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Those Who Remain

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Those Who Remain by Ruth W. Crocker

In 1969, Ruth’s husband was killed in Vietnam. In her memoir, she describes her struggle to overcome her loss from a war that no one wanted to even talk about. After many years, she began to feel a compulsion to write down her story. Ruth found the process of “writing her memoir and looking for her personal ‘truth’ immensely restorative.”

Ruth has become a firm believer in the effect writing can have on healing from loss. Currently, she holds writing workshops for members of the Gold Star Wives of America. A Gold Star Wife is one who has lost her husband to combat as Ruth did. By her own statement, Ruth will be using the new book Expressive Writing: Words that Heal as the textbook for her upcoming workshops.

For more information on Expressive Writing: Words that Heal and the healing power of expressive writing, click below:

http://www.idyllarbor.com/agora.cgi?p_id=B712&xm=on

To view the very powerful and moving trailer for Ruth’s book, please visit youtube and search for thosewhoremain.

Why Taxpayers Should Cover PTSD Treatment for Veterans by Lori Barnes

DSC_0077Every veteran suicide just breaks my heart and makes me angry. I’ve been hearing recently that some in the medical and military communities are claiming that those coming home with PTSD must have been damaged in some way beforehand. I don’t agree. I think a lot of our soldiers coming home with PTSD had gentle, kind hearts to begin with that are now heavy with fear and guilt. They can’t help it. In America, for the most part, we all have kind, gentle lives. We aren’t war torn. We really don’t know what it’s like to fear for our lives and those of our children every day.

The military takes these basically kind people and puts them through basic training. They are all treated like dogs regardless of whom they are or where they come from. Once they are all at their lowest, the drill sergeants begin to bring them back up together to make them one cohesive unit, equal on all terms. This is necessary. Continue reading and add your comment

Safety of Mental Health Records by Lori Barnes

dsc_0092I believe I mentioned in a previous blog that one of the reasons I never sought treatment for my PTSD was my fear of my daughters ever seeing my mental health records. I did not want them to know what I had been through. I wanted to protect them from the ugliness, but, if I’m honest, I mainly wanted to protect their image of me. As I’ve told you before, I am the rock upon which they all lean.

I’ve come to realize that a strong, steady rock is great for them to lean upon as they learn to stand on their own and handle their own crises. On the other hand, a damaged, cracked rock is a dangerous foundation upon which to lean. Everyone knows that the first thing you look at when buying a house is the foundation. You want to know how long that house will stand. The solid one will stand for years and yet the cracked one could crumble tomorrow. Providing my children with a cracked rock upon which to lean is not safe for them.

What are they really learning from me? That no one can be trusted? That hideous things wait around every corner? That pain and humiliation are part of a healthy life? It is these questions that spurred me into therapy. I’ve since talked with my girls and told them what I experienced — told them as much as each needed to hear. One didn’t want to hear anything. It was enough for her to know that I had experienced something hideous which partly created the person I am today. My other daughter? She wanted to dig into all the details and examine each one. This is who they are and how they are different.

I’ve quit worrying about my mental health records. I know that one daughter will never request to see them and the other no longer needs to. I can simply concentrate on my therapy. I accept that the crack will always be there but I can steadfastly work on fixing it with the mortar that comes from my therapy.

You want to know the best thing? Both my girls thought even more of me for having the courage to tell them and for having the courage to seek help.

Recently I read an article about some researchers who are trying to study PTSD. They have requested to use the medical records of soldiers from the Civil War. Their request was denied. I’m not sure if I should be upset that the lack of access to these records might have prevented important research into PTSD or to be happy that the Civil War veterans’ records are so strongly protected. It gives me hope that mine would be sacrosanct.

Legislation is now being considered to allow access to these types of records 50 years after the person’s death. Personally, I’d like to see it be 75 years.

To read the entire article click here.