Part 5: The Day....

Things I have learned about PTSD:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is most often viewed as a "veterans' disease" or something that victims of rape or violence suffer from. The general public thinks of it in terms of big "T" trauma.

However, it can happen to many of us...and can be the result of other types of trauma. Trauma that when viewed side-by-side with rape or mob violence seems kind of "puny" and "pathetic."

Women are considered more "at risk" to develop PTSD. Also, people who naturally have lower levels of cortisol in their bodies are more "at risk" to develop PTSD.

I fall into both of these categories. I am a woman and I've known that my body doesn't naturally make enough cortisol since I was 15.

Oh, AND I experienced trauma...when my daughter almost died.

I also experienced prolonged exposure to this traumatic stress during our three months of uncertainty concerning her enlarged noggin.'

I'm working through it. I'm seeing a therapist. After months of living with it, I finally decided that something was actually wrong.

I still jump up when I hear loud noises. I run (as in jump out of my chair and sprint) to my children when they have fallen. If my kids bump their heads, I do a basic neuro check...seriously.

I probably "check-in" on my children way more often than I would have - had we never experienced the fall. And my kids know that momma is NOT MESSIN' when I say "Hold onto the rail!" and "No playing on the stairs!"

I often experience uncontrollable shakes when I think about that day and I cry when I tell the story.

But I do NOT crumble into tears at the slightest event or noise...and that's an improvement.

This past Christmas, my now toddling, dare-devil of a baby climbed onto a toilet, lost her footing, and bonked her head on our iron sink. After I scooped her up....she threw up all over me. I admit, we ran her across the street. They checked her out, reassured us that we did the right thing by bringing her in, watched her for an hour, and then let us go home.

Trauma just leaves scars....and some are longer-lasting than others.

Most everyone around me understands and gives me room. There are some who don't.

The other evening a woman said rather pointedly in my general direction:
"I'm just more laid-back than some people. I'm not a fearful person. I mean, my kid fell 20 feet and I don't jump up every time he falls."
Well, I didn't respond at the time. Because I was raised to be a lady (and ladies don't pummel rude women in the head with flying objects).

But that is awesome that you are so incredibly laid back. It's also awesome that your child fell 20ft and suffered absolutely no physical injuries. My daughter wasn't that lucky.

I don't LIKE being this way. I certainly don't do it to get attention I'm hilarious and prefer to get my attention via inappropriate jokes and well-written blog posts. It is not generally in my character to be so neurotic. I wish I could have just moved along without being affected in any way. It doesn't make me less laid back or less faithful. It makes me broken.

Please, don't use your "well-adjustedness" to shame me into feeling like I am "lesser" or "wanting."

PTSD is a path I am walking (you know, the one that God laid out for me before any of us came into existence). I don't expect others to understand how it feels. However, I do expect that we all give one another GRACE. In the Bible I read, It's kind of a big deal.

PTSD doesn't result from a lack of faith. It is not the result of giving into fear. It's not a sin. It's not a mere side-effect of not praying hard enough or disbelief. It does not make me a lesser Christian.

I believe. My daughter was brought back from the brink of death. I BELIEVE.

My brain is just a bit broken right now...and I'm glad for it. It brings me to a place of understanding my own weakness and leaning on a God who is so much bigger than I am.

It helps me empathize with others who are walking the same road...or a different road...whether their trauma be "great" or "small."

It means my heart is turning more into a heart of flesh...and is not hardened to those around me.

It means, God is bringing me out of a pit...and I'm thankful that He is ABLE.

So, like I said....the title of this blog series could have been anything.

The Day My Daughter Almost Died - The Day Our God Answered Our Prayers - The Day I took a $37K Helicopter Ride for a Bad Cup of Coffee - The Day I Got PTSD....

Peace be with you all today.

If you have experienced trauma and suspect that you may be suffering from PTSD, I would encourage you whole-heartedly to seek help from a professional. If someone you know is suffering from PTSD, give grace, speak kindly, and pray that God will work.


  1. I love you friend.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your openness and this reminder more than I could tell you in this little comment block. I'm so grateful that your daughter is doing well. I will be praying for you!