symptoms of PTSD affects of PTSD at night nightmares disassociation avoidance

Living Through the Darkest Nights Alongside PTSD

The days might be long, or perhaps they’re not quite long enough. Sometimes dark and gloomy, and I walk robotically through the steps until I find tomorrow. Sometimes sunny and bright, and I wrap my hands around the possibilities like a hot cup of tea. Sometimes filled with too many jobs and running on too […]

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connecting as mothers from very different backgrounds

Yesterday We Seemed a World Apart, but Today We Are Both Just Mothers

You are a patient. Just one of many in an already-overwhelmed system, following the protocols, ticking the little boxes on crisp white paper. And I am a healthcare professional, submerged in the same system, following the same protocols, ticking a corresponding row of little boxes on crisp white paper. You are my patient. Walking through the pharmacy’s brightly lit […]

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becoming the mother of a other grandmother grandparent

When I First Became the Mother of a Mother

I had been a mother for a little over eight years when I first became the mother of a mother. I felt more than ready. I felt confident, even. But after we moved to our rural property and welcomed a very spirited rescue kitten into our family, I would soon come to realise that I was not at […]

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Holwell Gorge walking track Tasmania Australia

Making Memories in the Tasmanian Wilderness

It was one of those special days. The kind where the people you love the most are all around, ready to spend the day together. The kind where the sun seems to be shining just for you. An idea was planted, a course was selected, and a determined group of eight set out for a day in […]

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trying to turn the page on a difficult life

Reflecting on the End of a Chapter Scarred by PTSD

The late afternoon sun is blinding. I have to shut my eyes against the glare, though I don’t bother moving my chair away from the fierce rays. It is, at best, a mediocre excuse in case my kids happen to notice that I’m crying. They don’t. They’re having too much fun playing mermaid and pirate […]

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teaching life lessons to children students daughter

How a School Teacher’s Wedding Became a Beautiful Lesson

On a gusty Friday afternoon, with our umbrellas in hand, my 8-year-old daughter and I braved unseasonal heavy downpours to attend a very special wedding. I remember, as an 8-year-old girl, being enthralled by everything to do with weddings. The flowers, the romance, the fairytales, and especially the bridal dresses. My daughter is just as fascinated with weddings, and was […]

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The Night Our Sick Child Triggered the PTSD Beast

It likes to visit in the early hours after midnight, cutting through the hush of night so abruptly, so intensely, it will not be ignored for a second. But ignoring it never crosses our minds when we wake suddenly to the cries of his distress. With three children, it’s far from the first time we’ve […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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how PTSD can overshadow an entire family and children

Bracing Our Children for a Lifetime of PTSD

It has been almost five years since my husband was diagnosed with PTSD. In a lot of ways, it feels like a lifetime. For our children, it has literally been their lifetime. What do they remember? I knew my husband for nine years before his official diagnosis. However I really only knew my husband for five years […]

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the butterfly effect of waiting a few minutes

We Waited Just 3 Minutes and it Changed Our Whole Day with PTSD

In our house, on a school morning, we get up at precisely 7:03am. We had previously trialled a more sensibly rounded time of 7:00am for a little while, but after some early problems, I decided to reassess our schedule. Confused? Let me explain… PTSD brings with it a myriad of wonderfully crippling symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, insomnia, nightmares, intrusions […]

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