Showing posts with label trauma survivor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trauma survivor. Show all posts

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Have you ever wondered what is in a book that is for you?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 13, 2023

Have you ever wondered what is in a book that is for you? What will it provide you with that you are hoping for? I know I do that all the time. Sure I read the back of the book and reviews by others, but I am always looking for that "thing" that I want to read.

Do you want a different outlook on your own life? Struggle with wondering why something happened to you? Wonder why you are suffering and help is impossible to find? Do you wonder why God allowed it to happen, or worse, did God do it to you?

Let's start with the last question. If you are dealing with #PTSD, then that is the usual question all of us ask afterward. Once the gratefulness wears off, we start to search for why it happened to us. I know I was grateful I survived every time. I felt God was watching over me. I was also grateful for the people that came to help me after it was over. That's a lot considering I survived over 10 times!

Then came the struggle to get past the fact it happened to me at all. Why me? I'd read books on how other people survived and thought God had greater plans for them, so He saved their lives. I wanted to believe that. I also read books on how some thought it was all part of a test like Job went through.

People get that lesson wrong all the time. Sure, God allowed Satan to attempt to destroy Job by taking away everything he had. All the things that He had thanked God for, became a struggle wondering why God was doing it to him.

We're not Job. I know my faith isn't as strong as he was and I am certainly not special. The part all of us miss is that God gave Job what he had and it was Satan taking it away. It is the same thing with us.

God has plans for all of us when He sends our souls here. Our souls come into us when we take our first breath. In it is all that makes us what we are, or what we were intended to become. When we know what that is, we know what we're supposed to do on this earth. When we don't, we struggle. When we don't understand the nature of our souls, we take on more trouble than we need to carry.

This passage explains something we need to know the true meaning of. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 That gets interrupted wrong a lot of the time and adds to our wounds. The plans from God are good but what does not enter into our thoughts is the simple fact that Satan wants to mess up with God's plans all the time. He gets in the way as much as possible and uses others to do it. They do the evil stuff to us. On the flip side, those who have not surrendered what is good within them, are the ones showing up to help us.

When they come to help us, they come to help us do whatever it is we're supposed to do here. When we show up to help someone, we use everything we learned to help others. Why? Because we know what it is like to fight off evil but above that, we know what it is like to win!

Throughout the series, all the characters are survivors and struggled with their faith. They are spiritual people, not religious ones. Sure they are Christians but follow the Jesus type of Christianity and pray as they live, by the spirit. They do not attend church services but pray outside. They do not simply quote scriptures as if they have no meaning at all, but live by them. Most of what is in these books are things you'll never hear in church because no one wants to hold power or control anyone. They leave that in God's hands. They seek to do good and join forces to achieve what no one expected could happen.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

suffering out here and dying when we could all be healing together

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 28, 2023

In 2007, I put up a post asking why the press wasn't on suicide watch.
To say I was terrified as to what I saw coming is an understatement. Now the day after #PTSD Awareness Day, 2023 seems as if this nightmare will never end. Why? Because almost every news report and post online focused on veterans with PTSD. Not the current military members. Not any of the other survivors struggling with PTSD and led to believe that what is going on with them can't be PTSD because "only veterans have it." Right now I'm wondering why the press isn't on real PTSD Awareness that can make a difference for all of us.

Back then, I didn't know that I had PTSD because I never read anything about someone like me. I am just a civilian but survived over ten events that have been known to cause PTSD beginning at the age of 5. While my life is rare, surviving is also rare, especially with how many times I did.

I never fully understood why I was so connected to the veterans and families I helped for over 40 years now. I assumed it was because of my Vietnam veteran husband. I knew what nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, and paranoia were because I had gone through them many times. I also knew what panic attacks were and how they set off everything else. I knew what it was like to have them all pass and what returning to my "normal" life was like.

I can't tell you how angry I am that I spent all those years helping others heal but had to figure out how to heal on my own, feeling as alone as I did because the media never reported on other people like me.

So now, after all these years, with the rate of PTSD among Americans going up, along with suicides, I am asking still wondering how reporters still haven't figured out that there is a hell of a lot more people suffering out here and dying when we could all be healing together. The causes may all be different but the way to heal is side by side with someone else helping us so we can do the same for others.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Civilians with PTSD SOS call to veterans!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 24, 2023

(From The Scribe Of Salem) Bill Gibson, a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars struggled to heal. His best friend, David MacDonald, a veteran of both wars, struggled to heal. Chris Papadopoulos was just a war reporter and decided to stop struggling, stop trying, and stopped hoping that any day would ever be better than the last worst day he planned on walking up from.

David was saved by a civilian with #PTSD. She ended up saving Bill and the others they served with. They encouraged Chris to meet her so she could save him too. They had no idea he would end up saving millions around the world.

Civilians with PTSD have issued an SOS call to veterans, but they haven't heard it.

This SOS call is not to Save Our Ships but to Save Our Survivors! We need you to be our battle shield in our fight to find peace too!

That was how The Scribe Of Salem began. That was the most important message I had to give. It has been so important that I decided over 40 years to try to deliver it. By the reviews on Readers' Favorite, it looks like I managed to begin to do it.

I am confident I can speak for all survivors of trauma that we need help to heal, just like veterans do. Speaking for myself, I looked to veterans to find hope that I could heal too from the 10 events I survived. I bet you didn't know that when I helped you.

One veteran years ago challenged me. He was angry because I wasn't a veteran and couldn't understand what combat did to him. He was right. I couldn't. What I did understand was what surviving did to him, because I knew what it did to me. Not one to back down from a challenge, I ran down the things I endured. Then I said, "You didn't survive any of that, so I don't expect you to understand what it was like. Can you understand what all that did to me?" He was silent for a while then told me he could understand. He got the point as to how I understood veterans. The truth is, I didn't understand I had PTSD too.

I compared my traumas to what veterans faced over and over again. You are heroes to me and deserve all the help and encouragement I can give. Now I am asking you to train to heal yourself so you can hear the millions of others like me needing you to lead the way for us to heal too.

If you have PTSD, stop pretending you don't. You're sending a message to the rest of us that we should be ashamed if we have it from just one event. If someone as courageous as you, decided that life meant so much to you, that you were willing to die to save us, then fight to heal so you encourage us to do it too!

Who Develops PTSD?
Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. Some factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person's control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.
Here are the best estimates for how common PTSD is in the U.S. adult population:
Most people who go through a traumatic event will not develop PTSD.
About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the U.S. population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Many people who have PTSD will recover and no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD after treatment. So, this number counts people who have PTSD at any point in their life, even if their symptoms go away.
About 5 out of every 100 adults (or 5%) in the U.S. has PTSD in any given year. In 2020, about 13 million Americans had PTSD. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men. About 8 of every 100 women (or 8%) and 4 of every 100 men (or 4%) will have PTSD at some point in their life. This is in part due to the types of traumatic events that women are more likely to experience—such as sexual assault—compared to men.
Veterans are more likely to have PTSD than civilians. Veterans who deployed to a war zone are also more likely to have PTSD than those who did not deploy. Learn more: How Common Is PTSD in Veterans?
But it isn't just adults looking for you to lead the way. It is kids too!
How I Knew I Had PTSD When you have PTSD, the world feels unsafe. You may have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping. You may also try to avoid things that remind you of your trauma—even things you used to enjoy.

The other thing The Scribe Of Salem showed is that spiritual healing is vital to increase recovery. No, I'm not talking about "religious" attendance but I am talking about the spiritual connection we have to others, and to the forgotten messages within the scriptures. If you have been told that faith depends on which church you belong to, then it's a good time to refresh the messages you won't hear in church. They are in this book too.

I hope that after you read it, you'll understand how much power you have, not just in your own life, but how much power you have to save our survivors like me too!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The ancient art of "whatifism"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 7, 2023

In the Wizard Of Oz, Glinda asked Dorothy, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"

That movie kept popping up in my head as I was writing the Ministers Of The Mystery series. There are good witches and bad ones too, doing good or, doing harm. The thing is, people have always used their spiritual gifts the same way. While God granted gifts to all since the beginning of time, unfortunately, He left it up to them to use them or ignore them.

Maybe you're like me? I'm not normal. I never have been and never will be. I am unique and I embrace that uniqueness because I am the only one who lived my life as my life unfolded. When someone says they just want to fit in, I cringe, because there is always a price to pay for that.

We end up giving up parts of ourselves to fit into what others appear to be. That was made clear to me when I wanted to fit into what others expected my work to fit into.

I didn't want to fit into what others thought over 40 years ago when I first invested my life toward defeating #PTSD. It was bad all the way around. Fitting into what had already been done repulsed me since none of it was working. Too many were suffering and too few were healing.

It is the same way now. For all that has been reported on, talked about, and sadly, fundraised for, too many have settled for "easy" instead of what is accomplishable.

Too many with PTSD are not part of the conversation and that is the greatest sin of all. I guess you could have called me a bad witch back then when someone asked me why I didn't focus on average people with PTSD as well as veterans. I responded with something along the lines of veterans were unique and we owed them all we could do to help them recover from doing what we asked of them.

I finally became a good witch when I realized that was the key to healing veterans! With the number of other survivors out there growing every year, just from living as a civilian, there is power in that. When veterans, and current military members, finally understand they have also been exposed to the same traumatic events the rest of us are, and then exposed to the traumatic events in war, they begin to open their eyes.

That is the biggest reason why all the characters in the series were survivors of different events, and yes, including veterans.

Life as a survivor doesn't have to be as hard as it is. Suffering does not have to follow surviving when healing is ready and waiting to fill up the room with hope. Once you see how much we all have in common, even if our experiences causing PTSD were different, the road toward healing, is the same. We don't get too far doing it alone. When we accept the fact that others will not understand the world we traveled to is much different than anything they will be able to understand, we begin to find others that do understand. When we allow them to help us reach the magical world of healing, we understand we helped them too!

At the end of The Wizard Of Oz, the Scarecrow asked Glind why she didn't tell Dorothy about having the power inside her all along to go home. She replied that Dorothy wouldn't have believed her. She had to learn it on her own, and do you! You've always had the power in you too!

Friday, April 8, 2022

C-PTSD Mental Disorder That “Doesn’t Officially Exist”

I spent 40 years helping people with PTSD, mostly veterans. Considered an "expert" and knew enough to save lives. The problem is, because of everything I read, the therapists I saw, PTSD in me was missed. I survived 10 events but the only one that followed me wherever I went was after my first husband tried to kill me. I filed for divorce and he stalked me after that for a long time. The thing is, it stayed with me every time I heard the kind of car he drove. It hung on even though I got married again 38 years ago and moved thousands of miles away from him. The nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings and paranoia didn't stop coming with the roar of an engine until I found out he passed away. So yes, this is a very real thing we suffer from, but the other real thing is, we can heal and surviving the cause, is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm proud I survived, fought back and recovered enough to live a full life, even with the residual of what happened to me. You can too! Learn as much as you can about what PTSD is and find support. It is out there. 

Praise to Stephanie Foo for doing this! Keep in mind, every mental "disorder" did not exist until it had a name after it was proven it had been there all along!

What It’s Like to Be Diagnosed With a Mental Disorder That “Doesn’t Officially Exist”

APRIL 07, 2022
What My Bones Know Stephanie Foo
Excerpted from What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo. Copyright © 2022 by Stephanie Foo. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Learning about C-PTSD is not easy because it doesn’t officially exist. The name “complex PTSD” is somewhat new, coined in the ’90s by psychiatrist Judith Herman. And it doesn’t exist because it isn’t officially in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is essentially the bible of mental health: If it’s not in there, it ain’t real. There was an effort by a group of mental health experts to include it in the DSM-5, which was published in 2013, but the faceless arbiters of mental health behind the DSM—a group of psychiatrists I envision as a society of hooded figures chanting around a sacrificial child star—decided that it was too similar to PTSD. There was no reason to add a “C,” no need for a distinction between the two. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the United Kingdom National Health Service both recognize C-PTSD as a legitimate diagnosis.

Because it isn’t in the DSM, there isn’t much literature on C-PTSD. What does exist is often dry, dull, and written with all the kindness and emotional intelligence of a tech bro. But still, I was desperate to learn, so I bought a small stack of books, each with a vague impressionist painting on the cover coupled with uninviting font. And I made my way through them, one painful page at a time.

The books taught me that when we live through traumatic experiences, our brains take in the things around us that are causing the greatest threat, and they encode these things deep into our subconscious as sources of danger.
read more here

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Survivors emerge from rubble in Ukraine

Mariupol theatre: 'We knew something terrible would happen'

BBC News, Lviv, Ukraine
By Hugo Bachega, Orysia Khimiak
March 17, 2022
After leaving Mariupol, Kate was headed to the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, a region that has been largely spared of attacks. "The first day after we managed to get out, I couldn't talk. We all just cried", she said. "But now it feels like there are no tears left. I don't think this pain will ever disappear."
Civilians are said to be emerging alive from the ruins of a theatre that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was bombed by Russia in the city of Mariupol. Despite pictures of devastation at the scene, many who were sheltering there are thought to have survived in a basement that withstood Wednesday's attack.

For 10 days, that basement was a refuge for Kate, a 38-year-old Mariupol native, and her son, who is 17. Their own home, like many others in the besieged city, had been destroyed by Russian attacks, and they thought the Donetsk Regional Theatre of Drama was a place where they would be relatively safe.

Mother and son squeezed in the building's dark rooms, corridors and halls with dozens of other families. Some women, Kate said, carried babies that were just four or five months old.

"In the beginning, it was really tough, because we didn't have a well-organised food supply. So on the first two days, adults didn't have any food," Kate, who used to work at the city's zoo shop and did not want to give her full name, said. "We gave food only to the children." They slept on improvised beds made with soft parts of auditorium seats which had been put together on the floor. The seats made of wood, she said, were cut in parts and used as firewood for them to cook. "Around the theatre there wasn't enough trees we could use, and it was too dangerous to go outside".
read more here

There had been a video plea for food so that the people taking shelter there could survive. The Russians used that to target them. There were signs on the grounds on both sides of the theater with so that the Russians would know there were children there. They didn't care. They used it to murder the people inside.

When you look at what they are doing to Ukraine, it is easy to focus on all the evil they are committing. What is harder is to try to focus on the miracles that come out of it.

We cannot do much to help the people suffering such evil acts. We cannot do much to open the eyes of the Russian people so they will see they are being lied to. All we can do is pray they see the truth for themselves.

All the reports, what little there is, are about the Russians supporting what Putin is doing. That's only part of the realty going on there because we've seen the massive protests happening and brave Russians being arrested while trying to stop the slaughter of the Ukrainian people.

We saw the woman holding up a sign on a Russian news broadcast.

And then there are other things like this going on.

PBS NewsHour
As some Russians protest the conflict in Ukraine a former senior Kremlin official has criticized the operations there. This comes after an employee of Russian state television on Monday interrupted a live newscast to demonstrate against the fighting and amid reports that Russia asked China for military assistance. Special correspondent Ryan Chilcote joins Judy Woodruff from Moscow to discuss.
For now, know your limitations and do what you can for the people of Ukraine. Watch the news to a point and then do something else for your own sanity. In closing, also notice the first miracle. Putin thought the would take Ukraine in a few days. It's been a month!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

“Bastard Road" turning veterans with PTSD from victims to survivors

Veteran takes a long journey down the road in Slamdance documentary

Park Record
Scott Iwasaki
January 25, 2020

In the opening scene of Brian Morrison’s “Bastard Road,” a documentary feature in this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, Jonathan Hancock, a former Marine and an Iraq War veteran, recounts an incident where he killed a young boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The boy’s death is part of Hancock’s post-traumatic stress disorder, which has prevented him from transitioning back into civilian life when his service in the Marines ended in 2009.

Six years later, Hancock, after sliding into a pit of depression, anger, substance abuse and a suicide attempt, decided to walk cross-country from Maryland to California to visit some of his 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines brethren, nicknamed the “Magnificent Bastards,” to cope with his PTSD.

Although Morrison didn’t know Hancock personally, the two shared high school friends, and it was one of those friends who put the two in touch with each other.

“The thing is, I wasn’t aware of Jon’s walk until he was a couple thousand miles into it, and he started popping up on local TV reports,” Morrison said. “I knew he was a Marine who was struggling with PTSD, and I was so curious as to why he was walking.”
read it here

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Help Mandalay Bay Survivors. Be There!

This morning I posted advice on Google+ about how to help someone after they have survived something like Mandalay Bay shooting. It is really simple advice.
"If you know survivors of the shooting in Las Vegas, be there to listen to them. Do not turn it into a contest or try to "fix them" with any words, other than letting them know you care. Hold their hand and hold your tongue. Be there as they bring what happened as survivors back into the safety of what "normal" life is supposed to be."
Aside from living through many times when my life was on the line as a civilian, (remember, I am not the veteran in the family) this works. My family did it naturally, not knowing they were beginning my healing as a survivor. I also studied it, trained to work with First Responders, because of how much I do believe it works. 

Having seen the worst that can happen after a survivor is suffering without help, I weep more because I know that suffering did not need to happen.

It isn't just me saying this. It is repeated over and over again from the type of experts I learned from. You know, the ones with degrees up the you know what and a proven history of being right.

This is from one of those types of articles that just came out from an interview with Michele Hart.
A place to feel safe
"The first step is safety. Give someone a safe place to be and just be," she said. "Right now the talking isn't the important part."

Hart said the priority should be giving people a place where they can cry and express emotions and begin to process what has happened in a way that is safe and comfortable.  
The rush for 'psychological first aid' in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting
Jessica Mathews
October 3, 2017

The morning after Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resorts promptly opened a crisis center.
What was to be an evening of country music and celebration turned into a night of bloody terror, leaving those affected at risk of severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Clinical social worker Michele Hart, who specializes in stressor-related disorders, says one of the best measures to treat PTSD is providing a place where those affected can cry and express emotions.

Denise Truscello | Getty Images
People embrace during a vigil on the Las Vegas strip for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017, in Las Vegas.

The morning after 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resorts promptly opened a crisis center, asking certified trauma counselors to volunteer and go to "Circus Circus – Ballroom D," according to a tweet. The makeshift crisis center was open to all victims, family members and anyone else directly impacted by the events, including Mandalay Bay guests and employees.

"Psychological first aid," or early mental health response, after the aftermath of horror and heartbreak is relatively new. In the first two weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on December 14, 2012, which left 29 people dead, more than 800 people visited the main crisis counseling center in Newtown, Connecticut. Within 24 hours after the June 12, 2016, nightclub shooting in Orlando, which claimed 49 lives, local counselors began circulating a spreadsheet, asking practitioners to sign up for shifts to offer therapy and support to victims, their families and community members. In a few days 650 practitioners signed up.

The Las Vegas shooting on Sunday night turned out to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving 59 dead and 527 injured. For nearly 15 minutes shots rained down on the attendees, who had nowhere to escape. What was to be an evening of country music and celebration turned into a night of bloody terror, leaving those affected — whether directly or vicariously — at risk of severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

read more here

But remember, it isn't just about the survivors. It is the First Responders, the families, the friends and the people who just left, will also be changed. Will you be there to help them change again for the better?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

PTSD Awareness Day Something to Beware of

Reporter should be aware of a lot of things beginning with the fact that anyone with PTSD is not a VICTIM, but is a survivor of something that could have killed them. As for the rest, more of the same-old-fluff instead of getting to the real food veterans need to know, like THEY ARE SURVIVORS of something they were willing to die for. Would also be nice to mention the fact that the lives of others meant that much to them, but their own needs to be worthy fighting for as well!
PTSD Awareness Day: Resources for vets ahead of Independence Day celebrations
The Denver Channel
June 27, 2017

DENVER — Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day couldn't come at a better time for many veterans who shudder at the sound of fireworks. It helps bring veterans and their struggles to the front of many minds.
Observed on June 27, PTSD Awareness Day is a day to support those veterans who fight a battle with traumatic memories. It also helps other Americans who aren't as familiar with the disorder come to a better understanding of how it impacts veterans. 
According to the National Center for PTSD, it is an issue many develop after life-threatening events, like combat. Experts say it isn't a statement on the mental toughness of those suffering through PTSD, it is a disorder completely out of the control of its victims. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

You Wouldn't Have Combat PTSD if You Stayed Home

I'll be damned if I sit back and let you settle for the load of crap you've been fed over all these years! I am going to keep this short and simple.

Too many have died because they had PTSD but never understood what it was. 

Many have suggested that dropping the D from PTSD will get the stigma out of the way. As if you are afraid of a letter after surviving war. The D is for "Disorder" meaning things in your mind were once in a certain order but after the traumas you survived, things got bumped out of place. You can put it all back in order again, just not in the same way they were before you left home. 

No one is ever the same after combat.

Far too many do not understand that "trauma" is actually Greek for "wound" and if you look at it that way, you understand that it hit you. Any shame in getting wounded for your country? Any shame in risking your life for the sake of those you were with?

As for asking for help, consider combat itself. You had no problem at all asking for help fighting the enemy forces. So why have a problem asking for help because you did all that then? This time you're battling for yourself so that when you are stronger you can battle for your buddy and all the other veterans out there going through the same hell.

If you are veteran over the age of 50, you are among the majority of veterans committing suicide. 

If you do not get the help you are looking for, keep looking until you find it. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Iraq Veteran Committed Murder-Suicide At Flapjack Pub

Sharon Williams is dead, killed by ex-boyfriend. Iraq veteran Arthur Guise is dead after pulling the trigger on her and then himself. It didn't happen in the privacy of a home. It happened on the deck of a pub with lots of strangers left in shock. It left two families in shock.

Guise was fighting the battle after war with PTSD and was seeking help to heal. So why wasn't he helped enough to prevent this? That is the question we should always get answers to but we never seem to get them.

PTSD veterans are mostly non-violent. Pretty much they are more of a danger to themselves than to anyone else. So why are more and more seeking help at the same time more and more are committing suicide?

Did Guise end up on one of the medications that does more harm than good? Did he see a VA doctor? Did he get the help he needed at the same time he did all he could to be proactive to heal? Was he told everything he needed to know? Does responsibility end with Guise or does everyone else involved in this tragedy deserve to know the rest of the story?
'He saw a lot in Iraq. It changed him': Father of shooter in York County murder-suicide
By Julianne Mattera
July 03, 2015
Flapjack's Pub reopened for customers to come visit, but did not serve food, after last night's murder-suicide that took place on the deck of the pub in Dillsburg on Friday, July 3 2015. Emily Kask, PennLive
The man who authorities said committed suicide after he shot a woman at a York County bar last night likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following military tours in Iraq, according to his father.

Lenard Guise of Mount Holly Springs said Arthur Guise, his son, did two tours in Iraq during his time in the Army.

"I think that affected him," Guise said. "He was going to some counseling to help. He saw a lot in Iraq. It changed him."

County Coroner Pam Gay said Arthur Guise, 31, shot and killed Sharon Williams, 33, of Mount Holly Springs before shooting and killing himself at Flapjacks Pub, on Route 15, just outside Dillsburg.
"He came onto the deck and walked right up to her — she was sitting at a table on the deck — and just walked up right behind her and shot her three times," said Osterhoudt, whose wife manages the bar, which is owned by Osterhoudt's father-in-law.

Osterhoudt said the man then "put the gun to his head and shot himself."
read more here

'It was all quick. No hesitation': Bartender recalls York County murder-suicide
By Julianne Mattera
July 03, 2015

Scotty Osterhoudt barely slept last night after seeing a patron shoot his ex-girlfriend before killing himself on the deck of his family's York County pub.

Osterhoudt, a bartender at Flapjack's Pub just outside of Dillsburg, turned around from making a drink Thursday night after hearing a "pop go off" outside the bar. Through a window, he saw Arthur Guise take one last shot at Sharon Williams, his ex-girlfriend, and then turn the gun on himself.

"It was all quick. No hesitation," said Osterhoudt, who heard at least four or five shots. "... He was just dead set on what he wanted to do."

When he came to the door to the deck, there was "just chaos" and "blood everywhere," Osterhoudt said.
read more here

Monday, February 2, 2015

PTSD changed you for a time, but you can change again!

The list of times I faced traumatic events is long but I can tell you that this report on Salon is not the total truth. Yes, the trauma stays with you just as every other good event in your life. Everything that happens become part of you at this moment in time. Your past tags along.

Yet when you think about the fact that you kept changing up to and including the "big one" setting off PTSD, you can keep changing. You can keep healing, finding peace and live a better quality of life. PTSD changed you for a time, but you can change again! It doesn't have to win.

“There is no cure for trauma. Once it enters the body, it stays there forever”
Survivors say the day of their trauma marks the end of a chapter in their lives.
The IED attack in Iraq was mine
FEB 1, 2015

We are born in debt, owing the world a death. This is the shadow that darkens every cradle. Trauma is what happens when you catch a surprise glimpse of that darkness, the coming annihilation not only of the body and the mind but also, seemingly, of the world. Trauma is the savagery of the universe made manifest within us, and it destroys not only the integrity of consciousness, the myth of self-mastery, and the experience of time but also our ability to live peacefully with others, almost as if it were a virus, a pathogen content to do nothing besides replicate itself in the world, over and over, until only it remains.

Trauma is the glimpse of truth that tells us a lie: the lie that love is impossible, that peace is an illusion. Therapy and medication can ease the pain but neither can suck the venom from the blood, make the survivor unsee the darkness and unknow the secret that lies beneath the surface of life. Despite the quixotic claims of modern neuroscience, there is no cure for trauma.

Once it enters the body, it stays there forever, initiating a complex chemical chain of events that changes not only the physiology of the victims but also the physiology of their offspring. One cannot, as war correspondent Michael Herr testifies in “Dispatches,” simply “run the film backwards out of consciousness.” Trauma is our special legacy as sentient beings, creatures burdened with the knowledge of our own impermanence; our symbolic experience with it is one of the things that separates us from the animal kingdom. As long as we exist, the universe will be scheming to wipe us out. The best we can do is work to contain the pain, draw a line around it, name it, domesticate it, and try to transform what lies on the other side of the line into a kind of knowledge, a knowledge of the mechanics of loss that might be put to use for future generations.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Surgeon heals patients and their violent ways

Surgeon heals patients and their violent ways
Story Highlights
Dr. Carnell Cooper's Violence Intervention Program helps trauma victims

The program aims to break the cycle of violence by targeting its root causes

Study: Participants are three times less likely to be arrested for a violent crime

Do you know a hero? Nominations are open at

BALTIMORE, Maryland (CNN) -- Dr. Carnell Cooper, a Baltimore surgeon, is saving lives inside and outside the operating room.
Since becoming a trauma surgeon 16 years ago, he has dedicated himself to treating the many young African-American men who've been shot, stabbed or beaten, only to see them return to the ER with another severe injury just months later.
But when one of his patients was readmitted with a fatal gunshot wound to the head in 1996, it changed Cooper's life.
"The night that we pronounced that young man dead and my colleagues said there's really nothing we can do in these situations. ... I just didn't believe that," said Cooper, 54. "From that day forward, I said, 'Let's see what we can do.' "
Cooper created the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) at the Shock Trauma Unit of the University of Maryland Medical Center, the state's busiest hospital for violent injuries. It became one of the country's first hospital-based anti-violence programs.
"We approached this problem like any public health crisis, like heart disease or smoking," he said. "We tried to work on the root causes."
Since 1998, VIP has provided substance abuse counseling, job skills training and other support services to nearly 500 trauma victims.
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Get involved: Violence Intervention Program
In Depth: CNN Heroes
"Using that scalpel blade to save their life is the first step," Cooper said. "The next step is to try to keep them from coming back."
A 2006 study by Cooper and his colleagues, published in the Journal of Trauma, showed that people in the program were six times less likely to be readmitted with a violent injury and three times less likely to be arrested for a violent crime.
The issue hits close to home for Cooper. Born to unwed teenagers in Dillon, South Carolina, he grew up in a neighborhood where violent crime was commonplace; he had friends and relatives who ended up dead or in jail.
But his grandparents made sure he stayed on the right path. As a straight-A student, he attended a prestigious high school in Massachusetts, then Yale University and Duke University School of Medicine.
But while Cooper rose above his circumstances, he felt sympathy for the young men who rotated in and out of his operating room.
"They could be my friends, my family," he said.
Cooper's program attempts to help patients from the moment they arrive because victims of violence face a greater risk of receiving another violent injury. Everyone treated for violent wounds at the hospital is seen by a VIP case worker, often at bedside. For Cooper, approaching patients at this early stage is crucial.
"We may get them in a moment when they are thinking, 'I just almost died,' " he said. "We say, 'We're going help you find a way to get out of the game.' "
Watch Cooper talk to a victim of violence at his bedside »
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

DJ AM Says He Was 'Saved For A Reason' after plane crash

Oct 15 2008 1:46 PM EDT

DJ AM Says He Was 'Saved For A Reason' In First Post-Crash Interview'I can't believe I made it,' he tells People magazine.
By James Montgomery

DJ AM considers himself "blessed" to have survived the September 19 plane crash that left him and Travis Barker with second- and third-degree burns and killed four others, including Barker's assistant, Chris Baker, and bodyguard Charles Still.

In his first interview since the crash, AM told People magazine that during his recovery, he grew closer to God and that he now believes he was saved "for a reason."

"I've prayed every night for the past 10 years. There's a lot more to thank God for now. My philosophy is 'live life to the fullest,' [and] I was saved for a reason," he told the magazine. "Maybe I'm going to help someone else. I don't question it. All I know is, I'm thankful I'm still here."

(Click for People Magazine's first post-crash photos of DJ AM.)

He also said that while he's grateful to be alive, he's wrestled with guilt, knowing that four people didn't survive the crash.

"My emotions go back and forth," he said. "At the first hospital, I screamed, 'Thank you!' Then I wondered, 'Why did I live?' I can't believe I made it. Any second, it can all be gone."
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Why does someone die? I've asked myself this question most of my life. I survived too many times and wondered why I did. Last week I began to ask why my brother died at the age of 56, and again, Tuesday at his funeral. I doubt I will ever know the answers anymore than I will ever know why some veterans survive combat but cannot survive in peace.

We will only understand when God allows us to. For most of us, that day will come when our souls return to Him. Others will be blessed on this earth to discover that they survived to serve others in offering hope, help, stretching out a hand with compassion and understanding. Most of the chaplains I know suffered in their lives, took that pain and reached out to others knowing what it felt like. Almost every person I know working on PTSD has either lived with it or came into contact with someone who touched their lives. We have "skin in the game" and it is far more than a casual observation.

While I was away with my family for my brother's funeral, I didn't watch much TV or read. I was out of contact with what was going on in the world. I didn't know who died of a non-combat death, who committed suicide or anything else that normally I would have been focused on like a lazar. It was stunning to me to understand how so many can be so oblivious to the suffering and trumps of others. They just focus on their own lives, needs, wants and their own trials, unable and unwilling to see any of what we see.

People who read my blog are focused on all of this. We share what we learn in order to find answers through news across the nation and the world. Ask a neighbor if they heard of the suicide of Chris Dana or how his death touched the lives of so many in the Montana National Guard that they came up with their own program to save lives, and they won't have a clue. Ask them if they heard the news about any of the others and they will be shocked. What they are most shocked about is that the government failed to take care of them. It was too easy to assume the government is taking care of all those who serve.

DJ Am, thinks his live was saved for a reason and he plans on doing something about it. Think about your own life and what you can do to make a difference. The beginning is reading blogs like mine. The rest is in your hands. Make sure that when you have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, you take it right then and there without trying to find excuses to not do it.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington