I first started doing my own research years ago…I do mean years ago. Shortly after I was married, my husband challenged me as to what I could learn if I didn’t have the restriction of school. For over 35 years I researched lots of different subjects. I learned how to sew from a book, how to quilt, how to fix computers, you name it I learned it. I found 2 things I didn’t get figured out from a book – how to cook and how to interact with people. I found great tips in the books but nitty gritty those two things were hands on subjects. I looked up cooking classes in our area and found out that it would cost me $2000 to take a cooking course. I decided I could burn and ruin a lot of food for that much money. I dove in and signed up for Allrecipes.com. They have videos and other tips that fill in the blanks of missing knowledge. I have my own collection of cookbooks. I did read the Joy of Cooking. That is when I learned that there are people that enjoy cooking a whole bunch more than I do. I am having fun exploring the world of ingredients and food. Interacting with people is a different situation. I signed up for counseling and that cost plenty. However, there is still the hands on experience of communicating with people. Unlike food, I don’t want to toss out people like I would a dish I ruined with too much salt or vinegar. Too much salt of vinegar with people and they throw me away. I worry about saying the wrong thing, coming across mean, barking orders when a polite request would do. Counseling taught me so much but the main thing I had a glaring light on my screw-ups. PTSD interferes with my ability to communicate effectively with people. I want to show the kind feelings I have but PTSD puts up a wall in an instant when I start to feel vulnerable or over whelmed. Holiday season seems to bring out the worse. High pressure and higher expectations becomes a time of failure almost guaranteed. Emotional land mines abound in the weeks between Halloween and New years. So I do research. PTSD has many more internet sites than when I started my journey of research. My counselor often used reading assignments to help me process my reactions to the world around me. I get many suggestions. The explosion of information and search tools expanded my research far beyond library walls. What I study now is information that wasn’t available 10 years ago when I started. What I am sharing, is what I learned. Some people might ask why? I probably won’t come this way again. I believe in building bridges. I believe someone else is going to be struggling on a similar path. What happened in my childhood isn’t unique. Others were hurt in similar ways that I was. I can do two things by sharing what I learned. I let other people know that they are not alone. I can process information in a way that I can explain it to someone else. Research is key to my learning process. Sharing is key to my processing what I learn.