Sunday, February 24, 2019

PTSD Patrol: Are You A Passenger or Navigator?

PTSD Patrol: Participating in the journey

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 24, 2019

I have been unplugged for a few days to spend time with some very dear old friends of ours. Over the weekend we talked about old times and how our lives have changed since we were young.

My friend Ellen and I shared how much we have taken active places in the lives of our husbands and unwilling to settle for just being along for the ride. 

This morning I was wondering why so many younger family members are not taking an active part in the journey too. Then it occurred to me that maybe no one ever explained to them how much power they do have over everything.

Passenger Passive is just along for the ride and not paying attention to where they are going, or noticing how they got to where they were.
Passsenger: a person who is traveling in a vehicle but is not operating it or working as an employee in it.
Captain Cruel takes advantage of the vulnerability of the person they are with instead of helping them.

Navigator Knowing charts the way to get everyone to their destination as quickly and safely as possible.
Navigator :a person in a vehicle who decides on the direction in which the vehicle travels.
Point Man Partner acknowledges the needs of someone they care about and finds a way to make their journey a much happier trip.

So which one are you? If you are a family member, you are part of the journey and you can change the trip for everyone. 

Yes, without knowing it, you play a major role in all of this. You can make it worse for everyone or you can make it so much better.

While peer support is one of the best ways for recovering from PTSD, what Point Man International Ministries discovered is, family support works better than anything.

Point Man established Home Front groups because our role can, and should, change their lives for the better. The more we know, the more involved we are, the more healing can happen.

Are you tired of just being along for the ride?

This is from Paul Sluznis

Many of us had no idea where to go or who to talk to when we came home from our different conflicts. We had no clue we had PTSD or anxiety. Who thought they would still be clearing their own home 15 years after getting out of the military. I had no idea how to deal with any of these issues till my Bride found out about Point Man Ministries and I haven't looked back since.

I started out going to outpost meetings and after awhile found that everyone in the room, although some from different services, and conflicts had the same issues as I. In that room we shared our thoughts as well as our messed up feelings knowing that what was said in the room would never leave the room....

Many of us have lost long time friends while in the service and I have met many Veterans who never left our country and felt they didn't belong in the same room as a combat Veteran. We all served this great nation whether shot at or not you served and you have just as much of a right to be there as I do. No matter what your service, male or female, I urge you to seek us out and join us! Thank you for serving our great Nation and welcome home! Paul Sluznis (President of PMIM)
In 1982 our journey began for my husband and I. Along the way, there were a lot of bad times but once I knew what PTSD was doing to him, I understood it was happening to us!

When someone you care about is hurting, it can break your heart. When someone you love is hurting to the point they are pushing you away, thoughts smash into each other as you try to figure out what you did wrong to cause it. Not a great way to live. You'll never find the answer because it is not really about you. It is about whatever they survived and the shock that came afterwards.

Not understanding any of it causes them to fear tomorrow instead of hope for healing.

It is our job to get them to where they need to be and that begins with how much of an active part we are willing to play.

These videos are with Paul talking about what it was like for him before Point Man and after his wife found us. This is how you can become a "Point Man Partner" and make a difference.

And if you are a family member, this is how you become Navigator know which way to go!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

PTSD Patrol: What is in your dash?

It is the middle that matters

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 17, 2019

When you look at your dash, there are a lot of things it can tell you. In the center, you see how far you've traveled and how fast you are going at this very moment.

THE DASH by Linda Ellis is one of those poems that is usually delivered when it is too late for the person being remembered to benefit from. It is not so much for the person being buried, but for those gathered to be able to think about their own lives.

This is part of that poem.

"He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years."
While we have no control over when we arrive into this world, we do have control over what we do between the dates used to acknowledge we were here at all.

"For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth."

Question; What is your line worth? Can you see it all or is it mostly a blur with symbols you cannot really understand?

This veteran served in Vietnam. We know he was born in 1940 and died in 2008. 
What else happened in between the space of those dates is known only to those who knew him. There were a lot of veterans mixed in with civilians, and for the most part, that is the way they spend their lives as well. Mixed in with people who saw them all the time and never had a clue what they did serving this country.

So what is in your dash? What is missing from it? What can you add to it? The other thing is, if you are thinking about giving up, do you want to be remembered for the way you died? Or do you want to be remembered for what you did in your life?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

PTSD Patrol: Asking for help is better than suffering in silence

You are not driving an empty bus

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 10, 2019

Last week on PTSD Patrol Change the Road You Are On I used a video of the road, filmed at 5:00 am, showing how lonely the road can be when there are only a few people on it.

That is the way it can seem when you have PTSD.  You can feel as if you are alone, but the truth is, everyone you know is tied to you in one way or another.

I used the road film because my ego took over. I have been in a lot of pain again because of my back. I didn't want anyone to see me in pain, so, I used that video. Ashamed of myself ever since. Not because of being in pain, but because I wanted to hide it from everyone.

Yes, imagine that! The one who is constantly preaching on letting people know you are hurting, did a lot of work to hide it. No one ever said I was the brightest bulb in the box.

So, yesterday, the pain is actually worse than last week. I apologized for my stupid decision, and then went on to talk about how if you do not #BreakTheSilence, no one can help you because you will not give them the chance.

If you think that deciding to leave the pain by committing suicide, you need to be aware of a so many things, it would take a year to post! 

The first thing is, picture yourself as a bus driver. They do not have empty busses for very long. More and more people travel where the driver takes them. That is the way your life is. 

More and more people are connected to you. Family, friends, people you work with, are all obvious connections, but there are many more. Add to the list of passengers your family members' friends. Your friends' families. Your coworkers' families and friends. See where I'm going with this?

Now, you may think that leaving is best for everyone, but it will hit everyone hard and that pain never leaves them.

It was 19 years ago my husband's nephew, also a Vietnam veteran, decided to leave. When he committed suicide, it was like a dagger in my heart. Again, I felt as if it was my fault because I could not get him to listen to me. Yes, even I could not find the words he needed to hear to give him what he needed to want to fight to heal.

So, I do know what I am talking about with leaving behind a lot of pain. On the flip side, I also know what I am talking about when you are made aware of the fact you can heal and life can get better.

What if he just suffered in silence instead of asking for help? I learned what I know because he told me what was going on...and what he thought I could not understand. I had been through so many times when my life was on the line, it was something I knew all too well. I also knew why I healed.

Aside from all the veterans and families I have worked with over the decades, it is personal to me because of my own husband. We were talking last night about how I was only 23 and he was 30 when we started this ride together. 

There were times it seemed impossible but day by day we made it past all pain and into the winning struggle for an oh-so-much better life together.

You can do it too! Just remember that if you feel like a burden to your family now, leaving them instead of fighting to #TakeBackYourLife will leave them with questions that cannot be answered.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

PTSD Patrol Change the road to healing

Change the road you are on

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 3, 2019

Whatever happened to you that started PTSD was out of your control. That is the only way to get PTSD. It hits you! It is not something that started inside of you. It just ended up there.

The fact you have PTSD means you survived something that could have killed you. Isn't it time you started to live like a survivor?
You have the ability to determine your own destiny from this moment on. It is up to you to suffer in silence, more afraid to ask for help, than you were of what set off PTSD in the first place, or, take control of the rest of your life.

Just like learning how to drive your vehicle and control it, you can learn how to drive your life and heal it. Just spend as much time discovering a new way of living instead of spending so much time suffering.

It isn't easy and will take a lot of hard work. Then again, it has not been easy feeling as if all hope has vanished. I can assure you it has not. You just stopped looking for it.

There is still time to change the road you're on and you are the only one who can decide to do it. Once you do, there are people who cleared the way.

Contact PTSD Patrol and let us show you the road that is waiting for you.

"Can you imagine how I feel today?"

PTSD Patrol Kathie Costos June 15, 2021 "Can you imagine how I feel today?" is a question no one would have to ask if they talk...

PTSD Patrol

PTSD Patrol
It is your life, get in and drive it