PTSD Spirituality: Funding for the Film “Trauma”

I received a request from Steven Kelleher to spread the word about the film “Trauma.” His query is reproduced further below and is worth your time. I also lifted the following paragraph from the film’s website:

“A US Medevac unit rescues wounded soldiers and civilians, swooping into battlefields in war-torn Afghanistan and ferrying the critically injured back to awaiting Forward Surgical Teams. They work fast and they save lives. Arriving home after each tour, their struggle becomes reconciling the persistent memory of war with that of everyday life in America.”[Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Sick of PTSD, But Our Lives Still Have Value

I’ve been physically sick again.  Flu and PTSD memories make a lousy combination.  I’ve been busy trying to write down more of my own personal PTSD experiences.  I’ve been writing partly for the VA and partly for my children.  The VA has their purposes.  The writing of my personal trauma legacy for my kids, who[Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: “For Wounded Vet, Love Pierces the Fog of War” in WSJ

Surviving traumatic events changes our lives and our relationships.  Beyond the pharmaceuticals and physical therapy there lays the extra something that is needed to better survive – and perhaps heal some aspects – of our PTSD soul wounds.  Love is one of the necessary ingredients to a successful journey with PTSD.  This is true for those who have military-induced PTSD and it is also true for those who have survived trauma as a civilian. [Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Prayerful Healing is a Sanctification Opportunity.

Human beings afflicted with PTSD’s soul wound often find themselves in denial.  They often self-medicate in ways that further damage their health, spirituality, and relationships.  Even after we stop denying we have PTSD we are still often trapped in a cycle of coping that just digs a deeper hole for us to be buried within.  While we ought to embrace the medical side of PTSD treatments, we ought to also embrace a way to strip off some of the PTSD-tar from our souls.  We need some way to reconnect to the image and likeness of God that dwells within each of us.  The PTSD-Identity desires us to forget and deny that we have any connection to the divine, to the Light and Love that is God.  How do we reclaim our soul’s Light and Love from the alienation produced by PTSD?[Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Finding Redemption in Our Stories and Our Art

I read a powerful essay by a Marine Corps Captain who reflected on his service in Afghanistan. CPT Timothy Kudo notes the apparent disconnect most Americans have between what happens in the States and what our military must contend with in Afghanistan.  While his observations are certainly true concerning how “normal Americans” (whoever they are) can’t grasp [Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Creating Artwork, Poetry, and Music… Despite PTSD

Artwork and craft possess important healing aspects when it comes to PTSD.   From a theological perspective, anytime we create, we bring our souls into contact with the divine, the numinous, what I as a traditional Roman Catholic think of as the Holy Spirit, and what many of my non-Catholic friends think of as The Creative Force, or Ultimate Reality.  Regardless of how we choose to define this supernatural “Other,” it remains a force of Love – and love helps us to survive PTSD and at times even thrive within our PTSD.  But anyone who has ever tried to compose, draw, or play an instrument, knows that sometimes the creative flow that bathes us in life and love can seem rather distant and dry.  Is it possible to touch this Ultimate Love when we are in the midst of a PTSD episode or anxiety about PTSD in general?[Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Isolation and Grace (Preliminary Thoughts)

PTSD is insidious in its effort to make us think we are alone in our suffering.  It is true that we are often neglected in this suffering by others, but we are never the only ones who are suffering.  Even in a locked room, or some sort of solitary confinement, we are never alone as the Community of God is with us.  If we are unaware of this, or fall into the interrogator’s snare that says we are alone and that no one knows or cares about our suffering, then the PTSD can harm us even more than usual. [Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: PTSD, Elite and Joe Normal

The stalking horse of PTSD made several guest appearances over the last several days.  In the grey land that encourages one to despair of ever seeing hope on the horizon, this last weekend has been a blessing and a curse.  The curse was provided from several angles that ranged from the [Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Veteran’s Courts, PTSD, and a Developing Sensibility

Many veterans with PTSD are trying to end their suffering through a method called “Suicide by Cop.” This is where a PTSD afflicted individual causes a “man with a gun” notification to go out over police radio. The police respond, there is a standoff, the PTSD person then points or fires his weapon at the police, and they kill him. It is a form of suicide generated by the PTSD-Identity. Sometimes the PTSD afflicted person will even yell out “Shoot Me!” to the police. In today’s[Continue Reading…]

PTSD Spirituality: Yesterdays, Today, and Tomorrows

Granted that the Beatles did not write a song called “All of
My Yesterdays, Todays, and Tomorrows,” I kinda wish they had.  This year, my PTSD journey could be called by that title.  I am reminded of this by a comment a Vietnam Veteran left and that I have heard from many other Vietnam veterans.  It goes something like this: [Continue Reading…]