“With a little help from my friends.” My work to create awareness for PTSD & moral injury is so much easier with collaborations and social networking…

by | Sep 25, 2013

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 

Collaboration success with Ginger Kadlec, 4urkids…  Quote from Ginger’s website…

You know how every now and again you experience milestones in your personal life, career or friendships? Well, this has indeed been a milestone week for me and the 4UrKids™ effort. Thanks to YOU, after only five months online, this week we surpassed the 20,000 follower mark on Twitter and now have over 1,000 friends on Facebook! I’m beyond excited that so many of you have engaged in the fight to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of child abuse, as well as share ways to prevent abuse and keep kids safe. From the bottom (and top) of my heart, I thank you… this awareness is only possible with a little help from my friends.

Thank You, Friends!

There are a few social media outlets to whom I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. These groups have shown and continue to demonstrate their support of protecting children from abuse by sharing my blogs, posts and tweets. I am grateful for your collaboration, outreach and commitment – thank you so very much for playing a lead role in the growth and expansion of 4UrKids!
I started collaborating with Ginger Kadlec on June 27, 2013 with a post entitled… “Parental PTSD symptoms can often translate to “child abuse” and collateral damage to our most precious resource…children…”  In my own writing on this blog to advance PTSD & moral injury awareness, I stayed away from the term “child abuse” for the most part because it made me nervous to think about it so directly.  I have learned much more about this subject since then in the context of “emotional neglect” in children.  Confronting the subject head on has been healing for me.  Connecting to the broader community of child abuse awareness through Ginger and her website 4urKids has helped me learn from others outside of the military family community.  My own life experience as recounted in Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, really adds up to what can be described as parental “unintentional” emotional neglect or child abuse.  My parents were so preoccupied with Dad’s troublesome emotional condition following WWII and Korean War that we siblings in our family were left alone on the sidelines, making adjustments by trial and error to protect ourselves from a highly toxic home life.  My mother was affected severely after many years as a caregiver for our father as well.  So they both were exhausted with emotional pain as typically described with all the symptoms of PTSD.  We were all completely ignorant of what was then a severely dysfunctional family culture.  There were no military or civilian mental health resources or references to help us become more aware of our own circumstances as a family challenged with life after war.  It was swept under the rug, and we never talked about it..  We never told the truth nor did we even know how to talk about how we felt or how lonely life was at home.  We did not even acknowledge that living in our home was scary.  We learned to live with the circumstances and survived one day at a time until old enough to escape the “fox hole” of a highly toxic home.  In my view we parents still have a hard time talking about the sensitive topic of child abuse when it comes to our own kids…  The stigma and denial is ever present, and for me as well until finding a way to reconcile life as a young boy during the “too terrible to remember ’50’s.” 

I want to thank Ginger Kadlec for helping me with my own journey of healing and raising awareness on the broader more global problem of child abuse and emotional neglect.  The conversation is not solely about the symptoms of PTSD in parents who return home from war and struggle with readjustment.  For me, it is about our children who are often severely affected from the consequences of emotional neglect.  Ginger did a follow-up post on her own website entitled, The War Within: PTSD by Ginger Kadlec.

I am compelled to talk and write about the subject of PTSD in the context of children in very honest and frank ways, including sharing my childhood experience.  It is a painful and sensitive topic that affects millions of citizens all over America and around the globe.  War is horrific!  Traumatic life changing events in general come home to haunt us often for generations until the cycle of pain is broken.  Building PTSD and child abuse awareness in our local communities is critical in helping all of us heal in life after trauma.  Please join thefight to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of child abuse” by reaching out to others and making a difference “one child at a time.”

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

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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