I just wanted to let you all know how this non profit became to be and what we want to accomplish.
First of all..my own personal experiences from age 5, throughout my life, I've had many different types of abuse, from sexual abuse, to physical abuse, to mental and emotional abuse. I was active duty Air Force for 20 years and saw the world.. Had a top secret clearance and a very difficult and demanding job. I served in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia..I experienced many tragic events like the airshow crash in Ramstein Germany where I helped put burning people on stretchers and onto the helicopters.. The planes crashed over the crowd and thousands of people were running on fire. I was working solo in the Patrick Afb command post the day the space shuttle exploded after launch..I was awarded for my efforts in working that situation with coordinating search and rescue and sending updated messages to the Pentagon.. But it still leaves scars with you.. I maintained my composure after retiring to go on to become a contractor for the government teaching pilots a software program to better help them monitor and schedule the crews and missions. I then went in to civil service as a GS 11 working obtaining International over flight and landing clearances for all missions under Military Airlift Command. This job was very challenging and to make a long story short.. We had 7 cargo planes ready to carry full loads of helmets and flak vests to Iraq from Turkey.. The troops were in dire need of these and we all worked very hard to make it happen.. On the day of launch we got orders to stand down. Unload the aircraft and place them and the crews on alert to use as backup planes for President Bush.. Who decided to go to China.. I was furious.. I walked over to the TV and CNN was on and they were showing a battle between our troops and the enemy with a wall in between. The troop had no helmet or flak vest on and was bleeding. I started crying and resigned that night. I was a normal functioning social person when all of a sudden. ..in the midst of an abusive altercation..I was triggered and all the past traumatic situations came back to me and I had pretty much a breakdown. After many sessions with many doctors ..I was diagnosed with PTSD. I didn't know what it was..just knew I had flashbacks of past traumas, depressed, anxiety, nightmares etc. So, my doctor suggested I get out of my current situation and try to start over somewhere new. I left and moved to Florida, where I am now with $400, 2 suitcases and my dog nuggett. I didn't know where I was going but I had a friend in Florida and I called her..she let me stay there till I found an apartment. I did find one, and within 2 months of being there I was shot in the head. It's a long story , but I was in a coma for 4 days and in the trauma unit for 2 weeks. Mind you..I had 1 friend and no family to help me thru any of it. It caused my PTSD to escalate to the point where I secluded myself in my little place for almost 5 years..my only communication was thru Facebook..so I started the group PTSD Learning to Live Again because my own personal page was all these people asking me about PTSD so I figured I'd just start a group. 4 years now..I finally got enough money to apply for my non profit and it was approved in March 2015. One of my goals is to make people understand many things about PTSD that they don't know. Like the fact that you actually have certain parts of your brain that get damaged and don't release the proper chemicals needed to act and live normally. It's an injury to the hypothalamus and hippocampus and chemicals like serotonin and dopamine are altered. It's not a mental illness..it's actually considered an acute anxiety disorder according to Wikipedia. The fact that two people can be in the same car accident and neither has physical injuries but one can get ptsd and not the other..that others can go thru traumatic situations but won't get PTSD. .it doesn't discriminate, and it's definitely not something we want to have. I would give anything to be my old self again..and have had friends and family question and doubt my PTSD. .that certainly doesn't help, because the more support you have, the easier it is to get better. You can look at it like cancer. .it can be bad, then you take chemo and it goes into remission , but something makes it come back. That something are called triggers with PTSD. You must learn what triggers you, and learn how to avoid them. Even if it's family or friends..if it's a negative that causes your PTSD to be triggered. .You have to eliminate it from your life. You can get better, but it never really goes away or is cured..You can learn coping skills but time and support are the best ways to get into a good place. For me, helping others makes me forget about my own thoughts, but it's been almost 6 years since I got shot and I still have days even weeks where I can't go outside. I don't think anyone that doesn't have PTSD will ever really understand it..kinda like a man can't understand how painful it is for a woman to give birth..but they can be compassionate and loving and supportive . For those who don't have PTSD. .the worst thing you can say to someone that does is..oh, just get a job, or just go out and meet people it will all get better..ask one of the 3,000 members in my group and they all say that's the worst thing they want to hear..because if it was that easy, don't you think we would?
You will find a few programs I've set up to try and help the members so they don't feel so alone as I have felt. I have learned through my own PTSD, what it is, how to try and make it better, how to help others and how to try and learn how to live your life over again after acquiring PTSD. I hope you join the support group if you have PTSD and fill out the entire registration form in order to be involved in the programs we will offer. We plan on growing by donations, so we can hold speaking engagements around the country and bring awareness to those who want to learn.
Yes..it's true..combat veterans did have what is now known as PTSD. .but the symptoms of PTSD are the same as a person who was sexually abused or shot or in a terrible accident. Please try and understand.
If anyone wants to talk to me personally, you can send me an email to email@example.com or message me on Facebook under my name Susie Baruth.
Oh..one last note..my dog nuggett saw me get shot and got Addisons disease from the stress of it..almost died too..but she is now my ptsd support dog and goes everywhere with me. She is my reason for living everyday..You will see her picture thruout the website..huggs, And with the help of Barbara Yodice who is an expert on nonprofits, our secretary and a wonderful woman helped me find the way to get the non profit paperwork in and approved. Without her I couldn't have done it. So thank you so much to Barbara for helping me and being by my side all along this journey.