PTSD

‘You’re going to do exactly what I tell you.’ He grabbed my throat. The devil was staring me in the face. Fear washed over my body.’: Young woman survives sexual assault in woods, ‘I refuse to hide. I need others to know they aren’t alone’

“A boat was pulling up, and two guys were inside. They said, ‘Who is this?’ I was confused. He was locking up his truck and his friends told him to hurry the hell up. He responded, ‘Hey at least I brought you guys some tail.’ My stomach sank, my heart started to race. I had recently been told I overreact…was this just an overreaction to a dumb joke? I went in the tent to grab a shirt because I was freezing. He followed me in and starting kissing me. My ‘no’ didn’t matter. I burst into tears. He looked at me with disgust. ‘I don’t like your attitude.’”

‘Your dad thought he could hit me, but you will NEVER hit me. I’ll kill you first.’ She was a 400-pound woman. I was a 9-year-old child.’: Woman survives child abuse and PTSD, repairs relationship with abusers, ‘I was born a SURVIVOR’

“She had me by my pigtails. She cornered me into our closet using a man’s belt to spank me. A friend saw her, and told her if she ever hit me again, he’d tell his dad. Later my mom tried having me committed to a mental hospital. After a 24-hour sit in at the ER, a doctor came in. ‘There is nothing wrong with you, except the fact you need to get away from your mother.’ I wanted a mom who WANTED to be my mom.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘He said, ‘I can’t do this,’ and left. I got a late-night call from the pastor. ‘He’s gone.’ As soon as he said it, I knew. He lost his battle with PTSD.’: Woman loses Army veteran boyfriend to suicide, ‘I was terrified to be a single mother. It’s not supposed to be this way.’

“As a combat veteran, he faced mental illness. We agreed to tackle everything as a team. I was pregnant again, but this time everything shifted. He left. I was so confused and hurt. ‘Where did he go? Is he okay?’ I found out he was living two completely separate lives, lying about his marital status. My entire world turned upside down. But I still couldn’t find him. I searched. I drove around aimlessly. ‘He is gone.’ As soon as he said it, I knew. My heart started pounding. ‘Oh my gosh,’ I said over and over again. The man I love took his life.”

‘You should feel lucky to be with me. No one else would love you.’ My first year of marriage wasn’t ‘rough.’ It was hell.’: Woman leaves ‘prince charming’ abuser to advocate for others, ‘I feel freer than I ever have in my life.’

“‘How much longer are you willing to live like this?’ My mind screamed. This CHRISTIAN counselor was introducing the option of me leaving my husband. ‘He is a narcissist. This won’t stop.’ He was driving extremely fast and irresponsibly down the highway. I was crying, begging him to stop. Then he’d take pride in being the one to ‘comfort’ me. I didn’t believe in divorce. What were my options? Lifelong suffering? It dawned on me – I was being treated horribly. I deserved so much better.”

‘I regret so much. Not following my mommy instinct. I’m sorry. I did my 40-minute walk on the treadmill, hoping that would wake you up.’: Mother writes letter to baby born sleeping, ‘I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you.’

“The first words out of my mouth as my body flooded with oxytocin were, ‘You are so cute.’ You were perfect, big lips, small button nose, the cutest most perfect feet I have ever seen. I said out loud to your dad multiple times that you just were so quiet in there, and I hoped you were okay. I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you. Looking at you, finally, was the most magical moment.”

‘I chose to wear headphones. I didn’t want to hear or see Lily, afraid she would die. I kept my eyes affixed on my husband.’: Parents who lost twin daughter navigate marriage through tragedy, ‘We weren’t remotely prepared for what lay ahead’

“My husband encouraged me to look at my 1-pound daughter. If Lily died, we agreed to sell all our belongings and move to a beach in Hawaii, disappearing until we felt strong enough to return – but Pat knew Lily was strong enough to survive. I had intense, terrifying thoughts. This is not what we anticipated when we took our vows, but we faced each day together. We’ve come so far from stupid teenagers breaking curfew for 5 more minutes together, but if they could look ahead, I know they’d be pretty damn proud of us, too.”

‘You have cancer. I wasn’t expecting to give this news.’ I felt my stomach. My baby is still there. Still with me.’: Woman diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant fears for her and her baby’s lives, ‘I just want someone to tell me I’m okay.’

“My husband asked, ‘Isn’t this what you wanted?’ I locked eyes with those two little lines. A baby. Healthy, happy, whole. Yet a dimple is not just a dimple, not on the boob. But I know the result already. I saw it on the screen. The large dark shadowy mass on the screen, looking down at me. I was wheeled away into the great unknown.”

‘I made a mistake. My ex found out. ‘I should’ve known better,’ he said. I thought I deserved it. I wasn’t faithful.’: Woman overcomes abusive relationship to find the man of her dreams, ‘I feel like a damn warrior!’

“He burnt my grandma’s table in a bonfire and emailed me pictures. At 2 a.m., he was yelling outside my house, banging on all the doors and windows. I was hidden behind the couch dialing 911. He keyed my car. I woke up with 100+ missed calls. My family finally convinced me the police needed to be involved. I brought so much proof, I thought they’d have to arrest him, but nope. Their ‘hands were tied’ and ‘boys will be boys.’”

‘Are you scared?’ she asked. Breathless, I whispered to my mom, ‘No. It’s time to rally.’ I was so close to death.’: Woman with cystic fibrosis ‘in awe’ after gifted new lungs on verge of death, ‘the kindness of a stranger saved my life!’

“The meds had stopped working – time was running out. The call came at just the right time. I remember doubling over, nauseous with the news I’d just received: ‘They have a match for lungs.’ I needed to be transported to Boston IMMEDIATELY. I crouched down by my hospital bed, struck with the magnitude of the situation. As prepared as I was, nothing could get me ready for this moment. I couldn’t catch my breath.”

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