PTSD: A Passage from The Inherited War

"FORSAKEN," BY DEBAIRD™, VIA FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS, ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

"FORSAKEN," BY DEBAIRD™, VIA FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS, ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

"While traumatized humans don’t actually remain physically paralyzed, they do get lost in a kind of anxious fog, a chronic partial shutdown, dissociation, lingering depression, and numbness. Many are able to earn a living and/or raise a family in a kind of “functional freeze” that severely limits their enjoyment of life. They carry the burden with diminished energy in an uphill struggle to survive, despite their symptoms."

— Peter Levine, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

 

. . . We’d all been focused on Dad for so long, on his trauma and his stress, we’d forgotten about ourselves. I thought about my time in college, and it all made sense. I’d always thought I was weak, that there was just something wrong with me. The symptoms were there—depression, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, substance abuse, anxiety; but I didn’t make the connection. I never imagined PTSD was something a guy like me would get.  I wasn’t a soldier. I’d never been involved in some horrible accident. I’d never seen anyone die. But growing up with Dad, the fighting, the screaming, the drugs, the suicidal threats; I didn’t realize how deeply it affected me.  It wasn’t until I got out that the symptoms started to show.

“I think all of us have been traumatized,” I said. 

James nodded, slowly. 

“Yes,” he said. 

Mom, and Eli, and I were all suffering from PTSD.  We’d been pushing Dad for years to get help.  For the first time I realized we all needed help. . ..