Boricua Confidential is the proud sponsor of
Worldwide Parenting with PTSD Awareness Month.
After therapy, the single most challenging aspect of my life today is parenting under the influence (PUI) of PTSD. Not only am I expected to heal from chronic PTSD and grieve the loss of my husband, I’m also supposed to be supermom.
The fact that I no longer work full time suggests I’m a normal stay-at-home mom. No one sees that I’m in bed most of the day, struggling to pay bills despite plenty of money in the bank, unable to keep up with home maintenance, keep a clean house, etc.
Behind closed doors. my life is falling apart. My husband of almost 15 years died two years after my diagnosis. My special-needs child is slowly coming apart at the seams while my son is trying to figure out life without his best bud, Dad. Everyone else has a dad but him. The school principal lost his father at the same age and, mercifully, took him under his wing.
Meanwhile, my head is barely above water. If it weren’t for my church family and related obligations, plus my therapist, I, too, would be dead by suicide.
Every time my kids called me by name, I’d get frustrated. They’ve done nothing wrong except call my name but I’ve internalized it as “just one more fucking thing I have to deal with.”
The first year the family was barely supportive but just before the two-year anniversary of my husband’s death something else fell on my plate: Family court courtesy of the grandparents.
Not only was my plate full but things were sliding off the plate left and right. It simply wasn’t enough I was struggling to survive, grieve Edd and care for my kids, I now had to coordinate lawyers, finances and documentation. It was a nightmare.
No matter PTSD’s cause having a normal life is absolutely impossible because of it. Little people are counting on me to succeed and they shouldn’t have to bear my burden yet they do one way or another.
I was determined to sleep while they were at school. I forced myself out of bed, got dressed and welcomed them home. I didn’t realize it then but I was trying to avoid secondary PTSD, i.e., those who come into continued close contact with trauma survivors and their stories resulting in PTSD for my kids, something they absolutely didn’t need, much less shouldn’t have to live with.
I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I had a hard enough time juggling therapy three times a week, monthly medication management appointments and children’s activities, which meant I had several volunteer obligations.
This month I focus on my struggles as a single parent with PTSD. My hope is single-parent and two-parent families living with PTSD can find light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m still working through much of this so it will not be scientific necessarily. It’s my experience, strength and hope.
I’ll address this topic throughout the year as things arise but this month will be more intensive. If there are topics you want me to hit, drop me note at BoricuaConfidential@gmail.com.
May The Lord bless and meet you as you read and reflect this month.
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Posts in this series
Parenting with posttraumatic stress disorder
Discipline requires training, love spelled t-i-m-e
Beatings/Spankings are abuse: plain and simple
Parenting, like marriage, requires work
Parenting is a lifelong-learning proposition
Stop, look, listen and ask yourself questions
The high art of juggling
Downtime: the golden goose of PTSD
Worldwide parenting with PTSD Awareness Day
Parenting is a high call no matter your lot
The drought before the drought
Being misunderstood is a symptom
You are being forged in fire
Awakenings podcast: Parenting with PTSD
For single parents
A tribute to single parents