Today, I’m guest posting on Anita and Carol’s blog, Blessed (but Stressed). They write to know that they are not alone- they hope you find that YOU are not alone, either. The caregiver’s journey often seems interminable, lonely and uncontrollable. There IS hope. Join them as they share their stories and their experiences with you.
Thank you, Anita, for inviting me to share my story with your readers…
In this guest post by Anna Smit, author of Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering, shares tips for dealing with caregiver PTSD.
I was diagnosed with PTSD in April, 2015, a year after losing my mother to glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most deadly forms of brain cancer. What many people don’t realize is that PTSD is not just an illness that war veterans suffer from. It is also an illness many caregivers of loved ones suffer from, often without diagnosis.
Unbeknownst to myself, the time I had spent taking care of my Mum, together with hospice nurses and other family members, in the final weeks of her life, far from my husband and eldest daughter, had taken their toll.
If you have ever taken care of a loved one with a terminal illness, you will know that during the illness, it is hard not to become completely focused on the care, repressing any and all feelings that get in the way, which is exactly what I did. But I didn’t just do this at the time, but also thereafter. I returned home, to the other side of the world, and dived straight back into my part-time teaching position and motherhood, until the exhaustion became too much and I handed in my resignation. My body was spent from the months of repressing strong emotions, an inexplicable tension holding my body captive.
This journal entry, from the first month as a stay-at-home Mum, gives you a window into the then unexplainable emotions that lay beneath the tension:
I hope you’ll join me to read the remainder of this post at: blessedbutstressed.com