Sunday, 14 July 2013

My Journey with PTSD

I had always known about my traumatic childhood and had had bits of counselling over the years. I hadn't really acknowledged the truth of the abuse or the impact it had on me. I sailed along in life, from relationship to relationship, job to job, country to country with it under pinning my life but never really dealing with it.

When Joseph was born I was a muddle. Past and present were merging and I spent a lot of the time feeling very confused. The one day the past and the present collided together.

Joseph was 3 weeks old. He was still in intensive care. I walked into the room and he was naked, prone, with F one of my favourite nurses doing a bowel manipulation as Joseph's bowels weren't working properly. My head started to bang, vomit rose in my throat and I fell into a chair. I couldn't breathe. My baby was being abused, just like I had been, and I had failed him. That was the voice in my head.  I had allowed my baby to be abused.

From that point on my brain started to fracture. I had the most graphic, distubing nightmares, my brain was completely messed up. I was abused all over again, Joseph was abused, I was abusing him, it was relentless. I had flashbacks, I was scared of strangers, people I knew, everything was a threat.  I sought help and had a bit of phone counselling, but I still hadn't really told anyone what the actual issue was.

When Joseph came home it got worse, not better. The voices were relentless in pursuing me. making me feel like Joseph hadn't been treated for prematurity, he had been abused, and it was my fault that I didn't keep him safe. That was at the heart of the PTSD. I was at baby massage one day and completely broke down in front of everyone. I felt ashamed and embarrassed but it prompted me to go to the GP. I had to be referred privately and I saw a psychiatrist who prescribed medication but also therapy as a day case.

I didn't have time for therapy, I didn't have time to really think about anything. I had no one to look after my baby and he wasn't permitted to attend with me. So I put it all aside again.

It was only in October 2012 that the Savile revelations forced the issue and I've set about really tackling it once and for all.

PTSD is horrible. It happens to women more than men. It's more prevelant in the general population than the forces. It's misunderstood.

It's not self indulgence, or the inability to process information and trauma. Its an illness and it can be treated.

And I am getting better. 


  1. No words, kylie...just gentle understanding. Such a brave, touching post. Xxx

  2. I think you are incredibly brave and incredibly strong - sending lots of hugs though because you can never have too many hugs!

  3. I suffered ptsd after the birth of my daughter, not because of the same reasons but because of the awful things that happened before, during and after her birth. Didn't fully hit me till a year after her birth when I fell pregnant with my 2nd. I thought I had 'recovered'. I had a breakdown and lost the ability to speak for a few weeks amongst other things. Very brave of you for posting this xx

  4. Forgot to say I am now completely cured after EMDR treatment

  5. Wow, as if having a tiny, premature baby wasn't enough. Well done for surviving and coping so well.