what to say to a first time mother bonding with newborn baby child

5 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Pregnant Self

I saw myself today. And at first, I didn’t even realise it was me. She was huddled against the cold of winter in thick folds of grey and black, stepping carefully out of the car. Her husband – one hand closing the door, the other instinctively, lovingly, resting on the small of her back – said something […]

Continue reading
how to explain suicide mental illness to children child kids

How I Explain the Raw Truths of PTSD to My Children

It was meant to be a good day. A day full of positive distractions. A day of moving forward with new ambitions. The type of day when we least expect PTSD triggers to strike. The type of day that we both happily let our guard down. Though maybe it was because of that, when the intrusions unexpectedly began to flood […]

Continue reading
helping your children child kids take responsibility for their own mood happiness

How Ignoring Your Child Can Improve Their Happiness

The best thing I did today was ignore my son. Yes, it’s true that he’s unable to fix his own meals, true that he can’t manage to dress himself, and true that he can’t even go to the toilet on his own. Yes, it’s also true that I am my son’s main carer, but today I […]

Continue reading
how to explain PTSD mental illness to children kids

What I Tell My Children About Their Father’s PTSD

“Mummy, why is Daddy so angry?” I feel my throat tighten as familiar tears prick at the corner of my eyes. My daughter sobs into her pillow, she doesn’t see me trying to empty my face of the distress that rattles me. The turbulence of my husband’s anger still hangs in the air, even though […]

Continue reading
recovering from PTSD mental illness has to come from you the inside

Recovering from PTSD Can Only Begin with One Person

I’ve heard it time and time again. Though, admittedly, it has always seemed quite abstract to me. But now it’s becoming a very real and very bitter pill to swallow. I can no longer avoid the truth. No matter how much I wish, no matter how much I persuade, no matter how much I present my […]

Continue reading
if only PTSD was as simple as an intolerance of the cause

No, My Husband Doesn’t Have PTSD, He is Just Ambulance-Intolerant

It has been a pleasant distraction this week, after five years of supporting my husband in his hazy world of relentless PTSD, which has no clearly defined approach or guaranteed treatment options, to concentrate instead on a completely different medical problem. My son’s vague set of ongoing health complaints has finally delivered us to the paediatrician this […]

Continue reading
family fun jokes at meal time dinner time

The Night Our Kids Discovered That We’re Awesome

At a time that is usually bristling with stress and anger, is there anything better than an impromptu moment of hilarity with your children? Dinner time. And a special treat for dessert that night – a few tasty sweets each. Predictably, our three kids each selected and devoured their sweet quotas in an instant. Their […]

Continue reading
remembering the good times

I Still Need to Hear That Voice

Every time I call my husband and he doesn’t pick up, I’m taken back to a good place. A better time. Because when he doesn’t pick up, his voice mail does. Just a simple, to-the-point greeting, recorded many years ago. Many tears ago.

Continue reading
three candles for PTSD anniversary

The Day We Light Three Candles

August is our month. The month when I try not to notice the date. In two weeks it will be our day to light three candles. One for a paramedic, courageous in the face of a nightmare, who was broken not only by that day, but by so many yesterdays too.

Continue reading
pretending to be normal pretending to be happy

We Are Trying So Hard to Be Just as Normal as You

Sometimes, PTSD rains down on us. Just like a storm hits, unforeseen. We have no choice. We weather it. But the rain passes, eventually, and the ground begins to dry. Or does it? The next day, we desperately wait for the sun to come out so we don’t have to think about the storm that crossed […]

Continue reading
the real honest facts about PTSD in a family home

The Real Truth About What PTSD Can Look Like in Our Home

It was 22:34 when I arrived home from my evening at book club. My one routine night out, for a welcome few hours of diversion, laughter and friends. It was 22:36 when I realised the house was silent and still. Empty, but for the slumbering children. No sign of the husband I had farewelled earlier in the evening. It […]

Continue reading