The Sweet Sound of Silence for PTSD

You might be at the hospital, deep inside its maze of doorways and corridors, sitting in a small windowless room, bribing your unslept and cranky toddler to keep quiet with a crusty red jellybean found swimming around the bottom of your bag, totally missing the irony of trying your best to listen to the audiologist tell you about your older son’s hearing test results, when inspiration strikes you, and you’re lucky that your son has perfect hearing after all because you’ve completely missed the end of the audiologist’s speech.

It’s sitting there, right in front of you. A box, but not just any box. An idea, but not just any idea. Continue reading

A Wife Sitting on the Sidelines of PTSD

How long can you hold your breath? I’ve been holding mine for ten days now, and counting. It’s gripping my stomach, it’s gripping my mind. But I can’t let it out. Not just yet.

I’ve had many confronting conversations with my husband over the years since PTSD joined our fold. And the fact that we’re usually fairly good communicators doesn’t make them any easier. I have my agenda. He will have his. We talk. We cry. Sometimes our conversations can be a trigger for him. Sometimes they’re a trigger for me.

But this one was unlike all the rest. I took my time getting my head straight first, untangling the mess of thoughts in my mind well before allowing them to form into spoken words. Continue reading

8 Times to Worry vs 8 Times NOT to Worry

Even if I didn’t realise that I’m a worrier, any one of my friends or family would be able to set me straight. It’s really no secret. Just as my sons have to make a conscious effort to put on clothes before we leave the house (and, if truth be told, so does my husband), I have to make a conscious effort each day to keep my worries in check.

Unfortunately there’s no reliable way of doing this, but sometimes I can trick my brain by allowing myself some valid things to worry about.

(And sometimes I can even trick my boys into keeping their clothes on for a full afternoon.)

If you’re a worrier, like me, feel free to borrow my worry lists. You’re welcome. Continue reading

Healing as a Couple After a PTSD Episode

A pack of cards. So simple, so unassuming. Build a house of cards, and the merest breath can bring it tumbling down. You’d be right in thinking they hold little power. Yet played the right way, a deck of cards can build a bridge that may help lift a marriage.

8:00pm. Kids all asleep. Kitchen cleaned up. Lunch boxes washed and re-packed. No load of laundry to hang out. I walked into the lounge room with a cup of tea, ready to sit down finally.

“Would you like a game of cards tonight?”
Continue reading

Taking Down the Walls That PTSD Built Up

I used to be a very private person. I used to hide it all away. I didn’t know what else to do when things weren’t quite right, when things weren’t working. I truly believed that keeping it all inside was a sign of strength. I was strong. I could keep it quiet and not let it affect me.

But I was wrong. It didn’t stay quiet. And it was affecting me. I can see that now, but at the time I was too caught up in my own fictitious strength. I was oblivious.

No one could open my eyes for me. I had to learn the hard way. I had to eventually acknowledge the lessons that were coming my way. And in time I chose Continue reading