Sunday, April 28, 2019

Stop looking back when you come to a crossroad

At the crossroad?


PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 28, 2019

Acceptable stigma attached to PTSD is, the fact that whomever told you to be ashamed...is one hell of an idiot!

I'm going to let the post I put up last night fill in the gaps on this one. "War is bad for the brain" Two sides of death

Don't Look Back
Boston
Don't look back
A new day is breakin'
It's been too long since I felt this way
I don't mind where I get taken
The road is callin'
Today is the day
I can see
It took so long to realize
I'm much too strong
Not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I'll turn it around
I finally see the dawn arrivin'
I see beyond the road I'm drivin'
Far away and left behind
It's a new horizon and I'm awakin' now
Oh I see myself in a brand new way
The sun is shinin'
The clouds are breakin'
Cause I can't lose now, there's no game to play
I can tell
There's no more time left to criticize
I've seen what I could not recognize
Everything in my life was leading me on
But I can be strong
I finally see the dawn arrivin'
I see beyond the road I'm drivin'
Far away and left behind
Songwriters: Donald T. Scholz
Don't Look Back lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The details of your inner vehicle

Are you worthy?

Wounded Times and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 21, 2019

(cross post today)

Today is Easter. The day of a life rising from the dead. A life given, so that others may live and be made worthy by faith in Jesus.

The night before, the people who heard the voice of Jesus must have been wondering why they thought He was telling the truth, when His life ended the way it did. They must have been crushed.

Yet the truth was known by a cave left empty and all He said was once again believed.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Albert Einstein

He died for others, but He also lived for others. He did not just come to die and rise, but to lift us up and know, that we were loved. God knew we were here and in need of help, as much as we were in need of hope.

Jesus did what He was sent to do. Did you? So many times we think maybe we were wrong about what we were sent here to do. We appear to be failures to others, yet, no matter what others think, we rise and do it all over again.

If you are struggling between what other say you should do, and what you know you need to do, I have something that may help encourage you to stay true to what you were created for.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
I made the choice to follow where I was being led. I knew it would not be easy, but I did not know it would be so damn hard.

When I was training to be a Chaplain with the IFOC, David Vorce said that Satan was busy when we run up into road blocks. I just never thought those road blocks would be laid by people who were supposed to be "friends" of mine.

While I left the IFOC, I have not left the mission that I was prepared to do. I focused on first responders and veterans. I still do. After 37 years, it is in my DNA, so there is no getting away from it.

A few years ago, someone I thought was a friend, stood up during a large gathering after one of the members had committed suicide. She made this announcement. "22 veterans a day are committing suicide and I'm gonna do something about it."

It was almost as if she just woke up one day and decided that she suddenly had the power to do what I had been doing for over 3 decades. You know, like I had done nothing. Sick to my stomach, I could not even listen to the rest of what she had to say.

What I did hear, was an impassioned plea from one of the other members. "Please stop talking about it. It hurts my heart." She was a friend of the member who took his own life.

Well that caused the woman to become enraged and she snapped back at the grieving friend.

I drove home in tears. I couldn't figure out why that "friend" had not just dismissed my work, but pretended I was not even worthy of her learning anything from me.

The next day, I called the President of Point Man, Dana Morgan, and told him what happened. My heart was being ripped out, my ego was so beaten down that I doubted all the work I had done, but the worst thing was, my soul was so crushed, I was not sure if I was supposed to keep doing it or not.

It was hard enough to fight this battle, mostly alone, but it had been one betrayal too many for me.

Dana said he would ask the other leaders of Point Man to pray that I find the answer.

The next morning I felt a little better but, still unsure, I asked my boss at work if she would have her prayer group help me find the answer.

As I was talking about my own pain, I cried. When she started to ask me questions about veterans, I stopped crying. When I explained to her how they can go from being willing to die for the sake of others, to not wanting to be here anymore, that soul crushing feeling started to lift.

By the time I got home, the weight was gone.

I called Dana and told him that I had my answer. Thinking about myself, caused me great emotional pain. Doubt caused by someone else left me believing I was wrong to even try. Doing what I had done for so many years, filled me with peace. I knew that whatever would come, would be OK, because as long as I knew what God wanted of me, I could deal with it.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." Ephesians 4:1
Dana asked me if I told my boss yet. I told him I would in the morning.

When she came in, I started to explain what happened, but she started laughing. The look of puzzlement must have been clear because she responded. "You don't get it. As soon as you started talking yesterday, I started praying."

I got my answer. No matter what comes, I know I am doing what I am supposed to do. While it would be so much easier to receive more help than I am getting, it does not stop me from doing it.

Maybe the lack of help I receive is so that I can share this extra burden with those who are going through the same type of thing.

It is really hard to see so many others beating their own chest and getting attention for a bunch or words that mean absolutely nothing.  They are all about themselves and not the cause they claim to be invested in.

When the end result is a worse situation for those they claim to want to help, it is then others figure out that they came to this "ministry" unarmed and their foolish ways were discovered.

Well, a few days after that encounter with the woman who almost made me give up, a younger veteran was struggling. He needed my help. I gave it and he started to heal.

Another veteran needed help. A wife of a veteran needed help. A wife of a firefighter needed help. More and more needed help and I was able to be there because people were praying for me and the mission I was put into position to do.

I am doing what I can with what help I have been given. Sure, I get upset knowing I could be doing so much more if I did receive help but that is not the reality I live with. 

We understand that it is hard to go without help, so we understand those seeking it from us. I know the worth of my vehicle even though others think it is a worn out antique.

We know what it is like to find the courage to ask for help, as well as, what it is like to not often find it for ourselves. We know what hardships and struggles are, what doubt feels like and above all, we know what would comfort us, what words would help us find relief.

That is the lesson I have a hard time remembering during times such as this, but I've been on this road to long now, that I can also remember what it was like when someone did show up to help me out, offer comforting words, or let me know I was there when they needed someone the most.

Know that whatever you do, you are doing if for the right reasons and the price you pay, helps you do it far better than if you had it all handed to you on a silver platter.


Any crown I've ever worn
I lay it down
Any praise I've ever gained
I give it all to You
For there's nothing in this world
That can compare
For You alone are worthy
You alone are worthy
You are near to all who call
Upon Your name
Ever giving, ever loving
You remain the same
For You open up Your hands
And satisfy
I give You all the glory
Give You all the glory
You are worthy oh Lord
Of all honor
You are worthy to receive
All praise
In Your presence I live
And with all I have to give
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
Songwriters: Darlene Joyce Zschech You Are Worthy lyrics © Music Services, Inc

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Brake pads for vehicles when we get bad breaks

Break Pads


PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 14, 2019

When you are grieving, sometimes you need to apply the brakes...so that you can #BreakTheSilence of what you are going through. 

Most of the time people do not know what to expect from themselves. You may judge yourself, or expect more from your core.

Instead of dismissing your own emotions, honor what you are feeling so you can being the healing.

If you are angry, then honor it. I yelled at my Dad at the cemetery a few days after his funeral. I chewed out my brother at the funeral home before everyone else got there. I was angry because I wanted them to still be here.

If you are sad, then honor that. They were a part of your life and they still can be in your memories of them. There comes a time when those memories will stop being painful reminders they are gone. The memories become fond ones of times when they were here.

Do not judge yourself or let anyone else judge you for not grieving enough or too much, or taking too long to "get over it" because they did it another way.

Brake pads on vehicles stop us from moving forward. Breaks in our lives can do the same if we let them.

Brake pads also release when needed so that we can move forward. So to breaks in our lives. They release us so that we can move on.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE before 9-11

Why you should never publish your book on April Fools Day or with Xlibris

This is a special cross post!
Wounded Times and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 13, 2019


"We're not interested in owning your work...after all, we didn't write it." Xlibris
That quote is from the Xlibris brochure that made me decide on choosing them as the (FLUSHING) publisher for the book that had to "get out there" way back in 2003.
After all this time telling veterans to #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife that is what I am doing. Breaking the silence on what has been torturing me for all these years and taking back control over my own work!

I wrote FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE before 9-11 but could not find a publisher. After all, it was about a veteran's family living with PTSD. To top that off, the veteran was a Vietnam veteran. You know, before they were big news again.

After 9-11, I added to the ending and had the copyright done in 2002. 


2003 I decided to self publish it. On April 1, 2003 it was published.

Yes, April Fools Day! Should have known right there it was off to a bad start with this (FLUSH) company.

 Product detailsPaperback: 148 pagesPublisher: Xlibris Corp (April 1, 2003)Language: English ISBN-10: 1401086918ISBN-13: 978-1401086916
After 16 years...I can assure you, that while the actual ownership of the book does belong to me, they have not seemed to be able to remember that fact.

I was hearing from people about reading the book, but saw few sales reported. I questioned Xlibris and they said that they were "used" books they must have been reading. Used book? How when there were only a few "new" ones sold according to them.

Just to find out what was going on, I ordered 2 books from Barnes and Noble. I had them shipped to the store and yes, paid full price. The bar code did not work. 

Anyway, a few more emails and trust was gone. I wanted my book out of their hands. I told them to stop printing it.

That didn't work. Really odd that they did not manage to explain why the book was still being sold, if there were no sales.

I wrote to the Better Business Bureau and Xlibris responded with it was my ego that was involved and not their problem. Besides, they also said that I was taking up too much of their time. Odd thing is that responding to the BBB, they said that "half a dozen" more were sold.

By 2004 I totally had it and my lawyer sent them a letter to stop publishing it and give me a full report.

In 2005, the book was still being sold. I (FLUSH) emailed them again! 


This is their response.


RE: STOP SELLING MY BOOK/CANCELLATION CONFIRMATION
Mon, Mar 14, 2005 6:33 am
Channel (Channel@Xlibris.com)


Dear Ms. Costos, As long as Ingram still has physical copies of your book in stock, your book will continue to be listed as available and people can continue to purchase copies of it through the different online resellers. Another way to get hold of your book is through the used book resellers. 
What happened was when customers decided to sell their used copy of a book to these resellers; they can set the book's price to any amount they want when they list it with online resellers with Amazon.com, Borders.com, Barnes and Noble.com. Xlibris does not have a relationship with these used book resellers nor do we have a say in the way they operate their business since they got these books from the customers who decided to sell their purchased books to them. Further, these used book resellers are entitled to sell used book under the first sale doctrine of copyright law. 
This email is also to confirm the cancellation of your book with Xlibris. Your book entitled "For The Love of Jack", with ISBN 1-4010-8691-8, is no longer available for sale through our Xlibris website or the 800 number. Although no new copies of your book will be produced from this point forward you should be aware that due to our relationship with various printers and book distributors, physical copies of your book currently exist within the book vending channels. For reasons of quality assurance and to provide a more efficient ordering process, Ingram will keep a handful of copies of all titles listed with them in stock at all times. Ingram currently shows one (1) physical copy of your book in stock. Your title will remain available in the channels until this copy is sold. When a title is listed as cancelled, production knows not to replenish this stock once it is depleted. Unfortunately, it must be depleted before Ingram will remove the title's listing from its system. 
Amazon and the other online channels base their listing information from what Ingram's system provides. As a result, as long as Ingram has copies in stock, title will remain listed with the online stores. These online resellers and distributors could not change the availability of your book to out of stock until somebody purchases these remaining books from them.

The copies that the online retailers have were purchased from us (you were paid royalties for these sales) giving the resellers the right to continue the sale of your book with no implication on the contract between you and Xlibris. Please note that as part of Barnes and Noble's sales programs, titles that are considered "out of print" are kept in the system as such to allow customers the ability to track hard-to-find books. Hard-to-find and out-of-print books present a great source of revenue for these businesses, which is why they continue listing books that are no longer available through their distributor. We would like you to know that it has been a pleasure doing business with you. We wish you success in your writing endeavors and we hope to work with you again in the future.
How could there be more "used" copies than ones I had been "paid for" in the first place?
"Hard-to-find and out-of-print books present a great source of revenue for these businesses, which is why they continue listing books that are no longer available through their distributor."
A great source of revenue that are no longer available? Is this why they refused to pull the book? FLUSHING seriously?


I emailed them again and told them I wanted this stopped! I asked them how I could finally get this done.

This is their reply.
Channel (Channel@Xlibris.com)To:you (Bcc) + 1 more DetailsDear Ma'am,Currently, there is only one (1) physical copy of the book left at Ingram's microinventory. You may purchase this remaining copy either through Amazon/Borders.com or Barnes and Noble.com. Based on Amazon's listing, it is indicated that there is only 1 left in stock for your title. List Price: $20.99
 So I paid full price for that book and others!







Well this kept going on, and on, and on! I tried giving away free PDF of it, and that happened many times, because I figured if I was not getting paid, I could at least control that and get it into the hands of people it would help.

In 2012, I opted to have it republished with a few changes on Amazon.





Long story short, 2019 and the book was still online. I am planning on writing the follow up.

Last week, after trying to get my ducks in a row for more changes coming to this site (which we'll talk about later), I went onto Amazon and saw that the damn thing was still online right next to the one I put up in 2012. I hit the roof when I saw that there were "new" copies and "used" copies.

I sent an email to Xlibris, Lightening Source/Ingram (the printer) and Amazon legal department.Ingram legal department responded, just stating that "The title in question, For the Love of Jack / EAN 9781401086916, is already cancelled in our system." with no answer as to when that was done or why it was still available.


Cutting this shorter than including in all the evidence and emails back and forth, on March 28, 2019 Xlibris responded with,

"However, although no new copies were produced, we would like to make you aware that due to our relationship with various printers and book distributors, physical copies of your book may currently exist within the book vending channels until these copies have been sold out."
The email went on to state that, when a book is out of print, it can still be online but will show "out of print" or "not available" even though I had already shown them, that according to Amazon, they had at least one new one. So, I ordered it and it shipped.

I didn't know I was a magician! How did I manage to buy a brand new book that went extinct in 2005? Wow, looks like there are a lot of (FLUSHING) magic tricks going on!

This new copy that did not exist shipped out the day after I ordered it from California.



On April 1, 2019, exactly 16 years after they published my book, I asked them to tell me when they supposedly stopped it from being printed. On April 2, 2019 they responded with this.


"Upon further checking, the book was cancelled way back March 11, 2005. Therefore, there was really a time wherein the book was available." 




When questioned again as to how it was possible I managed to buy a new book...and not a new one, they replied with this.
The books I bought online in 2005 were new, and they had emailed acknowledgement of at least one of them. 

How were they not able to decide when they "cancelled" it? Was it 2004? 2005? And how the (FLUSH) were people making money off new ones when Xlibris denied the existence of new ones?

How did I manage to buy new books, yes, paying full price, for books that went extinct?

I called Morgan and Morgan yesterday and ran down what happened. They wanted to know how many I thought were sold. How the (FLUSH) would I know that since Xlibris keeps saying that only "used" copies are being sold and they have "no control" over that?

The lesson here is, never publish on April Fools Day...or with Xlibris because after 16 years of putting me through hell, they cannot, or will not, explain how it is a book that had so few sales, according to them,  IS STILL BEING SOLD!

UPDATE
Here is the link to GoFundMe

Sunday, April 7, 2019

PTSD Patrol guide to a better family road trip

PTSD Patrol Family Road Trip Guide


PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 7, 2019


I decided to tell our story so that no one would feel as lost or alone as I did.

When I got into all of this, there were not many people talking about live with PTSD. Within our community of veterans, we were talking about it and most of our friends were learning it from me. I learned from the experts on this road a lot longer before I ever knew there was one.


The book was ready in 2000 but I was still searching for a publisher when the planes hit the Towers. 

16 years ago, on April Fools Day, my first book was published because I knew enough to know that suffering would spread out because of September 11, 2001. 

I was talking to a Psychiatrist I know and he said I needed to get my book out there, so I decided to self publish it.


I am not going into detail on this right now, but there is an announcement coming on this soon. For right now, if you want a copy of the book, DO NOT BUY IT ONLINE and there are reasons for that. 

If you want to read it, then email me woundedtimes@aol.com or leave a message here.

Just know that whatever you are going through, the only thing that has been causing a detour between your family beginning to heal is the missing effort on your part. 

Stop taking a back seat to your own life and get in the drivers seat!

#BreakTheSilence and tell someone you love it is time to #TakeBackYourLife

Good Lord! I want to retire! 

Road Ode Carpenters

I've been on this lonely road so long
Does anybody know where it goes?
I remember the last time the signs pointed home
A month ago

Rented cars and empty motel rooms
Lead you everywhere but home
Crowds of people shouting how they love the show
They don't know

The endless crowds of faces
Just keep on wearing a smile
The countless times and places
Lead me back, please take me back home

I wonder if these feelings ever change
How many times I'll lift this load
Come tomorrow I'll be gone again
Roads of sorrows coming to an end for me

The endless crowds of faces
Just keep on wearing a smile
The countless times and places
Lead me back, please take me back home

I wonder if these feelings ever change
How many times I'll lift this load
Come tomorrow I'll be gone again
Roads of sorrows coming to an end for me

"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