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Old 04-07-2005, 06:10 PM   #1
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What do you think?

It was suggested to me by someone on the depression board that I may suffer from PTSD, but I really don't know much about it.

To start I guess I should tell you that my birthday is April 16. My brother was three years and 11 months younger than I, born on May 16. He was born with Down syndrome and while we had the regular sibling fights, we were very close. I was closer to him than anyone else--I taught him to walk and when everyone else couldn't understand what he was saying I was his translator.

I have always suffered from major depression, but up until my brother's death I was always able to manage it with out medication.

On April 17, 1997 he died in a house fire. He was locked in his bedroom, and my "father" said he had to go out for a breath of fresh air. I was told over the phone, in a "dead" tone of voice, "Yeah, Russell's dead." Being the last thing I ever expected to hear it knocked my on my a**. It was, and still is, the worst thing I have ever experienced, the worst grief I have ever felt. Some part of me died when my brother did, b/c I have not been the same person since. In some ways I'm a better person, but I still hurt. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my brother and wish to see him or talk to him. I've come to terms with the fact of his death. It's how he died that I have a problem with. Because our selfish father valued his own life above all else, my little brother burned to death in his bed.

Sorry to be so brutal about the facts, but that is how they always come up in my mind and I can't seem to get past it.

So what do you think? Can I add PTSD to my list?

 
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Old 04-14-2005, 09:08 AM   #2
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Re: What do you think?

i dont know about PTSD. but when you grieve it takes at least one year (of time and healing)for every seven years that you had a relationship. This is what i have been told at the hospice society. Give your self time. I lost my mother and grand mother ,a month apart, 3 years ago and i still have pains in my heart that are just as strong as the day she died.
MY week from hell. this was the month of may 3 years ago. Sunday was mothers day so we spent it in the hospital with my mother. That Wednsday she passed away . Friday was the funeral. Saturday was my daughters birthday and monday was my birthday. First birthday in my life(35 yrs)without a mother , father or grandmother. and my partner decided that drugs were more impoprtant sthat supporting me and our children at the funeral.

You may hate your father and you can for noew.. but you need to eventually let sthat go or you will end up self absorbed like him. just remember it will take time....I hope this helps

 
Old 04-14-2005, 09:08 AM   #3
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Re: What do you think?

i dont know about PTSD. but when you grieve it takes at least one year (of time and healing)for every seven years that you had a relationship. This is what i have been told at the hospice society. Give your self time. I lost my mother and grand mother ,a month apart, 3 years ago and i still have pains in my heart that are just as strong as the day she died.
MY week from hell. this was the month of may 3 years ago. Sunday was mothers day so we spent it in the hospital with my mother. That Wednsday she passed away . Friday was the funeral. Saturday was my daughters birthday and monday was my birthday. First birthday in my life(35 yrs)without a mother , father or grandmother. and my partner decided that drugs were more impoprtant sthat supporting me and our children at the funeral.

You may hate your father and you can for noew.. but you need to eventually let sthat go or you will end up self absorbed like him. just remember it will take time....I hope this helps

 
Old 04-14-2005, 09:10 AM   #4
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Re: What do you think?

i dont know about PTSD. but when you grieve it takes at least one year (of time and healing)for every seven years that you had a relationship. This is what i have been told at the hospice society. Give your self time. I lost my mother and grand mother ,a month apart, 3 years ago and i still have pains in my heart that are just as strong as the day she died.
MY week from hell. this was the month of may 3 years ago. Sunday was mothers day so we spent it in the hospital with my mother. That Wednsday she passed away . Friday was the funeral. Saturday was my daughters birthday and monday was my birthday. First birthday in my life(35 yrs)without a mother , father or grandmother. and my partner decided that drugs were more impoprtant sthat supporting me and our children at the funeral.

You may hate your father and you can for noew.. but you need to eventually let sthat go or you will end up self absorbed like him. just remember it will take time....I hope this helps

 
Old 04-15-2005, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: What do you think?

Actually, I don't hate my father. I couldn't care less about him. What bugs me is that everyone who doesn't know him well has fallen for his bullsh*t "wonderful father" act. He was never a "wonderful father", even before my brother came along. He was never around when my mom was still with us, and he tried not to be around as much as possible after my mom left. I always knew he was selfish, but I didn't think he was selfish enough to let another human being die so he could live.

 
Old 06-04-2005, 11:17 PM   #6
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Re: What do you think?

I don't quite understand -- did your father leave before or after the fire started? It sounds like you are blaming him for your brother's death, which would only be truthful if he in fact lit the fire himself, or if he left your brother there on purpose. If this is the case then yes this could be PTSD, and your father should be in prison.

Any other variance is terribly sad and unfortunate, but noone can really be "blamed". It would then be a catastrophic accident, caused by mistakes. I can only assume your brother was locked in his room to keep him safe, so your father's intentions were good. He then made his huge mistake by doing what we all do at times -- he took a chance. A chance for a breath of fresh air which resulted in the death of his son. If this is what happened then I'm sure your father must be going through some sort of internal trauma on his own. How has he been since your brother's death? Have you spoken about any of this? I know you're hurting and sometimes when we hurt so bad we tend to focus on our own pain, and not so much anyone elses. I don't know your dad but I can't think that if he was the parent that stayed with the kids, that he was the selfish one. I cannot imagine the guilt he must feel now and will carry for the rest of his life, regardless if he was a rotten father or not.

I don't understand what you mean by "he valued his own life above all else", and how he "let another human being die so he could live". Was there the possibility that he could have gone in and saved your brother? Not everyone is a hero - there are more cowards than you think.

I feel terrible that you have had to go through this, but you won't rid yourself of these feelings by continuing to blame your father for your brother's death. He took a chance and the results were horrific, but he did not cause the death. Maybe if you came to terms with this, things will change.

Take care

 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:34 AM   #7
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Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
I can only assume your brother was locked in his room to keep him safe, so your father's intentions were good.
See, where I live that is illegal. It is against fire code regulations. For a very good reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
I don't understand what you mean by "he valued his own life above all else", and how he "let another human being die so he could live". Was there the possibility that he could have gone in and saved your brother? Not everyone is a hero - there are more cowards than you think.
It means exactly what it says. There was a possibility he could have saved my brother. If he'd gotten down on his knees and crawled across about five feet of floor from the doorway to my brother's bed he could have grabbed my brother and dragged him out. The distance from my brother's bedroom door to the front door is only about 10-15 feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
He took a chance and the results were horrific, but he did not cause the death.
Even his own father, my grandfather, would disagree with you. See, he was there when the firefighters brought my brother out of the house and laid him on the front lawn. My brother did not die from smoke inhalation. He burned to death.

My answer to everything else you said (ie "he was the parent that stayed with the kids") is that you don't know the man. I have only told the worst thing he's ever done. There's much more. He was "the parent who stayed with the kids" because he threatened my mother that he would kill her if she took us when she left. She believed him, and I believe he would have done it. He was an abusive husband and he was an abusive father; he was even an abusive son. The reason he's not in prison is because he covered up his culpability in my brother's death. Even if he couldn't be sent for murder he could be sent for negligent homicide. I don't know where you are from, but in Canada our justice system is crap.

 
Old 06-07-2005, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: What do you think?

I'm from Canada too and I agree that our judicial system sucks, but if you can prove that your father was negligent I don't see how he can avoid jail.

If the door was found locked and your brother burned to death, then was it your brother who started the fire? People in a fire generally die of smoke inhilation long before the flames get to them, despite being found burnt. What did the investigators determine the cause of the fire to be?

Also what about the firemen and other witnesses to the door being illegally locked in the first place? Why are there no charges being made? Surely that information would have made it on the report!

One other thing. If your dad was as abusive as everyone claims, then why hasn't anyone ever reported him? If I were in your mother's shoes, leaving my children in the care of such a man would be the LAST thing I'd ever do. Threatening to kill me would be even that much MORE of a reason to take the kids away! I'm sorry but in my eyes your mother and grandfather are also to blame for this tragedy. They knew he was abusive and yet left two children, one of them challenged to boot, in HIS custody?

You have suffered too much already and it is totally disgusting what happened to your brother. I do not understand how on earth your father was able to talk his way out of this if he was at fault. There's obviously more to this than you've mentioned.

Last edited by kitkat77; 06-07-2005 at 05:36 PM. Reason: comp froze earlier

 
Old 06-08-2005, 07:56 PM   #9
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Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
I'm from Canada too and I agree that our judicial system sucks, but if you can prove that your father was negligent I don't see how he can avoid jail.

If the door was found locked and your brother burned to death, then was it your brother who started the fire? People in a fire generally die of smoke inhilation long before the flames get to them, despite being found burnt. What did the investigators determine the cause of the fire to be?
What I've heard is that my brother was playing with matches and the fire started in his closet. I've requested a copy of the fire commissioner's report, but haven't heard anything back from them yet. I'm going to write a letter as a "reminder".

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
Also what about the firemen and other witnesses to the door being illegally locked in the first place? Why are there no charges being made? Surely that information would have made it on the report!
Which is why I want a copy of that report. What my mother and I think is that no one else saw the lock. He did go into the house and supposedly attempted to enter the room, so I can only assume that he kicked the door in and pulled the lock off. He may even have had enough presence of mind to pick it up and hide it (he's very crafty when it comes to saving his own a**). My mom even believes it's possible my father started the fire himself. Many years ago, before she left him, she recalls waking up from a nap on the couch to find him standing over her with a book of matches and holding one ready to strike. She asked what he was doing and he said he wanted to see what it would feel like to burn her. (this is a very sick man)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
One other thing. If your dad was as abusive as everyone claims, then why hasn't anyone ever reported him?
He was reported when I was 13 for punching my mom in the face and breaking her nose. He got a one year suspended sentence and 10 years probation. Nice, huh? I think the main reason she never went to the police before that is because most of it happened in the '70's...they didn't do much about spousal abuse back then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
If I were in your mother's shoes, leaving my children in the care of such a man would be the LAST thing I'd ever do. Threatening to kill me would be even that much MORE of a reason to take the kids away!
My mother had no reason to believe he would be abusive towards us. He never was before she left. He was only abusive towards me, and that only verbal. I talked to social workers at school, but they wouldn't listen to me. There were never any marks on me, so why should they? I wasn't articulate enough to tell them what he was really doing to me. As long as I was around he wasn't abusive toward my brother, but I believe that changed when I left. Believe me, if I'd known that would happen and if I'd known the case worker would recommend separating me and my brother at the time final custody arrangements took place I never would have allowed it to happen. I would have made sure my mother got custody of my brother also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
I'm sorry but in my eyes your mother and grandfather are also to blame for this tragedy. They knew he was abusive and yet left two children, one of them challenged to boot, in HIS custody?
And if you look at it that way I am also to blame because of the complaints I made about having to "babysit" all the time when the case worker spoke to me alone.

The grandfather I spoke of is my dad's father. He honestly did not know what was really going on--not with my mom, not with me and I have to assume not with my brother. I only told him a couple of years ago about the abuse I suffered. My mom has never told anyone about certain things that happened. I've heard about some of it, but not all of it. What I've heard is bad enough; I'm not sure I want to know any more of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
You have suffered too much already and it is totally disgusting what happened to your brother. I do not understand how on earth your father was able to talk his way out of this if he was at fault. There's obviously more to this than you've mentioned.
There is more to it (like certain things he said the night my brother died; I was so numb at the time I didn't pick up on them right away, but I did later on and there's something not right about his story), but most of it is nothing more than suspiscion and knowing exactly what kind of man my father is. My mother and I know how he thinks...he is able to actually tell himself that something happened "this way", and believe it, when it really happened "that way". The night my brother died he was telling me there were a lot of things I didn't know about my parents' marriage, separation and divorce. He said he would tell me about all of it someday. I just walked along thinking to myself that I knew a lot more than he thought and I wasn't very likely to believe much of anything he said. You can't believe a person who lies even to themselves.

By the way, I think the negligent homicide charge might only work on Law & Order ...I've never heard of anyone actually being charged with it here. Or, if I was in the US I could file a civil suit against him. I could do it here, too, but I'd be more likely to win in the states. Our judges are too "liberal-minded" and soft (like the female judge in BC who agreed with the pervert about it being his constitutional right to own child pornography...with judges like that who needs any enemies?).

Last edited by Alex6657; 06-08-2005 at 08:05 PM. Reason: forgot something

 
Old 06-08-2005, 08:41 PM   #10
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Re: What do you think?

Your dad punched your mom in the face, broke her nose, and was charged. Don't tell me nobody knew this man was abusive. How he got custody of anyone at any time is beyond me - I've NEVER heard of this being allowed. Your mom obviously took off without consulting anyone at all first.

I'm curious as to how long of a time span is between the time she left and the time she got you, and why she didn't ask for your brother WITH you, in the first place. She already knew your dad was capable of being violent and everyone knows violence comes in an instant - It has nothing to do with the person it's directed at, but all to do with the uncontrollable rage from within. Therefore, anyone can be a target. You mentioned that he was an "abusive son". So your grandfather DID know that your father had this in him. If all YOU'VE experienced is verbal abuse then no, I can't see how you would have thought your brother's life was at risk, but the adults should have had an inkling.

Regardless, I can see why you are suspicious of the whole thing. Your dad's reputation is shady at best - your work is definately cut out for you. With all the circumstances involved, is there no crown lawyer who will take this case? My God, with your mom's testimony of his comment while holding matches..... Get the case workers involved - someone HAS to help!

 
Old 06-09-2005, 12:30 PM   #11
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Re: What do you think?

Until I see the fire commissioner's report I don't want to go to the police or anyone else. I probably won't be able to prove the door was locked, but if necessary my mom and I will go into detail about the things he said and did in the past.

With his parents he was only verbally abusive toward his mother. His father was blind to everything up until about 5 years ago. It's a very long story and difficult to explain, but his parents believed everything he told them and my mom and I took the heat for speaking against him. My grandparents pretty much disowned me because I wanted to live with my mother and not their "perfect son". When I was only a few months old my dad broke one of my bottles over my mom's head--he only stopped hitting her because he saw blood on me and thought he cut me, too. When my grandmother saw the stitches in my mom's head she asked what happened and my mom told her. My grandmother said, "oh, no, my son couldn't have done that." Based on things I've heard about from his childhood they should have known better, but I think they were in serious denial. Now my grandfather says he can't understand how my dad turned out to be the way he is, but I know why. I just don't say anything because my grandfather has "conveniently forgotten" many things since my grandmother died. That whole family is a little off...except my aunt because she was adopted (lucky her). This is why it's so hard to explain everything so you can understand better. My mom's father would have killed my dad if he'd ever gotten his hands on him, but the coward always ran when he saw my grandpa coming.

When he punched my mom in the face I was 13 and we were on a weekend visit with her. She left him just before my 10th birthday, and he only had custody of us by default. She got custody of me just before Christmas the year I was 15, so he had me for almost 6 years. I never found out until a few years ago, but my mom was asking for custody of my brother. It's because of me that they left him with my dad (which I feel bad about). At any rate, my brother should have been moved into a group home LONG before the fire happened.

Believe me, all of this used to make me very angry, but since so many years have passed I've just kind of gotten used to the idea that nothing can really be done to change any of it. If I could have had him charged with the verbal abuse I would have; I still would now except for the statute of limitations. But verbal abuse is SO hard to prove, unless you can get it on tape and I never did. I tried once when he was having a temper tantrum in the basement, but the tape didn't come out clear. However, if I can make him pay for what happened to my brother I will.

 
Old 07-04-2005, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: What do you think?

I just visited a PTSD site and looked at the symptoms. I've always had depression & anxiety, but I think I've FINALLY found the right diagnosis - all by my little self. Of course I'm going to talk to my psych about it.

You may have PTSD. Grief is a normal response, but it can get out of control. And his death was sudden and awful. My guess is that you should consult someone on this.

 
Old 07-04-2005, 05:10 PM   #13
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Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkat77
I'm from Canada too and I agree that our judicial system sucks, but if you can prove that your father was negligent I don't see how he can avoid jail.

If the door was found locked and your brother burned to death, then was it your brother who started the fire? People in a fire generally die of smoke inhilation long before the flames get to them, despite being found burnt. What did the investigators determine the cause of the fire to be?

Also what about the firemen and other witnesses to the door being illegally locked in the first place? Why are there no charges being made? Surely that information would have made it on the report!

One other thing. If your dad was as abusive as everyone claims, then why hasn't anyone ever reported him? If I were in your mother's shoes, leaving my children in the care of such a man would be the LAST thing I'd ever do. Threatening to kill me would be even that much MORE of a reason to take the kids away! I'm sorry but in my eyes your mother and grandfather are also to blame for this tragedy. They knew he was abusive and yet left two children, one of them challenged to boot, in HIS custody?

You have suffered too much already and it is totally disgusting what happened to your brother. I do not understand how on earth your father was able to talk his way out of this if he was at fault. There's obviously more to this than you've mentioned.
KitKat, I'm from the U.S. and know nothing about the Canadian justice system, but I can tell you that the dynamics of domestic abuse are the same the world over. Abusers are the same the world over. They think they have the right to say and do anything they please, and woe to anyone who goes up against them. Battered wives and children learn to believe his threats, and if he threatens to kill them, he will often make good on that threat, or try. Women are in worse danger when they're trying to leave their batterers than they are if they stay with them! Sad to say, they often abandon their children. It's not because they don't care; it's because they're that desperate. Battered women often have little or no luck with police, and are often without financial resources to go out on their own. If they do, they're constantly in fear of HIM finding them and killing them. The kids end up angry and sometimes take it out on Mom. It goes on and on. Reporting a man is so simple, but try living with the aftermath!!

I know this from taking a training course for a battered women's hotline. I never did any work for them because I couldn't handle the stress, but I sure learned a lot.

ImagineLennon has experienced something so horrible she can't even talk about it all at once. You have to read between the lines of what she's saying. I can read what she's saying and it's more than a sad death; it's a horror story without "the end", a nightmare that really happened to her.
PTSD? I sure wouldn't be surprised.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 05:21 PM   #14
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Re: What do you think?

hi imagine

*hugs*, your story is one of the most distressing Ive read about. Dealing with something like that is unimaginable, EVEN without the massive complications regarding your dad. If it were me I dont think I could ever get through that, yet you are being so strong and simply amazing by carrying on and voicing how strongly you feel, and your need for justice for your beloved brother. If you feel your dad has a big part to play in this, and desperately need some sort of closure, then who can blame you; after all you're the only one who truly knows him, we don't. I hope with all my heart you DO find some answers, justice and closure from this. In the end Im sure justice will be done. What happened to your brother is unthinkable, it breaks my heart to hear about it; it makes me squirm with such discomfort. God how much I feel for you and him, no one should ever experience such awful things.

PTSD- I don't think I truly know what the definition of that is yet, or what you have to go through to be diagnosed with it. I used to always think it was mainly something that affected war veterans or people that have been tortured, stuff like that. But if I were to form my own opinion, I would imagine that, after something terrible has happened in your life, - its highly significant if you find yourself thinking about it all the time, and unable to deal with it or move forward. If an event that has happened to you has affected your whole life for worse, I think I'd call that post trauma. Well, literally what the words mean I guess- post trauma, meaning recurrent pain from after an event that hasn't been resolved, obviously. Of course you do have that pain and I do believe it is a post trauma. I just don't know for sure what doctors would say, or how they'd classify it. But I think youve been through something so terrible that PTSD is inevitable. (Who cares what the docs say anyway, they're usually useless)! I was abused as a kid but never thought that it could be considered a post trauma as its no way near serious enough, compared to what others go through. But now Ive come on here and read people's stories, I guess it is something you could class as such. That brings me back to my point- I think any nasty happenings that have affected your life long term are most likely classed as post traumatic.

I think that means my answer is yes, I believe you may suffer from it (eeek Ive been beating about the bush)! But thats just a personal opinion, Im not a professional. I wish you the very best of luck and love from here on, you badly need a positive progress now (obviously, sorry) in order for you to move on in life, and for your brother to rest in peace, with justice accomplished. My deepest empathy is with you, please take care.

love michelle x x

 
Old 11-07-2005, 06:44 PM   #15
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Re: What do you think?

ImagineLennon, I just wanted to let you know my prayers are with you, your brother and your mom. God will help you with this. I'm so sorry about what happened to your beloved brother.

 
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