Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feeling of Complete Terror!

Having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder makes the person feel like the trauma is still in the present day. The flashbacks start and the terror intensifies and spins out of control.  Until you get help from a therapist to reprocess that memory, your brain  doesn't recognizes that you are safe because you are an adult.  Here is a poem I wrote that demonstrates how much terror I used to have when I had to stay home alone after dark.  I never told my husband.  I suffered alone.

Home Alone

She kisses her husband good-bye as he leaves the house.  She smiles as she hides her feelings from him.  As the sun goes down, she keeps herself busy by doing routine housework, playing with the children and preparing them for bed.

As she sits in a chair, her eyes begin to droop and her head becomes heavy.  She is forced to lower her guard to sleep.  She lays her head down and as she gets comfortable a disturbing thought comes to mind.  As time goes by, it becomes more disturbing.

The thoughts that haunt her are from her past.  She fears being alone because a man violated her.  She hears a noise and starts to panic because she visualizes the perpetrator is in the house and the fear of being a victim again is too much to bear. 

She thinks of what she will do if a man appears to harm her.  She looks quickly around the room to find a weapon.  She sits quietly in the darkness of her bedroom as she anticipates her next move.  Her heart starts to beat fast and her adrenaline kicks in as she remembers her children are upstairs asleep.  Her motherly instinct takes over as she puts her life in danger by running out of her room into the hallway and running up the steps to defend her children.  When she reaches her children they are sleeping safely in their beds, without a care in the world. 

As she calms herself, she sits by their bedside wondering what they are dreaming about.  She watches them in envy because her sleep is never sweet.  She hears a noise downstairs and jumps then hears a familiar voice say “Honey I’m home” she takes a deep breath and walks downstairs to meet her husband, her protector, her love.

By: Leslie Raddatz copyrighted all rights reserved.

It only took one session with the EMDR and brain spotting to reprocess/remove this fear.  I am not afraid anymore to stay home alone.  I enjoy the time now because I can relax.  I suffered for 11 years as my symptoms of PTSD were building inside of me. 

If you are experiencing a similar situation, you need to seek help by a therapist because this isn't normal behavior.  It is a sign that something traumatic happened to you.  For me it was being raped at 14 years old so when I was left alone at night that is the age that I would regress to.  I am so happy that I don't regress anymore and have overcome this fear.


  1. Dear Leslie:
    I am going to start following your blog now that I am editing your book. I can't tell you how valuable your story will be to others. I have a close friend looking for a therapist who does EMDR in the San Francisco Bay area and a neighbor who still has flashbacks from Vietnam and is currently working on his experiences through the VA. I work with him occasionally "on the spot" and see how it can keep someone
    unable to function when overcome. Thus, your subtitle, Surviving the Flood. I'm glad you're healed enough to write this story as well as you do. More later and happy, happy turkey day. Janell Moon

  2. Thank you Janell for your comments. My dad also has PTSD from the Vietnam War. He had flashbacks of his friends being killed. My mom had to try and keep us safe as she tried to get him help. My grandmother called her crazy and would accept that her son was mentally ill.

    My mom finally found a small group of wives that had a couselor willing to talk to them about what they had to do to keep themselves and children safe.

    They taught my mom how to take knives out of my dad's hands as it was pointed at her, told her how to walk up to him and to not show fear. I wouldn't have been able to do what my mom did it was too scary when I witness her doing it as a child age 4 or 5 years old.

    At times we became the enemy and my dad would be searching for us with a knife in his hand. This is when my mom would hide us in the closet and tell us not to move until she came back. She would some how get my dad to go to sleep and the flashbacks would pass.

    We ended up having to go to a Carrying House to keep safe when my dad got really bad. My dad then received the help he needed and we got to be reunited with him.

    Leslie Raddatz
    The Ultimate Survivor