Not near enough attention given to the children affected by war! Kids suffer in silence and fear…

Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD

Following is my initial reaction to Christal Presley’s powerful new non-fiction book, 30 Days with my Father…30 Days with my Father.  Reading Dr. Presley’s story of her experience as a child growing up with a parent suffering from the emotional damage of the Vietnam War, was like reading my own book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story… http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Sparks/e/B0070CJDCM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0.  Kids who grow up observing, living, and coping with the pain of parents and loved ones who come home from war become isolated and affected with the symptoms of secondary PTSD.  This is the inter generational challenge that started with the Civil War and has damaged the soul of America since.  We often dismiss our kids because as parents we assume that our children are not affected by the scary and unsettling behavior of parents.  As children we build our own “foxholes” at home and in school because we are constantly in fear, and really don’t understand or know how to articulate what we are feeling.  We are also concerned about exposing our parents who may become visible to others outside of the home.  Much of this horror observed by children stays at home.  Parents go to work and come home anxious and angry with behaviors that scare kids into their own closets or bedrooms that become foxholes.  Kids also begin to believe all of this is their fault somehow and feel ashamed…and guilty…

Those of us who have grown up in this toxic home culture must talk more about our experiences, and the journey of healing.  We must come out of our own closet or self imposed “foxhole” and help others become more aware of the consequences of ignoring the children in our lives who are affected by war…

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

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Christal,

“I am half way through your book… Digesting a bit…then will finish. So far, your story takes my breath away, especially as it affects children of the parents at the center of our moral injury and PTSD discussion. As in my case, and yours, children are all to often dismissed because, “you weren’t over there.” Kids suffer in fear and silence. We dig “foxholes” too, lots of them for a lifetime. Your “closet” was a perfect foxhole. I survived, you survived, others have survived. How did we survive? I wonder sometimes… We go on in life with anger and a knot in our stomach or a hole in our heart. But we survive and thrive, sometimes in highly visible and very positive ways. Many aren’t so lucky as the two of us… We need to do more to help them. I want to explore this with you moving forward. My work with http://www.neighborsforkids.org is one way to reach out to kids in pain, who need mentoring, support, and love. Public schools don’t do much of anything. Parents are too preoccupied with their own stuff and pain, and the kids hide in the closet and/or spend time with a “happy” family. Sometimes they spend time on the wrong things and the wrong people too… Thank you for writing your story…”

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story





 
 

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