According to the Sidran Institute, approximately 10% of women will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their lifetime. These women feel isolated, guilty, trapped, and confused. And they suffer from a wide range of symptoms ranging from depression to addictions to self-abuse to suicidal thoughts.
I know because I’m one of them, even though I didn’t recognize the symptoms of PTSD for many years.
At the age of 19, I was attacked by a serial rapist. In my early forties, I suffered a walnut-sized brain lesion that nearly took my life. I also experienced accumulated grief as I cared for a mother with Alzheimer’s and a father-in-law with Parkinson’s in my home, as well as a number of close friends whom I lost to cancer.
But I didn’t begin to understand the devastation of untreated post-traumatic stress disorder until I walked the path of healing from CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) beside my best friend and co-author Wanda Sanchez. When I met Wanda in 2010 through a series of real-life miracles, she was clinging to life by a thread and had exhausted her ability to cope.
God answered Wanda’s single-word prayer for “Help!” when she went for successful trauma treatment after decades of ineffective counseling, rehab, and therapy. It was my privilege to be her companion for a journey of hope and healing. Today we invest our lives helping people better understand PTSD (PTSDPerspectives.org) and encouraging women about God’s relentless love and grace.
This week, Wanda and I will submit the final manuscript for our new book Love Letters from the Edge: Meditations for Those Struggling with Brokenness, Trauma, and the Pain of Life. The book is available now on Amazon and will release in June.
You or someone you know is struggling in the aftermath of abuse, betrayal, and trauma. They feel as if they are the one person beyond the reach of God’s grace. Love Letters from the Edge is a message of compassion and healing to the broken-hearted–whispers of hope from God’s heart to our own. This book of meditations expresses God’s relentless love for us. It offers weekend prayers, journaling questions, and weekend features. It also contains valuable resources about post-traumatic stress disorder, its related symptoms, and where you can find help.
You know someone who needs this book: the one in four women who have been sexually abused or experienced domestic violence, abandonment, or neglect. Caregivers who have been devastated by loss. Those who have been decimated by suicide. Women who have experienced the trauma of abortion, miscarriage, or the death of a child. Those who have suffered medical trauma.
In the shattered places of your life, what do you long to hear God say to you?