Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Family; My Support System In the Journey of Recovery from PTSD

In the recovery process, family has become very important.  These are the people closest to me.  These are the ones who walk with me day in and day out - whether they want to or not.  These are the ones who hear my tales both of woe and of victory.  These are the ones who encourage me to keep on keeping on no matter how discouraged or depressed I get.

It was a level playing field, so to speak, when we all came into the journey of PTST, trauma and ultimately recovery eight years ago.  I say a level playing field because none of us knew what had just happened.  We were all clueless.  In many ways, we were all stuck in our not knowing, our cluelessness.

We all thought that like a flu it would all just go away sooner or later.  Hopefully, sooner rather than later.  What none of us realized at that time was that what had happened was more in the realm of a "major event" than a minor illness.  That it would take time - a lot of time - to rebuild and recover from the losses.  Making it even harder was that unlike a major physical event such as a flood or a tornado - or even wind damage, all the damage was internal, invisible.

So when these people who have suffered with me and walked alongside me on a long-term basis, made a request, I wanted to honour that request.

My two oldest grandchildren were taking a huge step in their faith journey by deciding to be baptized.  Not in a church building, but in a lake at a church camp where the family would be that weekend - the Civic Holiday weekend.

So when these people who are closest to me and have borne the brunt of my journey through trauma expressed a desire that I be there, I wanted to go.  It was important - both to me and to my family - for me to figure out a way to make this happen.  Not going was not an option.

If these people can be there for me and walk with me through a journey fraught with emotional landmines, then surely I can make the effort to be there for them when a once in a lifetime event occurs.

A significant event in both the life of the family as a whole and the lives of the two grands as individuals.

Narrative, words, fail me so I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story....

My two oldest grands and their parents in the lake - receiving instructions

Whoever said "ladies first" didn't know my grandson, as he took the plunge (literally) first.  (My youngest grand's head in the foreground)


I don't know what it was like in the early church when people went under but here in this location at this church it was a joyous occasion with shouts and cheers

Nest up - my granddaughter.  I would give a lot more than a penny for her thoughts at that moment, looking down at the water and knowing that it is COLD ... and she was going to get colder momentarily


Looking at the various expressions, joy, excitement and - I'm not sure how to read my granddaughter's face, really says it all.

A day of emotion.  A day of joy.  A day of victory.  A day of determination - not only to follow Christ in baptism but also the sheer grit it took to be totally immersed in lake water on a cold, windy day.

I'm glad I went out of my comfort zone to experience this momentous occasion with those who have shone me sacrificial love.

Thank you for inviting me into your lives and into experiences like these.












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