E18 The War at Home Often Results in PTSD

I was awake again at 3.15 AM. I wake up from vivid dreams, but I don’t always remember them. So sometimes I don’t even know why I wake up feeling fearful, angry or anxious. Last night I did not wake up in a cold sweat this time, I just felt unsettled and anxious. It takes a long time to shift that feeling, breathing exercises only get you so far. Sometimes I decide to just get up and camp out on the sofa. The TV can distract me while I wait for exhaustion to get me back to sleep.

I tell you, there is a reason why 3.15 AM is always the time bad stuff happens in horror movies.

This is PTSD. Well, it is one way in which it manifests.

PTSD is what takes me back to the abuse, even years after leaving. It is the involuntary physical responses to receiving bills or bank statements. It is the crushing feeling of defeat when something trivial goes wrong. It is the mountain of guilt for dishes undone or laundry unironed. It is the vivid dreams that take hours and sometimes days to shake. It is the jump or panic when I see a woman with short grey hair and glasses or a man with a hat on a mobility scooter.

So many people only associate PTSD with combat soldiers, and those who have dealt with domestic violence know what it is like to fight a constant war at home. PTSD is a response to trauma, just as bleeding is a response to cutting your finger. Unfortunately, no bandage is big enough to cover up PTSD, and healing is an intense and long process. Unfortunately some of it takes place at 3.15 in the morning…

Fly Free,

Operations Manager

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Want to find out more about PTSD in the aftermath of emotional abuse? Check out these resources:

There are connections between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult HealthHow Your Adverse Childhood Experiences Craft Your Adult Health and Relationships

In this podcast Aubrey Cole is joined by Andrew Willis and Barry Goldstein of the Stop Abuse Campaign. In this discussion we make the connection between our adverse childhood experiences and adult physical and emotional health. Listen here >>

Man with PTSD leaning his head against a wallAn Introduction to PTSD and Toxic Relationships

A little while ago we announced in our blog an upcoming podcast about PTSD, and here it is.

In this PTSD podcast Aubrey and Monkey talk about everything from what it is, to how it can manifest. Listen here>>

Here Are Some Blog Posts on PTSD

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Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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One comment:

  1. Profile photo of Aubrey Cole
    Aubrey Cole

    October 19, 2015 at 2:58 am

    I will add, too, that from my own experiences, the times I am most frustrated are when I can’t remember a dream to correlate my fear to. I got very good at picking apart my dreams to take away the power they had, by going through each detail and examining why it wasn’t real. Sometimes they are memories, but oftentimes, it is our subconscious trying to work out the things our consciousness can’t quite deal with.

    I still have night terrors, waking up drenched in sweat and gasping for air. The last time I remember actually knowing what the dream was, I woke up choking and trying to breathe and remembered the dream was my ex on top of me with his hands around my throat. That never happened in reality, so it was obviously a figurative way for my mind to deal with the ways he was still trying to choke the life force out of me.


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