Christal Presley…Living and coping with her father’s combat experience in Vietnam…

by | Dec 9, 2012

Christal Presley tears up when she walks inside the trailer where she used to live as a child.
“Part of me wants to run away from this place as fast as I can, but I can’t leave without seeing my old bedroom. It’s chilly in the trailer, but as I wrap my fingers around the doorknob, I notice my palms are soaked with sweat.” Quote from this website and CNN story…

Journeying home to tell my truth

By Christal Presley, Special to CNN
updated 3:53 PM EST, Sat December 8, 2012

  • Author’s father was scarred by Vietnam — and so was she
  • As a child, she kept secret the way the war tortured her family
  • Her first book, based on interviews with her dad, helped them both find peace
  • But the healing was incomplete: She needed to go home to tell her community the truth

I am very pleased to add a new book to my website, “Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD by Christal Presley…

Since publishing my book, also available to order on this website, and on my author page,, it is most encouraging to find a non-fiction story from a post Vietnam child.  We need to tell our stories.  We know it is healing for ourselves to revisit the past, reconcile, and potentially repair damaged relationships with loved ones.  Most importantly, finding peace of mind as a child growing up in a toxic home is a huge reward!  Christal would probably agree with me after writing her book, that living with the nightmares from childhood and often feeling angry, including not knowing exactly where all the anxiety is coming from is torturous.  My anger has been completely removed by revealing a painful childhood and adult experience to myself and others through my book, blog, and public forums where others can become aware and begin their own journey of healing.  My personal life has improved 100% by making a difference and helping others.  I no longer “hate Christmas,” the subject of a recent blog posting.  My marriage is much stronger and happier.  Relationships with children and loved ones are so much better.  It is a work in progress; however, that requires daily soul feeding.  Healing is a life long journey for those who live and cope with moral injury and PTSD.  And, “Secondary PTSD” is clearly a reality that sticks around like bad genes if the pattern is not broken and the healing journey does not begin.

Thank you Christal Presley for telling your story!  You are special to have the courage to reveal your painful childhood and to begin your journey home to find peace at last…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

    About the author

    Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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