PROWLING TIGERS

When I think about veterans with PTSD being forced to stay inside during stormy weather, I think of prowling tigers. That may seem strange, but I know that one of the symptoms of PTSD is the need to control the environment. That includes being able to “get away” when necessary.

Now “getting away” may be as simple as walking into the next room, or it may be more complex and require leaving the immediate area to go someplace that is less threatening. For instance, if the kids are being boisterous and noisy, it can be hard on someone with PTSD who feels the need to be attuned to every noise around them and to know what’s happening with everyone in their immediate circle. They can become like a prowling tiger. It may be necessary to get away where things are calmer and not as nerve-wracking.

If you need some extra space when you’re stuck in the house, don’t take it out on the kids. After all, they’re just being kids and when all is said and done, you want them to be happy, don’t you? Of course. So, don’t be afraid to get outside if you need to. Shovel that snow, go for a walk, work in the garage. Do whatever it takes to feel in control, but don’t stay in the house and prowl around your family. They don’t deserve that. Learning to live with PTSD means finding ways to cope with it, so don’t let it control you! Take charge, make a plan for what you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable, then follow through on it. No one needs to live with a prowling tiger. Your family doesn’t deserve that and neither do you!

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