Robert Simpson is a Veteran of some of Canada’s peacekeeping missions in the world’s worst hell-holes. He’s now happily married, but his life descended into the darkest places before he found his way home. Taking a cue from U.S. veterans who formed self-help groups, Rob introduced a Veterans and Families Support Group, which as he desribes it “is simply Veterans and Families coming together to heal, to share, to support one another as we battle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We call it PTSD, and we are open to ALL Veterans and their families as well as the Widows, etc of fallen Soldiers and Veterans. As well we invite serving members of the Armed Forces to join us.”
In his blog, A Veteran’s Point of View on Facebook, he writes about the fear and shame of PTSD and talks about how other Veterans across Canada can form their own self-healing support groups. BONNIE
By Robert Simpson
Today I want to talk to you about fear. Many people are afraid to come forward when it comes to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They feel that others will think of them as weak or lacking moral fiber. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, you are a very brave person to admit that you are having trouble, rather than to suffer through it alone and in silence.
So, we are going to have a little test. I would ask you all (both Veterans and serving members) to be honest when you answer the next few questions. Do you dream a lot about what happened to you while serving overseas? Do you sometimes seem to relive it when you are awake? Do you think about it a lot during the day? Do you feel like people don’t understand you? Do you find that you get upset a lot about things or feel cornered? Do you seem to drink a lot, use drugs, smoke more or have your family say you do? Do you have trouble getting to sleep or fear going to sleep because of your dreams? Do you ask yourself, “Why did this happen to me?” Do you sometimes think you are better off dead?
Then you need some help. One of the first steps could be to come to one of our meetings. We can point you in the right direction to get help, and we are there to support you. We have members from Canada and the U.S.A. who know how to get you that much needed help.
Now some questions for the Families. Do you see that the Veteran or serving member has any of the problems which I asked them above? Do you feel that the person who left came back different and you feel that you no longer know him or her? Do you feel helpless and don’t know what to do or say? You too should come out to one of our meetings.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday, March 20th at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 99 Thomas Avenue in Wallaceburg, Ontario. Turn off Margaret Avenue on to Napier and it’s at the end of the street. For more info, please contact me at 519-627-4037 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those wanting to start up OSI-PTSD groups in your own areas, call yourselves a support group, since the OSISS folks gets a little antsy if you want to use their name. Some advice. See if you can find a Church and a Padre. Not a bar. Everyone here finds comfort in the Church. Do not forget the families. If you guys want some advice, I’m here. Also keep it loose with the agenda and set your chairs in a circle.
Also keep an eye out on Facebook – A Veteran’s Point of View by Robert Simpson. Please note we are open to widows, wife’s husband’s family members and friends. Together we can help each other heal. LEST WE FORGET.