PTSD is not the end of the world. It doesn't have to be the end of anything. It is a new beginning just like anything else. The start is the hard part. Then comes the middle when they start to allow themselves to feel again when the wall comes down. Then comes the part where they start to reach out their hands that once held their heads and find someone else needing be helped to where they got to.
None of them fight this alone but they didn't fight in combat alone, so they should be able to accept that fact. Families don't have to go it alone either. There are hundreds of thousands of other families just like them. Some have suffered wordless agony but more have escaped the worst that can happen. Some like my family are still together looking back on how far we've come and knowing that it could have turned out so differently had we not been willing to love past all of it. We started this journey in 1982 and we are not done yet. By the way, we still hold hands.
Oh, no, I am not talking about just loving them into healing, even though it is a huge part because this battle fought at home does not end. Each day matters. Each new piece of the puzzle comes into place as we learn more about PTSD and the majestic thing we call the soul rising above the odds.
Knowing what it is and why they have come home with a piece of hell in their heart is key so that we can understand how we act and react to them can either heal them or destroy them.
If we do not help families do what has to be done we will keep reading sad stories but as you read this one you'll also see that there is more healing going on because people cared enough to reach out to someone else. Even if it is just one person at a time.
Fighting PTSD: Charleston mom talks about soldier’s return from combat
ABC News 4 Charleston
By Ava Wilhite
October 31, 2013
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Sharon Brown often finds herself looking back at childhood photos of her youngest son, Jonathan who's now 24 years old.
"We really thought this was going to be a career for him," said Brown.
In 2009, Brown agreed to let her son leave his full academic scholarship at the College of Charleston to enlist in the United States Army. Shortly after boot camp, Jonathan was sent to Iraq in his first deployment.
"Jonathan did a really good job of telling me things that he wanted, as a mom, wanted me to hear. Things like, ‘Oh no, I'm very safe here. I never go outside of the area,' which later on I found was not exactly true," said Brown.
Brown says when her son returned from Iraq there were subtle changes in his behavior.
"There were things like, he seemed very anxious, which was not really his personality. If we'd go out to restaurant, he would have to be sitting facing forward he would not let anyone sit behind him. Kind of always vigilant looking around," said Brown.
Brown also noticed her son began to drink heavily and a once outgoing Jonathan Brown was now withdrawn from family and friends.
"Instead of kind of being able to talk to anybody about it, I think it just welled up inside of him, so he had kind of an episode of feeling that, you know he was not happy being here," said Brown.
Three months after returning from his tour in Iraq, Jonathan Brown attempted suicide. His mother was notified by a late night phone call.
"That's a call no mother, well no one ever wants to get, but totally sidelined me. I did not expect that at all," said Brown.
Brown says her son was admitted and spent 30 days in a recovery unit where he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But as a mom, Brown was struggling, too.
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