Putting PTSD on paper
Introductory posts are so cliché, but here I go….
I’m working on my first book (and possibly my last book). I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by day (basically, a therapist) and I work with a LOT of Service Members with PTSD. I even have another blog about it (shameless self promotion!) and you can check that out HERE.
It occurred to me one day, in the middle of a session, that I’m pretty sure my Dad had PTSD. The next thought was that if he had PTSD, that must mean there had been a time in his life that he hadn’t had PTSD. Too bad that time was before my parents had even met. I realized I would never get to know my “real” Dad, just PTSD Dad.
I kind of became depressed and started the “why me?” game. That lasted a while and I realized that so many more people were in the same situation I was- kids of parents with Combat PTSD. It had to have shaped their lives. My Dad’s PTSD might have even shaped the way I reacted to things. So I started to do that thing I hate—research. I began to research the topic of Children of Vietnam Vets. What I found blew me away. So I decided to write a book about it. Then I realized I didn’t really know why my Dad had PTSD. I heard countless stories of war/combat on a weekly basis, with my government contract counseling job (mostly at Ft. Bragg, NC) and at my private practice. These were all Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Vets (OIF/OEF). I knew Vietnam Vets had a different experience.
The more I researched, the more I wanted to learn. I started compiling the statistical stuff, but I’m a therapist. I wanted stories. I approached my Dad and to my complete surprise, he said he would tell me about his two tours. We have been working on this project since March of 2014 and every day is a new challenge.