Showing posts with label PTSD books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PTSD books. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2022

The Scribe, Ministers Of The Mystery Book One

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 21, 2022

In the last few posts I put up, I wrote about having to go back into therapy to heal from the loss of my best friend Gunny. I wasn't just dealing with grief but having a hard time understanding how the book I was writing was causing me spiritual turmoil. For most of my life, no matter what happened, I tried to look on the positive side but by editing the last book, I was more connected to the darker parts of the story.

When I told my therapist, she suggested I go with what I was drawn to instead of trying to fight it, and then I'd be able to connect better with the positive side. She was right. It worked. I finished editing the 13th Minister Of The Mystery and realized why I had such a hard time with the other books. I was trying to fit in with what most people consider "Christian" books instead of writing what I believed. I mean, considering these books were intended for people that do not go to church or belong to any kind of organized religious body, it felt fake to me.

The truth is that I no longer attended church services because I didn't feel as if I belonged there, I shouldn't try to fit in with what churchgoers thought. After all, the majority of the people I helped over the last 4 decades, didn't go to church even though the majority believed in God and most believed Jesus was His Son, as much as they believed in the Holy Spirit. Different religious groups believe differently about the subject of the Holy Trinity and have their own rules set by humans. They base what they preach on what they want their people to know and believe what they want them to believe. Whenever I addressed the spiritual connection to healing PTSD, it was all based on the Bible intended to empower them and not indoctrinate them into what I believed.

So here are some facts in case you're wondering if you are alone or not. This is from PRRI

The Rise of the “Nones” Slows
Disaffiliating white Christians have fueled the growth of the religiously unaffiliated during this period. Only 16% of Americans reported being religiously unaffiliated in 2007; this proportion rose to 19% by 2012, and then gained roughly a percentage point each year from 2012 to 2017. Reflecting the patterns above, the proportion of religiously unaffiliated Americans hit a high point of 26% in 2018 but has since slightly declined, to 23% in 2020.
The increase in proportion of religiously unaffiliated Americans has occurred across all age groups but has been most pronounced among young Americans. In 1986, only 10% of those ages 18–29 identified as religiously unaffiliated. In 2016, that number had increased to 38%, and declined slightly in 2020, to 36%.

The other thing is, within those attending churches, not all belong to the same church body. Anyone suggesting that this is a Christian nation should have to offer a disclaimer that there are many different beliefs under that title and they do so because they do not all agree on doctrine. I was raised in Eastern Orthodox (Greek) faith. This shows the difference. Live Science
Why does Christianity have so many denominations?
Then, in 1054, the Eastern Orthodox Christians split from the Western Roman Catholics in what's known as the Great Schism. The two groups disagreed on the taking of the sacraments — religious symbols believed to transmit divine grace to the believer. Furthermore, the Eastern Orthodox Christians disagreed with the Roman beliefs that priests should remain celibate and that the Roman pope had authority over the head of the Eastern church, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
There was even a temporary schism, known as the Western Schism, within the Catholic Church itself in 1378, when two men, and eventually a third, claimed to be the true papal heir. The division lasted almost 40 years, and by the time it was resolved in 1417, the rivaling popes had significantly damaged the reputation (opens in new tab) of the papal office.
Despite this handful of schisms, the Catholic Church successfully suppressed other potential Christian offshoots "partly by sustained persecution [including] actual military expeditions against some labelled heretics, but then also a new system of enquiries into people's beliefs, called inquisitions. With the backing of secular rulers, heretics might be burned at the stake or forced into denying their beliefs," MacCulloch told Live Science via email.
I went back and rewrote The Lost Son Series. It didn't make sense to me anymore. I'm relieved that only a few people read them. Most of the ones that did liked the storyline but some said the Bible passages trapped up the story. Some were even offended by them. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. it meant that the very people I was trying to reach, wouldn't want to read them.

Now the first two episodes are up on Kindle Vella. 

The Scribe, book one of Ministers Of The Mystery (You can read the first two for free)

September 13, 2019, the gates of hell groaned open waiting for Chris Papadopoulos to make his final, fatal decision. It started to feel as if his life was a horror novel the ghost of Thomas Aquinas would have started and Edgar Allan Poe was put in charge of the ending. Little did he know how right he was. The book evil forces feared most was in his hands but he forgot he had it.


He went to church while growing up in Salem MA until he was heading left for LA to become a reporter. After surviving many events covering major events, getting wounded, and surviving an attempted murder, he thought God was a vindictive SOB. How many times have you thought the same thing when you tried to do the right thing and saw your life go to hell? I know there were times when I had those same thoughts but they didn't last long.

Surviving what causes PTSD is a lot like that. It hits you when you least expect it and thankfully, the chance to heal comes when you least expect it, and all too often, when you least believe you deserve to be happier. That is exactly what Chris goes through. He didn't realize that what happened to him, also deeply affected his friends. He didn't understand how all of them were struggling to heal too until they began to open up so they could help him heal the way they did.

I believe PTSD strikes the core of who we are. It's an assault on our souls and spreads out to take over our lives until we find the right weapons to defeat it. If you ever hear someone talk about the demon when they have PTSD, that is exactly what we all have to fight and the best way to do that is by understanding what it is, why you have it, what it does to you, and then kicking its ass. Once you understand you do have the power to take its power away, mental health therapy works wonders but when you add in spiritual help, you have a fuller recovery and can come out on the other side of this darkness maybe even better than you were before "it" happened to you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

I hugged myself today!


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 4, 2022

Last month I wrote about how I realized that I couldn't hug myself. I still had compassion for other people but didn't have any for myself. It showed in the book I was editing. The 13th Minister Of The Mystery is part three in The Lost Son Series. After going back into therapy to heal from grief, it started to work enough that I found the courage to submit it to publishers and agents. Huge for me! The last time I tried that was back in 2000 when I wrote For The Love Of Jack. An author, who was brilliant, talented, and a genius when it came to PTSD, even tried to help me find a publisher. No luck. I ended up self-publishing it and have been self-publishing ever since.

If you don't know what authors go through trying to find a publisher or agent, it is an arduous process, to say the least. Each one wants things done differently. Sometimes I think was easier to write three books in a year. This last one is over 115,000 words. Then you wait for rejections. It's like waiting for a broken bone to heal. As bad as that is, more publishers and agents won't even bother to respond. So far, it's been more silence than rejections, but at least the rejections end the torment.

There was one of them that I had great hopes in and, to tell the truth, I was hopeful to check my email every day until the rejection came. At least they wished me luck as I cried. Because of the therapy, I was able to finally, mercifully, hug myself when I read it. It may not seem like such a big deal to reach the point when I had compassion for myself, but it was something I couldn't do all year. I also had a huge glass of wine with dinner.

Maybe that's the best message I can give right now. I am still healing but not having the ability to have compassion for myself was in the way of my healing. When you have PTSD, that can happen to you too. After you survive, you go through a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. I remember one second I felt lucky to have survived and in the next moment I felt like a large because it happened to me. The "why me" question worked both ways. Why did I survive and why did it happen to me at all followed did God save me or did He do it to me in the first place? When I stopped asking why it happened, the most important question of all had to be, "what do I do about it now?"

I answered that one by learning all I could until I understood what came with the trauma and what came afterward with surviving it. To know how much power I had to define the rest of my life as a survivor, I think was the most empowering thing of all. Even more, comfort came when I learned that trauma and PTSD do not just happen to people that fight wars, but end up fighting the war within themselves. One part of your head tells you that you deserve to suffer, and that comes when you think God did it to you. The other side is telling you that you survived for a reason and that comes when you think God saved you. For me, in the ten times I survived, it was a battle between the two forces topped off with expecting people to understand that surviving changes all of us, no matter to what degree we go through.

That's what I put into these books. Admittedly, I did change the ending of the 13th Minister Of The Mystery as I began to heal. The main character is male but is a lot like me fighting the same battles I did. Ok, all of the characters are either chunks of me or me I wish I could be. Once I was able to hug myself, Chris started to be able to do the same thing and accept the changes he had been through for a greater purpose than he ever dreamt of.

All of us can too! Oh, btw, that isn't the book cover since I'm still waiting to hear from some more agents and publishers, but I wanted to play around in Photoshop.


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lies they told you about PTSD


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 2, 2022

Get over it! It's all in your head! You're mentally weak! No one wants to hear about it! You should be ashamed of yourself if you let it get to you! It's time to move on! Don't be such a baby! You can't have PTSD because you're not a veteran! 

How many times have you heard a boat load of crap after you survived something that could have killed you, coming out of the mouths of people when their worst problem is someone got their order wrong at McDonald's? Don't expect them to understand and don't expect the media to tell you the truth. It's gotten to the point where I'm impressed when a report actually covers #PTSD in non-veterans. That's pretty sad.

As a fellow survivor, researcher, and advocate, I've heard all the stuff for four decades and I'm sick and tired of it because it keeps getting repeated. What doesn't get repeated often enough is the truth. The only way to get the truth into the minds of those needing to hear it is to expose the lies.

Let's start with the biggest lie of all. 

You can't have PTSD because you're not a veteran! 

The truth is, the rest of us know that surviving traumatic events produces residual effects because Vietnam veterans returned from combat and forced the government to research it and add it to the disabilities they compensate for. It never goes away but because of research, we know that it does not have to retain power over the rest of our lives as survivors.

Other jobs cause PTSD because of traumatic events piling onto what the jobs caused while living as a citizen. Civilians get PTSD from every traumatic event responders respond to but the responders cannot see that fact.

What are the jobs other than combat? Law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, non-deployed members of the National Guards and Reservists, doctors, nurses, members of the clergy, and yes even reporters

The truth is, no matter what caused it, survivors of trauma can end up in the PTSD club no one wants to join, even from just one event. It isn't how many events we escape. It is the one that caused the demon of PTSD to penetrate.

Non-survivors don't get it, because the only way to enter into the world of PTSD is as a survivor. When they tell you what they think, it is based on their usual lives. Survivors live with the unusualness of seeing their sense of life as they knew it becomes a foreign land of unknowns.

They want to "fix" you by saying what they think you need to hear about what they think you need to do. They don't know common sense no longer applies because what you're living with, what hitched a ride in your life, is far from common.

When you hear there is no cure for PTSD, which is true, if you settle for that, then there is no hope of a better life. Yet, when they tell you you do have power over the rest of your life, that clues you in on the simple, basic facts, that life can become a lot better and happier than it is at your worst moments.

Common sense then becomes empowerment because you are aware of all the treatments, therapies, and support groups that came into existence did so because more people were not willing to settle for suffering as survivors instead of enjoying as such. When you realize the power within you began after your power was taken away by the event or the people that caused you harm, were defeated, you feel like a survivor. No apology is ever warranted because you lived through something others did not.

When I started writing The Lost Son Alive Again series, I was angered by what I was reading being passed off as something worth reading. I kept wondering where were the facts. Where were reports that managed to inspire empowerment? So I wrote them in the lives of the characters' real survivors inspired.

Last night while working on the third part of the series, I wrote about one of the main characters. Her name is Grace and she survived the Pulse massacre, not as an attendee, but as a police officer responding to it. She was healed enough to live a productive life as a retired officer, turned Chaplain, and leader of a group dedicated to helping others heal.

She was being haunted by her memories and something that was trapped within them and talking to a therapist, who was also her friend.


Grace was on the Zoom call with Dariana. She was wiping her eyes, “But I don’t understand. I thought when you read the records from my other therapist, I wouldn’t have to talk about all of it again.”

“That’s right but this is something she never got you to talk about. If you’re willing, we may be able to figure out what still has a hold on your mind. Are you willing?”

“Yes. I know I have to.”

“Do you want to?”

“No. I don’t want to go through this but I know it’s the only way of putting the past in the past.”

“Ok. Close your eyes or get up and walk around so that I can hear you. You don’t have to be looking at me if you get uncomfortable.”

“Ok. I’ll start and then go with what takes some pressure off. I forgot about where we left off the night of the blizzard.”

“You’re Mom heard gunshots, called the police, and told you to put your snowsuit on. What happened after that?”

“She got her coat and boots on, got the flashlight, and was looking for a key. She was frantically searching for it and found it. It must have been to our neighbor’s house. She picked me up and put me on her back because the snow was too deep. She tripped a couple of times but made it up the stairs. She knocked and called out Sarah but no one answered the door. She used the key, opened the door, and told me to sit on the floor facing the door and she didn’t want me to move. Right after that, the power came back on.”

“Did you listen to her or did you follow her?”

“I listened to her until she called me to go to her.” She started to cry, got up, and walked around.

“Where was she?”

“She was in the kitchen on the floor with Kevin.” Grace stopped walking, “Oh my God! Sarah was dead! I had to walk by her! There was blood all over the floor and I slipped.” Grace put her arms around her waist and hunched her back. 

Dariana waited, watching Grace, giving her time, and then called out her name. "Grace. What did you see?”

“My Mom was down on the floor with Kevin. She was trying to help him. She needed to call the police again but she had to stay with him. She told me to get the phone as close to her as I could and call them for her. She shouted at them and told them that if they didn’t get there soon Kevin was going to die.”

“Did they come?”

“After a while, yes. They had to park way down the next street because our street hadn’t been plowed yet. Kevin looked at one of the officers and said his Mom shot him. And then, he died.”

“What happened after that?”

“They did what they could. Two other officers came and took over. They walked me and my Mom back to our house. One of them carried me.”

“Do you remember anything else?”

“No.”

“Ok, you said you didn’t have your boots on. What was on your feet?”

“I don’t know. I had on heavy socks because it was so cold in the house. Why?”

“Grace, what did you look at when the officer was carrying you out the door?”

“Nothing.”

Dariana let her think about it. “Are you sure? You didn’t see anything in their house? Did you see Sarah?”

“Oh my God! Yes. And then I saw my bloody footprints!”

“Ok. Let’s get you back in your house. What happened after that?”

“My Mom had me up on the counter, took off my socks, and threw them away. She washed my feet and told me to forget all about what I saw that night.”

“Did your Dad come home soon after that?”

“The next day. He was yelling at my Mom. I never heard him yell at her before. She told him that he knew what she was like when they got married and as a nurse, she had to do something or wouldn’t be able to forgive herself for not trying. He understood and hugged her afterward.”

“What about Kevin’s Dad?”

“He moved out a couple of days later and never came back. My parents never talked about it after that.”

“And now you found the key. That was all still buried in your mind. When Pulse happened, I remember you said that there was so much blood, your boots were soaked and even your socks were covered with blood. That’s a lot to take without ever having therapy or being able to talk to someone about any of it. I’m amazed you were as together as you were all that time.”

“So this is why it all came back? You’re right. I never really got past any of it because of how it all started. I guess seeing Chris shot and blood on my shoes was more than I could take.”

“Yes and now you can take power away from it. Back when it happened, most people didn’t know what traumatic events like that did, especially to little children. Did your Mom change at all after that?”

“Once in a while, I’d see her looking out the window at their house and she cried a little. Mostly when it snowed. I heard her talking to my Dad and she said something about everything she saw as a nurse in the Air Force, that was the hardest one of all to get through.”

“How long did you live there after that?”

“My Dad got transferred to Florida the next year and we moved there. He said it never snowed in Florida and we could have a fresh start.”

“How did you end up in Salem and meeting Chris?”

“He was a Colonel by then and was back at Hanscom. When he retired he had a great job in Boston and we didn’t have to move anymore. That was when I met Chris and he cared so much about me that I found my best friend and my first love.”

“And the rest I know. I also know that if you got through all that, on top of when you were taking care of Pam and Rose, you are a very strong woman and have a very rare soul. It also proves that you know when to ask for help when you need it and you’ll be a lot happier now without all that weighing on your memories.”

“You know, I think you’re right. It all fits now. Thank you!” She laughed. “You know, when Chris said you were a genius at getting people to remember what they didn’t want to, he was right. You are.”

“That’s my job, plus I know a little bit about how you were feeling. I was the one that found my Dad after he committed suicide. I was older, but still, I was only sixteen. My Mom and he separated and I went to clean his apartment for him. He had been dead for two days and it always haunted me that he would choose death over talking to someone. I have to keep reminding myself that back then, no one was talking about what they were going through because they couldn’t understand it either.”

“So now you give them a safe place to talk and can read them enough to know what they’re trying to hide.”

“It’s not so much what you or they are trying to hide, it is more a matter of something that is hiding in their memories and trying to get out. Are you ok now or do you want to talk some more?”

“I’m ok and thank you.”

“You’re welcome and we should still catch up tomorrow a the same time and then you can decide if you need me more or not.”

“That’ll be good. Thank you so much! Have a good night.”


And that's how the main character healed. He was a reporter, yet veterans helped him heal. He had a wonderful childhood with loving parents, yet survivors of child abuse helped him heal. He was a survivor of domestic abuse and violence as a husband inflicted by his first wife, yet a woman that survived what her husband did to her, helped him heal. He was not gay, but a gay female ex-wrestler helped him learn how to fight to take back power over his life. He was not a police officer, but one helped him heal and opened his heart again. He walked away from God, yet an ex-priest helped him heal and find God again.

None of them knew what it was like to be Chris, but they all understood what surviving did to him as much as they knew what he needed to heal his life.

I didn't serve yet worked with veterans and their families because I understood what it did to them. One day, I had a veteran challenge me saying I didn't know what I was talking about because I wasn't a veteran.  He turned it into a contest. So, I listed everything I survived. I asked him if he survived any of them. He said he didn't. Then I asked him if he could understand what all that did to me. He said he did. That got him to open his eyes to the simple fact that survivors may not have lived through the same event, but we are all living with the results of surviving. The cool thing is, that most of us are more than willing to share the recovery so others can pass it on too!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Dedicated to the ones I love

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 19, 2022

Mention PTSD to anyone and right away, the thought of veterans pops into their brain. They never think about all the others struggling to heal what they survived. 

If you are a veteran or current member of the military and have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, these books were written for you, but not the way you may think they were. I love you and want to offer a way to heal and help others you learn to heal from what you understand.

If you are a veteran or current member of law enforcement and have PTSD, these books were written for you, but not the way you may think they were. I love you and want to prevent you from ending your pain the wrong way, and heal the better way with hope.

If you are a veteran or current firefighter and have PTSD, these books were written for you, but not the way you may think they were. I love you and want to offer a way to heal and help others you learn to heal from what you understand.

The causes of PTSD in these books are for survivors trying to find hope after someone or something caused PTSD to move into their life.

Veterans are included along with a soldier so traumatized by what he saw, that he was kicked out of the Army with a personality disorder discharge instead of getting the help he needed. His suicide caused the others he served with to question their own careers while they were dealing with PTSD. There are veterans from Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Survivors of Law enforcement members are included. Firefighters, doctors, nurses, domestic violence, child abuse, LGBTQ, and clergy.


The main character is Chris Papadopoulos. He wasn't a soldier serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was a reporter and spent 10 years covering the wars in both countries until a bomb blast almost killed him. He was an often under-discussed male survivor of domestic violence and attempted murder at the hands of his wife. He also survived attempted suicide on the night his life began to change again.

If you go to church and have the support you need to heal, fabulous. You probably won't need to read these books unless you want to understand how to help someone with PTSD reconnect to God. 

If you are among the majority of people I've talked to over the last 40 years, including me, and are churchless, these books are for you.

If you were pushed away from the church, you may fear what is in the Bible. The truth is, there is power within the pages. The characters in these books are not what many think Christians are. They drink, swear, and smoke. They used drugs. They walked away from God when they all needed Him the most. They were all lost until someone helped them find their way back to His love. Yes, He loves them too.

The people that came to help Chris, survived and healed, so they knew exactly what Chris was going through and the best way to help him. When they did, he turned around to help the world heal.

Personally, I survived over 10 events that I wrote about because I am living proof that miracles happen, and when you feel as if everyone abandoned you because they don't understand you, God is still there.

They are magical realism because surviving the source of PTSD, was out of the ordinary, but healing is a magical thing especially when you become a miracle in someone else's life. The power you need to heal is within your soul. Isn't it time to plug into the source?

The Lost Son Alive Again and Stranger Angels Among Us are on audio as well as Amazon for paperback, Kindle, and Google Play.


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Stranger Angels Among Us Healing PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 2, 2022

“If I say it, it will become real and you’ll know I’m nuts.”

Those were the words Chris told his therapist. He wasn't a veteran but had #PTSD. It hit him after reporting on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2012 when a bomb blast nearly killed him. It struck him again when his wife decided waiting for him to commit suicide was taking too long, and she decided to kill him. For seven years, he lost everything he had evaporate, including his faith in God.

On Google Play and Audio July 4th, 2022

The Lost Son Alive Again is part one of this three-part series. It is also available as an audiobook.

The series is about the PTSD all of us survivors face. Too many dismiss what we go through because reporters cover veterans more than the rest of us. If they don't know we're real, we feel abandoned with no way of finding comforting support to discover we are not alone and our futures are not filled with hopelessness.

Chris was a reporter and domestic violence survivor with PTSD. The only friend Chris had was the bartender at a local bar. Ed was an ex-pastor with PTSD after a young veteran committed suicide instead of talking to him.

Chris's best friend Bill since childhood was a soldier with PTSD, determined to stay in the Army until a member of his unit was kicked out under personality disorder instead of being helped. David was in the same unit with PTSD, also retiring believing it was his only option. They walked back into Chris's life on the night he decided it was time for his suffering to come to an end.

David and Bill told Chris about Mandy, a mysterious woman living in Gabriel New Hampshire that healed them. She was a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence because her husband abused her and then tried to kill her.

He met Alex and Mary Michaels, brother and sister Christian book publishers who had PTSD from child abuse. They offered him a chance to write a book about healing PTSD, sending him on a journey to not just change his life, but the lives of all survivors.

Grace was a retired Orlando Police Officer with PTSD after the Pulse Nightclub massacre. She was one of  Chris's best friends too.

Drake was a gay female wrestler until during her last fight, her opponent died. She had PTSD from that along with the suicide of her first love interest. She became Mandy's protector after Mandy saved her from suicide.

Benjamin was a Vietnam veteran with PTSD and extremely wealthy because a Korean War veteran helped him heal.

Throughout these books, there are many different characters struggling to heal and when they find it, they pass it on to all those they come into contact with. 

Part two introduces more characters and covers their spiritual struggles along with how healing is always a work in progress. It is a battle no one wins alone, but with support, it is one that can be won. 

From Stranger Angels Among Us


Chris arrived at his therapist Dariana Kemp’s office. The pastor Ed told him about helping him heal and had retired but he suggested another pastor/psychologist he knew. She was a good fit for Chris and gained his trust. He called her for an emergency appointment before he left for Gabriel.

Her office was in an old mansion in the center of Salem. She was only middle-aged but had the wisdom of what Chris called an “old spirit” with short salt and pepper hair, piercing eyes, behind large rim purple glasses, and an infectious laugh. She knew more about the Bible than anyone else he had ever known. She got into working on PTSD using psychology and spirituality after losing her Vietnam veteran father to suicide.

Chris sat in the huge leather chair near the fireplace playing with his fingers as his eyes moved everywhere in the room, avoiding having to look at Dariana. He knew she could see right through him.

While he was looking at the massive wall of books, she gave him a few minutes to put his thoughts together, then gave up. “Ok Chris, it’s time to speak up. What’s going on? You said it was urgent.” She knew him well enough to have extra patience with him. For a great writer, he was lousy at concocting stories to speak and even worse at lying to cover up what he didn’t want to say. 

“I’m upset Grace isn’t coming because I don’t want to do this but she was going to make it a little easier to do. Now I have to go there alone, have my heart ripped out for Mandy, and then drive back alone.” He took a deep breath, finally looked at her, then hung his head down. “I don’t want to do it, but I know I have to.  I want you to tell me I don’t have to go there.”

“You don’t have to go there. You could just email Drake, get her thoughts about Mandy and let her approve the script or make her changes. But you already know that. Why do you need me to tell you what you already know?”

“I guess I needed reassurance.” Hating the thought of having to admit it, “My confidence is in the toilet right now. The first book was done and in book stores in six months and so was the second one. I’ve been working on this one for eight months and it still isn’t done.”

“What do you think is holding you back?”

“The others were easier, I guess because I lived in that hell and I knew what put me there. With this, with it being about kids, it’s causing more emotional pain than I expected. I had to read so many articles on child abuse, that it made me sick. That’s why I knew I had to talk to the people already in my life because they lived in that hell and found their way out.” Dariana saw he was holding something back. She waited. He slammed the arm of the chair. “You know what pisses me off the most about all this?”

“That it’s all still happening?”

“Not just that. The so-called pro-life people screaming about how they are protecting the lives of the unborn! What about protecting the lives of the born? What about protecting them when they get raped or abused by their parents? I keep thinking about that woman who was raped and decided to have the baby so she could put it up for adoption but the rapist had rights just because of the state they lived in. If he hadn’t freaked out and got shot in jail, I wonder what would have happened to the baby.”

“Sometimes it’s like laws protect criminals more than the victims.”

“Ya. All these claims about morality and not a peep out of any of them about kids being gunned down in schools by weapons designed to kill as many as possible because other people want to have fun with those same guns. These born children should matter to all of them at least as much as the unborn. Since they don’t, since they don’t show up in mass to protect children born into this world, with the soul from God within their bodies, it proves those people are only pro-birth and I think that is a true abomination.”

“God granted everyone free will to make their own choices about their bodies and what they do or do not believe. Sometimes I wonder what gives others the right to force their own beliefs onto everyone else. They scream the loudest, so everyone else is their enemy and evil in their eyes. There are denominations believing people have the right to decide for themselves. Presbyterians fully support the right for people to decide for themselves so that every child is loved because they were wanted. I still preach when another pastor goes on vacation and gets into all kinds of discussions with folks because of all the other talk that’s out there. They know what is right for them and what their moral values are, but they end up questioning themselves because others try to force theirs on them.”

“And most of the others are phony as hell.” Dariana saw how the anger just rushed out of him. Then sadness moved in. “Like Mandy’s parents. I need to know what it was like for Mandy before she became a miracle worker. That’s the only way I can be able to help kids with the new book. I think the only way I can understand what it was like living in that hell, is to go in there so God can get them out.”

“So how are the mood swings now? How many times does it still happen?”

“They aren’t as bad as they used to be."

“Good. Work on that more. You’ve been hearing the stories of others for a couple of years now. Why is Mandy’s story so hard for you?”

“I honestly don’t know. I’ve been questioning myself more than usual in the last couple of months. I mean, I had a great childhood. My parents loved me, gave me what I needed and I always knew they were proud of me.” His hands began to tremble. He stood up, and she turned to watch him walk to the window. He was looking away from her, shoved his hands into his pockets, and took a deep breath. “In a way, I’m glad they passed away before all that happened. I don’t think I could have taken seeing the pain in their eyes. They’d have no way of knowing how things would turn out like this and it would have been seven years of agony for them too.”

“I can understand that. What do you think they’d feel about all this now?”

“They’d be proud but, I’m glad they didn’t have to suffer before my life got good again.” He slowly walked back to the chair and sat down.

She waited for him to say more, watched his body language and how his eyes were moving. “I think you’re holding something back, but when you’re ready, you’ll tell me what it is. “ How’s the drinking?”

“Good. I enjoy it now instead of abusing it and starting to learn how to, as you said, experience my feelings, like you said I should, instead of trying to drown them. It isn’t easy but you taught me how to stop fighting them.”

She grinned, “Seriously? Did you forget you suck at lying?”

“Honestly, I still drink too much when things get too intense.”

“We'll work on that and maybe start praying on it instead of trying to get plastered.“

“I’ll try harder.”

“We talked a lot about the flashbacks before but I need you to go back to right before it. Where were you going to?”

“We were headed to meet Bill and his unit.”

“What was your mood like?”

“I don’t know. I was pissed off about something.”

“Can you remember what it was?”

As he covered his mouth, his eyes were moving rapidly, then froze looking at her. “I was pissed off because I tried to get her to go a different way. It was like a premonition that the road was dangerous.”

“Any idea where that came from?”

“I don’t know. The longer we were on that road, the stronger the feeling of doom came over me.” He sat quietly searching his memory. “The more upset I was getting, the more she laughed at me. I told her she was just as bossy as my wife and told her they had more than just their names in common. Oh my God! I forgot her name was Brenda too. Wow! Anyway, we had the windows up because of all the sand, but for some reason, I opened mine.”

“You said you were looking out the window. Do you remember what made you turn your head to the left?”

He winced, “If I say it, it will become real and you’ll know I’m nuts.”

“Just say it and then that memory will lose some of the power it has over you. Besides, I told you before, we’re all a little bit nuts.”

He didn’t want to say it. The words were trying to get out but he locked his lips to stop them from escaping knowing once he said it, he’d never be able to take it back. He looked at her, remembered how much he knew he could trust her, and the words escaped. “I heard my name.”

“Was it your driver’s voice?”

“No, it was a male’s voice. I heard it loud and clear but I can’t make sense out of it because we were going something like forty miles an hour and her window was still up.”

“Have your thoughts about that changed since it happened?”

“No. To tell you the truth, I forgot about most of that. Why? What do you think it means?”

“Maybe God was trying to prevent it? We hear stories of things like that happening all the time. Someone didn’t get on a plane for reasons they couldn’t explain and it ended up crashing. People decide to go a different way and then end up discovering there was a major accident or a bridge collapsed. I think God tries to prevent a lot of things but people don’t understand what He’s trying to get them to pay attention to.”

“All I know right now is, if I didn’t open the window, the glass would have shattered on top of the shrapnel hitting us. If I didn’t turn my head to the left because of the voice, if I survived it, my face would have been destroyed and I probably would have been blind. Hard to take in right now, but I know you’re probably right.

“I’m glad you told me that and let that secret out. That flashback will lose some power now, just like when you found out Brenda died and wouldn’t haunt you anymore. What about the dreams? Any closer to making sense of them?

“Nope. They’re getting stronger. Last night I saw Grace at the Salem Willows wharf. She was standing on the edge for a while then she jumped in. She didn’t come back up.” Chris looked down at the floor.”

“Is that how it ended?”

“No. I was terrified and woke up. My heart was beating hard and I forced myself to go back to sleep. Then in the dream, she came up out of the water holding the woman from the other dreams. Grace was dry but she was dripping wet with her hair all over her face. The only thing I could see was her lips. She mouthed the words, ‘help me find my way,’ and then I woke up.” “Didn’t the sleeping pills help?”

“No, I stopped taking them because they made it worse. I couldn’t wake up after it started and then it just went into loop replay with the same dream. Without them, I can wake up and when I finally fall back to sleep, they usually don’t start again.”

“So the dreams could be tied to the book. You said they were getting stronger over the last couple of months and that was when you started to struggle with it.”

“I just keep thinking what if,” he didn’t want to get the words out because he knew once he did, it would become real. “What if I’m not supposed to write this one and that’s why I’m having a hard time?”

“What if you are and you are the one fighting yourself? Think about it. What came over you to want to write it in the first place?”

“Some of the letters I got about the other books. People told me what they went through and how much the books helped them. When I started to write it, that was around the same time the dreams started but they were only coming once in a while.” “That’s starting to sound more like a vision than just a dream.”

“What do you mean?”

Dariana got up, went to the bookcase, and returned with a book in her hand, The Vision Awaits. She handed it to Chris. “The book of Revelations was filled with visions of what John saw. It’s like the feeling you have that is compelling you to go back to Gabriel. The same thing you felt when you were compelled to go there the first time and back last year. It’s a vision of something you need to know has to happen instead of you just feeling what you need to do.”

“I trust God more than ever, but I still have a hard time trusting myself. Do you think the dreams are getting stronger because the time is getting closer to it happening?”

“Maybe. That’s something that you need to be patient for. None of us can see what God can. None of us know what’s the best way, but He does. Most of the time we create a mess because we don’t like to wait for anything, and what makes it harder, is when we lose faith it will happen. We screw things up by trying to do it on our timeline. I’ve done that plenty of times myself. I think we all have. I also know that getting to people soon after the trauma happens has a lot better chance of keeping them from the extra suffering.

“I know I wish I leaned on someone and then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have suffered for those seven years.” Chris looked down at the floor. “I mean, I know it wasn’t all my fault what happened to me, but I decided to walk away from God when I should have been running toward Him.”

“You didn’t have anyone to open your eyes and give you a reason to. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Chris was feeling a rush of guilt, “That’s just it. At first, I did. Bill tried for a while. The Chaplain in his company kept reaching out to me whenever I went to cover the wars. I remember the second time I was covering them, I forgot my Bible. I missed having that comfort. The Chaplain handed me it and I carried it on every assignment until it got blown up with me in Afghanistan. Then, after I was back home, recovering, he kept calling me and emailing me and I wouldn’t respond. I think that was God’s way of telling me He was there for me but I refused to see it. Over the years, it was like I didn’t even want to admit someone was trying to help me. Bill, eventually he gave up too.”

“Did you try to contact him?”

“Who? Bill or the Chaplain?”

“Both. I know you have Bill back in your life but what about the years in between?”

“I wasn’t ready to listen back then. I guess after that, I felt ashamed of the way I treated him and the Chaplain. After the press conference we had about the Netflix series, the Chaplain wrote me a letter and said that he never gave up on me but put me into God’s hands. He said that he always saw something special in me and when he saw me giving my speeches, he saw it come out. He said he was proud of me.”

“Did you write back to him?”

“Ya. We even spoke a few times on the phone since then. I keep wondering what would have happened if I did listen to him back then. Would the rest of this still happen?”

“That’s something only God knows. I don’t pretend to know His mind any better than you do, but from what I’ve learned about you, I don’t think you would have accomplished what you did had you not suffered the way you did.

“What do you mean?” Chris was getting angry, “That my suffering was part of His plan?

“Hell no. What I mean is, that you weren’t ready to listen but above that, you had forgotten how powerful God is and how much all of us do depend on others in this world. That is what you’ve added to what you are preaching.”

“I’m not a preacher!”

“Yes, you are. You keep saying that as if you don’t want to admit it to yourself. That is exactly what you’ve been doing. Why do you get so defensive whenever that is pointed out to you? Is that what you’re holding inside of you?”

Chris looked down at the floor. “I don’t know how to say it. I’ve never told another person. I didn't even tell Mandy the whole thing.”

Dariana leaned forward in her chair. “Whatever it is, it may be what’s missing in your healing. Just close your eyes and tell me.”

“When I was young I wanted to become a Priest. That part I was able to talk about. It was a reoccurring dream that I never talked about before.”

“You’re in a safe place right now to talk about it. Just close your eyes so you aren’t trying to read my facial expressions and remember the dream.”

Chris leaned back, closed his eyes and the memory came to life. “I was in the sanctuary wearing the vestments of a priest, and carrying an empty challis, walking down the aisle, like the Holy procession but there was no one else inside. All the pews were empty. Instead of going up another aisle, I carried the challis out the front door. When I got outside, I was wearing a flannel shirt, T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, as I wore to school. I stood on the top step, looked down at the challis and it was full. I looked up and saw hundreds of people there. I gave Communion to all of them, and then preached on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.”

Chris opened his eyes. Dariana was looking at him. “What happened after that?”

“I just saw it all again like it was happening.”

“Close your eyes again and tell me what you told the people.”

“I preached to the crowd about the Good Samaritan and how the stranger took care of the man who had been attacked and robbed. How those who claimed to be serving God had no compassion in them.” He recited Luke 10:30-37. Chris opened his eyes. Dariana was amazed. “You said that perfectly. How much more of the Bible have you memorized?"

“That’s the only one. I think it’s because I had that dream so many times when I was young, it became a part of me.” “Have you thought about why it means so much to you?"

“I’m not sure but I always thought about the Samaritan and what happened afterward. I mean, no one knew what he did other than the man he helped and the Innkeeper. So what Jesus said must have come from God watching it. I think God was trying to get the others to stop and help the man but the Samaritan was the only one who listened to Him. I thought about how he must have done a lot of other things only God knew about and that was the way I should live my life too. Now I get upset when people praise me and ask why I do it. The other thing that bothers me is when I get accused of trying to turn people away from the church. I mean, maybe in the back of my mind, they’re right. I mean, it’s appalling to me how so many members of the clergy, no matter what denomination, show absolutely no connection to what Christ taught. They give Christians a bad name and make people think they’re all reprehensible.”

“There is another way to look at it. You brought the Communion out to people who felt they couldn’t enter the church. That tells me what you’ve been doing is exactly what you were intended to do. It also means that the vision of the woman you’ve been having is not the first time you had a vision.”

“What do you mean?”

“That dream you kept having was more like a vision but you just didn’t understand it. You put hope back into the minds of the hopeless. You bring the power of God’s love directly to the churchless children of God. They’re learning that they’re not Fatherless. Maybe in a way, you’re also proving the frauds are not serving God.”

“I hope you’re right because I’m going to need to harness whatever power I have inside of me to do it. It feels as if something is brewing out there.”

“Then pray for the words they’ll need to hear.” Dariana smiled, “The spirit inside you has given you the words people needed to hear and will keep giving them to you. Believe that and trust that. It also explains why you feel so uncomfortable with people praising you. Just deal with it and praise God more so they’ll see He is behind whatever you do for them.”

When Chris got up to leave, Dariana decided to ask him a question she had been wondering since they met. “I have to ask you something. You’re a multimillionaire but you still dress like you don’t have any money at all and live in the same apartment you had. Why do you still live like you have nothing?”

“That’s an easy question to answer. I lived my life this way all along. Even when I had money living in LA, I didn’t like living in that condo. It was too fancy. I felt out of place. I also felt uncomfortable dressing up, like it wasn’t me. Anyway, I live a comfortable life even though it sure is an odd one.” He smiled and Dariana hugged him.

“Well, at least now I understand why you won’t let me tell anyone you’ve been paying me to take care of people with no insurance or money for the last three months.”

“You’re good and too many people need your help, like me. I want them to be able to heal like you’re helping me.

When Chris left, Dariana went over to her computer, opened Chris’s file, and said a prayer, as she always did when he left. She wrote, “I prayed for Chris that God would open his heart and mind and receive the courage and strength he needs for what is to come. I prayed that he would finally open his heart enough so that he would fully feel the joy of what true love is and let it fill the empty place still left in his soul.”

Chris got into his car and sat still for a while. He thought about what Dariana said and about the vision from his youth. It made him understand why he never wanted any praise for what he did for others and why he kept as much as possible secret.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Got PTSD? Miracles Still Happen!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 11, 2022

Stranger Angels 

2022 began with a new mission for Chris and his friends. In the process of writing a new book, Chris wanted to address the traumas that happened when some of his friends were young to give hope to others living with abusive parents and bullies. He also had to find closure for the abuse he survived in LA.

Dreams were haunting him and grew stronger. He kept his promise to go into therapy for PTSD and finally had to admit the thing he had been hiding all along.


If you have #PTSD it can be hard to believe in miracles again. It is hard to think that surviving what caused it was already a miracle if you are suffering without hope. If all you see are others suffering too, it doesn't give you much hope. If you see them healing, their lives changing for the better, you have hope it can happen for you too! I got so tired of hearing people raising awareness about the worst PTSD does. I thought it was time to change the conversation and show what is the best survivors can do with the rest of their lives.

In six months, I wrote three books. The Lost Son, Alive Again (Part 2) and Stranger Angels (Part 3)

I hope they give you hope especially if you are among the churchless children of God, and think there is no place for you in a church. The truth is, God is there for you too! (Romans 8:26-27) "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Beyond the battlefield

Beyond the battlefield: Author shines light on PTSD that occurs outside a war zone

The Rochester Voice
Harrison Thorp
January 30, 2022
ROCHESTER - Kathie Costos of Rochester has devoted much of her life to the study of PTSD, including its far-less diagnosed forms that follow traumatic episodes outside the battlefield.

During a ribbon cutting for her two new books on Thursday Costos explained that her first brush with PTSD occurred at the age of 5 when she was seriously hurt in an accident, but was sent home by medical professionals who told her to just "get some sleep" when she had actually suffered a fractured skull and concussion.
read more here


A couple of lessons to take away from this. The first one is, never give up. It took me 40 years to get support like I've been getting here in Rochester New Hampshire. We moved here 4 months before COVID hit.

The other thing is, I hope readers of these books discover that they have nothing to be ashamed of if they, or someone they love, has PTSD, no matter what caused it. The truth is, surviving the cause, makes us survivors!

If someone thinks they should be ashamed but struggle with knowing they need help, see someone else ask for it and then get treated badly, they won't ask for help. If they see someone breaking the silence and receive help to heal and be happier, they are encouraged to dream about being able to do the same thing.

You can find these books and the rest here on Amazon. I am currently editing the third part of this series. Not bad for five months of work!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Give healing PTSD as a Christmas Gift this year

Give healing PTSD as a Christmas Gift this year
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
December 12, 2012

This morning I opened an email from a woman telling me of her life with her Vietnam Veteran father and what the family went through. Her Dad ended his own life committing suicide days after September 11, 2001. He became part of my greatest fears coming true. Her Dad was one of the reasons I self published my book For the Love of Jack, His War/My Battle because by then I knew what was coming for Vietnam Veterans and their families. The book was finished and I spent over a year trying to find a publisher, but PTSD was not big news and few cared about Vietnam veterans.

When was finished, I was not thinking about troops being sent into Afghanistan or Iraq because 9-11 hadn't happened yet. All I was thinking about was families like mine. They needed to know what I learned just as an average person trying to keep my husband alive and my family together living lives too many others suffered in silence with believing no one else could understand.

By 2002 the troops were in Afghanistan for several months yet the government had not prepared for what combat would do to those we sent or to warn their families ahead of time so they could prepare for homecomings all over the country. I revised the book to add in 9-11 and the troops in Afghanistan along with talk of sending them into Iraq.

A few years later I released it for free on my old website so that no one had to pay for it. Back then I had a paycheck from a job and was doing ok financially. Plus the goal of the book was not to make money but to make families heal. That is still my goal but since I have a non-profit few people offer financial support. That doesn't bother me as much as the fact I am contacted too many times by families after their veterans have committed suicide and face writing another book about something that didn't have to happen.

In 2007 I started this blog and tried to warn families of what was coming.
When war comes home, battle begins for spouse

"When they come home from combat with the horrors imbedded in them, it is often up to the wives or husbands to begin the fighting. We have to fight for them to get help at the same time we fight them to understand they need help. Denial is the first battle. The mood swings and detachment plant the idea it's our fault in the backs of our own minds as we try to understand what's happening. Short term memory loss and poor judgement skills turn us into parents having to watch every move they make. This is what happens when they come home with wounded minds. Can there be any wonder why so many of these marriages fall apart? Most of them crumble like burnt toast when the facts about PTSD are unknown to them. A lot of marriages with Vietnam veterans ended because of this and because so little was known when they came home.

As much as I love my own husband, as much as I learned about PTSD over the last 25 years, our marriage nearly fell apart more times than I can even remember. The frustration of it all becomes too much too often even now. Our marriage license is in half English and half Greek. I tell my husband the adoption orders are on the Greek side of it when I feel as if I am no longer a married woman but a parent to a child 8 years older than me. I was a single parent in all the years of taking control, making sure the government took care of their responsibility to my husband. This is our job.

We become caretakers, nursing their wounds, holding their shaking bodies, comforting their broken image of themselves and trying with all our might to reassure them they are still loved and needed. We adjust to daily prayers of healing as Jesus instantaneously healed the mad man; for patience; for restoration of compassion when self-needs get too strong; for the right words to use when logic is not enough to combat illogic; and above all for the ability to be reassured the person we love is still in there beneath the stranger we see with our eyes.

As spouses take control, we also face financial disasters while claims are "being processed" only to be turned down and appeals have to be filed within the deadlines we have to live with but the VA does not. Employment for these veterans is sporadic at best, but bills are constant. Then there is the astronomical cost of the self-medication they turn to with alcohol and drugs. We loose time at work when they were up all night with nightmares or to take them to the VA for appointments because they cannot bring themselves in the beginning. We loose time at work when we have to take them for hearings and to see the service organizations helping with the claims because they cannot manage to get themselves there without us.

All of this at the same time we have to try to keep hope alive in them, reassure them that truth will win and their claim will be approved so that we can at least keep our homes and pay our bills. We also loose income when their jobs are lost. The income they get from the VA, if and when their claims are finally honored, is a lot less than they would make, along with our own loss of income. We had to have several mortgage "forbearance" arrangements to keep our house, borrowed from family, at the same time I had to work more to keep the roof over our heads. This was a lot of fun when I had to worry about our daughter and my husband needing constant supervision. A tiny crisis left him unable to think often. One time a toilet was overflowing. He called me at work in a panic, not knowing what to do, instead of just shutting off the water flow to the tank and using a plunger, which he had done often before. It was just one of those days for him to face.

We are a huge Army of love, fighting for those who risked their lives but forgotten behind the battle lines. Each day is a new experience. I tell my husband there is never a dull moment in our marriage because I never know what to expect. Sometimes he even surprises himself. Most of the worst days are far behind us. We have adjusted to our own sense of what "normal" is and most days, they are good days. We still have times when my frustration reaches its limit and we have a huge argument, but over the years, they happen a lot less. I learned to deal with the fact he has to recheck the door I just locked and the repeated questions I've already answered twelve times before.

We had our 23 anniversary last month. Marriages do not have to end if the tools are available. That's why I've been working so hard all these years. I'm positive that if I didn't know what PTSD was, there is no way I would be able to cope with any of this. Life does not have to be about existing day to day, but living lives with tiny blessings. It can be about holding hands wherever we go because we held onto our hearts. Yes, we still hold hands!

(Honesty time; I get a little mean every now and then. His short term memory loss opens the door for a little mind game I play every now and then. I will remind him of a conversation we really did have and then toss in something we never talked about. We've gone out to eat a lot because I convince him he promised to take me out. While we're eating, I admit what I did. He laughs and then hands me the bill.)

If you are dealing with a combat veteran with PTSD, learn all you can about it and welcome to this Army of love. The war we fight for them now, will never end, but battles can be won and peace can be declared within our own homes."


In October of 2007 news came out that 148,000 Vietnam Vets sought help in last 18 months
Back then my PTSD videos were on Google and YouTube.
I started doing videos in February of 2006. Is this a coincidence? From the emails I get, it is part of it. It was the goal anyway.

When War Comes Home PTSD
views 2418


Veterans and PTSD version 1
All time views:14,283

Wounded Minds Veterans and PTSD version 2
1567

Wounded Minds PTSD and Veterans version 3
7777

PTSD After Trauma on Google
1709

End The Silence of PTSD on Youtube
Views: 2,919

Hero After War Combat Vets and PTSD on Google
3697
Views: 1,772 on Youtube

Coming Out of The Dark of PTSD on Google
889

Coming Out Of The Dark-PTSD and Veterans on Youtube
Views: 4,304

Death Because They Served PTSD Suicides
1442


These videos are all available on Great Americans at the above tab.

When I think of what was known so long ago emails make me cry because I know the pain all too well but I also know the joy of living with a healing veteran once the darkness of PTSD has been defeated. He is not cured but he is healing and we've been married 28 years. This month marks the 30th anniversary of my work on combat and PTSD. Over half my life has been dedicated to this cause.

If you know someone going through this, give them a Christmas gift that can help them heal. Let them know they are not alone. The price is only $10.00 so that people can afford to buy it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Authors are now responsible to find their work was just taken?

Authors beware of this site.Docstoc.com
Stunned to find out that my book was on this site and I didn't know about it. I emailed them last week and told them to take it down. They sent me back a form letter but I was not about to read it since I was so angry. Low and behold it turned out the letter said I had to go to a link on their site and file a remove request.

I saw it still up today and was furious. This time I did to the online request but still was not satisfied so I searched for a phone number. The only number I could find was after I signed into the site and it was to customer service. I asked them what made them think they could just take someone else's book and put it up on their site. Then I was told something that shocked me.

They said they get submissions from members and have no control over what they upload. The woman said it was up to authors to ask for the work to be taken down and they were more than willing to do it.

The problem here is that authors would have to do what? Check obscure sites to make sure no one just decided they could do whatever they wanted with their work?

There are literally thousands of writers out there just like me without agents and lawyers to sue sites like this. We work just as hard as "real authors" with an army standing behind them but we don't have anyone to back us up.

I wrote the book 10 years ago to help families like mine when no one was talking about PTSD and families of veterans. I had it for free up on my old website but I guess someone decided they had the right to just take it and put it up on their own site.

Nice work and I hope God rewards them for doing something like this and then telling me it was my responsibility to find out they did it.

New Theory of PTSD and Veterans? Not new and not theory

New Theory of PTSD and Veterans? Not new and not theory
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
December 3, 2012

The biggest problem with PTSD is reporters don't have a clue what was known before they discovered something.

Tony Dokoupil wrote a piece in the Daily Beast and said the Moral Injury connection to PTSD was "new" and used "theory" as if was the truth. It is not new and is not a theory. He picked the title that made my jaw hurt from clinching my teeth. Had Dokoupil used what he later wrote "Moral injury is as old as war." as the title then I would not have taken issue with this otherwise great article.

A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury
The Daily Beast
Author Tony Dokoupil
Dec 3, 2012

Soldiers are supposed to be tough, cool, and ethically confident. But what happens when they have seen and done things that haunt their consciences? New studies suggest that the pain of guilt may be a key factor in the rise of PTSD.

They called themselves the Saints and the Sinners, a company of Marine reservists from the Mormon land of Salt Lake City and the casino shadows of Las Vegas. They arrived in Baghdad a day before Iraqis danced on a fallen statue of Saddam Hussein, and as they walked deeper into the city, they accepted flowers from women and patted children on the crown. Then their radio operator fell backward, shot in the head.

Last month Lu Lobello, a machine gunner with the Saints and the Sinners in 2003, traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak to a panel at the Newsweek and The Daily Beast Hero Summit. To an audience of mostly civilians in business casual, he revived his memories of that battle in Baghdad. By way of introduction, the moderator, Wolf Blitzer, said that Fox Company had killed three civilians in the crossfire. “Well,” said Lobello, “first off, there were about 20 innocent civilians, not three.” He then limned the rest of the raw story: many of the cars in the intersection held families, not fighters. When the Marines realized this, they tried to help, but often it was too late. Another car would come, and they would shoot it, because what if this one was the enemy. “We were shooting at civilians,” his superior officer explained to a reporter in 2008. “We were taking out women and children because it was us or them.” The image that stays with Lobello is one of the first from that day, of a fellow Marine walking in tight circles, talking to himself. “We shot a baby!” he screamed, turning to Lobello. “Lobello, we shot a baby!”

Moral injury is as old as war. It is recognizable in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and in the oldest surviving play of Sophocles. It’s hidden in the private thoughts of soldiers from every prior American war. It was perhaps first used in the journals of Mac Bica, a Vietnam vet turned philosophy professor. In the 1990s two more Ph.D.s popularized the idea, describing the “the psychological burden of killing” and the Homeric betrayal by leaders. The common thread is a violation of what is right, a tear in what some people freely call the soul.
read more here


I left this comment.
While you have done some research, this points to how little research you did. You mentioned "It is recognizable in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and in the oldest surviving play of Sophocles" but did not manage to discover that Jonathan Shay wrote a book about PTSD and the moral wound in Achilles in Vietnam in 1994 and then followed it up 2002 with Odysseus in America. Had you researched this enough you would have never used the term to say it is "new research" and that is the biggest problem when reporters take the easy way out. All the research done after Vietnam veterans came home and fought for it to be done has been forgotten about. If they used what we already knew we wouldn't see so much suffering and a lot more healing going on.


Was it a matter of getting an attention grabbing headline? If it was too many people will walk away with that thought and not allow the number of years research in PTSD has been done preventing the possibility of them walking away furious with the fact that all of this was known so long ago.

When I got into all of this the web was not available for home use. I had to use the library and could only find clinical books on what Vietnam veterans came home with. Not much fun to read and even less support for me as a wife trying to learn what I could do for my husband and myself. Later on self help books didn't provide me with much until I read Achilles in Vietnam. It was then obvious that to heal the warrior, their soul had to be treated above all else that was done.

Medications can only numb. Physical endeavors only work for so long. If we do not tend to the place where the wound lives, we do not heal them.

The story he wrote about the Marines is not new either. I've written numerous times about the same type of event only with a National Guardsman being the one pulling the trigger.

They were on patrol in Iraq one night when a car was approaching them too fast. He tired to get the car to stop at a safe distance. He opened fire, a family was dead and he blamed himself. The image of the family in the car with children became frozen in his mind and he thought he was evil. What he had forgotten about was what he tried to do to prevent it from happening. He fired warning shots in the air, threw rocks, screamed, prayed and then screamed some more. All he could think about was too many were blown up by suicide car bombers and this car just could be one more on a suicide mission to kill his brothers.

Once he was able to see the whole event, he was able to forgive himself for what he had to do.

The help I was able to give him came after a tremendous price he had to pay. By the time he came to me after his Mom contacted me, he had tried to commit suicide twice, lost his family, his job, his home and was sleeping on whatever sofa his friends were willing to let him sleep on. Years of suffering when all it took from me was about 5 phone calls.

What if he had gotten what he needed as soon as he came home from Iraq? How many lives do you think could have been saved if they had the proper help to heal?

New theory? In 1984 Point Man International Ministries started addressing the spiritual aspect of combat. It works to heal them from where they hurt the most. Maybe if reporters would start to take this more seriously, the general public would no longer have the false impression that all of this is somehow new to OEF and OIF veterans. Had they been paying attention all along then I wouldn't have to be writing a book about military suicides so families can stop blaming themselves.

PTSD Is Not God's Judgment

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Finding Peace With Combat PTSD

In 2002 I self published For the Love of Jack so that families like mine would not have to learn the hard way how to find peace living with Combat PTSD. Everything I was afraid of happened.

Suicides and attempted suicides went up. Families fell apart. Older veterans realized they did not escape Vietnam as much as they thought they did. Newer veterans came home to the same issues all generations faced before them but as millions of dollars were spent every year, charity after charity collected more and more money, they went without the help they needed.

The book is no online again after being provided for free on my old website.

If you want an inside look at what was known so long ago, read my book and then you'll know that nothing is impossible. They can heal and so can their families if they are finally told what they needed to know.

You can also watch my videos on the above link to Great Americans to help you understand what it took 30 years for me to learn.

For the Love of Jack His War/My Battle: Finding Peace With Combat PTSD
Authored by Kathie Costos
List Price: $10.00
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1481082570 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1481082574
BISAC: Biography and Autobiography / Military

The battle to save the lives of combat veterans is not lost and it is not new. 18 veterans and more than one active duty service member take their own lives each day. More attempt it.

Kathie Costos is not just a Chaplain helping veterans and their families, not just a researcher, she lives with it everyday. Combat came home with her Vietnam veteran husband and they have been married for 28 years.

She remembers what it was like to feel lost and alone.

Everything you read in the news today about PTSD is in this book originally published in 2002 to serve as a guide to healing as well as a warning of what was coming for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

If you see a link this book with a different cover, it is not a legal copy. It was pulled from the original publisher years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Save Kathie Costos so she can save them

Save me so I can save them
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
November 13, 2012

While you read the stories I track everyday, I read emails from veterans and families. I read emails from psychologists and social workers, groups and most of the time from families involved in stories you read here all the time.

What you don't read about are the lives I have saved, families able to stay together because they have finally been informed about what they really needed to know.

In 2002 I self published For the Love of Jack because I knew so many other families would go through the hell we survived. I wait 3 years hoping and praying for the money to come it to be able to do this work full time. I worked for a pay check and did this work when I could.

In 2005, I gave up waiting and put the book online for free. Here are just two of the first emails I received when I did that.

From a female Vietnam Veteran in July 2005
Dear Kathie,

Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom in For The Love of Jack. I must also thank you for sharing it through the internet.

I admit to you that I had not initially sought out this information. It was forwarded to me yesterday by my good friend Edward. I started the book last night, didn't sleep very well, too many thoughts on the matter at hand, woke up this morning, made a lighter and quicker breakfast fare than usual only so that I could get back to your story.

Being forty-eight years of age I do share most of your pre-Jack memories of Vietnam, especially the news reports at dinner time, it was a pretty horrific time in our lives. I'm ashamed to admit that Vietnam was a memory that I had set aside.

I had heard some talk of PTSD, it only came to light with 9/11. I had also heard of "shell shock" but again, it seemed like a distant memory of something that happened to people back in WWII. In my ignorance I thought that it was caused by a physical manifestation - like shrapnel or a head injury having been it's cause.

Your book enlightened me in more ways than you can imagine. I wish these living angels could sprout wings so that we would know them when we see them, so that we could revere and thank them and treat them with the fullest respect and dignity that they so deserve.

Then again, you should have sprouted a set of wings, too!


From a Vietnam Veteran December 2005

I came across a Web-site and I enjoyed what you had written there. I am a Veteran Vietnam 1967-69. I know what it is like to be married to a Vietnam Veteran. I have two ex.-wife's neither of whom can say I ever abused them. I think the word normal is something Vets don't have. My last two wife's still love me either can sleep in the same bed with me. So they now sleep in the bed of someone else. I have a knew wife of a year and she has moved to the couch.

She I think she is afraid, I might died during the night.

I do love her very, very much so I respect her need to sleep on the couch. I have got the works, heart problems, Sugar, PTSD a whole list. I go out and work everyday I can to take care of her and would not have it any other way. My problem I just don't no how mush longer I can hang in there.

I have been fighting with the Veterans Administration since 2001 to get help. Last Dec. I manage finally to get some help. I was homeless for three years after 2001. I would work and could only make enough money to eat and buy my smokes. I was refused care by four Veterans Hospitals during that time. So, I know what you have been through. I know in your heart your a good person. You not only tried, but you kept tiring. Most women just take the money and run!

Thank you Kathie for hanging in there with yourVet, heaven has a place for you waiting.


Hundreds of emails later and very little money in donations, I ended up having to give up my website because I couldn't afford it anymore. The fact is that more and more families have come to me for help and while I have saved lives, the people I help cannot afford to make a donation and to tell you the truth, I am not going to ask them when they are going through hell.

Imagine for a second what that has been like for me. I can't pay my own bills. Do you know what it is like to go to bed every night not knowing how you're going to make it one day to the next with the voices of families falling apart in your head?

I keep asking for help but few have thought what I do is worth even a small donation.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not new but while the media is now talking about it and others are coming out all over the country, making millions a year doing very little, I work 7 days a week at least 10 hours a day. I can't afford publicity like some of the major groups out there even though what they are doing is less than I do everyday. They just have a great PR firm standing behind them. This is not about money. This is about doing the work that I am compelled to do.

I can't do it without your support! If you read Wounded Times and think it is of value, then please support it. If you cannot donate, then please pass it on to others you know. Subscribe to it so that when Google puts up ads I'll get paid more than a couple of dollars a day.

You can donate by clicking the link to PayPal and here's the info

POINTMAN INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES
Pointman of Winter Park
IRS #90-0749457
FLORIDA CH36936


You can mail a check to
Pointman of Winter Park
PO Box 196992
Winter Springs FL 32719-6992


If you are not there for me, I can't be there for them!

I just discovered that the book in online for free from another site and requested it be removed. If people are reading it for free again, then no one will donate for it.

From Barnes and Noble reviews FOR THE LOVE OF JACK HIS WAR MY BATTLE
Anonymous
Posted September 3, 2003
PTSD is sadly too common
Kathie's book was amazing. I have PTSD myself and could identify with both her husband and Kathie since I know what my husband has gone through dealing with me and can look back at the worst times. A very insightful account of a family torn apart by PTSD. Help keep the shelter open since proceeds go to help Veterans who are badly in need of help.

Anonymous
Posted July 8, 2003
His War Her Battle Our Story
In Kathie Costos's groundbreaking new work, 'For the Love of Jack' she documents the life that thousands of families live everyday: living with a Vietnam Veteran who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the book, Costos describes the disorder and its effects on family and life through her own experiences. Although PTSD is a disorder that varies from individual to individual, anyone who has seen even the slightest of hints of it can relate to this book. Through the chapters the reader comes to know and love Jack along with his family and ultimately can relate back to veterans of all wars and their struggle with this disorder. Never before have I read anything quite like this. Costos's unique and insightful perspective allows the reader to realize the after effects of war on an individual and on a family that are all to often overlooked. She reminds the reader that, along with the Vietnam Veterans, the families too share in the pain and suffering and describes them eloquently as, 'America's Secret.' I think that anyone who read this book would immediately understand that Vietnam isn't just a war or a country but a day to day struggle that all too many families and friends of Vietnam Veterans along with the Veterans themselves continue to battle to this very moment. The subtitle of this piece is His War My Battle. As the proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, USMC 1968-1970 I can tell you that its not only His War and Her Battle but Our Story.