Tag Archives: Moral Injury

Why Beating & Scaring the Hell Out of Your Child Matters!

Minnesota Vikings v St. Louis Rams

“What Adrian Peterson did was wrong. That’s fact, not opinion. And yet, for so many, they don’t accept that. Why?”  Quote from…

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Husband. Father. Writer. Founder of Daddyfiles.com

 

“Why it doesn’t matter if that was how you were raised…”  A Huffington Post article by Aaron Gouvela…

“Allow me to bottom line this for you. If you think hitting your kid with a stick until he bleeds is an acceptable form of punishment, you’re a bad parent. And, more than likely, you’re engaging in a criminal act. Your culture, race, ethnicity, and upbringing don’t matter in this instance. I don’t care where you’re from or what color you are, because when you decide to whip your 4-year-old with the branch of a tree, you are committing a crime. And I hope you face the same charges Peterson is facing.”

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I welcomed the news today that Adrian Peterson was suspended without pay from the Minnesota Vikings for the entire 2014 season!

I write about the intergenerational consequences of child abuse in my book.  I wrote this story of my family’s post WWII and Korean War struggles and the challenges of growing up in a toxic family culture because we were all morally injured from child abuse…a lifetime tragedy.  My father suffered terribly from the trauma of extended deployment as a US Navy wartime veteran.  His severe depression and anxiety can be described as showing the worst symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).  My father was also beaten and abused as a child, compounding his own mental health issues.  During my young life there was little or no awareness, nor protection for kids who were abused.  I refer to the worst memories during my childhood as “the too terrible to remember 1950’s and early 1960’s.

The worst of my experiences as a child is best described from the following excerpt from my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

“As an added tragic note, my brother didn’t mention the time in Waukegan just before he entered the Navy, that Dad hit him in the head after Jerry was confronted in front of the house by some bullies. He almost took them all on and could have cleaned up since he was so strong. Dad hit his head so hard that it swelled up and we thought he needed medical attention. But Dad was afraid to take him to the hospital. Fortunately, Jerry recovered, but it is my opinion that this incident gave him a severe concussion that needed treatment. I know one thing for sure, as a little kid it hurt me deeply to see this happen. To this day I remember the terrible incident vividly. This horrid event is an example of a man who lived by day as a highly respected war hero training boots at the US Naval Training Center; and by night Dad was a mentally ill dangerous man who kept his family in a cage as victims of extreme abuse. None of us would talk about it for fear of being beaten. The US Navy did not see it, nor probably wanted to see it. This was a man who was solely responsible for our welfare and without him we would have been poor and homeless at the time. We had no choice but to live with him and to avoid his wrath as much as possible. None of us even understood the gravity of the situation until later. Denial certainly helped us survive but all the baggage is clear.”

Please get help if you find as a parent the need to “beat and scare the hell out of your child.”  By seeking treatment and support from the mental health professional community, you can stop the cycle of intergenerational child abuse, and break the cycle of emotional pain.  As an abused child from a time when there was complete denial and little awareness or treatment strategies, I still live with flashbacks at the prime age of 68.  My own journey of healing is a lifelong work in progress…  I also firmly believe that Minnesota Vikings star, Adrian Peterson, is a good person and will be a better father in the future… 

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…

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Steve Sparks, 1956, age 10…”a very scary time in my life…”

“Mission 22!” Why 22 Veterans Commit Suicide Everyday?

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Join Mission22.com and help save the lives of veterans…

Mission 22…  Click and watch this powerful 1 minutes video clip…you can save a life…quote from this website…

Published on Oct 21, 2014

Join the mission to end veteran suicide: www.Mission22.com.

Each day, 22 veterans commit suicide. But you can give them the hope and encouragement they need. Each 22 you post, share or tweet lets them know they have an army behind them. Join the mission at Mission22.com and help us win the war against veteran suicide.

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This powerful video triggered memories of my own father, who often had scary nightmares that came suddenly without warning.  I remember Dad yelling, “Japs, Japs, Japs!,” and the loud noise of his fists punching holes in the wall of his bedroom.  My Dad was suicidal for a long time following WWII and Korean War where he served in hard combat during multiple deployments in the US Navy.  My mother’s dedication to his needs at her own risk and sacrifice no doubt saved his life.  Many combat veterans find themselves alone without hope and take their own lives…22 veterans of all ages commit this final act each and every day of the year.

Help save the lives of your loved ones and friends who are suffering from moral injury and PTSD.  Click on the YouTube video and join Mission22.com.  You can make a difference and help save the life of a veteran you know…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma… Click on the highlighted text for my author page…

Father & Son Connect with “The Lone Sailor Memorial Statue” in Long Beach, California…

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Steve Sparks at the “Lone Sailor Memorial Statue” in Long Beach, Ca.

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US Navy “Lone Sailor Memorial Foundation.”  Click for a larger view…

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Marcella and Vernon Sparks c1940 Long Beach, Ca. Dad was a US Navy Coxswain at the time, serving aboard the Battleship USS West Virginia…destination Pearl Harbor prior to the beginning of WWII.  Click photo for larger view…

US Navy Memorial Foundation…  Quote from this website…

“The Lone Sailor statue represents all people who ever served, are serving now or who are yet to serve in the Navy. The Lone Sailor is a composite of the U.S. Navy bluejacket, past, present and future. He’s called the Lone Sailor.”

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I never emotionally connected with my father’s US Navy career until researching and writing my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, in 2011.  I didn’t know him well until long after he passed away in 1998.  I didn’t know my mother either…who is still with us at age 96 living in Reno, Nevada.  Growing up as a military child during the 1950’s and early 1960’s was hell.  Carrying around the emotional baggage of a toxic childhood was worse than hell for decades until learning more about the lives of my parents during the years leading up to WWII and afterwards.  I know them both now, far better than those years now lost in time and burdened with anger toward the pain of child abuse and emotional neglect.  I am no longer angry!

I stood by the “Lone Sailor” statue in Long Beach yesterday for a long time.  I was deeply moved…  I thought about my Dad and what he was like when joining the US Navy in 1936.  Dad spent his early years as a young sailor in Long Beach, California, no doubt standing in this very place looking out at sea dreaming about the future and what would come.  His first ship duty was aboard the Battleship USS Tennessee following boot camp in 1936.  I know he had hope and was excited about life.  Dad was outgoing, an extrovert, kind of like me.  He and mother were married in Long Beach in 1940 and experienced some of the happiest times of their lives until he departed on the USS West Virginia on a secret mission at that time during the summer of 1941.  My oldest brother, Jerry, was born in September 1941, three months before the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

I thought about my own US Navy service during the early 1960’s and felt close to Dad while reading the engraved memorial bricks at the “Lone Sailor Statue” site.  I also thought about Dad’s final words in his own written account (discovered after my book was published) while standing on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, after abandoning ship and swimming for safety after the USS West Virginia was bombed.  He and his shipmates watched the Battleship USS Arizona and the other ships from the US Navy Pacific Fleet engulfed in flames and smoke, and said, “People like myself could go on and on, but that would take a book!”  (click highlighted text for the full written account).  I am proud of my father, Vernon, and all the “Lone Sailor(s)” who served.  I am very grateful to have been inspired to write this book, which provided the personal strength to start my own journey of healing and forgiveness.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click the highlighted text for my author page…

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Steve & Judy Sparks, October 18, 2014, Long Beach, California…

Speaking at Vets for Vets in Pagosa Springs, Colorado about children and families of warriors…

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Veterans for Veterans.org Mission  click on website…

Veterans for Veterans…  Quote from this website…

“Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County is a volunteer charitable organization, 501 c (3), who are veterans helping other veterans to provide financial assistance to veterans and their families in need, to advocate for veterans, provide education and counseling, and to provide a resource of information and experience.”

Membership shall consist only of veterans from the Armed Forces of the United States of America (Air Force, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard).

You may join and contribute as an Associate member, but have no voting right.

We meet every Tuesday, 10:00 am at the Quality Resort, 3505 West Hwy 160.

The last Tuesday of the month will be an evening meeting to accommodate those that cannot make the morning meetings.  Location: Same as AM.  Time: 6:00 PM

All Veterans Welcome and Refreshments will be offered.

Our Mission

Vets for Vets of Archuleta COuntyMission:  Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County is a 501 c (3) organization established exclusively for charitable purposes, more specifically:

  1. For veterans to help veterans.
  2. To provide financial assistance to veterans in need.
  3. To advocate for the veteran with the Veterans Administration.
  4. Provide information and experience resources.

We provide outreach to veterans in our community and assist in a variety of needs such as:

  1. Financial assistance.
  2. Assistance in accessing medical, dental and eye care.
  3. Housing assistance.
  4. Emotional assistance to help overcome the scars of war such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries and effects of Agent Orange.
  5. Help provide transportation to out-of town VA appointments.
  6. Hold weekly meetings providing the veteran with up to date information and a place for veterans so they can share information and fellowship.
  7. Help provide information and emotional support to family members of veterans.
  8. Ensure veterans receive access to the Veterans Administration (VA) benefits earned through their service in the armed forces.

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While speaking at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Medical Center in Albuquerque last week, I was encouraged to make contact with Veterans for Veterans in Pagosa Springs, CO, to share my story about intergenerational PTSD.  I received an enthusiastic response when contacting the group, and was made to feel welcome to attend and speak at their regularly scheduled Tuesday 10am meeting.  I came early to the meeting to get a feel for the group to help me with my initial interaction.  I immediately felt right at home with my brothers and sisters who have served America in the Armed Forces, especially the many members who served during the Vietnam War.

Before speaking to the group, I had a chance to  talk to several of the members before the meeting started and to listen to the formal discussion, including reports from the committees who work on community outreach, fund raising, VA updates and support, and programs to engage veterans with veterans.  There are now over 120 veteran members of this lively and active non-profit whose passionate work is devoted solely to Archuleta County veterans of all wars.

I immediately recognized the value of veterans forming their own group and taking ownership for helping each other in rural communities in particular.  I could feel the bonding, camaraderie and fellowship.  I was impressed with the quality of leadership on the board as well.  This is a group that is making a huge difference for veterans and their families close to home.  I have written about the value of veterans groups supported by local communities (click on link) to complete the circle of support starting with the transition to civilian life and the outgoing support needs once our veterans return home.  The Vets for Vets model is exactly the right solution and is showing results evidenced by the support and enthusiasm of the veterans who are members and volunteers.  I could not be more encouraged!

Clearly pumped up with enthusiasm, it came time for me to speak to the group.  Sharing my story by referencing the challenges of a post WWII and Korean War military family life during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, connected immediately with the close to 40 veterans attending this meeting, including spouses and family members.  There was one striking boomer aged lady in attendance who caught my attention because she appeared highly emotional as I talked about forgiving my father and mother once learning about how war comes home and can tear a family apart in life after war.  I also talked about the importance of forgiving ourselves first, paving the way to forgiving others and in making a difference for the greater good.  Trauma survivors have a tough time with forgiveness, especially forgiving yourself.  But we know now that the journey of healing in life after trauma is not possible until self-forgiveness is experienced.  

These are the heartfelt healing moments and experiences that come my way while helping others know more about moral injury and the intergenerational effects of PTSD on children and families of warriors.  Helping one person at a time encourages me everyday to keep on writing and speaking about life after trauma.   I hope to stay in touch with Veterans for Veterans in Pagosa Springs, and those who purchased my book and came up to chat with me privately following the meeting.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

 

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

 

Maya Angelou on Forgiveness… Healing starts with forgiveness…

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Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey

 

Quotes of Forgiveness…  Quote from this website…”Do One Thing Quotes” 

“We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate — thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.” 
 Maya Angelou

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Judy and I turned on the Maya Angelou Memorial Service this morning.  We were inspired by the many speakers, including Oprah Winfrey.  Oprah spoke of Maya in so many special ways as the “most wonderful women she has ever known.”  She also mentioned several times of Maya’s belief that forgiveness of self and others is paramount in living a full life in service to others…a life larger than self…  Only then can we experience our full potential as human beings…

During the last two weeks on our journey to New Mexico to participate in the opening of a museum dedicated to military families, book signings, visits to the memorials of veterans, and talks about children and families in life after trauma, the most important consistent discussion topic has been about forgiveness.  Before it was possible for me to move forward from the pain of a traumatic childhood experience, including learning about the secondary effects of trauma on the children and families of warriors, I was able to forgive myself.  Once learning that forgiving myself was a critical first step, I felt profound forgiveness for my father and mother.  I did not dismiss the abuse and emotional neglect experienced as a child, but embraced it as a way to move forward in my own life, and make a difference for others as part of my journey of healing.  My other favorite quote by Maya Angelou… “There is no greater agony than bearing the untold story inside of you” helps me each day to make the choice to continue on my journey.  I used this quote to help introduce my second book, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…

There was a time not too long ago that I felt that forgiving myself was impossible and not even appropriate.  Little did I know for so much of my adult life that the only way to forgive others, is to forgive yourself first.  Maya Angelou was also one of the greatest teachers on the planet and her legacy will live on forever…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1, and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

“Mental Health First Aid Really Works!” You can become an instructor…and get certified…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

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“I Was Able to Save a Life” December 4, 2013

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Capt. Joseph Coffey
Rhode Island

Mental Health First Aid skills can be applied anytime, anywhere, and to anyone in distress, be it a brother officer exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, an unemployed friend displaying signs of severe depression, or a teenage family member presenting evidence of

Mental Health First Aid…Quote from this link…

“Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.”

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The mental health awareness campaign in America is really taking hold!  A “first aid” program is now available to communities everywhere.  I know this program is critically important in my rural community on the Oregon Central Coast.  All schools, non-profits, government agencies, public private partnerships, and citizens everywhere should learn about mental health first aid.  The invisible nature of mental health challenges, including moral injury and PTSD, make it even more challenging to perform first aid because we are often unable to see or understand the symptoms.  Building more understanding of the signs of mental illness will help save lives!   Early and on-going treatment is very critical in finding a path to healing. Please take the time to learn about the mental health first aid program in your community, and get the word out by sharing this blog post on your social media network.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation, A Son’s Story…

Mark Knopfler – Brothers in arms [Berlin 2007]… The mindfulness and healing value of music is powerful!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

 

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“Brothers in Arms…”  Click on here for this emotionally powerful video music clip…

Artist lyrics…Brothers in Arms (Berlin 2007)…  Quote from this website…

“Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms…”

Brothers in Arms…Dire Straights Album…learn more…

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Brothers in Arms
Studio album by Dire Straits
Released 13 May 1985 (1985-05-13)
Recorded AIR Studios, Montserrat, November 1984 – March 1985
Genre Rock, roots rock, blues rock, new wave
Length 55:07[Note 1]
Label Vertigo Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Mark Knopfler Neil Dorfsman
Dire Straits chronology
Alchemy (1984) Brothers in Arms (1985) Money for Nothing (1988)
Singles from Brothers in Arms
  1. So Far Away” Released: 8 April 1985
  2. Money for Nothing” Released: 24 June 1985
  3. Brothers in Arms” Released: 14 October 1985
  4. Walk of Life” Released: 30 December 1985
  5. Your Latest Trick” Released: 28 April 1986

Brothers in Arms is the fifth studio album by British rock band Dire Straits, released on 13 May 1985 by Vertigo Records internationally, and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. Brothers in Arms charted at number one worldwide, spending ten weeks at number one on the UK Album Chart (between 18 January and 22 March 1986), nine weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and thirty-four weeks at number one on the Australian Album Chart. The album is the seventh best-selling album in UK chart history, is certified nine times platinum in the United States, and is one of the world’s best selling albums having sold 30 million copies worldwide.[1][2][3][4]

The album won two Grammy Awards in 1986, and also won Best British Album at the 1987 Brit Awards.[5][6] Q magazine placed the album at number 51 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[7]

Traumatic events that can cause PTSD… Why do we tend to connect PTSD primarily to warriors?

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

 

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Traumatic Events and PTSD…The Cleveland Clinic…

What are the causes of PTSD?

“Any event that is life-threatening or greatly affects a person’s emotional well-being can result in PTSD. Examples of these traumatic events include:

  • rape
  • war
  • natural disasters (hurricane, tornado, etc.)
  • abuse
  • serious accidents
  • captivity

Traumas caused by other people (such as rape or assault) are more likely to cause PTSD. Strong emotions caused by these events can create changes in the brain that can bring about PTSD. People can also have PTSD for traumas they have perpetrated (i.e., soldiers who have shot enemy combatants can have PTSD).”

Who is at risk for PTSD?

Anyone who witnesses or experiences a traumatic event, especially if it is long-term or repeated, is at risk for PTSD. Certain groups, including war veterans and women, may be more likely to develop PTSD. For example, about 8% of men and 20% of women develop PTSD after a traumatic event.

It is not known why some people suffer from PTSD after a traumatic event and some do not. Some factors make you more likely to develop PTSD, including:”

  • Exposure to multiple traumatic events
  • Exposure to long-term or repeated traumas
  • Personal history of mental health problems, especially anxiety disorders
  • Lack of support from family and friends after a trauma

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By far, the public’s first reaction to the acronym, PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is war, warriors, combat veterans, military, soldiers, etc.  The on-set of PTSD is the normal reaction of the human brain’s chemistry to severe trauma.  The public is flooded by the media every day with the term PTSD as it relates to our heroes who serve America in all wars, especially when exposed to combat and injured with visible or invisible wounds.

It is not fair to veterans and their loved ones to isolate PTSD to one cause or one segment of our population.  It is also not fair to the thousands of people of all ages who experience trauma at home in America and elsewhere in the world each and every day, then suffer from the symptoms of PTSD.  Following is a quote from the back cover of my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, published in November of 2011:

“Approximately 8 Million Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.  Steve has the courage to share his story, hoping it will help others to address their PTSD and break the intergenerational cycle.  Don’t go the journey alone.  As in Steve’s story, it requires the connectedness with others to go down the path of hope and healing…” Beverly Ventura, Marriage Family Therapist and Life Coach, Laguna Counseling. 

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Beverly Ventura, MFT

When I first started to write my childhood and early adult story of my own traumatic experience, Beverly was one of the first of my dear friends I contacted to learn about the symptoms and implications of PTSD.  At first it was a shock to find out that my experience with trauma was not an exception.  I was not alone!  Beverly gave me the confidence and courage to write my story to help me find a path of healing while making a difference for others.   She spoke to me on the phone often, and on Skype with encouragement and friendship.  Bev even read my first manuscript and gave me pointers on character development.  Our conversations showed me the way to an abundance of research on the subject.  My new level of awareness of the roots and symptoms of PTSD, and how it affected my own family for decades, gave me the passion and motivation to write my first non-fiction story, including starting a website and blog.  I will be forever grateful to Beverly’s caring friendship and give her major credit for helping me find peace of mind later in life.  My life was changed forever and for the better as a result of pressing forward to write my book.  I could not have accomplished this huge task without the help from dear friends like, Beverly, and loved ones who pushed me forward.

Trauma leading to PTSD and moral injury compares to an epidemic in my view…  The intergenerational pain and suffering seems endless.  The lack of awareness and stigma connected with mental health challenges discourages treatment and conversation.  Young adults who served America in combat hesitate to admit to a diagnosis of PTSD and treatment for fear they will not find work.  Others who suffer from severe trauma as civilians are often ignored and shunned by family members and must fend for themselves.  My own experience is a testimonial of a post WWII family destroyed by PTSD and decades of emotional challenges that went untreated.

The good news is we are achieving more and more awareness and the conversation is much louder and deeper than it was just 3 years ago when my book was first published.  I continue to have hope and confidence that we are close to achieving critical mass in knowledge and awareness around the subject of trauma and PTSD.   The first step in healing from invisible wounds from war or other traumatic experiences in life is awareness.  My new level of knowledge, human connectedness and healing saved my life.  It is never too late to find your own journey of healing…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

 

“Family resilience is important as it provides a way to “bounce back” from tough times. Learn more about this skill and the way it can benefit you and your family.”

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

ReadingToGroup

March is reading month… click on link…

Michigan State University, “Family Resilience…”  click on link…  Quote from this website article…

“Most people would agree that resilience is a good thing but may be confused about what resilience actually is. Resilience is considerably more than just being able to function following a difficult time in your life. Family resilience is the ability to develop and grow strengths that can help you meet life’s challenges, be able to work through them in a positive way, and emerge stronger in the process. Practicing resiliency skills is an ongoing process – not something you only use when times get tough. You may be surprised to learn that building resilience is not difficult.”

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I am fortunate in my work to pick up on the very best in articles and reference resources for children and families challenged in life.  Family centered traumatic experiences, including caring for a loved one who just returned from war, can tear a family apart over time.  I know this to be true because of my own childhood and life experience with my post WWII & Korean war family.

Michigan State University’s “family resilience” support programs and research is a good example of showing families how to be proactive by practicing resiliency skills over an extended period of time.  I had to learn how to become resilient by experimenting over a lifetime while watching my family become torn apart from war.  We just did not know what to do back in the 1950’s except survive one day at a time.  We didn’t understand what all the toxic behavior was about and why my father was so angry, depressed, and anxious.  We just thought about the celebration of the end of WWII and Korean War, and how we could all move on as a loving family.  But we didn’t know how to help ourselves nor were there any resources or access to support children and families who struggled in life after war.

I am very grateful that now in the 21st Century, families have excellent access to resources to support and complement family needs during tough times.  We can learn how to communicate more effectively as a family unit.  We are now open about the roots of toxic behavior and how to address specific family circumstances.  I am also happy to be in a position to share what I have learned with the goal to make a difference for others.  If I can help one person or one family move forward in a constructive way…a journey of healing, it is most rewarding.  It is also healing for me, keeping the emotional pain of my own life experience at a safe distance.    Take a closer look at what Michigan State University is doing to help children and families grow and become stronger even under very challenging circumstances.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story… click on my author page…