Tag Archives: secondary PTSD

“I was easy prey.” October is Month of Awareness for Domestic Violence!

 

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“I was easy prey.” Her first memory of being sexually abused is when she was just four-years old…

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Ginger Kadlec… Impassioned child advocate. Enthusiastic dog and cat mommy. Proud aunt. Happy wife.

 

“I was easy prey…”  click on highlighted website article by Ginger Kadlec…  Quote from the article follows…

“He was close to my mother, he visited our family home,” Susan Crocombe recalls in an interview with Steve Harris of BBC Radio Solent’s Breakfast in Dorset 103.8 fm. “If mum was having a bad day, she would be in bed… so he had complete access to me. I actually loved him. I would have done anything for him.”

“He” was a member of Susan’s extended family who sexually abused her for years. She recalls, “Things he did became quite serious 18 months leading up to my 13th birthday,” at which point her molester began feeding his addiction by sharing her with other adults, including taking photographs of and filming her.

“I associated presents with rewards for being good. I was easy prey.”~Susan Crocombe

In this BBC Radio Solent interview, Susan reflects on the sexual abuse she endured as a child and the impact the abuse had on her as a teenager and adult. She discusses issues like being groomed and says, “Who doesn’t like to feel special to get gifts, presents, be validated? For me, it was very subtle. I was very young, so I didn’t know what was happening was wrong… I associated presents with rewards for being good. I was easy prey.”

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In my view, the above reference is absolutely the worst case scenario and tragedy connected with domestic violence and child abuse!  I lived in a highly toxic home while growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  The vivid memories of being scared and living with domestic violence still haunts me at times.  My home was affected by the hard combat trauma my father experienced during all of WWII and deployment during the Korean War.  We did not have any kind of domestic violence awareness during the post WWII era…let alone a month like October designated to help children and families become more aware of its seriousness, long term impact on mental health, and ways to get help.  We siblings, as military kids, felt scared and alone most of the time.  We were afraid to go home when Dad was home for fear of the next beating that could come our way or the threatening emotional outbursts that often came out of nowhere as Dad struggled with his own demons.  Mother was affected severely as a wartime military spouse and from her own traumatic childhood during the “depression era.”  Our entire family was emotionally damaged and we thought it was just normal and mostly our fault as kids for not being good.  What happened in our home stayed at home.  From all appearances our family behaved as normal adults and kids outside of the home and in school.  We would not dare speak of being scared to go home…  Dad was a WWII US Navy hero by day and an angry and dangerous man by night.

Thousands of families were toxic like ours during this post WWII era, but we didn’t know it until later in life when the topic of combat related PTSD was finally revealed and understood more clearly.  But the stigma of mental health challenges and the intergenerational effects of post trauma symptoms referred to as secondary PTSD or complex PTSD kept countless children and families from seeking help.  The stigma of PTSD remains a big challenge to this day!

I lived with the emotional baggage of child abuse and domestic violence until later in life while doing research on our post WWII family’s toxic culture and the how war affects the mental health of soldiers and sailors long after the war ends.  Writing my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, was finally the beginning of my own journey of healing at age 64, and I am not alone… If it had not been for the gift of awareness, I would still be living with emotional pain.  It is a joy to look forward to each day now with peace of mind.   The anger, depression, and anxiety tearing away at my heart and soul is now gone, but is a work in progress to keep the pain of past trauma at a safe distance.  I am very blessed and thankful for the work of Ginger Kadlec  and many others in the mental health community for building awareness through social media.  I am also grateful for the support of my family and friends who help keep me grounded with positive energy each and every day…

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 Sparks, Age 10, 1956…

Healing from Moral Injury…Context of Spirituality by Steve Sparks…

A Discussion of Moral Injury and Spiritual Context… Quote from this website article from the National Center for PTSD…click highlighted text for more…

Moral Injury in the Context of War

Shira Maguen, PhD and Brett Litz, PhD

What is moral injury?

Like psychological trauma, moral injury is a construct that describes extreme and unprecedented life experience including the harmful aftermath of exposure to such events. Events are considered morally injurious if they “transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations” (1). Thus, the key precondition for moral injury is an act of transgression, which shatters moral and ethical expectations that are rooted in religious or spiritual beliefs, or culture-based, organizational, and group-based rules about fairness, the value of life, and so forth.

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Comments by Steve Sparks posted in MILITARY MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS POST DEPLOYMENT FOR PROVIDERS, COMBAT VETERANS & THEIR FAMILIES 

“The context of spirituality is profoundly critical to a trauma victim…a case of right vs. wrong. Combat veterans are often morally injured or compromised while experiencing or engaged in hard combat. The post trauma symptoms of PTSD represent a normal reaction of the mind fighting against the horrors and inhuman circumstances of war…killing and carnage. Trauma victims can choose a path of healing by acknowledging the roots of moral injury with alternative treatment strategies sooner than later…awareness is the first step in healing. Denial of ones spiritual and moral reality as a human being will only keep the emotional pain bottled up inside revealing itself with the painful symptoms of PTSD…for a lifetime if not treated. The higher risk of denial is the adverse affect on the children and families of warriors…secondary and complex PTSD in loved ones living with a trauma victim or the case of intergenerational PTSD. The sad tragedy of the horrors of war on humans is how it damages the moral fabric of society for generations.”

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

“The Homecoming” The music of veterans who are coming home…

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Breakaway Patriot…”The Homecoming”

Breakaway Patriot…Click for music video clip…

Breakaway Patriot- “The Homecoming” Click highlighted text for video clip documentary…interviews with warriors…

Short Summary…  Quoted from website…

“2 million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. When these men and women come home, they’re integrated into society with broken lenses. The average age of today’s veteran is 22 years young. Most of these men and women were fighting in a war before they were even allowed to drink a beer in their own country. Our video will feature actual veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They will be displaying customized messages straight from their hearts throughout the video.”

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The combat veteran’s homecoming can be highly painful, and mostly invisible to others.  Veterans often suffer in silence.  Warriors, including family members, do not always understand or are in denial of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).  Many veterans do not share their pain or admit to being diagnosed with PTSD for fear that the stigma of a mental health issue will keep them from getting a job or they are simply proud veterans and do not want to show weakness.  As a US Navy veteran from the Vietnam era, I was diagnosed with a non-combat related mental health disability resulting from growing up in a toxic home as a post WWII military child.  Children and families of warriors can suffer right along with a returning soldier struggling with readjustment and PTSD, and take on the same symptoms referred to as secondary PTSD or complex PTSD.  The compounded symptomatic conditions of life after trauma on family members has created a epidemic of post war trauma sufferers and survivors in America and around the globe.  It is critical for combat veterans and their loved loves to be aware on the consequences of not seeking treatment or being in denial.

Alternative treatment strategies such as mindfulness or meditation techniques vs.  prescription drugs and alcohol, are proving to be highly effective when treatment becomes a way of life and a journey of healing.  Healing from PTSD is often a work in progress that can last a lifetime…  On-going treatment strategies for the family as a whole can be very beneficial and offer relief and peace of mind from the horrors of war and the post war trauma connected with PTSD as it affects the entire family.

The included music production and video documentary of veteran interviews is a way to offer trauma victims more awareness and encourages treatment sooner than later.  Listen to the music and hear from selected warriors in the documentary to help you and your family find your own path of healing from the challenges in life after war and readjustment.

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…

 

April is the month of the military child… Remember the sacrifice of the children of warriors who served too!

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

Month of the military child…  click on this link…

Meet Skyler, a military child…click on video clip here…

Army wife resource of the week…click on video clip here…

Published on Mar 27, 2014

” A Backpack Journalist ™ helps youth find their “VOICE” Building Resiliency through Creative Expression! Creating the Citizen Journalist of the future! This is a fabulous resource for our military kids and teens!”

Month of the military child post from 2013… by Steve Sparks

Military Children often live and cope with PTSD.  April is the month of the military child…

Celebrate the Month of the Military Child at MilitaryKidsConnect.org
MilitaryKidsConnect.org invites all military parents to spend quality time with their children this month at MilitaryKidsConnect.org, the only Department of Defense web site dedicated to the psychological health of military kids.

http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/

Anonymous said…  “I just came across this site..  I’m only 16 but my mom has suffered from PTSD my entire life. I had to “be the  parent” at 7, and am constantly switching roles between the child and the adult.  There should be more sites like this that offer support, but I can”t seem to  find any.”

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In this link, Military Kids with PTSD, I posted about my own observations and experience as a military child growing up with parents who suffered severely from the symptoms of PTSD.  As a military parent please take extra time to focus on your children.  Use not only this month of April…http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/, but take your awareness forward and help your kids understand how war affects families of combat veterans, especially children.  Use the resources to educate your kids with love and kindness.  Do not allow them to grow up feeling isolated and alone with the memories that are often painful and misunderstood.  As a parent or teacher you can make a huge difference in the lives of your kids on this critical issue.  We owe it to our children to give them the opportunity to grow up to live a healthy, happy, and productive life…

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Reflections of Post WWII Military Family Life…Steve Sparks 1956, age 10…

Mother always told Dad we were bad while he was away at sea.

We were safe and free when Dad sailed away.

Fear and beatings made us cry you see…

Mother seemed happier when Dad was away at sea.

With love, joy, and play,

Dreams of family all together forever.

The fear and beatings came again anyway…

By Steve Sparks 

Copyright  Protected 2013 by Steve Sparks.  All rights reserved… Children and Families in Life after Trauma… www.survivethriveptsd.com and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

 

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