FLASHBACKS IN POST TRAUMATIC
TUESDAY – DAY TWO
Barb: Hello Leslie and Good Friends,
It’s Tuesday already and I’m glad to see everyone so chipper and ready to hear more of your miraculous story of how you are recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Leslie.. God has showered much mercy and grace on your life and the lives of your family. You are glorifying him by helping others have victory over this disorder. I know it’s not always easy and we’ve had several wonderful generous comments sent in to you since yesterday cheering you on. I hope they are of great encouragement to you….I know they must be.
Leslie: I am so excited that we are getting responses. Most of the responses on my blog are intended for the blog discussion I leave open for their comments. I invite anyone to my website and blog if they are interested in learning even more about PTSD. I will provide my email address also if anyone would care to write me.
Barb: We’ll hopefully have many that will check your sites out for further information. Leslie, yesterday, we concluded our discussion when I asked you a question. I remember not being able to respond aptly about the childhood trauma you had suffered. I asked you how you became aware of the possibility that you were suffering from PTSD. I still want you to respond to that question, but perhaps we should fill our readers in on some of the terms you have used to describe your situation. I’m glad you’re so familiar with the psychology of what you’ve gone through, but personally, I would like a bit of background on what the terms conversion and somatization; as well as EMDR and Brainspotting mean. PTSD is terrifying enough to be its victim, and I’m not familiar with what conversion and somatization disorders are? Can you please explain them so our readers can have an understanding of them?
Leslie: Gladly, Conversion Disorder is when your body is affected by your anxiety level and will start showing you life threatening symptoms. This is a way to protect anyone’s mind from breaking down and instead your body gives out. For example, I had all the symptoms of a stroke. I lost my memory, numbness in head, face, hands, legs, couldn’t speak or read, didn’t know where I was, forgot I had my 15 month old son with me, and didn’t recognize my husband. I also didn’t know who the president was, my address or what year it was. It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced.
Somatization is having the real symptoms of a stroke and the doctor’s test results come back normal. They are unable to diagnose me with any illness. So from a doctor’s point of view, I am either lying about my symptoms or I am a hypochondriac. That was when I wasn’t diagnosed. I found a psychiatrist that knew what was wrong with my health problems and finally diagnosed me with the disorders. I thought I was going crazy. I was so thankful for the diagnoses because I kept what was happening to me a secret for 11 years suffering by myself. My husband and I finally understand what is happening so I can cope better to each situation.
However, I asked my Psychiatrist “How will I know when the symptoms are for real?” His response was I won’t. So If I ever experience life threatening symptoms like a stroke or have chest pain like a heart attack, I have to go to the emergency room to be checked out. He told me that the more that I have my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder under control the better the other two disorders will be. So I need to be careful not to get too stressed out and make sure I take my medications on time so my PTSD stays in control.
Barb: Thank you. That puts a light on this subject for me and I’m pleased you shared that in such an understandable manner. I asked you before how you became aware of the possibility that you were suffering from PTSD. We’ll ask for your explanation of EMDR and Brainspotting after we hear your answer. Is that ok with you….this won’t throw you off the subject, will it? LOL
Leslie: Won’t bother me at all. My symptoms started out with panic attacks, zoning out, dizzy spells, staying up all night worrying about things that were out of my control and nightmares. I was afraid to be alone and paranoid someone was trying to kill me.
My symptoms progressed and I couldn’t control my emotions anymore. I was constantly yelling at my children because my PTSD symptoms were so out of control. The loud noises, smells, repeating of words would bother me deeply. I would scream for everyone to be quiet! They looked at me so strange because my husband would say “we are not being loud, honey.” When you have PTSD you have a lot of sensitivities such as smell, hearing, touch, sight, because one thing can trigger you back to a memory of your abuse. My sensitivity to someone touching me affected my relationship with my daughters and husband.
This was so sad because my daughter was 12 years old at the time and was unable to hug me without it triggering me because it gave me flashbacks to my ex-husband’s abuse. If she first asked for a hug, it was fine but the minute she just hugged me without asking me first it would trigger me back to being raped and having my choices taken away. This lasted for three years until I received therapy in 2010.
For my other daughter,11 years old at the time, her yelling and her temper would intimidate me because my ex-husband would get angry and punch holes in the walls so it would give me flashbacks to his angry outbursts and abuse.
I was forced to go into to therapy because my health started to decline with my Conversation and Somatization Disorders. When I had EMDR therapy it triggered rape memories, and me, at the age of 14 years old, would surface. I, 14 year old, was unable to sleep and feel safe with my husband so I slept in my four year old son’s bedroom for months. Then with the help of intense therapy I was able to learn to talk to the child within that was being triggered.
I as the adult knew my husband, whom I have been with for 11 years, was safe but the 14 years old rape victim would surface each time we enter the bedroom. My adult self was able to help her realize that my husband was safe. It is so strange having PTSD because I am the adult but when triggered I feel the child victim’s feelings and react as if she would as a frightened child. The whole time I am aware of what is going on but it is hard to control my body and actions. People would think this means I am crazy but it doesn’t it is different parts of myself stuck in the past that gets triggered by people, environment, smells, touch, sound, flashbacks and body memories.
In order to get the each part of myself unstuck, I have to nurture and love the child within so she can heal. Anything the child within didn’t experience my adult self has provided it. So in my case I had parental neglect, physical, emotional abuse, rape and molestation. The adult self has to convince the child within, while triggered, that she is safe, loved, protected, her needs are being met, etc. The EMDR, Brainspotting, Eco State, Resource Building, Positive Imagery, and Art Therapies help to release and reprocess the trauma memories that when triggered feel like they are in the present and reprocess the memories so the triggers disappear. When the triggers disappear for a certain situation then that means my brain recognizes that the threat happened in the past and can no longer hurt me.
Barb Too Incredible! Leslie, it really is a miracle that you survived all of this terror. This was all going on with you, your friend and your sisters. That is horrible. Somewhere…maybe it’s what I remember reading in the Bible…that the truth will out. God knew your unhappiness and tempestuous childhood and now as an adult, he is healing you. He obviously knew your limit of “taking it” had been reached.
Leslie: I do praise my Father in heaven for knowing me and interceding in my situation. I have too many instances I could relate to you, but I’m a different person now, and I don’t need to keep reliving the bad times in my past.
Barb: That is marvelous, Leslie. I think you have worked hard today explaining things. If it’s alright with you, lets stop now and plan on you explaining how EMDR AND Brainspotting have been used in your therapy. I’m fascinated with everything you say and can’t wait to hear more of your story.
Leslie: That’s fine, Barb. With this break, I can do a little brushing up on how to explain those therapies. I hope everyone that has come in to read this will return tomorrow. I look forward to it.
Barb: Your concern for others affected by this diabolical disorder is quite evident and I applaud your efforts and interest in helping others injured and emotionally hurt by this trauma. Readers can be sure of finding your web address at the end of our interview. Oh, and folks, Leslie informed me that her radio interview is up on the LATalkRadio station, That’s Max & Friends. Go to the website below, and scroll to the bottom of Max’s page to find the replay schedule, click on the show you want to replay and listen.The psychologist on the show with Leslie was Kathy Z. (http://www.latalkradio.com/Max.php)
Thank you for dropping by today. Please return again tomorrow for the third episode in my interview with Leslie Raddatz. She will be explaining more about EMDR and Brainspotting as well as more of her story.
Have a Blessed Day,
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
*Responses from States/Countries:
POSTED TO LESLIE’S WEBSITE: www.silencednolonger.com
USA– Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Florida, Oregon, Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Virginia, Tennessee, New York, Ohio, Arkansas, Washington, Maine, Arizona, New Jersey, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Minnesota, Alabama, North Dakota and Iowa, Mexico. Canada, Brazil, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Europe -Iceland, Russia, UK, Australia- Australia, Asia-Iran, India, Philippines, Hong Kong, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Africa– Kenya, Nigeria
POSTED TO LESLIE’S BLOG: www.silencednolonger.blogspot.com
United States, Russia, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Malaysia, France, Italy, Ukraine, Brazil, Romania, Ireland, Japan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Pakistan, Jamaica, Netherlands, China, Spain, Uganda, Mexico, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, India, Kenya, and Latvia, Oman, Nigeria, Thailand, Georgia, Australia, Poland, Indonesia, Columbia, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Philippines, South Africa, Saudi Arabia
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Leslie’s Blog: www.silencednolonger.blogspot.com
Leslie’s Website: www.silencednolonger.com