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Readers Respond: How Did You Cope After Trauma?

Responses: 8


Updated January 27, 2010

Following the experience of a traumatic event, many people may go on to develop PTSD. However, researchers have identified various characteristics of resiliency that may help you recover from a traumatic event without developing PTSD.

If you have experienced a traumatic event, please share your story with other readers here. Share with readers what coping strategies strategies you used, such as connecting with others or dealing with stress in a healthy way. Your story may provide hope to those currently struggling with the effects of traumatic exposure.

It is your DUTY to be your best self

I made a simple mistake five years ago that caused someone else a lot of pain, but luckily they survived. I spent three years hiding from that traumatic memory because every time I thought about it I relived it from their point of view and it caused me to physically clench and then become severely depressed and guilt-ridden. I even began to question how the other person could have been so untouched and how on earth they weren't killed. I felt so lucky, spared, and undeserved. What eventually helped me get over this trauma was to realize that human beings are very resilient. I finally forgave myself, accepting that I will do this world no good if I just walk around feeling guilty and terrible all of the time. I need to be my strong best self in order to help others. I moved on when I realized that it is my DUTY to move on, just as it is YOUR DUTY to move on and be your best for those that love you--especially for your children, husband, and others who need your help.

I feel better now

I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was twenty one years old. I am now twenty three and I believe that I am fully recovered. When the flashbacks started I was shocked because I had repressed these memories for thirteen years of my life. From ages three to seven I was a vicitm of child pornography. I was molested beaten and tortured by a member of my own family. Once I was even forced to watch and participate in molestation of my baby brother. When the flash back started I soon became suicidal. I could not eat sleep and I would vomit all the time. After two two week visits to the hospital and a year of the therapy my flashbacks finally stopped. I haven't had any flash backs since September of 2011! There is a light at the end of that long dark tunnel! Since then my life has been amazing! after leaving I went back to a differant hospital where I finally found help. After another two Weeks I was released and I have been in therapy ever since I believe I am recovered now at age l
—Guest better now

There is a life after PTSD

I was diagnosed with PTSD 12 years ago after a series of shocking events through me back in time to revisit adolescent trauma. I am in my fifties, married with 3 beautiful grown children. My life with PTSD was hell. Nightmares, constant fear, loss of concentration, irrational thinking, dependence on alcohol. I have spent all those years under the care of amazing professionals-1 in particular-and now my life has never been better. I also gained as much information as I could about the condition, and sought support from many different sources. My darling husband also never wavered in his amazing love and support. Still, it has been very difficult and isolating. 12 years on my life is the best it has ever been. I believe I am cured. I work in the counseling field helping others, relish the new friends I have made along the way, and am so grateful that my relationship with my husband and children has survived and is stronger than ever. I urge others not give up hope. Life can get better!
—Guest Gemini

More research needed.....

I take umbridge at this article -- particularly the part about "many of the above resiliency factors are in your control." Childhood Trauma is often caused by "friends & family" who are supposed to be loving & supportive, but aren't. In those cases, that's not a support option. Also, once that sort of trust has been broken -- "making & maintaining supportive & loving/intimate relationships" is akin to teaching a pig to sing -- it ain't easy -- hence the development of PTSD. Much easier said than done. The suggestion to just go out & develop intimate & supportive relationships feels smug, if not clearly misguided & naive. In any case, I am a survivor of childhood molestation by my stepfather & an alcoholic mother angry & in denial. After LOTS of therapy, meds, the support of some of my sisters, support from a recovery group I belong to -- I am, at 45, much better than I was at 25, but still have flashbacks, nightmares & really bad days. This is NOT easy & I don't think I will ever be "recovered."
—Guest Still Recovering

wayfaring stranger

Hi! I just want to say that you are so brave because you actually found the spirit and the courage to find this website, write on it and find help for yourself, albeit indirectly. Yes! I too have experienced times when the primitive survival instincts are aroused in me and I get these flashes where painful images keep coming back on the screen of my mind; and I start losing faith in humanity. Its good of you to appreciate the pony who helped you keep your life for better times to come. Thank you pony! I have found that sometimes people do not help because they cannot help...they feel inadequate and reflexly they just deny your problem and behave as if you and your problem do not exist! Its okay to forgive them. Its okay to forgive your own self for doing what was best under the circumstances as you understood them. Our minds were made to deal with our internal and external environments in peace and serenity; but that's not how the world is geared up; so we need to give time readjust.
—Guest ladyhawk

Trauma after War

After war experiences, please get counseling and take medication, if possible. Make good friends and indulge in enjoyable hobbies.
—Guest ken august

Rape: omg, it still happens??

I was raped on Good Friday 2010. I am a single mother and was tentatively beginning to date again. This guy was very good looking and smooth talking, and worked out at the gym I was going to. I was vulnerable emotionally and excited about dating him. We hung out, he got pushy, I put up boundaries, and he overrode them. The boundaries I put up were not strong enough to stand when he decided to oppose me, and I struggled with guilt for not doing better in this regard. However, after the event, I reached out to family & friends as well as professionals. I realized a lot of the beliefs that made me susceptible to mistreatment stemmed from my own low self-image; that to change myself would make me stronger. I got a lot of light shined on an area of my emotional life that needed attention even before this event; and I made a lot of progress in that area. In some ways, the healing I experienced far exceeded the negative experience of the traumatic event.
—Guest Anna

Way to recovery

It is a little bit difficult when there is no acknowledgment that something went wrong and there are no people around. I won't bother with the story how it happened, only briefly describe the circumstances: I was literally cut of from my friends for prolonged period of time. I have no family to rely on. Any contact with people around was tainted with suspicion and latent hostility, no matter how hard I tried to be friendly. All relevant institutions refused assistance, including my doctor. During long sleepless nights, I was wondering around, playing with horses in the neighborhood. Physical contact with a large animal which is not going to abuse any information it hears helped immensely. A moorland pony saved me from suicide, at times when all people turned their backs away, waiting for the result of a "legal challenge". Thanks to all people who tolerated a stranger wondering around their horses on their private land.
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