Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Phone Calls and PTSD

Yesterday I made the first of  series of calls that will determine Bradens future. I left a voice message which was easier than discussing everything at once. One small step at a time is easiest for me. I had been feeling very upbeat about the whole issue, least I thought I was! Denial would be a better description. My emotions after making that phone call were like the waves in the ocean, one moment up and the next in the valley. Sometimes I feet confident we are making the right decisions and that we are following Gods leading but that quickly, I am assailed with doubts and fears that maybe we just think we are following God, when in truth we are being deceived. I asked Dean if I will know if I am getting depressed (mild term for going crazy) or will it sneak up on me without warning? He wise advice was, "You will get depressed if you keep worrying and wondering if you are staying sane." I am so thankful for a calm, husband who understands people. I keep telling him he is in the wrong profession, he should be a counselor. He told me, he does quite enough counseling between the children and I, he doesn't desire to take on more of it, thank you very much! 
   We have been hearing a lot about PTSD beings yesterday was Veterans Day. I am going to put a plea out there for foster/adoptive parents, if you at all suspect your child may have PTSD get help. If you think they should have it due to the circumstances that they endured, get help. This doesn't just apply to children from hard places, anyone who has experienced trauma is at risk for PTSD. I heard a good description of it this morning: PTSD is the normal reaction to an abnormal situation." That summed it up better than anything I have ever heard. Our brains react to trauma and the natural reaction is PTSD. I have my own trauma from our struggle with CYS which is making it all the harder to make decisions for Braden's future. 
   All of our children came to us preverbal, meaning before they could verbalize what they were feeling and experiencing. They do not have the words to explain what upsets them but they do act out when triggered. For a long time we treated Joseph's fear of lights and sirens as a normal childish fear. One day I was reading over his files from CYS where I read about some of his early life experiences. The pieces began to fall in place and I came to understand that Joseph wasn't just afraid, he was traumatized by what had happened and he needed help. Last week the first grader's went to a local fire station for the afternoon. Joseph was a bundle of nerves so I gave him the option of staying home. He wanted to go however so I spoke to his teacher and gave her a few tips on calming him if he panics and sent him to school with an extra prayer. Guess what? He loved it! His dear teacher took extra pains to be sure he felt safe and he had a grand time. Slowly but surely the wounds he received are healing! We praise God for that!
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