LESLIE RADDATZ INTERVIEW
Barb: Hello friends, It is my privilege to introduce my friend, Leslie Raddatz. Leslie, welcome. I’m so pleased to do this interview with you. You have quite a story to tell.
Leslie: Thank you so much Barb for having me. Yes, it is exciting to know that I have written a memoir that will help many victims, survivors and their loved ones all over the world to understand my three disorders.
Barb: Leslie has overcome a crippling disorder that has destroyed many lives and affected families all over the world. Being a disease that seems to be unique and recognized as what can happen to an individual following extreme trauma. Leslie, please inform us about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), what it is and what causes it.
Leslie: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that can result in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else close to us; or to one’s self or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity.
Barb: You are to be commended, Leslie, this is a tremendous undertaking for you. It is obvious to me and everyone who knows and meets you that the Lord is with you. Jesus must be very concerned about this entire tragedy and he has assigned you a big job. I’m excited for you. When did you know your past experiences were needed to help others?
Leslie: I started my blog and website the last week of November 2011 and have reached many people all over the world. Some have chatted with me on facebook and some privately by email. I have received testimonials from the survivors I have already helped. I have been honest and open with them when they had questions and also suggested coping skills that worked for me. I was impressed to find out that one of the survivors I helped was referred by my psychiatrist to check out my website and blog.
Barb: You’ve mentioned to me that you’ve received amazing response from your blog and website. Break that down a bit for us.
Leslie: People have accessed my website (http://www.silencednolonger.com/) from thirty-six states in America, about seventeen nations or countries, and five continents. People have accessed my blog (http://silencednolonger.blogspot.com) from forty-one countries around the world. I feel very humbled by all the response – it came overwhelmingly fast. *
Barb: Leslie, I can’t hold this back any longer, I just really need to throw this right in about you being interviewed on the Max & Friends (Max Tucci) show on LA Talk Radio last evening. I’m so impressed with your presentation and chat with Max. Hearing what you said helped me understand what you’ve been through and how you have approached your recovery. I had tears in my eyes – your life seemed so unreal – but the sad part is that it’s true: and as Max said…the past does not define who you are now. You were joined on the show by Kathy Lee Parker and I’m not sure if she is a psychologist, but she has also written a book on this subject. I enjoyed the conversation you and she had with Max.
Leslie: Oh yes…thank you, I’m so glad you listened. If others would like to listen, they can go to (http://www.latalkradio.com/Max.php) that is Max & Friends page. Scroll to the bottom of that page and find a schedule of shows to replay. It was a wonderful experience, an encouraging experience to say the least.
Barb: Oh, great. Thank you for adding that. I hope many of you will listen to the show. As a matter of fact…..Leslie is here to tell us about the book she has written and soon to be published. The title of her book is “FLASHBACKS IN POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: SURVIVING THROUGH THE FLOOD.” Leslie, what prompted you to author a book about such a complex subject?
Leslie: I am a survivor of severe childhood neglect, physical and emotional abuse, rape and molestation. I have PTSD, Conversion and Somatization Disorders. Unknown to me at the time, I was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Conversion and Somatization disorders for 11 years. It didn’t affect me until I was 23 years old when I began having panic attacks. It took a lot of time away from my family, personal happiness, ruined my health and personal power while keeping my abusers’ secrets safe. When I started to receive therapy and my repressed memories started to surface with the help of EMDR and Brainspotting therapy. It became overwhelming because instead of memories slowly surfacing the memories surfaced too fast which my therapist called flooding. So my book started out as a coping skill of journaling my feelings during and after panic attacks and trigger episodes, and also after each therapy session. I decided why let others suffer through it while being fearful of what is happening to them. So I decided to change the format into a book and made that my focus throughout my therapy. I made it my personal mission to help others so they don’t have to go through the emergency stages of healing alone.
Barb: Have any of your responders offered help and advice to you as you reach out to victims? How would you know what to do first with such speedy results of people responding to your blog and website?
Leslie: Oh yes, Blair Corbett, Executive Director for the Ark of Hope (http://www2.children.org) invited me to become a Facilitator for the Justice for All Revolution (justiceforallrevolution.com ). The website has 19 live chat rooms for victims of rape, molestation, addicts, mental illness, child and adult abuse and more. If you go to the website, and select Team, Facilitators, you will see my photo and my profile to read about my story.
Barb: Oh, Leslie…I’m not quite sure what to respond ….you’ve had terrible upheaval in your childhood. How did you become aware of the possibility that you were suffering from PTSD?