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

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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

PTSD needs crisis intervention now

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 29, 2022

Some people think that crisis intervention is some kind of new thing. Then again, some people don't think it is worth the time or effort either. Aside from having been certified in it by the International Fellowship of Chaplains, I am also a survivor of it many times.



First here is a brief history of it. The word crisis comes from the Greek word, Krisis from Vocabulary.com
A crisis is a difficult or dangerous time in which a solution is needed — and quickly. For example, the crisis caused by a natural disaster might inspire you and your friends to make a donation.

The noun crisis comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning "turning point in a disease." At such a moment, the person with the disease could get better or worse: it's a critical moment. Think of a celebrity whose recent antics generate headlines like "Rock Star in Crisis" — that person needs help that may or may not be sought. At the moment of crisis, things are unstable and maybe even dangerous.

Trauma is also a Greek word that means wound. When we're discussing PTSD it literally means after trauma. Connect that to the word crisis meaning turning point and you have, not only the definition of it, you have the solution.

Crisis Intervention goes back to the 1940s and '50s.




INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CRISIS INTERVENTION


Definition of Crisis
The origins of crisis theory are usually attributed to Lindemann's classic study of grief reactions. LINDEMANN(1944) established the basic framework for defining the symptomatology of a crisis. He reported on the evaluation and treatment of 101 persons who had experienced a recent death of a close relative, a number of whom were connected to the victims of the Boston's Coconut Grove Club fire. He observed that acute grief was a normal reaction to a distressing situation and noted that such reaction presented some characteristic features that appeared to form a distinct syndrome.

According to Lindemann, persons experiencing acute grief display one or more of the following symptoms:
1. somatic distress;
2. preoccupation with the image of the deceased;
3. guilt,
4. hostile reactions, and
5. loss of patterns of conduct.
Sometimes the person experiencing crisis of bereavement may have distorted or delayed grief reactions. Lindemann also stated that the grief work inclu- des achieving emancipation from the deceased, readjustment to the environment in which the deceased is missing and formation of new relationships. His contribution has been considered the starting point for the development of crisis theory.

While the origins of crisis theory are attributed to Lindemann, the work of Gerald Caplan and his colleagues at Harvard University provided the foundations for the development of crisis intervention theory and practice. Caplan's interest in crises resulted from his work with families immigrating to Israel following World War 11. Caplan has pro-vided various definitions of crisis (1964, 1974): he considers that a crisis is provoked when a person faces a problem for which he appears not to have an immediate solution and that is for a time insurmountable through the utilization of usual methods of problem-solving. A period of upset and tension follows during which the person makes many attempts at the solution of the problem.

 (Please read the whole article.)

So why isn't it being done? Why is so much time wasted belittling survivors instead of helping them get the help they need? Because if the answer isn't easy, no one wants to do the work.

That was obvious when all the groups popped up all over the country, speaking out to the rest of the world devoting time, energy, and funding to raising awareness that veterans were committing suicide, instead of including the millions of others doing the same. They reduced this heartbreaking outcome for many survivors that survived the event that caused PTSD, but could not survive surviving itself.

With PTSD Awareness Month coming to an end, you'd think that this would have been a topic worth covering. So why wasn't it? Not enough people know about it. It is one of the biggest reasons why I made most of the characters in The Lost Son Alive Again series Chaplains!

Surviving trauma is a turning point into crisis. It is at that time you want someone there to help you make the right turn toward healing ASAP!

If you are a police officer, you may have heard something ridiculous like, "you let your job get to you" as if you are supposed to not let what you see bother you at all. It all bothered you enough in the first place that you decided to take the job to prevent as much as you could knowing you'd be exposed to all of the dangers that came with the job. You'd think your superiors would be more understanding of that fact since that was probably the same reason they became officers too.

If you are a veteran or currently in the military, you may have heard, "you didn't train right" because they were told residency training would help you toughen your brain. They say things like that because they are not capable of admitting the training they touted as so successful did not work! If it did when they started it, suicide would have gone down, and not increased.

If you have PTSD from any other cause, you may have head people tell you, "get over it" or "let it go" as if you are choosing to let it hang onto you.

What if right, after you survived, someone came over to you, and was there to show you the way to begin to heal as a survivor instead of making you feel as if what it is doing to you is your fault?

While First Responders help you survive the event itself, Chaplains help you begin to take the next turn toward healing instead of suffering.

If you haven't heard about Chaplains before don't feel bad. I sent the first editions of The Lost Son and Alive Again to a psychologist I know to review them. He really liked the story and said it flowed but he didn't know Chaplains were actually out there in the real world doing the work we did.

This is from Advent Health
What Does a Chaplain Do?
A chaplain is a certified clergy member who provides spiritual care for individuals in a non-religious organization, rather than a church congregation. Chaplains can work in government roles and serve members of the military in different locations. They can serve patients in healthcare or hospice facilities. Working in police departments, fire departments, and prisons is also common for chaplains.

Since chaplains are ordained ministers, they can officiate ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. They can lead baptism services and provide final rites for patients who are passing away. Chaplains can also take on the role of a spiritual leader for individuals who do not belong to a specific religious community."" Rather than preaching messages directed toward one religious group, chaplains lead non-denominational religious services that can benefit individuals from a variety of religious or spiritual backgrounds. Chaplains who hold positions at different institutions can also minister to staff members. For example, chaplains at hospitals can provide spiritual care to nurses, doctors, and administrators, as well as to patients and their families.
This is from Franciscan Friars
Chaplains minister to people in illness and death, counseling those who are having their worst days, many with loneliness and depression. Their work encompasses being compassionate to people of all faiths, in various stages of spiritual development, and even to those who have turned their backs on God or blame him for their illness.

Often, they minister not just to patients, but to entire families. And because patients are discharged so quickly from hospitals today, chaplains are always ministering to a new set of people. They must work quickly, always on their feet, as they walk the hospital halls seeing new patients.

Yet this is how the IFOC explains Chaplains

What does being a Chaplain mean?
Minister in areas of critical incident stress, grief and loss, trauma, and stress management
Provide counsel, education, advocacy, life-improvement skills, and recovery training
Build a bridge between the secular and spiritual environments of community life"
Bring life-changing service to every sector of community life, such as health and welfare, education, transitional living, emergency service, and governmental support.

As you can see, even with different groups, the common theme is that Chaplains are in the community, where the greatest need is.

Now, some people fear the Chaplain showing up will judge them or try to convert them. Using myself as an example, I drink, smoke, and swear, so I am far from perfect. If you read this site, you know how I feel about a lot of the nonsense going on over people that forget their right to believe what they choose, does not remove the rights of others to do the same. Sadly, you may run into some more interested in doing what they want, instead of doing what you need based on where you are spiritually and emotionally.;

Lumping all Chaplains in the same pile is like piling up all Christians with the fraction self-proclaiming the moral high ground of "pro-life" when in fact what they do with the living proves they are only pro-birth.

There is a long list of Christians that believe all of us are given free will by God and it is up to us to choose what is right for us. No one has the right to use their free will to remove it from others. Most of us know that we are not there to convert anyone. We are only there to help those in need of what they are in need of and most of the time, they need someone to listen to them.


From The Lost Son Alive Again
Mandy's notes
Chris was sorting out more of Mandy’s notes when he came across her notes about him.
Chris Papadopoulos: multiple traumas, war, abuse, domestic violence, a survivor of attempted murder, betrayal, but above all, lost his sense of purpose doing the only job he believed he was born to do as a reporter and attempted suicide.
Chris just left and I am praying for him. It is almost as if those last 7 years were punishment for him. The night of the 7th anniversary of the bomb blast he survived, he struggled between regretting he survived and being grateful for being saved. Regret was winning.
He held a gun in his hands as the two opposing sides were arguing within him. He survived the bomb but saw it as the beginning of his punishment. All that came afterward, in his mind, was all his fault. The more he blamed himself, the more he destroyed himself. His wife abusing him was his fault. Losing his job was his fault. Having to go back to Salem, broke and feeling like a failure was his fault. He couldn’t see that while he did make choices in his life, some were forced on him. If his wife loved him and supported him, he may have gotten help. If his boss valued him and had compassion, he may have supported Chris and got him into counseling.
There is so much he does not understand about forgiveness and how God forgives him because he cannot forgive himself. I pray he can do that soon and realize while he forgives others, he must forgive himself as well. He cannot change anything that has already happened. All he can do is learn from it and use the power he does have over defining the rest of his life.
Chris was supposed to become a priest but now he can become a minister to millions who feel as if there is no place for them in churches. His gifts are writing and a curious mind. He has compassion and understanding of what this spiritual pain feels like. Now he knows what healing feels like and can give hope to others that they can heal as well. They will know God hears their cries, forgives them when they blame Him for their suffering, and holds His arms out to them. He waits to welcome His lost children back to their Father’s home and see that they were never really alone.
In a way, one more indication that God sets our purpose inside of our souls, and sometimes, He has to come up with plan B to get us there. The key is always if we choose to follow where He leads or not. People that listen, find inner peace no matter what they face. Those who do not, are in turmoil. I can’t stop thinking about Jesus and how the story of one life never ended. What He left us still spreads across the world. I have a feeling that the story of Chris’s life will never really end. We are all never-ending stories of the life we lived.

Monday, June 27, 2022

PTSD - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment featuring Kathie Costos.

UPDATE THIS VIDEO IS NO LONGER UP. THEY TOOK DOWN ALL OF THEM. 


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 27, 2022

Thank you to Anxiety Commander and crew for all you do! It was a pleasure doing this video with you!

Today, our Special Guest is Kathy Costos. She is a YouTuber, the author of multiple books, the founder of an amazing organization PTSD Patrol and much more. In this video, we are going to discuss what actually PTSD is along with different dimensions of Generalized Anxiety Disorders.

In 1982, Kathis Costos survived many life-threatening events. She heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) back then but she didn’t have computers or cell phones to research and find out more. The only way she could learn about this was at the local library. The only books she found were clinical ones that she couldn’t understand. She had to use a dictionary to understand what she was reading in those clinical books. What dedication!

The research was all centered on war veterans. The more she learned, the more she understood that veterans and family members needed to be made aware of what the experts had found.

In 1999 She wrote her first book, For The Love Of Jack and it was published in 2002. It helped a lot of people and helped therapists gain more understanding of what PTSD does to families as well as veterans.

In 2006 She started doing videos on PTSD and started Wounded Times soon afterward because reports on PTSD were all over the country but still, there was no one source putting them all together.

She started PTSD Patrol in 2017 to change the conversation from doom and gloom to hope of healing. She believes that therapy works!

And to all the readers of Wonded Times
Remember, it's your life! Get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

Thursday, June 16, 2022

all the power to change your tomorrow is in your control

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 16, 2022

You may have heard humans only use 10% of their brains. Easy to accept that idea, considering how we are aware of so many remarkable people able to do things we cannot.  We all believe in rumors and when we hear something we know we heard before, we don't question it. It allows us to assume they have unique minds, far beyond what is "normal" to the rest of us. It is the same thing with #PTSD. If we see someone who seems to be fine after surviving what caused PTSD in us, we think they have stronger minds than we do. 

The thing is, it isn't true. Appearing to be "normal" after surviving, escaping unchanged, unharmed, and unaffected, may not be something you can see with your own eyes, but you can with technology.



According to a survey from 2013, around 65 percent of Americans believe that we only use 10 percent of our brain.

But this is just a myth, according to an interview with neurologist Barry Gordon in Scientific American. He explained that the majority of the brain is almost always active.

The 10 percent myth was also debunked in a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

One common brain imaging technique, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can measure activity in the brain while a person is performing different tasks.

Using this and similar methods, researchers show that most of our brain is in use most of the time, even when a person is performing a very simple action.

A lot of the brain is even active when a person is resting or sleeping.

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with #PTSD? A lot! If you believe only a tiny percentage of your brain works, you settle for what you think you can't do. You don't look for new possibilities or new things to learn. With PTSD, if you believe you have no power to do anything about it, you don't.

Think about everything that goes on in your brain. Now think of all the treatments out there that your brain needs to heal, just as much as parts of your body need to heal from wounds you can see. Just because you cannot see the wound of PTSD with just your eyes, you can see what it does to you. It may not make sense until you can see it with your own eyes. Well, actually, you can.


Scientific America
MRI studies conducted over the past two decades have found that PTSD patients with dissociative amnesia exhibit reduced activity in the amygdala—a brain region that controls the processing of emotion—and increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which controls planning, focus, and other executive functioning skills. In contrast, PTSD patients who report no lapse in their memories of trauma exhibit increased activity in the amygdala and reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex.

“The reason for these differences in neuronal circuitry is that PTSD patients with dissociative symptoms such as amnesia and depersonalization—a group comprising somewhere between 15 and 30 percent of all PTSD patients—shut down emotionally in response to trauma,” says Ruth Lanius, a professor of psychiatry and director of the PTSD research unit at the University of Western Ontario, who has conducted several of these MRI studies. Children may try to detach from abuse to avoid intolerable emotional pain, which can result in forgetting an experience for many years, she maintains. “Dissociation involves a psychological escape when a physical escape is not possible,” Lanius adds.
The article, "Forgotten Memories of Traumatic Events Get Some Backing from Brain-Imaging Studies," is about how child abuse survivors have memories trapped, resurfacing as recovered memories. There were a lot of controversies about this because some therapists were introducing memories. This caused a great deal of research into proving how recovered memories could actually be real. In other words, like hunting for monsters under your bed when you were a child, you're hunting for the ones that hitched a ride in your brain but hide themselves in the darkness of your mind.

We all know that the only way to get rid of monsters is to confront them and stop being afraid of them. Don't fear a monstrous memory because you can defeat this one too! Now that you know the power of your brain, all the power to change your tomorrow is in your control even though you had no control over what happened to you.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Courageously Broken

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 2, 2022

I don't have as much time as I used to have to post here, but I still track the news on PTSD. Working on the books has consumed whatever extra time I've had. You'd think that after 4 decades, I'd be able to just retire and enjoy the rest of my life, but at this point, it is so much a part of my DNA, I doubt that will ever happen. There is just too much suffering out there and not enough people to change the outcome.

This morning, I was happy to discover someone out there was so determined to #BreakTheSilence that she was one of the news reports I read this morning.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – DA Michaels’ one-woman push to help military veterans and first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is built on a tragedy that nearly sent her “down the rabbit hole.” (Click Orlando)

When I read the interview, I could feel my blood pressure boiling seeing that damn number of "22" and right away, I thought it would be just one more person getting attention for the wrong reason. I slammed my hand down on the desk, got another cup of coffee, prepared to walk away from the article repulsed, and just move on to the next report. Soon I discovered that was the only part that bothered me.

D.A. Michaels is a Navy veteran and police veteran, and she's a woman! I took a look at the beginning of the book and knew that this one was of value. When you watch the video below, she also links what happened to her in her personal life while addressing what she survived in her professional life. If you ever doubted the fact that PTSD strikes survivors, no matter what the event is, this should remove all doubt and God willing, get the stigma out of the way with it!


"A young idealistic teen leaves a small town and abusive father behind to join the Navy in a refreshingly down to earth memoir of one woman's journey to self discovery. She embraces life with passion and courage, from training and partying with Navy SEALs to skydiving and joining the police force, but when tragic events while serving her country lead to years of nightmares, depression and PTSD, she must learn to navigate life through the heartache and tears until the laughter and love return.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

PTSD People Awareness Month

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 1, 2022

Today begins PTSD Awareness Month. If you go to that link, it goes to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Appropriately since what trauma does to survivors began to be researched by studying Vietnam Veterans. The thing is, if you read what is within the pages you'll find the word "people" and not just veterans.

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.


It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.

If I had one wish, it would be that this month would bring awareness that PTSD strikes survivors, all of us, no matter what we survived. That's why I wrote The Lost Son Alive Again and the upcoming Stranger Angels Among Us. 

The Lost Son Alive Again by Kathie Costos ebook

I wanted to do something that included survivors of many different events to show their struggles, so by the end of the books, you'll discover how much power you do have over the rest of your life. 

I survived over 10 events but the one that did it to me was when my ex-husband tried to kill me and then stalked me. The thing is, even I didn't know I had PTSD despite working to help others for 4 decades. I had a rare form of it that stopped when I found out he died and could no longer harm me. I mean, I had nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, paranoia, and everything else, but all that came with the one thing that made me freak out. The sound of a muscle car. If you have ever been stalked you know what it is like to have a trigger reminder of it and terror takes over common sense. Even though you discover you didn't really have anything to fear from whatever the trigger was, those memories have already taken hold. It may not make sense to people you know but they don't know what it was like for you to survive it.

Anyway, that's why the main character of the series is not a veteran. He was a reporter and his wife tried to kill him and then stalked him. I wanted a male character because while it is hardly ever mentioned, males can go through domestic violence too. While there are veterans in these books, there are a lot of others too.

As you read, you see the suffering until friends come along to help the healing begin. You'll see the struggles all of us go through as we learn one day at a time to take another step out of the darkness we were living with and into the healing light of hope.

It bugs me that I had to rewrite these books because while people loved the stories, they felt trapped by the Bible passages spoiling the flow of the story. I wanted them included because spiritual healing is just as vital as mental health efforts. I know I couldn't have adapted without my faith. I had to rewrite them because with everything going on with hateful people claiming to be Christians, it turned people off. I wanted to focus on the beauty and power of what too many miss in the Bible because they feel forced out of the church. It's like there is no place for us within the doors. The thing is, you don't need to be in a building to contact God and you don't have to be "worthy" to reach out to Him. You'll find that too.

I want you to find what I have now. It doesn't mean your life will be perfect and you'll never have any problems or do anything wrong ever again. It's more about discovering the way to get through all of it and seeing your life in a different way. I'm going through a lot right now, but, truthfully, I am calm even though I should be totally stressed out. I know why I'm not and I wish the same for you because I got to tell you, that this side of the darkness of PTSD is so much better than living without hope.

That's my message to start this month out with!

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

Monday, May 23, 2022

PTSD and the power you have within your mind

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 23, 2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but too many are unaware of how much power they do have over their own mental health. There's a reason why no one ever asks, "Have you lost your brain?" It is your mind that holds your thoughts and emotions. Just like when you fall in love, people say "they have my heart" while leaving the mind totally out of the conversation. 

There are many different mental illnesses, and most have been researched enough so that there are always ways to make the lives of people better, if not perfect, at least better. It is the same with people fighting PTSD. No one can make your life perfect but between experts and the power you have within your mind, it can become a hell of a lot better than it is now. Even if you are on the road toward healing, even you can achieve more healing than you hoped for.

While service members and veterans battle PTSD, so do civilians in far greater numbers. Considering PTSD only happens after surviving a mind-shaking event, they suffer the same way as military people. What keeps getting left out of the conversation is that military people are also just people too, and can have the same traumatic events as everyone else. The unique thing is that military people have to also recover from what happens while serving their country.

While civilians can understand your pain and struggles, they cannot understand all the events that caused yours. You cannot understand all of their events unless you survived the same thing. It is time that everyone understands what they do have in common with other survivors. This is why I wrote The Lost Son Alive Again.

After 40 years of working with veterans and families struggling with PTSD, it was time for me to turn my attention to everyone fighting this same enemy. It includes several veterans and survivors of other events so that more people can see themselves in these characters.

The Army is trying to do something for soldiers.

 Mental Health Awareness Month highlights resources available for those in need on Army Times addresses the needs of active duty and veterans, but as you can see, none of this is new and efforts to support them to seek mental health help have fallen way too short.
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it comes at a time when active-duty and veteran suicides are at alarming levels. The U.S. Army, and the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in particular, are making enormous efforts to help Soldiers, Civilians and their families be aware of mental health problems and offer support and services to those who need them. This year, at least to this point, offers a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy picture. According to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, testifying before Congress on May 11, Soldier deaths so far this year are “significantly lower” than during the same period last year. And rates of suicide in the Army are lower at this point than during the most recent five-year and 10-year average for the combined forces. That’s good news, but a Department of Defense report published in September 2021, said, “In CY (calendar year) 2020, there were 580 service members who tragically died by suicide.”

 That is good and bad in all of this. Aren't you tired of the attitude of anything is better than nothing? After all, that is why we are seeing these results 4 decades after I got into all of this. The premise of this book, as well as the upcoming Stranger Angels Among Us, is to open eyes, hearts, and minds to the power all of you, civilians as well as military folks, have within your own mind.

The main character was a reporter coving the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. An RPG blew up near him and almost killed him. It set off powerful PTSD and then other events added to the damage already done.

He was done waiting for miracles. After all, God washed His hands of Chris a long time ago. When the shock of surviving wore off, regret took its place. He was sure the man he was died on the operating table, precisely seven years from that day. Friday, September 13, 2019, Christopher Papadopoulos had seen a lot in his life and he didn’t want to see anymore.
Bill Gibson, his best friend, and ex-brother-in-law was struck by PTSD from serving in the Army.
Chris dreaded talking to him about the marriage falling apart and wasn’t sure what Bill had heard about it from his ex-wife. He could only imagine all the horrible things she told him, blaming it all on him. “So Bill, what are you doing back in Salem? The last time I saw you, you said you were going to stay in the Army for the rest of your life. And then I got blown up.”
“I was but I got out over five years ago. We’re here for a reunion. One of our buddies died five years ago.”
“Oh sorry. Was he killed in action?”
“No, but he’s dead because of it.”
Chris felt the tension building inside of his body. His mind was consumed with building anger. He didn’t care who died or how. All he could think about was what had happened to him since the last time he saw the man across from him. Seeing Bill reminded him of what life was like when he wasn’t hurting.

David was also struck by PTSD while serving with Bill. 

David Mac Donald strolled into the bar, tall, muscular, fiery red flowing hair with a scraggly beard. He looked more like an ancient Scottish warrior than he did when he was in the Army with cropped hair. David’s family moved from Scotland when he was going into high school and he joined the Army as soon as he graduated. When he walked over to the group, they all got up out of their chairs and hugged and then he saw Chris. “Oh my God! Nanos!” He walked over to him. As soon as he got a closer look at his eyes, he could see an all too familiar pain the fake smile couldn’t cover-up. He gave him a bear hug and whispered in his Scottish accent, “Your demon is in control for now. Time to take back your life like we did.”
“Hell of a way to end a marriage.”
“I thought it was the end but it wasn’t. The bitch stalked me after that. I wanted to get a restraining order but couldn’t find the balls to say my wife beat me. Anyway, she called me over and over again, showed up when I least expected it, and made my life hell.”
“Is that why you fell apart?”
“Yep. I was doomed because somehow she always found out where I was and who I was with. I couldn’t go anywhere.”
“What did all that do to you?”
“You know, with the wars I covered and getting blown up didn’t do as much damage to me as she did. I had nightmares and flashbacks, mood swings off the charts and so filled with anger, I had to go to the gym just to beat up a bag.”

These men joined forces with other survivors from different events to help Chris change the conversation about PTSD so that people will learn how to find the power within their minds to heal to the point of living a miracle! 

The Lost Son Alive Again Paperback is available now for Mental Health Month. And the ebook of The Lost Son Alive Again is coming out June 1st for PTSD Awareness Month.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Common knowledge eradicates PTSD Stigma

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 21, 2022

If the stigma of #PTSD is ever going to be eradicated in the minds of survivors, it requires common knowledge. The simple fact that PTSD strikes out against survivors of many different events is the first step toward doing just that. Here is a small list to think about first.

Australian Doctor
Dr Nick Coatsworth has revealed before he started his role as Deputy Chief Medical Officer during the coronavirus pandemic he suffered from debilitating post traumatic stress disorder which left him feeling like he was having a heart attack. The Today medical expert shared his story with Karl Stefanovic, saying the symptoms left him housebound and unable to do his job.

Canada Military Members (University Manitoba)
Measuring the mental health of military members
A new series of studies looking into the mental health of Canadian Armed Forces members aims to better understand the connections between mental health and military service.

The studies follow up with data collected by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Department of National Defence in 2002 and compare it with more recent data from 2018. In 2002 participants were asked to fill out a survey on mental health. In 2018 researchers contacted 2,941 of the original 5,155 participants and asked them to fill out the survey again. The survey aims to show clinicians and stakeholders how mental health changes after 16 years of service in the military.

“We figured it was important to follow up with some of these people and see how their mental health changed over their service. This is an important gap in the literature right now,” says Dr. Shay-Lee Bolton, assistant professor of psychiatry, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. “Seeing people at one-time point and then comparing with another to see what is changed and the same hasn’t been done before.”

In every category including anxiety, depression and PTSD, there is an increase in the number of people who have been diagnosed with a disorder. Bolton isn’t yet sure yet why there has been an increase in diagnoses but recognizes that it’s something to keep an eye on.

“I think it shows a vulnerability that’s there. We don’t know that it’s due to their military experience, but it shows that there is a vulnerable population there,” says Bolton.

Ohio First Responders (ABC 5 News)
ELYRIA, Ohio — Once considered a silent crisis, there continues to be a growing dialogue and conversation centered around first responders and the impact and prevalence of post-traumatic stress among the ranks. In addition to continued efforts on the state level, a national organization is in Lorain County this week to provide first responders with mental health training that will help them identify operational stress and trauma in themselves and their colleagues.

The workshops being offered to first responders include small group discussions that encourage participants to examine and acknowledge the impact that stress and trauma have on their day-to-day lives. The scenario-based training teaches first responders how to initiate potentially difficult conversations with their colleagues.

Wellington Police Chief Tim Barfield said the training is especially critical for law enforcement officers. Recent studies have found an estimated 1 in 3 law enforcement officers suffers from PTSD. Removing the stigma associated with that is an important step, he said.

“There is a stigma among first responders that if we're bothered by something, we’re weak,” Barfield said.

“We need to break that stigma," he said. "We need to understand that the things we see every day doesn’t make us weak, but we do need to learn how to deal with it.”


Oklahoma City Bombing (KOCO News)
Oklahomans and neighbors cope with a dark day in the state’s history.

April 19 is a tough day in Oklahoma City with so many coping with their feelings about what happened 27 years ago.

Mental health professionals said it’s important to make sure that coping is done in a healthy way. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse reminds Oklahomans if they are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they are not alone.

“It’s a collective trauma that we revisit every year together,” said Lauren Garder, senior manager of Zero Suicide and Trauma Care with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
“You can have PTSD from repeated exposure to traumatic details of somebody else's life and those effects that is PTSD all the same,” Garder said.

You just read a small list of different people with PTSD. PTSD does not choose anything other than the fact a human has survived something horrible. It does not know nationality. It does not know profession. It does not know if you are male or female. The shock hits all survivors and no one is left unchanged by it. The level of the change is determined by the strength of their emotional core. This is why when spiritual help is added to what mental health professionals do, there is greater healing.

How strong is your emotional core? Think about how simple things are deeply felt by you. If you look at a colorful sunrise or stunning sunset, and it takes your breath away, you have a strong emotional core. If your heart beats a little faster when you hear the sound of the voice of someone you love, or feels as if it is breaking when they are hurting, you have a strong emotional core. The more you feel good things, the more you feel bad things as well. Sorry but, it a human tradeoff.

There are many times in our lives that we will feel something, but no one else can understand the strength of our emotional connection to it. This is why if you take a lot of people, exposed to the same event, not all of them will develop PTSD. This is also why some of the survivors who were not drastically changed may judge those who were as being "weak" but it also has a lot to do with the stigma attached to what they already think about those who have it.

All too often when you use the term PTSD, people immediately think it only happens to veterans because that is all they hear on the news, online and on social media. While the causes are different, the fact is, while we are all survivors and human, we are all different. Different life experiences combined with the event itself are part of the way we go from "victim" to "survivor" of what happened to us.

My survival story began at the age of five, so what came afterwards with the other events, is not the same as others who survived the same types of events but not all of them in their lifespan. With each event, after the initial shock, and dealing with it along with the emotions that followed, I viewed myself as a survivor. That went a long way toward faster and stronger recovery. 

Not feeling as if I needed to hide what it did as something to feel ashamed of, also helped. It freed me to speak about what I was dealing with. Back then, peer support did not exist as it does now. Peer support back then was when people cared enough to just listen while survivors could make sense out of what happened in a safe place where we were not being judged. Now there are groups.

In groups, people understand that all the others are there for support and those who have begun to heal, offer support as much as they receive it. It is empowering to give support after you have received it for yourself.

The main thing healing people understand is that it is not a contest. No one compares themselves against others who may seem to be grieving less or more than the do. Everyone is different but the thing is, everyone there shares the common bond of surviving! Now, maybe you know it too!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

What fills you on Easter?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 17, 2022


When you think about Easter, what comes to your mind the most? Is it getting together with family and friends? Is it decorating, buying candy or hiding eggs? Maybe getting dressed up? Carrying on a family tradition?

For some, it is going to church and hearing about how Jesus walked out of the Sepulcher. For me it is thinking about all the people who believed that Jesus was the Son of God and then watching Him die on the cross. Imagine if you were there. Would you feel as if what you believed had just been proven wrong? Or, would you remember the other things you saw happen with your own eyes that Jesus did?

Would you remember seeing the lame walk, the blind see, the crowd being fed by five loaves of bread and two fish? Would you remember what it was like to hear His voice and feel the your soul being lifted up by His words? Would you still believe He was the Son of God and His life was not really over?

There are things we may think are impossible, until we see them with our own eyes. Still, when other things happen, we tend to forget about God turning hopeless situations into miracles. I imagine the people spent three days feeling as if an innocent, wonderful man, was put to death and that was the end of His story. His mission and life ended as far as they knew and with Him went their hopes.

Then think about what it was like for them to hear that the Sepulcher was empty and He lived. Think about those who were with Him and fearing for their own lives, and then seeing Him, hearing His voice, looking into His eyes and seeing the marks on His hands and feet. The impossible became possible. People knew that what they believed was actually true and the knew everything He said to them was true.

We all know what it is like to do the right thing and suffer for it. We know what it is like to be praised for helping someone by the same people who walk away when we ask for help. We know what it is like to want to visit the lonely people we know, call them and pray for them, as much as we know what it is like when no one is there for us.

We know what it is like to hunger for hope when it seems no matter what we do, how many times we ask for help or search for solutions, nothing changes. Then we wonder why we are left abandoned by those we stood by. Why were we left hungry by those we fed? Why are we not worthy of support by those we supported?

Jesus had served His Father and did what He was sent to do. He suffered for it but then was glorified. He knows everything we're going through, including getting angry, crying and struggling to do the right thing.

We celebrate His birth and His Resurrection, but we forget about how His life matters in our own. Nothing we go through is not known and experienced by Him. He knows what it is like when we lose hope, feel as if no one cares about us. When people do not believe what we say. When we are abandon and let alone. He knows what it is like to do what God wants us to do, and suffer for it. What it is like to help others, but no one will help us.

He also knows what it is like to feel being a part of miracles to others. He wanted to save everyone and heal everyone, but not everyone wanted what He had to give. That did not stop Him from doing what He could and nothing stop Him from doing what He can now.

No matter how lonely you are, because of Him, God hears our prayers. No matter how we are treated, God sees it and He will not abandon us. People walk away from us but The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are always with us. I know I am comforted by all the times when everything seemed so hopeless for me, but God turned it all around. Right now, I am comforted knowing no matter how lonely I feel, God is still there and trying to work things out for the miracle I've been praying for. He is there for you too.

This Easter Day, remember what this day is truly about and let it fill you with the hope of miracles in your own life everyday and let it guide you to being part of a miracle to others.


Kathie Costos author of healing PTSD books.

Latest books


The Lost Son

Part One






Alive Again
The Lost Son Part Two



Stranger Angels
The Lost Son Part Three

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

In The Arms of Stranger Angels


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 13, 2022

(About the book Stranger Angels)

Chris survived domestic violence. He had a wonderful childhood but it was what his wife did to him that nearly destroyed him. He was wounded while reporting on the war in Afghanistan. When he returned home, she hated the fact he was home, instead of trying to help him heal. She tried to kill him. Having failed at that, she stalked him.

Mandy, the woman who began to heal Chris, survived child abuse and an abusive husband. He tried to kill her but failed. 

Alex and Mary, brother and sister, survived child abuse.

All of them, along with many others in Stranger Angels, not only survived child abuse, they healed. The healing did not stop with them. They passed on hope to all others that they could not just live a happier life but could become part of a miracle for others to hope for.

All of them had PTSD because of what other people who were supposed to love them did to them. All of them were healing. Some healed completely. Others, like Chris were still healing their wounds.

They knew what it was like to feel hopeless. They knew what it was like to feel as if God allowed it all to happen and to lose faith in His love. They also knew what it was like to have their faith restored and have their broken hearts mended. They were no longer God's lost children searching for hope. 

It is because of this, that Chris set out to write his third book to offer hope to survivors of domestic violence. He traveled to talk to his friends to gain a better understanding of what it was like for children when their own parents inflicted the most damage to them. All of them were examples of what is possible for others to have in their futures and be empowered to dream of the day when they would also become healed.

I know what it is like too. My Dad was a violent alcoholic until I was 13. He recovered with help of people from AA. He ended up helping others. My ex-husband tried to kill me and then stalked me. So, yes, I know what it is like. I survived many other things, but it was the damage he did to me that did not go away until I found out he died. Even with the suffering I went through, I managed to get married again, had a daughter and lived a pretty good life. I had help along the way. The thing that helped heal me more was my faith in God and helping others find what I found. That no matter how lonely, hopeless or lost we feel, He sends someone into our life to let us know He hears our prayers and feels our tears. Helping others was healing for me too!

Some think these books are sad but that is only part of their stories. There is great sadness and struggles. Just like there is great sadness and struggles for anyone trying to heal after surviving any of the causes of PTSD. Just like others, there is also hope when people understand what PTSD is, what caused it and what you can do to #takebackyourlife from #PTSD. Having someone who knows what your life is like helps you #breakthesilence and break the power PTSD has had over your life.

I hope you find comfort and a better understanding of what it is like to be in the arms of Stranger Angels.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

When Hope Returns, Rejoice!


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 12, 2022

When you are going through a rough time, things seem pretty hopeless and you are struggling, it is good time to remember all the other times you got through when you thought there was no hope for anything to get better.

I'm going through a really rough time now. I wrote three new books but I have no one to help me get people to discover them. They were written to offer hope of healing #PTSD. Not just from surviving war, but from surviving all other causes. You'd think that with PTSD in veterans becoming a billion dollar industry, especially when folks are raising huge sums of money to "raise awareness" they are killing themselves, it would be something worth talking about. The thing is, there really isn't much healing awareness going on for them. For the rest of us, there is little hope being offered.

So how is it that this billion dollar industry is something no one wants to talk about? It seems even fewer want to read about it. Is it because they are afraid it will depress them? Given the fact that most still cling onto the stigma of PTSD, that makes sense. After all, viewing yourself as a "victim" or thinking that you are weak, or whatever negative thought you have after surviving, no one wants to be reminded of any of it.

The problem is, you do not discover empowerment either. I know I become inspired when I read about someone in the writer's community talking about struggling and then finding success. I feel even more hopeful when they turn around and pass on what they learned so that others struggling will be able to find more readers too. After all, other authors know what it is like.

It is the same thing with PTSD. It is a story all of us know all too well. But we don't get "well" or live happier lives, until hope returns. 

Right now, I'm am remembering all the other times things seemed hopeless but suddenly, God turned it all around and it all worked out. What is hopeless for me to do, it is possible for Him to do. Some days I wake up and for no apparent reason, I am smiling and happier. Nothing really happened other than I know God heard my prayers and is doing what He can to help me.

That is what The Lost Son Series is all about. The main character has PTSD from domestic violence. Veterans are in the books and they have PTSD but are healing, and passing on, not just hope, but a way to get there. There are others in all three books doing the same and offering inspiring stories to give hope to anyone else, just like them.

Hope returned and they rejoiced. They passed it on and others rejoiced too! Isn't that what we should be all be raising awareness of to actually make a difference in someone else's life?