Whether or not a person chooses to have kids is highly personal. Becoming a parent is life-changing–in ways that are both uniquely rewarding and highly stressful. Each of us should be allowed to make that decision individually, regardless of our trauma history. People with posttraumatic stress disorder can make wonderful parents, just like anyone else. Something that many people with PTSD may not consider, however, is that once they become parents, their kids could wind up triggering them.
It’s strange to think about a person being triggered by her child. After all, nobody is abused by an infant, right? But many behaviors displayed by children are similar to the actions of abusers, even if the intentions are completely different. A toddler, for example, might scream and throw objects against the wall if he doesn’t get his way. A pre-teen might yell, “I hate you!” and slam her door because you take away her phone privileges. Of course, kids aren’t behaving like abusers; abusers are behaving childishly. When you have a trauma history, though, that distinction doesn’t always matter.
Today’s interview features Author Brandi Kennedy, a writer, blogger, and fellow trauma-mama. Her courage and tenacity shine through everything she writes, and I’m sure equally through everything she does, even when she doesn’t recognize it herself. I am honored to share her story here on Betty’s Battleground.
Before I get to the interview, I want to invite you to leave links to your posts and articles about depression and/or suicide in my current link-up. Off-Fridays converts to a blogger-built resource library once it closes, and this topic is really important, so I hope you will help make it as comprehensive as possible. Cover the topic from all angles! Click here to get to the instructions page, and then click through to the drop page, or if you’re familiar with Off-Fridays, go to the drop page right from here.
Now, I invite you to learn more about what life is like for parents living with PTSD in this interview with author Brandi Kennedy.
Although living with PTSD, Minor Depression, and an Addiction Disorder often feels like the loneliest existence on the planet, these are issues which affect my entire family. Especially when I am in the depths of an episode, I like to believe that my words and actions don’t impact others. When I’m in that state, I feel like my family doesn’t need me or care about me. I feel as though they would be better without me; like I hurt them simply by being. Of course, it’s that line of thinking which truly hurts my family.
Mental illness or injury affects everyone it touches. Expressing that reality was the reason I began my “Tales From The Other Side” guest blogger series. I wanted to show that when one person in a family is hurting, the whole family hurts. Yet despite publishing these touching stories by real people affected by PTSD and other disorders, it has been difficult for me to truly realize that when I hurt, my family hurts.