Showing posts with label domestic violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label domestic violence. Show all posts

Sunday, April 11, 2021

and life showed compassion

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 11, 2021

When we survive the causes of PTSD, we tend to begin to believe that we are not worth loving. There are times when thinking we can be happy again, is like insulting happiness itself. We tell ourselves at least we didn't die and maybe that's all we get out of this life we have. Who can love us when we forgot what it was like to love ourselves? For me, I didn't even want to try again. 

When the cause of PTSD in you is domestic violence, it is the ultimate betrayal.

Some love stories don't have a good ending. I was beaten up and beaten down because I loved the wrong man. My ex-husband tried to kill me and then stalked me for over a year, that I knew of, but it turned out he stalked me for a lot longer than that. I gave him everything I had and he betrayed me. When I thought I'd never be able to trust anyone again, I fell in love with a Vietnam veteran.

He was married before but their marriage ended on good terms. When we decided to get married, I had to get in touch with my ex-husband so that I could get married in the church again. The next day he walked over to my fiancé and said, "Hi I'm Peter and you're marrying my wife." That was when I figured out he was stalking me a lot longer than I thought he did.

The nightmares I had pretty much ended after a couple of years but when this happened, and I knew he was still stalking me, that started the panic attacks, paranoia and everything else that comes with PTSD, even though I didn't understand I had it too. Mine was so much different than anything I had studied and anything the veteran I planned on sharing my life with was going through. His was a constant battle but for me, it was only when I heard the sound of muscle cars. Sometimes it lasted hours, other times it was days, but then the symptoms were gone and I got on with my life.

When I started to write about PTSD, it was all tied to Vietnam veterans. I thought I understood them because I listened with empathy. I had no clue it was because of my own experiences with facing death.

We hired a DJ and I was going through the songs I wanted him to play. None of them really reflected what happened in my life before that day. Then I heard the song on the radio and I knew it was our song. The song I picked for our song was One In A Million by Larry Graham.

One in a Million You
Larry Graham

Love had played its games on me so long
I started to believe I'd never find anyone
Doubt had tried to convince me to give in
Said, "You can't win"
But one day the sun came a shinin' through
The rain had stopped and the skies were blue
And oh, what a revelation to see
Someone was saying "I love you" to me
A one in a million
Chance of a lifetime
And life showed compassion
And sent to me a stroke of love called "You"
A one in a million you
I was a lonely man with empty arms to fill
Then I found a piece of happiness to call my own
And life is worth livin' again
For to love you, to me, is to live
A one in a million
Chance of a lifetime
And life showed compassion
And sent to me a stroke of love called "You"
A one in a million you
A one in a million
Chance of a lifetime
And life showed compassion
And sent to me a stroke of love called "You"
One in a million you
A one in a million you

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Sam Dees
One in a Million You lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


Everyone wants to share their life with someone. Sometimes we get lucky and the love lasts a lifetime. Other times, the pain they cause can never go away until the love we are given is more powerful than the love that was abused.

It wasn't easy to get over what my ex did to me "but for every moment I spent hurting, there were moments I spent loving..."the man who taught me that some love stories are stronger than we ever dreamed they could be. Our's has been a love story that started in 1982 when both of us found someone to not just say I love you...but proved it too!

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

You can read what it was like for me when I didn't know that PTSD was a battle I had to fight for my own life too. For The Love Of Jack His War, My Battle

Friday, March 19, 2021

Violence Against Women Act...for women like me!

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 19, 2021 

"And I've been down there on the floor" when my ex-husband decided I needed to die. It wasn't bad enough he came home from work, started another argument like always, but this time, he decided to hit me. I hit back. Ten minutes later, after grabbing whatever I could to hit him with, being chased from room to room and screaming for help, he got me on the floor, got on top of me with his hands on my neck and tried to strangle me. It was the first time he hit me...and the last.

He stalked me for about a year, as far as I was aware. He drove muscle cars, so as soon as I heard the sound of an engine like that, it all came back. Nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, paranoia and panic. About 2 years after it happened, I met my current husband. We dated about a year and a half when we decided to get married. I had to get in touch with my ex-husband for the annulment because I wanted to get married in the church again. The next day, he walked over to my husband to be and introduced himself. 

That was even worse for me because then I knew for sure, when I thought I was free of him and safe from him, I really wasn't. There is no way he would have know who I was marrying if he hadn't been following us all that time.

Years later, we moved from Massachusetts to Florida. Even down there, the sound would cause instant panic and all that came with it. It wasn't until my cousin sent me his obituary notice from the newspaper letting me know I was finally free of him, that I knew he would never hurt me again.

It wasn't until last year when my daughter and I were talking about this and she said, "You never told me you had PTSD." I said, "I didn't." Then she let me know that was exactly what I said I had. All those years I was in a sort of denial, even though I had become and expert on PTSD and dedicated almost 40 years to helping others heal. The thing was, all the research I did, never once had what I was dealing with. I saw two therapists and they didn't see it in me. Maybe researchers need to start looking at that too.

Anyway, I am telling you all this because the Violence Against Women Act has passed the House. It is up to the Senate to pass it now. If you don't think it is important because you do not know anyone it happened to, you do now. If you are reading this, then it means you know what I do and why I do it, but now you cannot ignore the price paid by women like me when the laws were much different. There was nothing there for me and very few resources. 

This Act will provide justice but there are some in the Senate saying they will not support it. I am asking you to contact your Senator and ask them if they will support this and if not, ask them why they are defending the abusers, because that is exactly what they are doing.

Now you know too much to go back and pretend, so please don't let us go down that road again. Let the Senate hear you roar in numbers too big to ignore~
House Renews Violence Against Women Act, But Senate Hurdles Remain
NPR
Susan Davis
March 17, 2021
The House approved with bipartisan support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a popular 1994 law that protects and provides resources for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The measure passed 244-172.

As a senator, President Biden played a lead role in passing the landmark law, which he recently called "one of my proudest legislative achievements."

The law was last reauthorized in 2013, but it lapsed at the end of 2018 after Congress failed to act due to partisan disputes over guns and transgender issues. The lapse has had little practical effect because Congress continues to fund related programs despite the lack of authorization.

The core legislation has broad support, but certain provisions added to the bill in the previous Congress exposed divisions among Republicans. In 2019, the House passed the measure with 33 Republicans voting with Democrats, but it was never brought up in the then-GOP-led Senate.
read more here
Rep. Debbie Dingell also knows what it is like. (Detriot News)
Dingell has openly discussed growing up in a household where she lived with domestic violence, noting statistics that 1 in 15 children also witness domestic violence.

"We don't forget about hiding in closets. Or our father taking locks off of doors. Or my grabbing a gun from my father, so he wouldn't kill my mother, and being convinced that we would die," Dingell said of her early life with her siblings.


I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again


I Am Woman
Helen Reddy

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

Source: Musixmatch
I Am Woman lyrics © Buggerlugs Music Co., Irving Music, Inc. 

I was on Choose Rochester New Hampshire Podcast and talking about this along with the work I do.

Friday, February 5, 2021

don't regret what you did for love

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 5, 2021

There is something we haven't really covered enough on these daily videos. When you do something out of love, you should never regret it.
There are things in my life I do regret...usually it was about anger. When I acted out of anger, like we all do, it takes up a place in our soul until we ask for forgiveness and then, forgive ourselves. When we do things out of love, and then end up being hurt, that is hard to take.

When my ex-husband tried to kill me, I had to address a long list of things before I could heal. I thought I had to forgive myself for being a fool, loving the wrong person. I worked through that, but I still needed to do more. After a lot of work, I managed to forgive him.

I still wasn't right with it, so I tried to forgive myself all over again. Then it dawned on me that what I did, everything I did for my ex-husband, was the right thing to do. It was his fault he decided to betray that love and me, but it was not wrong for me to love.

After a lot of work, I was able to be ready for my current husband. We've been married over 36 years now. Had I not taken the steps to heal, I wouldn't have been able to love him as much as I do..

That is a lesson most people have to learn. Doing things based on love are never things to regret. Other people make the choices they do to use you or betray you. The thing is, if you don't act on love, then you will have regrets the rest of our life for not trying to do the right thing for the right reason.

Healing PTSD is a lot of work but once you understand how to live with your past and make peace with yourself, then you can move forward to "tomorrow" and be ready to live for love again.

Two videos featured today. One is Shirley Bassey, What I Did For Love and Alive Day with Donna Summer's Song I Will Live For Love.

I opened the garage door today so that you could see the snow coming down and a man stopped to ask me where an address was. Really funny considering I am always giving driving directions on PTSD Patrol. 

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD



What I Did For Love
Shirley Bassey

Kiss today goodbye
The sweetness and the sorrow
Wish me luck, the same to you
But I can't regret
What I did for love, what I did for love
Look, my eyes are dry
The gift was ours to borrow
It's as if we always knew
And I won't forget what I did for love
What I did for love
Gone
Love is never gone
As we travel on
Love's what we'll remember
Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won't forget, can't regret
What I did for love
What I did for love
What I did for love
And I won't forget
What I did for love
Gone
Love is never gone
As we travel on
Love's what we'll remember
Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won't forget, can't regret
What I did for love
What I did for love
What I did for love
What I did for love

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Marvin Hamlisch / Edward Kleban
What I Did for Love lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Concord Music Publishing LLC 
And for those who served this country they loved!

Alive Day
Kathie Costos
January 2, 2012
Coming home after combat should not be more dangerous but it is. Too many veterans committed suicide today. Be alive today to heal tomorrow. You served because you loved this country and those you served with. Live for love now!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

PTSD Patrol getting past "Thunderdome"

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
October 14, 2020




"Out of the ruins...Out from the wreckage...All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome...Looking for something...We can rely on...There's got to be something better out there...Love and compassion" words from the movie Thunderdome. 

There are so many different parts of We Don't Need Another Hero that apply to recovering from PTSD. 

After surviving over 10 times, the worst for me was after my ex-husband tried to kill me, then stalked me for a long time. The sound of the muscle cars he always drove caused flashbacks and all that came with it. For me, that was the thunder in my dome...my head.

I never knew what kind of car he would be driving because he was an auto body mechanic. He would use customer's cars so that I wouldn't be able to call the police with the plate number of his car. I had a restraining order but it didn't do any good.

Many years after I move from Massachusetts to Florida, it still happened, even though it was "irrational" that was my reality. That didn't end until I got a copy of his obituary in the mail. That ended my dread of muscle cars because I knew he would never be able to hurt me again.

Your flashbacks may be irrational too but there are understandable irrationalities.

What I would like you to understand is that even within all those years of that terror, I was relatively happy. I worked to help other people understand what PTSD was and what it did, as well as try to help them know that they could overcome it, even if they could not cure it.

PTSD doesn't have to consume you or rob you of living a happier life. If I could do it, you can get out from under your "Thunderdome" too!

#BreakTheSilence and #TackBackYourLife from #PTSD


We Don’t Need Another Hero
Tina Turner

Out of the ruins 
Out from the wreckage
Can't make the same mistake this time
We are the children 
The last generation (the last generation)
We are the ones they left behind
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it
Living under the fear 'til nothing else remains
We don't need another hero 
We don't need to know the way home 
All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome
Looking for something 
We can rely on 
There's got to be something better out there
Love and compassion 
Their day is coming (coming)
All else are castles built in the air
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it 
Living under the fear 'til nothing else remains
All the children say
We don't need another hero 
We don't need to know the way home 
All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome
So what do we do with our lives?
We leave only a mark 
Will our story shine like a light
Or end in the dark?
Is it all or nothing?
We don't need another hero 
We don't need to know the way home 
All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome
All the children say
We don't need another hero (we don't need another hero)
We don't need to know the way home 
All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Graham Hamilton Lyle / Terry Britten
We Don’t Need Another Hero lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management 

Calling all angels

Wounded Times PTSD Patrol Kathie Costos April 15, 2021 Today my heart is broken. Two reports about the suicides in the military and vetera...

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It is your life, get in and drive it