Why PTSD?   Leave a comment

An alpha reader, after reading What If … Wasn’t, asked me “Why PTSD?” He’s read the two books of Transformation Project, where Shane also suffers from many of the same issues that Peter exhibits. So why do I keep going back to that topic?

IImage result for image of quote on pain and trauma changing ust might have something to do with growing up in a military town where a lot of the adults I knew suffered from the psychic wounds of war. My dad didn’t talk about it much, but as a Merchant Mariner in World War 2, he was once part of a convoy of ships going through mined waters. One of the ships blew up. Dad had screaming nightmares for the rest of his life. Based on what he shouted, I guess there were men on fire in the water. How could that not affect his daughter?

I worked as both a court transcriptionist and a psychiatric transcription in my career. I’ve been privy to some of the descriptions I share in the books … though I fictionalized them. Those sort of intimate peeks into the thoughts of others have an effect even on the strongest mind, so in sharing them in fictionalized form, I hope to purge their power over me.

Image result for image of quotes about pain and traumaAs a writer, it is a great way to explain why a character is who he or she is now. By bringing that trauma into the current setting through a PTSD flashback, I give the pain immediacy for the reader. Conflict drives drama. That conflict can be between characters, but I find that some of the best conflict is within a character.

Peter will indulge his trauma more than Shane does because Peter can. Shane is living in a post-apocalyptic world. He doesn’t have time to be in pain. And, thus, I show two different ways of dealing with the trauma. You get to decide which character does it more successfully.

Image result for image of quotes about pain and traumaA part of 12-Step lore is the idea of accepting the things you cannot change, changing the things you can and exercising the wisdom to know the difference. I won’t tell you how my characters work their way to their ultimate victory over their issues or acceptance of them … that would give it away … but this last quote should tell you something about my view of the issue.

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