Brooke King writes an insightful article on the The Atlantic having kids and PTSD. I was never blessed with children of my own but I have had my nieces and nephews live with me on and off for years from the time they were little. Brooke talks about special rules in their family like “We don’t scare Mommy”, and “We don’t play hide-and-seek” I can relate we had our rules “Don’t scare Aunt T”, “Don’t sneak up on Aunt T” To this day they remember, the kids, now adults, are still careful about not startling me. I could relate to many things in the article and you may too!
From the article:
‘The other day, my son Bowen came into our bedroom while I was laying on the bed with my back to the door and jumped on me, shouting, “Hey Mom!” I reacted immediately, spinning around and grabbing him by his shoulder. I firmly told him to never do that again, and he asked me why. I calmly said, “Remember where Mommy was a long time ago?”
“Is this an Army thing?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. “You cannot sneak up on me like that. I get really scared because someone used to sneak up on me like that in Iraq.” He gave me a hug, kissed me, and quietly said into my ear, “Okay, Mommy, I won’t try to scare you again.”
The trauma of war can harm the children of soldiers once they’re home-but it doesn’t have to. Bowen screamed, “You’re dead.” The boys were in the backyard. I had consented to let them play with their Nerf guns. Bowen was chasing Zachary. The bullets whizzed out in automatic fire.