“I’m a big boy now dad…Let’s talk about PTSD…” I was too scared to ask this question during the “too terrible to remember” 50’s…

by | Aug 2, 2013

Kids speak out about life at home with PTSD…  Click to view and hear this powerful video clip!

Published on May 23, 2013


Inspiring teens and kids standing up against veteran suicides and PTSD.

“I want to knock out PTSD so Daddy and people like him don’t have nightmares, get out of control, or commit suicide…I wish I had other kids to talk to that understand because none of my friends have a parent with PTSD. I feel very sad and alone…I want to help kids like me feel not so alone.” ~ Jesse


I know from personal experience how scary it is for a 10 year old boy or girl to ask questions about how their parents are feeling especially if there is a risk of anger and outbursts, and even physical abuse…  My father sat around in silence much of the time during the 50’s following WWII and the Korean War.  He could go off any second and “get out of control.”  Hiding in our rooms or staying outside with friends was the best move for we siblings.  It seemed like a never ending chaotic existence in our home and we didn’t really understand what was going on.  We just stayed out of the way and tried to get through each day without getting hit in the head.  It was always a relief when our parents were not at home and out shopping at the Navy base commissary.

I love the “TKO PTSD” video clip and Jesse’s mission to get kids to talk more about PTSD.  We need to talk more about this subject at schools especially to help kids be more aware of something they almost never understand.  Kids stay away from the fights and anger at home.  If this kind of behaviors continues for a long period of time, kids can experience “emotional neglect,” which is often diagnoses as Complex PTSD or secondary PTSD.  Children become isolated and alone.  This condition affects their concentration at school and makes them feel different than other kids.  I know this from my own personal experience as a child.  The memories are still vivid to this day and the emotional baggage is carried forward for a lifetime.

Parents, talk to your children.  Kids, talk to your parents.   We have to stop the stigma of mental health challenges in the home.  Engaging as a family and being open is the best solution.  Kids are much smarter than adults think they are.  Kids are also survivors and can walk away from a toxic home and thrive later in life.  But it is a tough road to hold for young adults affected, requiring excellent awareness, treatment, bravery, and a will to succeed.  Don’t make growing up even harder for your kids.  Bring them into the discussion of PTSD and show them how it affects parents returning home to life after war and how to heal as a family.  Best wishes!

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…

Reference…Sesame Street…talk-listen-connect…

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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