Non-Fiction

 

Parenting with PTSD

 October 12, 2017 marks the release of Parenting with PTSD, the book that breaks the silence about parenting after childhood trauma, so that parents can break the cycle of abuse.

For survivors of childhood abuse, becoming a parent is marked by a sudden resurgence of trauma triggers. At every stage of parenthood, from pregnancy to the teen years, there are moments when mothers and fathers experience flashbacks, depression, anxiety and other symptoms related to their untreated post traumatic stress. Most parents are completely blindsided by them because no one talks about it.

Over the last two decades, science and research on toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has shown us that abuse which occurs during childhood interrupts healthy brain and body development. Some children who experience this interference in healthy development will be supported with therapeutic interventions; most will not. As these survivors of childhood abuse grow up, they find ways to cope with their untreated post traumatic stress, usually through avoidance and numbing. After they become parents, those strategies are no longer effective. Parenting survivors need support to get through the flashbacks and other post-traumatic stress symptoms they will experience.

As new mothers, editors and contributing authors Dawn Daum (of Northville, NY) and Joyelle Brandt (of Port Moody, BC) both went looking online and on book shelves for something to validate how they were experiencing motherhood, but never found what they needed. What they did find was each other, after Daum published an online article describing her struggles with raising her daughter as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Brandt contacted Daum after reading the article and asked her if she wanted to create the resource that each of them had searched for.

Despite two time zones and a country between them, Brandt and Daum worked together to talk to other parenting survivors and collect their stories. Through hundreds of emails, texts, and phone conversations Daum and Brandt created Parenting with PTSD: the impact of childhood abuse on parenting. Each essay included in Parenting with PTSD walks you through not the individual’s abusive experiences, but rather how these experiences have affected the author as a mother or father. Included are essays written by fathers, a queer woman expecting her first child, mothers from inside and outside of North America, women of different ethnicities, single and married parents. As well, essays by survivors who are creating trauma informed services show how it is possible not only to break the cycle for your family, but to use your trauma history to help others.

Parenting with PTSD is a resource intended to help survivors prepare for parenthood, and support those in the throes of working to break the cycle through it. Whether you are a parent survivor or you provide medical, mental, or social health services to survivors, this book will provide insight into how triggers, flashbacks, and distorted cognitions come into play once a survivor becomes a parent.

Here is what readers are saying about Parenting with PTSD:

As a Licensed Clinical Social worker, I am always looking for resources that can help my clients in their recovery process. What this book has provided for myself and the people I serve are real life stories, with people who are speaking their truth and combating false notions of what trauma work looks and feels like. Parenting with PTSD is a long overdue resource for individuals and families living with the short and long term effects of trauma. I believe this is an essential resource for parents in understanding and healing from the effects of trauma. As they read and identify with these stories they become more resolved in the work they are doing. It restores a real hope of a workable life where they are not alone. Through the stories we unlock our own shame and pain and can progress in our personal trauma recoveries and gain insight as we heal in community. Parenting with PTSD can be a doorway into a journey that can bring healing, increased self-worth, hope and freedom for so many readers. Sara J Hiatt LCSW

I absolutely love this book! As a parent and child sexual abuse survivor, I have never read a book with such impact as this one; this book brings an unspoken truth to light. Reading each story, I collectively gathered pieces of myself from each one and was blown away by the similarities between my story and theirs. I literally could envision each and every survivor as they revisited the monster behind the pain. I realize that I'm not alone in my journey as a survivor trying to parent with many "triggers". Many people want to keep the abuse quiet and ignore the effects that linger on well into adulthood. The helpless child one day becomes an adult who must decide between parenting "consciously" or sparking old flames. I would recommend any one who has ever been a victim of abuse to read this book! This book gives honest hope for healing, and parenting after abuse. – Latasha Fleming, author of Know Tiny Secrets

 

Parenting with PTSD is available in print and digital formats on Amazon beginning October 12, 2017.

For more information visit the Parenting with PTSD website.

To contact Dawn Daum or Joyelle Brandt, email at parentingwithptsd@gmail.com.