Hi I am Leslie Raddatz, author of Flashbacks in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Surviving the Flood!
Photo by1' Shne Van Boxtel, Image Studios
If you are interested please purchase book at https://www.amazon.com/Flashbacks-Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder-Surviving/dp/1475224087/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506207337&sr=8-1&keywords=Leslie+Raddatz
In March 2010, I was faced with the realization of childhood traumas as it transitioned from my subconscious (amnesia) to conscious mind "total recall" of memories and body sensations also known as body memories. The traumas manifestation came through by alerting "wounded parts of self", which then began the vicious cycle of Fight, Flight, or Freeze to protect my "Core Self" from harm. My life was turned upside down as I began to respond to unwanted triggers in my environment at home, work, and outdoors. I began exhibiting negative behaviors and experienced warning signs that were not from my "Core Self" such as angry outbursts, crying spells, panic attacks, dissociation, flashbacks, negative body sensations, distorted thinking, terrified to be alone or to go outside, to name a few.
This also began a long list of mental health and medical problems that had limitless symptoms which terrified me because I didn't understand what was happening. What made it worse was the physicians I saw in Emergency Department couldn't tell me what was wrong during these "crisis episodes" that mimicked serious medical conditions such as a stroke, heart attack, and severe pain. Some physicians were impatient when I asked questions. I often overheard conversations with nursing staff which retraumatized me. This made my symptoms worse which contributed to my decline in functioning because I felt unsafe and had mistrust for all hospital staff. I questioned, "Am I crazy?"
I reached a point where I no longer could repress my emotions, flashbacks, body memories so I had no choice but to seek professional help. My condition became known as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) due to childhood sexual, emotional and physical abuse.
I was fortunate to find a trauma informed therapist that explained what was happening. She normalized my experiences while helping to ease my mind which in turn lowered symptoms to a manageable level along with the help of medications, I began my long healing journey. This journey involved Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Ego State Mapping, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Brainspotting therapies. I also learned invaluable positive coping strategies that would maintain me in between sessions.
During reading my book, you will be able to visualize how I regress to "wounded parts" such as child, adolescent, and young adult, age ranging from 3-18 years old. The triggers in my environment causes me to leave "present reality" to go to "alternative reality" to find answers to questions from unfinished business. As memories flood my brain "wounded parts" become confused and mistakes past trauma as present reality causing my "Core Self" to lose control and "true reality" to suffer with broken relationships, loss of time, parental responsibilities suffers, suicide ideation, depression, etc .
The goal of therapy was to help "wounded parts" break the silence and to tell trauma story. The "Core Self" experienced trauma story along with "wounded parts" but with adult eyes and vocabulary to translate to therapist what wounded parts such as a child experienced. This process is called reprocessing traumatic events so "wounded parts" feel safe to reintegrate into "Core Self" and control can be restored allowing all parts to live in harmony in the background.
I will warn my readers that this is a raw and detailed account of childhood trauma. I invite you inside my therapy sessions and detail how a person with mental illness is affected during healing journey. I, as the adult, struggle to stay within "present reality" while my "wounded parts" are dragging me back to the past which is saturated in traumatic memories.
Good news, all my hard work in therapy paid off and now I am only a few semesters away from completing a graduate degree as an mental health therapist specializing in childhood trauma. I am currently working in a hospital as an intern on the behavioral health unit. I have already helped many peers with counseling and helping to educate them about positive coping strategies. I am also trained in Brainspotting therapy so I can help peers to reprocess trauma so they can be free to break his or her silence as I did. I will do my part to break the mental health stigma!
The Article called "New Beginnings" by Alison Fiebig Mayer. This article tell of my healing journey and features my Psychiatrist, Dr. Rowell.
Read Affinity Article: https://issuu.com/affinityhealthsystem/docs/_affinity_winter_2014_final/4