My Story: “Let’s Not Forget Those Who Suffer From Their Own Daily Battles”

Me and my brother

Me and my brother

Once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical, mental, emotional and spiritual harm occurred or was threatened. The impact of traumatic ordeals can cause intense helplessness, fear or horror when a person may have experienced a sexual or physical assault, unexpected death of a love one, an accident, natural disaster or war.

A PTSD sufferer may experience reactions that include shock, anger, fear, nervousness and even guilt, and these feelings do not just disappear overnight. They can become so strong that it keeps them from living a normal life and they cannot function as well as before the event occurred.

I do not suffer from PTSD, but my brother and daddy do. As a daughter and as sister it is painful to witness the pain that they are unable to escape from. From the way they interact with me and their view of themselves as a father, as a son, and even as citizens in society, it is debilitating for me to witness.

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Please, do not misconstrue my words, I am not talking bad or degrading my family members. No not at all. As a daughter and as a sister who first knew what it felt to love a man and what it means for a man to love me back, I feel absolutely helpless. It’s like watching my brother and daddy in a glass box and there is no way for me to reach them and no way for them to reach me. As I try to find the words to write this, I still can’t seem to describe the impact it has had on my life and my well-being.

To witness the sleepless nights, the upsets, and even the struggle to write their name on a sheet a paper is like witnessing a helpless child, with tears in his eyes, standing in front of a counter trying to reach his favorite stuffed animal. All you can do is rush over there and give it to them so that your child won’t have to suffer from the anxiety of not having it.

But not realizing that it’s that stuffed animal that keeps them safe at night. It is that stuffed animal that gives them joy, happiness and self-satisfaction. And it is that same stuffed animal that brings them peace when their world is in disarray.