PTSD: A daughter’s distress

Leslie Raddatz has written a book, Flashbacks in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Surviving the Flood. In it she tells about a courageous journey of a little girl who struggles to survive sexual, physical, and emotional abuse because of the parental neglect and lack of supervision, which caused these traumas. It will take you through the process of healing and strength she gained as an adult.

In today’s post she talks about what it is like to be a child living with a father, a Vietnam war vet, who suffered from PTSD. She too has suffered from PTSD. I don’t know if Canadian veterans would agree with Leslie re: the end result of how soldiers feel as a result of their training. That would make an interesting follow-up discussion. BONNIE

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be deadly for you and your family, if it is not treated.

Look at the news you see so many soldiers that suffer from PTSD disorder and they don’t get help. Our loved ones who we know enter the military where they are trained to be killing machines, not to think or ask questions. They are trained to follow orders no matter what. They no longer have independent thinking.

The things we loved most about our loved ones is gone. The military breaks them down and takes away their individual uniqueness and replaces it with emptiness. After training the solider are all the same, no individual characteristics that make them different.

When the men and women come home, they are not deprogrammed. They are still the killing machines that is the product of military training and war. They are trained to react in a moment’s notice to save their own life or a fellow soldier’s life. 

With PTSD disorder it only takes something such as a noise, smell, touch, taste to trigger a flashback that makes the person feel that they are in danger or are being attacked. This is why soldiers act so quickly and sometimes it ends up in tragedy. The military is not doing enough to help our soldiers instead our soldiers and families are left to figure it out on their own. 

For some soldiers the PTSD disorder doesn’t affect them right away. For my father, he came home from Vietnam, recovered from being blown out of a supply truck, got married and had four children before he showed any signs of PTSD Disorder. 

First it was the nightmares of the war and seeing his friends killed in front of him; then he started to zone out seeing the past through flashbacks while in the present he was pulling knives on my mother which I witnessed at the age of 3 or 4 years old. 

I also remember my dad yelling, “Where are the enemies?” as he is searching for us in the house as my mother quickly hides us in closets and covers us up with coats, blankets, anything she could find while telling us to be quiet and not to move.  She promised to come get us when she put daddy to bed.  We were so scared at night we would urinate down our heating vent rather than go downstairs to the bathroom.

My mother reached out for help with my dad’s family and they said she was crazy there was nothing wrong with my dad.  She was able to find a small support group that taught her how to care for my dad carefully while in a flashback.  She was brave enough to take the knives out of his hands, while being calm, and was able to bring him slowly back to the present. 

When it got really bad, she took me and my three sisters to a Caring House because my dad refused to get help.  He felt by admitting he needed help that he wasn’t a strong solider.  After my mother filed for divorce, he agreed to get help.  After his PTSD was under control, we moved back home and he was able to keep himself and his disorder in control.

Today, my dad openly talks to me about his PTSD and now that I have PTSD myself we share what our triggers are and he helps me with advice and advocates for other to get help immediately.

Article published about my dad’s story at

Today, every time I see in the newspaper or on the news that another solider committed suicide or kills his family, I can’t help but think that could have been my family. There are still soldiers out in the battle fields who are on multiple tours in Iraq that have PTSD disorder and ends up killing his fellow soldiers because he can’t take it anymore.

Recent article on a solider coming home and ends in tragedy.

The same is true about civilians with PTSD. They can kill or commit suicide if they think they are in danger or don’t want to deal with all the symptoms that PTSD causes. 

I am proof you can survive PTSD disorder and get it under control and live a normal and happy life. 

Don’t be another Statistic. Please go to to learn the warning signs of PTSD, treatments available, and resources for help.

Posted by Leslie Raddatz


About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
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One Response to PTSD: A daughter’s distress

  1. Pingback: My State of Mental Illness…right now…and what true friends do for each other. « mentalillnesstoday

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