about every day and focus on what happened vs. what is wrong.  This constructive thought process saves the day…

When I was growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s the conversation at home and in school was “what is wrong with your child rather than what happened to this child.”  Childhood trauma is not new.  We still have toxic homes and neighborhoods, but parents and teachers know more in the 21st Century thanks to the CDC ACES study and testing.  “The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.”

As a child advocate and vice chair of Neighbors for Kids, a popular after-school program in Depoe Bay, Oregon, we often have to address all types of special needs of kids, including the effects of trauma.  The more we know from collaboration with public school teachers and parents, we are able to pay particular attention to traumatized children and help them effectively.  I know from my own traumatic childhood experience that growing up feeling alone, scared, and asking myself “what is wrong with me” or hearing “what is wrong with you” had long term damaging consequences on my ability to build self-confidence and feel connected with other kids and my adult mentors.  Eventually, joining the US Navy at age 17 as a young adult saved my life.  No child should suffer from emotional neglect and abuse and believe there is something wrong with them…early recognition and special attention is critical!

When you observe a child bouncing off the walls, or looking scared and lonely, please show love and compassion.  As a teacher, mentor, and parent you are in a great position to help children heal from a traumatic experience by seeking more information about life at home by asking “what happened” and providing the loving care and attention all children deserve…sooner than later…