Things I wish people understood….

I am continuing down the list of things that I wished people knew about PTSD:

I recommend following the link to the original post which shares their ideas on each one.

So I continue down the list. I am feeling like the list is stretching and I am thinking of more things not on the original list.


  • PTSD has helped me develop certain positive parts of myself; I find Post Traumatic Growth to be real (even though it’s difficult to perceive).

I had PTSD since I was five years old.  Giving it a label when I was 45.  Now it is 52 years and counting.  PTSD is how I grew up.  I recognize now how many strengths I developed by this constant need to struggle upward.  Bill Cosby’s “How long can you tread water” takes on new meaning. If I stop struggling upward, I rapidly sink below the surface.   Never ending battle upward.  I learned I can do anything for 5 minutes.  I learned persistence, understanding, awareness of other’s struggles, and many other strengths.  I like what the article said.

PTSD has forced me to develop some of my strong traits, most notably persistence, compassion, inner exploration, humbleness and knowledge about psychology and about myself.

The more I study my strengths the more I understand that PTSD contributed to their development.


  • Just because PTSD has helped me develop certain positive parts of myself doesn’t mean it is positive. My estimate is that I am experiencing 85% Post Traumatic Stress and 15% Post Traumatic Growth.


I believe the business 80/20 rule applies here too.  20% growth  with 80% hell.  Someone once said that they would like to be as emotionally strong as I am.  I first questioned their sanity but quickly realized they were looking at the surface me.  I also explained they wouldn’t want to go where I have been to get to where I am.  Strength does come with the struggle but without counseling I kept remaking the same mistakes in trying to survive.  The things I used to do before counseling made my life worse.  I needed to stop.  Learn skills that I wasn’t taught as a child. I did a complete emotional make over.  I was blessed with a counselor that understood the process and my resistance to those changes.  I was so terrified of letting go of those behaviors that kept me alive.  I’m still working on those changes I was taught.  Writing my blogs helps me review what I need to continue to do in my quest of healthy living.

  • What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker and stronger.

This one I can agree with.  The first time I heard the quote, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  I wanted to smack them.  Yes, that person was my counselor.  I understood why he sat across the room from me, out of reach.  Cancer didn’t kill me but it weakened my body.  I did heal from it but now I am missing body parts, I certainly don’t feel stronger.  Behaviors adapted to survive as a child helped me during impossible situations but weakened my  ability to live healthy.  What made a difference for me is when I faced my weaknesses and worked at making them strengths.  My decision to fight back, restore my sense of self, to open myself to the changes I learned in counseling is when I started recognizing my strengths.  In my opinion, being hit by a car, if it doesn’t kill you, it breaks you.  Abuse if it doesn’t kill you, it breaks you.  Then you take those pieces into counseling and learn how to put the pieces together.  Fortunately my counselor understood that I wasn’t being put together back the way I was, he taught me to create a new design with the pieces left behind. I believe he taught me to create something beautiful like the stained glass windows.

RMM_4717Pieces of my life gathered together, learning to make something beautiful with them.







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