A few days ago I did something that I never dreamed I would do—I posted a picture of “my Father” along with his regiment, the North Nova Highlanders, on my Facebook Profile as a gesture of reconnection.
The man I referred to as “my Father” served in World War II and the Korean War. As I have often heard in these situations, the soldiers who left to serve their country often came back as changed men. A few years go, after the funeral of my Father’s oldest sister Margaret, I got a gentle nudge from his youngest sister, Gloria, who wanted me to know she believed the brother she knew and loved came home with PTSD. I wasn’t having any of it as I had closed my heart many, many years ago; but then something amazing happened and I decided to reconsider.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association in Canada, it is estimated that up to 10% of war zone veterans—including war service veterans and peacekeeping forces—will go on to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, when my Father was killed in an accident in 1959, PTSD was an unknown condition which I now believe he suffered from.
There is a book written by Dr. Francine Shapiro called “Getting Past Your Past” that deals with the trauma that causes PTSD.
It states: Whether we’ve experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by memories and experiences we may not remember or don’t fully understand. “Getting Past Your Past” offers practical procedures that demystify the human condition and empower readers looking to achieve real change. Since my Father was a stretcher bearer he would most definitely be exposed to and see the horrors of war first hand which would be considered big “T” trauma.
I was told never go back to the past so I stuffed down the feelings of disconnection I experienced as a child. Once I became aware of PTSD in a personal way, the Universe opened….Through a series of coincidences, synchronicities and déjà vu, miracles started occurring in my life which allowed me to reconnect in a heart-felt way to “my Dad!”
I now have a new appreciation, understanding and compassion for the soldiers who came home suffering from PTSD. When I pause, for a moment of silence. my heart will go out to all the families who lost their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers through PTSD; as well as for those families whose loved ones died on the battlefield.
Believe me it’s never too late to reconnect!
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