Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PTSD- We all get it

Somewhere along the line, he shared with me he was diagnosed with PTSD.  Once I heard this, I had to t to understand what it was and what to expect from it.  I immersed myself in books, articles and webinars about it.  Then, I purchased a book called " When War Comes Home" from military ministry.  While reading this book, I began to understand a little about myself and came to realize that I too have have PTSD.  I learned that, with all the scars, hurts and pains that I experienced in life, all the negative experiences had shaped and molded me to the person I was. Those negative experiences that I failed to process in a healthy way had resulted in my ill feelings, in my fears of relationship, in my fears of going out and meeting new people and  my lack of being able to relate to people.  I learned that these repressed negaive memories that I held deep down inside me were the cause of my outward manifestations of showing lack of empathy, of not feeling, of guarding myself against intimacy. 

At the time, I was seeking understanding the truth of what I beleived Spiritually by studying the practice of Thervada Buddism, studying the Vedas and Sutras.  I realized that I was not feeling releif from my depression through the teachings.  Then one day, while reading the Vedas, I read a phrase that said " you seek me(love) and I have always been here, I am at your reach.... you  look and look, but I have always been so close to you".  At that moment, I realized that what I was looking for Truth in the wrong place.  I came to the realization that the only thing that will fill the holes in my lifewas the Word ( the Bible).  I then, put down the Buddist scriptures and stopped attending meditation classes.  Instead, I reverted to focusing on going to church and imersing myself in God's teachings. I remembered that the same stories I read in Sutras, I had read them in the Bible.  The same wisdom. At this, I changed focus and began a journey of self understanding, of getting to know my God intimately and to continue to press into Him.  In part this was done to better understand myself  so that I can prepare myself for understanding my Marine when he comes home from war.
For what I learned from this experience and the understanding and wisdom the past few years brought me, I thank my Marine.  I thank him for allowing me to fall in love with him.  Had he been another man,  I may not have traveled through this spirital path of self understanding and healing.  Had I met someone else and grown to love them, they may have taken up my time.  This time that Iused to spend with myself and with God would have been used spent with the man and his family and I would have never understood why I am the way I am.  I may not have healed from past hurts and those 'sores' ( as they are called in thebook Changes that Heal, by Cloud and Tounsend; or The Four Agreements ) would have manifested themselves in my repeat of past relationship mistakes. 

You see, I grew up with strict parents who lacked empathy.  I didnt learn how to feel, my heart was hard. Sure, I was a go getter and accomplished woman.  Many people saw me as 'Independent and doesnt need a man or anyone'.  On the inside, I felt lonely, I longed for close relationships and I longed to feel loved.  My tendency was to be an enabler.  I knew how to love others and found it hard to request their love in return. This left me empty.  

Why was I this way? Because of how I was raised and because of the things that happened to me.  I realized, while reading about PTSD that fear is what stops us from living and sharing life with others.  Fear, shame, and guilt.  I had past experiences that I was ashamed of, broken hearted, abandoned, unloved, neglected, rejected, harsh words, failures, condemned and many other negative words and feelings.  I had to learn to deal and feel ( How We Love, by Milan and Kay).

I couldnt have stayed in love with my marine, through his readying for deployment, through the absence of him, through his return home... had God not prepared my heart and healed me from all that I experienced.  To love a military man it takes a special person.  It takes someone who cares, someone who loves and supports and someone who doesnt easily give up.  Without God I could not have stayed comitted and patient. Without Him to strengthen me, encourage me, and providing me with the friends and support I need(ed), I could not have done it.   Read on.....

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