The following is an excerpt from my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story…click here. I was in my teens when PTSD symptoms started to kick-in and become worrisome. It seemed like my mind was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. I had no idea who I was or what I would become…
“I believe all of the mental and physical abuse discussed in this story begs the question of how it affected my own disposition as my teen years advanced. I was feeling more and more in-secure as time went by, wondering about what was next, and who our new friends would be, and how we would fit in, and what my parents would end up doing, and where we would live. There was some excitement about returning to Southern California at that time, getting back to school, and meeting new girls especially. I had lots of goals and my thoughts were often of the future, leaving home and being on my own. I wanted out of this chaotic and unstable toxic home life. I was nervous very nervous most of the time. I believe the early stages of PTSD and unstable behavior started to kick in at that time. At age 14 or so, I felt exhausted and confused, without direction, and not knowing whether my parents really cared about us at all.”
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Museum of the American Military Family…Albuquerque, New Mexico
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It has been almost 8 years since publishing my first non-fiction book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, November 2011. My personal path of healing and mitigation of the “chain and ball” of life-long symptoms of anxiety and depression, takes me back to children living and growing up in a toxic home. The ideal time to save kids from the emotional baggage carried forward as a result of child abuse and maltreatment connected with toxic parenting is from the very beginning. When parents become abundantly aware of how their parenting behaviors affect children and the detrimental life-long damage of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), they often become highly motivated to get help for themselves to save the kids if for nothing else.
Healing is about making a difference for others. In the case of denial and ignorance on the part of parents who suffer from PTS, outrageous behaviors and angry outbursts, including physical abuse toward family members and loved ones, especially children, is common. It’s too easy to pick on the loved ones in your life as a way to vent, but it is not always clear how much emotional damage is being done. If parents knew the consequences of intergenerational PTS by inflicting emotional and physical pain onto children and family members, they would march down to the nearest alternative treatment center immediately and learn how to mitigate the symptoms effectively and begin the journey of healing. In my experience and view, there would be no hesitation on the part of parents and adults if they had a high level of awareness. We could eventually break the intergenerational cycle of pain in a couple of decades if we started with our own kids very early. It is proven that even babies will pick up on toxic circumstances and behaviors and show symptoms of PTS as they become older.
The goal of My Journey of Healing, Part 2 is to specifically help parents with stress triggers to save their kids from becoming emotionally damaged during these critical years from birth to age 18. Most of the content comes from my own research, resources, references, and experience as a survivor of child abuse and maltreatment. Since publishing my first book, I have kept up writing consistently on my blog and website www.survivethriveptsd.org. I will use my blog as the primary reference point since it focuses almost completely on children and families in life after trauma. I have been writing on this subject for a long time. It is now the right time to consolidate and integrate all the postings into a single reference book designed as a guide for parents who are survivors of traumatic life events, including hard combat as a warrior, sole survivors of an accident, and victims of assault and rape. The painful symptoms of PTS can take on a life of their own if not treated effectively. More importantly, the symptoms will have a consequential secondary effect on loved ones and children in particular. Parents are solely responsible for protecting their children and will be highly motivated to do so once understanding the terrible consequences of exposing children to a home culture affected by life after trauma.