Thursday, November 3, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Share- No Judgment Here. This is a safe place!

I know that this information for a lot of people is personal and they may not want to share. I have high hopes for this blog to be a place where you can break your silence, be empowered and inspired and to find the support and understanding you need to start your healing process by reaching out to fellow peers/survivors.

There is a place at the bottom of the screen that you can use to write your comment as: use drop down arrow to choose the option anonymous. Then no one will know who you are and you still can participate by sharing your experiences, receiving feedback or ideas to help you cope with your diagnosis or diagnoses.

So I will start over my name is Leslie Raddatz and I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Conversion and Somatization Disorders, as well. These disorders were developed to help my body and mind cope with the after affects of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and childhood neglect that I endured from the age of 3 years old until 23 years old. I suffered for 11 years with symptoms I couldn't explain. I thought I was going crazy so I hid it from my friends, and family until my body didn't allow me to anymore. I started to lose control of my anger and had anger, panic, and anxiety outbursts for no reason, I started to detach from family because I didn’t want to hurt them and I was afraid that they would leave me, so by detaching myself I thought if they left I wouldn’t grieve their loss. I am very lucky to have a dedicated husband and family that didn’t happen.  They stayed by my side and I received the help I needed.

I felt so much comfort once I reached out to fellow survivors because I couldn't reach out to family right away because I thought I was going crazy but I wasn't I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and by repressing memories and keeping it all stuffed inside. I became ill.

One example I was shopping at Wal-Mart with my son and I had all the symptoms of a stroke, lost my ability to speak, read, lost my memory, and was numb on one side of my body. I didn’t know the date, year or president, who could forget the president’s name.  The worst part was my 18 month old son was in the cart and I forgot he was my son. Anything could have happened to him. What happened was my Conversion Disorder surfaced to protect my mind so I wouldn’t have a mental break down, but instead my body broke down.  I stuffed so many secrets of my abusers’ in my mind and body that my body couldn't handle the burden anymore so it made me physically ill. The Somatization Disorder- is the physical symptoms are present and I was experiencing them and they are real but the doctors cannot find a cause for my symptoms.  This is where you get the doctors who are rude to you because they prejudge you and it isn’t fair. I told the ER doctor in confidence that “My friend had a stroke recently and I wasn’t taking any chances so that is why I came in.” I overhead the doctors telling the nurse that “Her friend had a stroke so now she thinks she is having one too, as they all laughed at my expense.  I felt humiliated and in an hour I had full recall of my memory and my body was restored to normal.  My Psychiatrist said that the stress, anxiety got to such a high level that my body needed to take a break so that is what it did.  That is why it is important for you to take care of yourself and to learn coping skills.


  1. I think you have a lot of courage and inner strength to be able to share your story and it gives me the confidence to continue on my healing journey which is also very arduous and painful. Your testimony is very empowering to me. Keep up the good work; I believe in you!

  2. Thank you Anonymous for being the brave one to post a comment first and for the positive complements and encouragement to keep going with my blog. I hope it will touch lives and help peers like you to have a place to speak out and to break the silence.