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Woman with PTSD wonders if she should give up on the idea of thriving..

06 Dec
A woman who has suffered from posttraumatic stress for 20 years asks if she will ever feel okay again, or have a normal life. She is wary of feeling too hopeful, and having her hopes smashed..
This question was posted by Tara on our Discussion page:

I''m about to turn 35 and have had ptsd symptoms for about twenty years. I''ve had some good therapists, and have been able to complete some of my goals (just finished a master''s degree), but still feel very damaged. I''ve always wanted to have a partner and a family of my own, but am still on SSI and have never been able to hold a full-time job. In the last two years I''ve developed fibromyalgia symptoms. The things that help, like acupuncture, are usually out of my price range. I have a boyfriend who is concerned about moving forward with me because he doesn''t want to be stuck taking care of me. I know that ptsd sufferers often feel like they can''t have a normal life. But so far, despite my efforts, I don''t have one! My symptoms still control my life to the extent that I''m just surviving. I saw the guided imagery book and will check it out, but am wary of optimism--I''ve tried everything and wonder if I should stop hoping to be able to truly celebrate life, to thrive. Should I give up the idea of being able to have a family and or partner given my age, health issues and financial situation?

Rather than answer this myself, I refer you to the eloquent, practical and inspiring answers from Anne, Lynne and Charlotte over at the Discussion Boards.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award