It’s always gratifying to me when I find a book written by a spouse of a combat vet with PTSD, and especially so, when it is full of solid advice, great information, and provides hope for recovery.
The subtitle of this book is “A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One’s PTSD.”
Author Cynthia Orange, is married to a Vietnam combat veteran. In the Introduction, she writes “The word trauma comes from the Greek word wound, and some of the wounds that trauma causes are deep and long-lasting, creating, as the title to this book suggests, shock waves throughout an entire family system.”
Not only does Orange share her own hard-earned wisdom, there are many other stories throughout the book by trauma survivors, and those affected by a loved one’s trauma or PTSD.
Some of the chapter titles are:
- Trauma Responses and PTSD: Normal Reactions to Abnormal Events
- Acknowledging Loss and Honoring Grief
- What about Me? The Importance of Self-Care
- Trauma and Addiction: Weathering the Storms
- Trauma and Parenting
- Rebuilding Your Life
On p. 154, Orange notes “As a wise person said, ‘Trauma may always be with you, but you can carry it differently.’ Trauma continues to inform our lives, and we can grow from its lessons. I may reject the concept of closure when it comes to trauma, but I can embrace the importance of acknowledgement.”
She also shares a saying often heard in recovery groups, “You can’t change the wind, but you can adjust the sails.”
This book is rich with golden nuggets such as the above. It has much to offer those of us who have been living with PTSD, up close and personal. In my own life, I have found “It takes one to know one.” Only those who have “walked the walk” can truly relate.
Orange’s compassion for those of us who have suffered deep grief and loss, shines throughout the book. She is an excellent writer who has written extensively about addiction and recovery, parenting and PTSD.
She also co-facilitates a caregivers’ support group, and she and her husband often speak to groups about the effects of trauma and war in their continuing involvement with veterans and veterans’ issues.
I highly recommend this book for those interested in understanding and healing PTSD!