Sanctuary for the Abused
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
What Is It?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is classified as a type of anxiety disorder, but is actually much more than that. It is a debilitating disorder that often develops after highly traumatizing events, such as natural disasters, personal assaults and combat. In fact, PTSD was first called "shell shock" or "battle fatigue" because it was noticed primarily in combat veterans. Over the years, however, professionals have recognized that PTSD often develops in people who experience a wide variety of traumatizing events. These include car and plane wrecks, earthquakes and floods, rape and other assaults, abuse or being held captive. The person experiencing PTSD may have felt personally threatened or may have felt that the life of someone close to him or her was threatened. It even occurs among professionals such as paramedics and firefighters who respond to plane crashes and natural disasters.
Typically, people experiencing PTSD report persistent and frightening memories of the event and feel emotionally numb and unresponsive. There is a mixture of anxiety related symptoms as well as depression and emotional numbing. Intrusive thoughts and memories of the event are hallmarks of this disorder. This combination of reactions is the key to PTSD.
The traumatic event is relived again and again. Nightmares are common. In some cases, the person suffering from PTSD will feel like he or she is reliving the event. This can include such extremes as illusions, hallucinations and dissociative flashbacks. One Vietnam veteran came to the emergency room of the base hospital, wearing jungle combat fatigues and carrying a rifle. He believed he was in Vietnam and that the year was 1968. In reality, it was Las Vegas in 1985. (No one was hurt in that incident and the veteran was sent for treatment of PTSD.) When the sufferer is exposed to things that remind them of the trauma, there is much distress and this may trigger the "flashback." The sound of helicopters often triggers reactions in Vietnam veterans.
The emotional numbing includes efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings and conversations related to the event. "I just don't want to think about it," is a common reaction and often extends to the avoidance of activities, places and people that might remind the sufferer of the trauma. This avoidance of the trauma may include actual "forgetting" of important aspects of the trauma. People with PTSD find it difficult to enjoy the things they used to find pleasurable. They feel detached from others ("No one can understand"). They find it difficult to experience positive feelings and often believe that their futures are limited.
The anxiety reactions include difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability and outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, startle responses and being constantly on the look out for threats. Some people, including professionals, may interpret these behaviors as "paranoid," when in fact, they are symptoms of PTSD.
Who Experiences PTSD?
PTSD can strike anyone. Children also experience PTSD.3 People who experience PTSD do not have a history of emotional problems, nor are they from particularly "dysfunctional" families. It can happen to anyone, including professionals. The key is the experience of a traumatizing event, not some "predisposing" factor in the person. On the other hand, different people have differing abilities to cope with catastrophic events. Some people exposed to traumatic events do not develop PTSD.
PTSD typically develops shortly after the traumatizing event usually within three months, but it may be delayed for months or years. When it is delayed, there is often a triggering event that recalls the threat from long ago.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health approximately 3.6 percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year. About 30 percent of the men and women who have spent time in war zones experience PTSD. It is estimated that one million veterans of the Vietnam War developed PTSD. PTSD has also been detected among veterans of the Persian Gulf War, with some estimates running as high as 8 percent. 4
What is the Course of the Illness?
PTSD can become chronic, lasting for years or even decades. Sometimes it lasts a lifetime. In patients with chronic PTSD, there is often a waxing and waning of symptoms over the course of time. Even in cases where the PTSD seems to be resolved and no longer a problem, certain behaviors and reactions can persist. For example, a woman who was awoken with an intruder in her home in the middle of the night, even after nearly 20 years, can no longer sleep in a totally darkened room. This difficulty rarely causes problems in her daily life and is something she now accepts.
Other forms of mental illness often go along with PTSD. Substance abuse is common. It is possible that the substance abuse develops in an attempt to "self-medicate" for the distressing symptoms of PTSD. Major depression and various other anxiety disorders are often seen. The overlapping diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition (DSM-IV)1 may contribute to the multiple diagnoses of sufferers of PTSD.2 Misdiagnosis is also possible if the traumatized person fails to reveal the history of the traumatizing event.
The most successful interventions have been Cognitive/Behavioral therapy (CBT) and medications. "Exposure" through detailed recall of the traumatizing event and cognitive restructuring have been particularly helpful. This may be highly distressing to the patient, but in the long run, it is quite helpful in helping to diffuse the trauma of the event.
Various medications are often prescribed. Sertraline (Zoloft) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that has been approved by the FDA as an indicated treatment for PTSD.2 Psychiatrists often also prescribe a variety of tranquilizers as well as (in some cases) antipsychotic medications. The effectiveness of these medications is less clear.
Another form of treatment that has had some success is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), but it is not clear if this treatment is as effective as CBT.
Group therapy is probably the best approach for mild to moderate PTSD. This has been shown in studies of combat veterans as well as survivors of natural disasters. In these settings, the sufferers can share their memories and difficulties with others who have gone through the same thing. This helps break down the isolation experienced by many people with PTSD.
1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.
2. National Center for PTSD..
3.National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD Info.
4. National Institute of Mental Health: Facts about PTSD.
Cathy A. Chance, Ph.D.
Monday, May 21, 2018
NO HELP to Victim of Domestic Violence from Pastor & Church Community!
(from our friend at EMOTIONAL ABUSE & FAITH:)
I read quite a lot of articles regarding domestic violence in regards to the faith prospective. At times I realize that I get naïve thinking maybe things would get a little better once people decide to share their experiences. I read things and they point to getting in touch with your church, having your pastor and their resources help you. For goodness SAKES don’t go secular!
I think in some circumstances that’s just not wise!
I have been watching a story unfold recently. It started – for me anyway – on two very popular faith boards. It was a story of a married young woman with 2 small children. As in most stories of domestic violence I don’t think she saw it for what it was at first. We all have to have our realizations. I guess in the past she did have churches that told her that he needed help, and that he could be in danger of hurting himself or others. Steps were taken for the reconciliation, and then they had to move and it basically started all over again.
It ended with him having to leave the home after he attacked one of the children. Pictures were documents, and emails filled with venom with his justifications. Threats of cutting off personal communication with his children and all financial aid, because he needed some respect. The emails would make anyone’s hair curl.
The first faith board she went to she was threatened with posters calling CPS or Child Protective Services. She was chewed up and spit out on this faith board, and moderators sat back and watched. They never got involved. The husband had been removed from the home, and that would be the first step that CPS would have taken anyway. I never quite understood why the threats. The poster did the responsible thing, and reported the incident herself so I don’t understand why that wasn’t good enough.
The second faith board basically shut her up. Her thread went on for 10 pages as she recorded threats after threats that he was sending, and she was receiving replies of support. Conversations between the pastor and meetings with him as he basically attacked her in front of him, and at that point there was no more questions as to what the church was dealing with.
A call for a meeting with the Elders was next. Meanwhile, the man broke into the home and started to threaten her while she was on the phone with someone. I guess that person called the police, and the police told her she must get a restraining order. He also had to leave. The restraining order was granted as of now. Her thread was removed – disappeared – because they felt it was getting too personal.
They would possibly ‘revisit’ it if she could get a note from her pastor stating she needed this, and they would have to have a phone conference to discuss this as well. She is no longer allowed to discuss her personal situation, or mention any parts of her family on the board. She is welcome to reply to others if she wishes. Isn’t that nice?
The church has offered ‘spiritual’ support for this family. They will have no place to live soon, sounds like she needs to have the locks changed, has no resources or money of her own. She asked for a letter for her order of protection from the church stating they are helping with accountability, moral support, etc. The church basically told her they were not qualified to do that. Qualified? Hmm. I guess that is true. They have already informed her that they can offer no financial assistant, housing or anything else of substance.
I think people need to see this so they can understand WHY these women go secular, and WHY they also get killed! It’s too ugly for people to deal with. It doesn’t happen within the church. I’m not going to say all churches; organizations are like this, because they aren’t all like this.
There are enough of them, and article after article is thrown into the mix about how women need to learn to submit more.It just burns me.
If a Christian Counselor, Pastors, Christian Mentors and others from the fellowship don’t do much in ways of help in the real world, and if online faith boards continue to shut this issue down. Where are these people supposed to go?
I’m so disgusted. YES there is way more to the story, and it’s as plain as the nose on anyone’s face what is happening. Don’t go secular – keep it within the Christian fold. Okay. We are waiting…….. now what? Does anyone else see what other options this family has? I’m at a lost myself.
I can’t recommend you go to Crosswalk or Family Life for support in these types of circumstances. Please use those avenues for other types of things. If your church can’t help please find one that will!
Don’t turn down secular help in the meanwhile; it maybe the only source of support you will get in real time!Please pray for this family.
Please digg, stumble, etc if you feel this type of story needs to get out!
We need to break the silence within the church about domestic violence!FROM:Emotional Abuse and Your Faith: Pastor, Faith Boards Online, and Church Community says NO HELP to Victim of Domestic Violence
Sunday, May 20, 2018
The Lying Game
In an Internet-hookup culture, even sensitive guys think they’re players.
By Amy Sohn
A GOOD SITE ON INTERNET LIARS
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Carrying A Torch...
NEW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH EXPLAINS WHY HEARTBREAK HURTS SO MUCH.
Someone who leaves you becomes very powerful to your emotional brain. They become powerful simply by being able to inflict so much pain. Being left is perceived by your mammalian brain as an attack upon your personal being. It etches an indelible impression in a primitive part of the brain that acts automatically to protect you. It conditions your mammalian brain to react with fear each time you encounter the person whom it perceives as dangerous to your well being. Acting beneath your conscious awareness, it maintains a constant vigil on your abandoner.
You experience this as being temporarily obsessed with the person. Your nerves are set to 'go off' if you should unexpectedly bump into them later on or see them with a new love. This enduring emotional reactivity is known as 'carrying a torch.' You are confused into thinking that if the pain can last that long and feel so strong, the person must have been very special. But this is not so. You can feel this way over anyone, even someone who had nothing special to offer. It is just your mammalian brain efficiently trying to warn you not to make the same mistake again.
Unresolved abandonment - - the source of our insecurities, addictions, compulsions, and distress.
Unresolved abandonment - - the insidious virus invading body mind and soul - - the culprit for the anxiety we are forever trying to self-medicate with food, alcohol, shopping, people and a host of other self defeating behaviors.
Unresolved abandonment - - the roadblock to reaching our potential - - the invisible wound that drains self esteem from within - - the hidden trap that keeps us stuck in patterns of self-sabotage.
Unresolved abandonment - - the chronic insecurity that becomes the scourge of human relationship. Unresolved abandonment - - the internal barrier to fully connecting to others. Fear short-circuits our attempts to find love - - we struggle to find and keep relationships. We become abandoholics.
Unresolved abandonment - - the elusive grief so many seek therapy for and can't seem to overcome - - an undifferentiated emptiness often mis-diagnosed as depression and inappropriately medicated. Sometimes its stress and agitation are persistent enough to create chemical imbalances that do, in fact, respond to drug therapy.
Unresolved abandonment - - simplistic methods like 'positive thinking' or just going to therapy do not deter it. Programs like Co-dependency, Alanon, and Adult Child have attempted to assuage the erosion of energy and self worth caused by unresolved abandonment. But for all of their positive 'affirmations', they have not been able to address the system of drainage that lies buried within.
Likewise, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, and Over-eaters Anonymous, etc. have been extremely effective in dealing with the addictive and co-addictive problems secondary to abandonment, but are unable to go beyond the symptoms and treat the underlying abandonment wound itself.
Self-help books have tended to have a placebo effect. They offer reasonable enough sounding advice, like "Find happiness from within." But these truisms are easier said than done. Many abandonees feel inadequate when they try to perform them and are not able to "Just let go" and "Move forward."
Unresolved abandonment - - people continue searching for one more tape, one more lecture, one more book that will finally free them. But all of the self-medicating and soothing words in the world will not eradicate the distress, disturbance and dysfunction caused by unresolved abandonment. For that you must go beyond insight. You must take action.
Abandonment survivors need more than symptom management and feel-good relief. They need an approach that facilitates not the illusion of change, but real change.
This can only happen when you realize that the magic bullet is not in any book or program. It is within you. It is your ability to integrate awareness with action.
What is abandoholism?
You’ve heard of food-oholism, work-oholism, shop-oholism and, of course, alcoholism. Now here comes another, most insidious, addictive pattern – aband-oholism.
Abandoholism is a tendency to become attracted to unavailable partners. Many abandonment survivors are caught up in this painful pattern.
Abandoholism is similar to the other ‘oholisms, but instead of being addicted to a substance, you’re addicted to the emotional drama of heartbreak. You pursue hard-to-get partners to keep the romantic intensity going, and to keep your body’s love-chemicals and stress hormones flowing.
What makes someone an abandoholic?
Abandoholism sets in when you’ve been hurt so many times that you’ve come to equate insecurity with love. Unless you’re pursuing someone you’re insecure about, you don’t feel in love.
Conversely, when someone comes along who wants to be with you, that person’s availability fails to arouse the required level of insecurity. If you can’t feel those yearning, lovesick feelings, then you don’t feel attracted, so you keep pursuing unavailable partners.
You become psychobiologically addicted to the high stakes drama of an emotional challenge and the love-chemicals that go with it.
Abandoholism is driven by both fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment.
When you’re attracted to someone, it arouses a fear of losing that person. This fear causes you to become clingy and needy. You try to hide your insecurity, but your desperation shows through, causing your partners to lose romantic interest in you. They sense your emotional suction cups aiming straight toward them and it scares them away.
Fear of engulfment is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It occurs when someone is pursuing you and now you’re the one pulling back. You feel engulfed by that person’s desire to be with you. When fear of engulfment kicks in, you panic. Your feelings shut down. You no longer feel the connection. The panic is about your fear of being engulfed by the other person’s emotional expectations of you. You fear that the other person’s feelings will pressure you to abandon your own romantic needs.
Fear of engulfment is one of the most common causes for the demise of new relationships, but it is carefully disguised in excuses like: "He just doesn’t turn me on." Or "I don’t feel any chemistry." Or "She’s too nice to hold my interest." Or "I need more of a challenge."
Abandoholics tend to swing back and forth between fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. You’re either pursuing hard-to-get-lovers, or you’re feeling turned off by someone who IS interested in you.
What is Abando-phobism?
Abandophobics are so afraid of rejection that they avoid relationships altogether.
Abandophobics act out their fear of abandonment by remaining socially isolated, or by appearing to search for someone, when in fact they are pursuing people who are unattainable, all to avoid the risk of getting attached to a real prospect – someone who might abandon them sooner or later.
There is a little abandophobism in every abandoholic.
For both abandoholics and abandophobics, a negative attraction is more compelling than a positive one.
You only feel attracted when you’re in pursuit. You wouldn’t join any club who would have you as a member, so you’re always reaching for someone out of reach.
How do abandoholism and abandophobism set in?
These patterns may have been cast in childhood. You struggled to get more attention from your parents but you were left feeling unfulfilled, which caused you to doubt your self-worth. Over time, you internalized this craving for approval and you learned to idealize others at your own expense. This became a pattern in your love-relationships.
Now as an adult, you recreate this scenario by giving your love-partners all of your power, elevating them above yourself, recreating those old familiar yearnings you grew accustomed to as a child. Feeling emotionally deprived and "less-than" is what you’ve come to expect.
Why does the insecurity linger?
Recent scientific research shows that rather than dissipate, fear tends to incubate, gaining intensity over time. Insecurity increases with each romantic rejection, causing you to look to others for something you’ve become too powerless to give yourself: esteem. When you seek acceptance from a withholding partner, you place yourself in a one-down position, recreating the unequal dynamics you had with your parents or peers. You choreograph this scenario over and over.
Conversely, you are unable to feel anything when someone freely admires or appreciates you.
This abandonment compulsion is insidious. You didn’t know it was developing. Until now you didn’t have a name for it: Abandoholism is a new concept.
Insecurity is an aphrodisiac.
If you are a hard-core abandoholic, you’re drawn to a kind of love that is highly combustible. The hottest sex is when you’re trying to seduce a hard-to-get lover. Insecurity becomes your favorite aphrodisiac. These intoxicated states are produced when you sense emotional danger – the danger of your lover’s propensity to abandon you the minute you get attached.
At the other end of the seesaw, you turn off and shut down when you happen to successfully win someone’s love. If your lover succumbs to your charms – heaven forbid – you suddenly feel too comfortable, too sure of him to stay interested. There’s not enough challenge to sustain your sexual energy. You interpret your turn-off as his not being right for you.
How about following your gut?
If you’re an abandoholic, following your gut is probably what got you into these patterns in the first place. Your gut gets you to pursue someone who makes your heart go pitter pat, not because he’s the right one, but because he arouses fear of abandonment. And your gut gets you to avoid someone who is truly trustworthy, because he doesn’t press the right insecurity buttons.
Enrich your mind. Follow your wisdom. But until you overcome your abandonment compulsion, don’t follow your gut – it will only get you into trouble – because your gut tells you that unavailable people are attractive.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Getting Law Enforcement Authorities & the Police Involved
If you want the nightmare to end, there is a rule of thumb which requires courage and determination to implement:
Report his crimes as soon as you can and make sure you retain a copy of your complaint. Your abuser counts on your fear of him and on your natural propensity to keep domestic problems a secret. Expose him to scrutiny and penalties. This will make him re-consider his actions next time around.
Physical assault is a criminal offence as are rape and, in some countries, stalking and marital rape. If you have been physically or sexually assaulted, go to the nearest hospital and document your injuries. Be sure to obtain copies of the admission form, the medical evaluation report, and of any photographs and exam results (X-rays, computerized tomography-CT, biopsies, and so on).
If your abusive intimate partner verbally threatens you, your nearest and dearest, or your property or pets - this is also criminal conduct. To the best of your ability, get him on tape or make him repeat his threats in the presence of witnesses. Then promptly file a complaint with the police.
If your abuser forces you to remain indoors, in isolation, he is committing an offence. Forced confinement or imprisonment is illegal. While so incarcerated, failing to provide you with vital necessities - such as air, water, medical aid, and food - is yet another criminal act.
Damage to property rendering it inoperative or useless - is mischief. It is punishable by law. Same goes for cruelty to animals (let alone children).
If your partner swindled you out of funds or committed fraud, theft, or perjury (by falsifying your signature on a checking or credit card account, for instance) - report him to the police. Financial abuse is as pernicious as the physical variety.
In most countries, the police must respond to your complaint. They cannot just file it away or suppress it. They must talk to you and to your partner separately and obtain written and signed statements from both parties. The police officer on the scene must inform you of your legal options. The officer in charge must also furnish you with a list of domestic violence shelters and other forms of help available in your community.
If you suspect that a member of your family is being abused, the police, in most countries, can obtain a warrant permitting entry into the premises to inspect the situation. They are also authorized to help the victim relocate (leave) and to assist her in any way, including by applying on her behalf and with her consent to the courts to obtain restraining and emergency protection orders. A breach of either of these orders may be an indictable criminal offence as well as a civil offence.
If you decide to pursue the matter and if there are reasonable grounds to do so, the police will likely lay charges against the offender and accuse your partner of assault. Actually, your consent is only a matter of formality and is not strictly required. The police can charge an offender on the basis of evidence only.
If the team on the scene refuses to lay charges, you have the right to talk to a senior police officer. If you cannot sway them to act, you can lay charges yourself by going to the court house and filing with a Justice of the Peace (JP). The JP must let you lay charges. It is your inalienable right.
You cannot withdraw charges laid by the police and you most probably will be subpoenaed to testify against the abuser.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Why Women Stay
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Steps to Change for Abusive Persons
2. Acknowledge that the abuse was wrong, unconditionally. He needs to identify the justifications he used, including the ways he blamed you, and talk in detail about why his behaviors were unacceptable, without defending them.
3. Acknowledge that his behavior was a choice, not a loss of control.
4. Recognize the effects his abuse has had on you and on your children, and show empathy for those. He needs to talk IN DETAIL about the impact that his abuse has had, including fear, loss of trust, anger, etc. And he needs to do this without feeling sorry for himself or talking about how hard the experience has been for him.
5. Identify in detail his pattern of controlling behaviors and entitled attitudes. He needs to speak in detail about the day to day tactics of abuse he has used, identify his underlying beliefs and values that drove those behaviors, such as considering himself entitled to constant attention.
6. Develop respectful behaviors and attitudes to replace the abusive ones he is stopping.
7. Reevaluate his distorted image of you, replacing it with a more positive and empathic view. He has to recognize that he's focused on and exaggerated his grivances against you. He needs to compliment you and pay attention to your strengths and abilities.
8. Make amends for the damage he has done. He has to have a sense that he has a debt to you. He can start payment by being consistently kind and supportive, putting his own needs on the back burner for a couple of years, fixing what he has damaged, and cleaning up the emotional and literal messes he has caused.
9. Accept the consequences of his actions. He should stop blaming you for problems that are the result of his abuse.
10. Commit to not repeating his abusive behaviors. He should not place any conditions on his improvement - such as saying he won't call you names as long as you don't raise your voice.
11. Accept the need to give up his privileges and do so. Stop double standards, stop flirting with other women, stop taking off with his friends while you take care of the children. He also is not the only one allowed to express anger.
12. Accept that overcoming abusiveness is likely to be a life-long process. He cannot claim that his work is done by saying, "I've changed, but you haven't." or complain that he is sick of hearing about his abuse.
13. Be willing to be accountable for his actions, both past and future. He must accept feedback and criticism and be answerable for what he does and how it affects you and the children.
MUST DO ALL - NOT JUST A COUPLE. AND BE CONSISTENT OVER A LOOONG PERIOD OF TIME.
(the article above was written in the 'male' context; your abuser can certainly be female and these will still apply)
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Unhappy Relationships May Harm Women's Hearts
By Amy Norton
An unhappy marriage can break a woman's heart, figuratively and literally. New research suggests that married women who are dissatisfied with their relationships face a higher risk for heart disease.
In a study of nearly 500 middle-aged women, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania found that marital ''distress'' was linked to a higher risk for heart problems, independent of other threats to heart health such as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Moreover, women's marital woes appeared to be unique from overall stress, depression and other psychological factors in their effects on the heart.
Lead researcher Wendy Troxel presented the findings last week in Monterey, California, at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society. Previous research has suggested that for men, marriage generally confers heart benefits. The health effects of marriage on women has been less clear, according to co-author Dr. Linda Gallo, who is now at Kent State University in Ohio. This study, which followed the women over about 11 years, was an attempt to gauge how marital satisfaction affects heart health as women go through menopause, Gallo explained in an interview.
She and her colleagues found that women who reported marital dissatisfaction were more likely than satisfied women to have significant plaque build-up in the main artery of the heart. They were also more likely to have blockages in the carotid arteries in the neck, a known risk factor for stroke. Of course, all marriages have their ups and downs, and this study did not look at the normal stresses that come up from time to time, according to Gallo.
Instead, she said, it looked at women's overall happiness with their husbands--their communication, amount of time spent together, sex lives and a range of factors. Unhappiness in a marriage may harm the heart by inflicting ''wear and tear'' on the body, according to Gallo. Like stress in general, marital dissatisfaction may lead to habitual elevations in heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones. But, she noted, marital problems are likely one part the equation--triggering behaviors that take a toll on health, including sleeplessness and changes in eating and exercise.
"It's my guess that marital dissatisfaction might put women on a trajectory to poorer health," she said.
Monday, May 14, 2018
What PTSD Sufferers Need Others to Know
1 – Knowledge is power. Understanding the process of a triggering event, the psychic reaction to trauma, the warning signs and symptoms of PTSD, and available treatment options for PTSD allows you to help recognize, support and guide your PTSD loved one toward diagnosis, treatment and healing. We need you to be clearheaded, pulled together and informed.
2 – Trauma changes us. After trauma we want to believe - as do you - that life can return to the way it was; that we can continue as who we were…. This is not how it works. Trauma leaves a huge and indelible impact on the soul. It is not possible to endure trauma and not experience a psychic shift. Expect us to be changed. Accept our need to evolve. Support us on this journey.
3 – PTSD hijacks our identity. One of the largest problems with PTSD is that it takes over our entire view of ourselves. We no longer see clearly. We no longer see the world as we experienced it before trauma. Now every moment is dangerous, unpredictable and threatening. Gently remind us and offer opportunities to engage in an identity outside of trauma and PTSD.
4 – We are no longer grounded in our true selves. In light of trauma our real selves retreat and a coping self emerges to keep us safe. Believe in us; our true selves still exist, even if they are momentarily buried.
5 – We cannot help how we behave. Since we are operating on a sort of autopilot we are not always in control. PTSD is an exaggerated state of survival mode. We experience emotions that frighten and overwhelm us. We act out accordingly in defense of those feelings we cannot control. Be patient with us; we often cannot stop the anger, tears or other disruptive behaviors that are so difficult for you to endure.
6 – We cannot be logical. Since our perspective is driven by fear we don’t always think straight, nor do we always accept the advice of those who do. Keep reaching out, even when your words don’t seem to reach us. You never know when we will think of something you said and it will comfort, guide, soothe or inspire us.
7 – We cannot just ‘get over it’. From the outside it’s easy to imagine a certain amount of time passes and memories fade and trauma gets relegated to the history of a life. Unfortunately, with PTSD nothing fades. Our bodies will not let us forget. Because of surging chemicals that reinforce every memory, we cannot walk away from the past anymore than you can walk away from us. Honor our struggle to make peace with events. Do not rush us. Trying to speed our recovery will only make us cling to it more.
8 – We’re not in denial - we’re coping! It takes a tremendous effort to live with PTSD. Even if we don’t admit it, we know there’s something wrong. When you approach us and we deny there’s a problem that’s really code for, “I’m doing the best I can.” Taking the actions you suggest would require too much energy, dividing focus from what is holding us together. Sometimes, simply getting up and continuing our daily routine is the biggest step toward recovery we make. Alleviate our stress by giving us a safe space in which we can find support.
9 – We do not hate you. Contrary to the ways we might behave when you intervene, somewhere inside we do know that you are not the source of the problem. Unfortunately, in the moment we may use your face as PTSD’s image. Since we cannot directly address our PTSD issues sometimes it’s easier to address you. Continue to approach us. We need you to!
10 – Your presence matters. PTSD creates a great sense of isolation. It makes a difference to know that although we lash out, don’t respond, are not ourselves, you are still there, no matter what. Stick with us! Your love, support and encouragement matter.
(Hat Tip Holly S.W.!)
Sunday, May 13, 2018
WHO IS WATCHING YOU?
By: C.F. Jackson
For decades, the label "stalker" has been tattooed as a gender-specific crime, committed by men. Things have changed drastically. Twelve to 13-percent of all stalkers are female. Although less in statistical number than males, female stalkers are just as predatory and dangerous.
Stalking, for the most part, is about relationships - prior, desired, or imagined. Sixty-percent of stalkers have a personal relationship with their victims before the stalking begins. However, 22% of stalking cases involve complete strangers.
Researchers and psychologists identify three categories of stalking:
·Simple Obsession Stalking - 60% of stalking cases are represented in this category, which includes all previous personal relationships (i.e., husbands/wives,boyfriends/girlfriends, domestic partners). This category is best defined as, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
·Love Obsession Stalking - The make-up of this category involves a stalker and victim who are casual acquaintances or complete strangers. The goal of the stalker is to establish a personal relationship with the object of his or her obsession - in disregard to the victim’s desires.
·Erotomania Stalking - This category consists of deluded individuals who believe a relationship already exists between themselves and their victim.
A recent case of female stalking involved actor Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones as the victims. "When women engage in stalking behavior, they are as tenacious and as intrusive as their male counterparts, and are just as likely to threaten or damage property," said Dr. Rosemary Purcell, in the 2003 article "Female stalkers pursue doctors, psychiatrists."
The FBI estimates that two-percent of all stalking cases conclude in homicide. Twenty-five of female stalking cases have escalated to interpersonal violence. Also revealed in a study is the fact that female stalkers chased their victims to establish intimacy.
As of August 17, 2004, five women in Georgia have been convicted for the crime of aggravated stalking. This level of stalking means an individual has been identified as an assailant in the court system and has violated a court order.
On any given day, you could be one of thousands who feel like they are being stalked.
Won't Be Denied, a 227-page novel, shines a light into an obsessed, single African American female. In the well-crafted suspense novel, author C.F. Jackson, graduate from Georgia Southern University with a BS degree in Criminal Justice, lays out the story in two sentences: Love won’t be denied. Mare comes to value it more than life. The story is set in Atlanta, Georgia. It is an easy, suspenseful read. The character-driven plot is a page-turner.
About the author: Author C.F. Jackson, graduate from Georgia Southern University with a BS degree in Criminal Justice. Currently, working on a second suspense novel