When Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is mentioned, most envision a soldier returning from war. Not until recently have multiple forms of PTSD, and the wide variety of people who suffer from them, been discussed. For example, PTSD can be a symptom of child abuse, domestic abuse, rape, and sexual assault. Experiencing a traumatic birth and losing your child, like I did, can also result in PTSD. These traumas are all valid causes of PTSD, and they don't just "go away." In fact, there are many ways my PTSD has changed the way I parent.
I can’t be certain how different my parenting experience would be had I never undergone the traumas that I have endured. Maybe I would be a more laid-back parent. Maybe I would have put my son in daycare when he was really young, rather than waiting until he was over 2 years old and still feeling totally paranoid and scared of leaving him with someone else. Maybe what have become triggers would just be run-of-the-mill, normal daily experiences that I could breeze through with ease. Or, maybe my PTSD has helped keep my son safe, and made me a more aware mother than I would have been without the lasting impacting of unspeakable trauma.
Unfortunately, I’ll never know. What I do know, however, is that my PTSD symptoms are definitely less intense than they were when my son was born. I also know those symptoms, however tapered, have impacted the way I raise my son. Honestly, I have a feeling they always will.