I have PTSD due to my experiences at the 7th July 2005 London Bombing...I was in the Kings Cross train. I have rarely (count on two hands) attended meeting now for seven and a half years....I cannot cope with sitting in silence as my brain does horrid things. I do not know what support I would need? I have attended church but that too is now difficult.

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Dear Lesley Regan Ratcliff, thanks so much for writing.

I had PTSD for eight years, and now thankfully I am largely recovered. Quaker pastor Peggy Senger Parsons does work with trauma and she has had useful things to say, including how much getting appropriate treatment for the PTSD would transform my spiritual life too.

My treatment included guided imagery and relaxation, and a treatment called EMDR which sounds wacky but it seemed to re-wire, reconnect the part of my brain that was stuck in the trauma loop. You don't mention whether you have any access to treatment or whether you are being treated at present -- I hope you are. The treatment course I had three years ago was twenty weeks but since then I have been gradually getting a life back.

I don't know whether it would help to practice holding positive mental imagery, and perhaps that would help you attend Meeting for worship in time? It might be worth communicating your difficulties to the Meeting, if they don't already know. Perhaps one or two people might be willing to come to meet with you for short periods of worship?

In meeting I have at times used mental imagery to help me feel that I can connect to God, I don't know if it will be helpful to you in finding your own way. I sometimes use the metaphor of a radio. As I experience it there is a 'station' which broadcasts God's song. There is a fountainhead of grace and compassion, a radiant river of healing pours forth from it. I have to turn the dial and tune into that frequency. I try to turn my mind to that source of life, and to return to it when my thoughts drift away.

God bless!

A similar problem happened to me during my post-divorce therapy, though probably not quite as profoundly as with you. Or maybe it was, and I have minimized it. I've felt I've had to walk out of meeting even, once. I have found it helpful to talk with a couple of close friends about the specific images that come up. At that time, I also found it helpful to belong to forums discussing what it meant to be a Friend, particularly the conversations having to do with what others experienced in the silence, or what this kind of worship meant; the positive things. Politics have also made it difficult for me to attend meeting-for-worship at times, and I probably maximized my frustrations with politics to minimize what was bothering me most, so I have to respect your asking this question so openly. It has taken 10-15 years for it to subside much. I could not talk about what was happening to most people in my meeting, because I didn't want to remember frequently, or to have to explain. I have also had many very positive experiences, and those have outweighed the negative ones in the long run.

My thoughts are with you and wish you healing. There is no point attndning anything if it does not bring peace and serenity. Have you tried some Buddhist meditation? There is an 'English' form of Buddhism, more acceptable to the European mind and in consort with all Quaker virtues!

The Irish centre can be found at www.dublinbuddhistcentre.com.  I wish you and yours a peaceful and joyfyul Christmas!

 

My meeting seem to abandon me. I think they felt lost to know what to do.... I have had PTSD Psychotherapy and Psychology treatments... I have improved (My Psychiatrist calls it Complex PTSD)  due to Childhood abuse and other traumas such as a friend was beheaded and I was at KIngs Cross Fire. I am on medication and awaiting further treatment. But thankyou for your words xx

Alice M Yaxley said:

Dear Lesley Regan Ratcliff, thanks so much for writing.

I had PTSD for eight years, and now thankfully I am largely recovered. Quaker pastor Peggy Senger Parsons does work with trauma and she has had useful things to say, including how much getting appropriate treatment for the PTSD would transform my spiritual life too.

My treatment included guided imagery and relaxation, and a treatment called EMDR which sounds wacky but it seemed to re-wire, reconnect the part of my brain that was stuck in the trauma loop. You don't mention whether you have any access to treatment or whether you are being treated at present -- I hope you are. The treatment course I had three years ago was twenty weeks but since then I have been gradually getting a life back.

I don't know whether it would help to practice holding positive mental imagery, and perhaps that would help you attend Meeting for worship in time? It might be worth communicating your difficulties to the Meeting, if they don't already know. Perhaps one or two people might be willing to come to meet with you for short periods of worship?

In meeting I have at times used mental imagery to help me feel that I can connect to God, I don't know if it will be helpful to you in finding your own way. I sometimes use the metaphor of a radio. As I experience it there is a 'station' which broadcasts God's song. There is a fountainhead of grace and compassion, a radiant river of healing pours forth from it. I have to turn the dial and tune into that frequency. I try to turn my mind to that source of life, and to return to it when my thoughts drift away.

God bless!

Medication as with relaxation seem not to work... I am very close to Buddhist values and while on the tube I had amazing spiritual experiences that enabled me to face death! But thank you for you for the link I will have a look xxx



Padraic Murray said:

My thoughts are with you and wish you healing. There is no point attndning anything if it does not bring peace and serenity. Have you tried some Buddhist meditation? There is an 'English' form of Buddhism, more acceptable to the European mind and in consort with all Quaker virtues!

The Irish centre can be found at www.dublinbuddhistcentre.com.  I wish you and yours a peaceful and joyfyul Christmas!

 

I minimized my life traumas from being a toddler my parents were both violent to my sister and I. It appears I had a level of PTSD before 7/7 and I went through multiple bereavements just prior as well... What made it worse as with MANY survivors we were bullied out of our jobs.

I felt that I couldn't explain mainly not quite knowing what was happening and it being painful.

I have taken in a sketch book and doodled which helps but its difficult...thank you so much xxx 

Gwen Giffen said:

A similar problem happened to me during my post-divorce therapy, though probably not quite as profoundly as with you. Or maybe it was, and I have minimized it. I've felt I've had to walk out of meeting even, once. I have found it helpful to talk with a couple of close friends about the specific images that come up. At that time, I also found it helpful to belong to forums discussing what it meant to be a Friend, particularly the conversations having to do with what others experienced in the silence, or what this kind of worship meant; the positive things. Politics have also made it difficult for me to attend meeting-for-worship at times, and I probably maximized my frustrations with politics to minimize what was bothering me most, so I have to respect your asking this question so openly. It has taken 10-15 years for it to subside much. I could not talk about what was happening to most people in my meeting, because I didn't want to remember frequently, or to have to explain. I have also had many very positive experiences, and those have outweighed the negative ones in the long run.

Welcome. Blessings!

Lesley Regan Ratcliff said:

Medication as with relaxation seem not to work... I am very close to Buddhist values and while on the tube I had amazing spiritual experiences that enabled me to face death! But thank you for you for the link I will have a look xxx



Padraic Murray said:

My thoughts are with you and wish you healing. There is no point attndning anything if it does not bring peace and serenity. Have you tried some Buddhist meditation? There is an 'English' form of Buddhism, more acceptable to the European mind and in consort with all Quaker virtues!

The Irish centre can be found at www.dublinbuddhistcentre.com.  I wish you and yours a peaceful and joyfyul Christmas!

 

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