I have been living with PTSD for 20 years. I generally have control over this as it’s something I’ve learnt over the years. But sometimes in life something will happen or someone says something.
Working in customer service for a government organisation, I didn’t think anything would happen that would trigger me. Today I learnt I was wrong. A distressed mother called in, and she talking about her daughter and something that’s happened to her and it’s the similar , very similar to my trauma.
She’s obviously not aware of my own experiences or my own mental health issues, why would she be, she doesn’t know me I don’t know her.
The way she was talking made it clear that she was unsure what to do, where to go, who to speak to, how to get help how to help. The issue for me was the biggest issue she called the wrong place she called a place that could not help her.
As in this is not an issue that we deal with. There are some departments where I work that would deal with traumatic events on a basis of referring that person to the correct service or psychologist. It’s not something they would do on an ongoing basis.
So as you can imagine this is not something I ever expected to get a call on and it threw me. All of a sudden I was plunged back into the memories and the pain of my own trauma.
It wasn’t just my trauma I was thinking what if it was my daughter. What if my daughter went through a similar trauma, how would I react?
I would panic, I would do everything I could to make sure she has the all the help she needs, if she told me.
It dawned on me not only can we not protect our children from everything as they get older, once they are an adult doing there own things, living their own life, but how do we make sure she tells us if something happens.
I didn’t tell my parents for years I was ashamed, & felt like I had done something wrong, & I knew how distressed they would be.
So, for me this is something I really need to figure out, our daughter is very open, but she is 10, when she is 20 that could be very different.
By the time she is a teenager we need to ensure she feels safe talking to us, & knowing we won’t judge or get angry, we will listen first.
We will make sure she knows that we will support her in every way we can. My parents did this, but it was a different time 20 years ago, some things were not talked about.
My own trauma is my trauma, I deal with this, & I do not hide I have mental health issues from our daughter. Hopefully by showing our daughter how to live & be happy with all sorts of issues, she will feel comfortable talking about everything.
At least that is my hope.