Living with PTSD

scars
“7My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. 8Go away, all you who do evil,
for the lord has heard my weeping. Psalm 6:7-8″
In the journey of Anti-trafficking one must become aware that not only is it a justice issue, an issue needing much attention and awareness. However, for the survivor of exploitation and trafficking once an individual as survived and either been rescued or somehow survived this modern day slavery there is much healing that must take place. Honestly, I have seen and lived that most healing comes through God.
My story does not define who I am but I can not deny it; it is part of who I am. Today, I am many things, a friend, an advocate, I hold a masters degree, a trainer, speaker, and on and on but I am also a survivor of child sex trafficking within the United States. This wouldn’t be obvious if you met me today, but it is part of who I am – I can not deny that. It makes me fight for justice, want to protect every child, and work to end child sex trafficking and exploitation in our world today.
One thing that happens when you live through something traumatic, such as abuse, explotaition or having lived through life in the sex industry ( women experience PTSD at the same rates as war veterans). Many people like myself who have lived through  extreme traumatic events that are repeated and prolonged develop Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) or complex PTSD. This can happen when goes through a traumatic event. Common experiences include:
  • Fear
  • anxiety
  • sadness
  • depression
  • guilt
  • shame
  • anger
  • irritability
Furthermore, the reality of living through daily life for someone who has experience traumatic events may need to sit in particular places when going out to the city because they are concerned someone may grab them from behind, she or he may jump at loud noise or certain types of people, need to make sure the doors are locked at night or when they are in the house, or always looking over their shoulder when walking.Personally, I also worry about specific day on the calendar coming, such as a   holidays, because in the past they have been an reoccurring experience of abuse, exploitation, and near death. As a result, I tend to be worried about these days coming and try to create new positive memories that will take the place of the traumatic events.
Finally, It is good for other in the community to be aware of these issues, such as PTSD in the lives of people around you. If you notice these things maybe you could be part of creating healing for an individual and new memories for them. Be gracious with them and what is going on with them, maybe they are on a healing journey – we all have a story, maybe you can enter into someones. Together we make each others loads a bit lighter and easier. Together you can help someone create new memories, create a new today and be part of helping them.   Understanding a survivor or just a fellow sojourner in life is an amazing blessing and we all need each other. When you come into my life and walk beside me, care for me, love me – I am no longer alone and this changes everything. When you listen,walk beside me, my pain starts to fade away -everything starts to change, for the better.

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