Residential Program for Women Veterans with PTSD

I know I mentioned this a while back. It looks like I get an interview next week to see if they will accept me for the program.

A “residential program” sounds pretty bad right? It does to me on the outside. I mean, that’s where crazy people go, or really rich people who get hooked on all the wrong stuff go.

But, I’m not being committed. I’m applying of my own free will. And I have great hope that I will learn some very useful coping and management skills.

Even more than the skills though I am hoping that being around a small group of other women who’ve dealt with the same thing I have, I’m betting some had even more childhood trauma than I did as well, that I will get it through my head (and soul) that I am not alone. That there are others who understand exactly what I’ve dealt with and will always deal with.
I hope that in the process of having compassion for my fellows (feminine version of fellows??) that some of the deep deep anger and shame for myself will dissipate. That maybe the compassion will expand so much that the shame and anger will be pushed out for lack of room and time and will disappear from my psyche. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit woo woo sounding.. but I think everyone understands the point I’m trying to make).

Lastly, just as important to me coming out of 6 months of homelessness, is building a routine. Getting back into the habit of exercising. Eating regularly and well (though I’ve been eating awesome with the friends I’m staying with I’m still not doing as well as I should with the regularity part).
I’m working on building my own routine here but a little help from people who are more familiar with the issues I face will not be ignored!

And I guess one last note/ps. The VA is one of the most advanced PTSD treatment processes in the USA. Goodness knows they have had ample reason to become so. But I have some confidence, maybe almost a bit of trust, in their processes, which means that I will be more likely to go through the sessions/training with an open mind, without asking all the questions that I always have to ask. I’ll trust them enough to do what they say and believe that it might help me and save my questions of why and how it helps for later.

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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  March 22, 2012

    Will your friends keep Keegan? Sounds great!!
    Alyce

    Reply
  2. Even better, Keegan will go with me!!!

    This program allows and even encourages service dog participation. Awesome yeah? 😀

    Reply
  3. stillstrange

     /  March 22, 2012

    Very cool! I was going to ask the same thing. I wonder if you are going to have internet access or if you are going to disappear and we won’t be able to hear from you for a while.

    Reply
  4. I think I will be incommunicado at least part of the time.

    The paperwork said that there were times when no outside access was permitted but that there were also times when passes were given.

    My guess is that when a person first gets there and all the trauma is being actively brought back to the surface they don’t want to lose anyone so they keep a very close eye on everyone.
    After a few weeks when people are starting to learn how to deal with stuff then they start letting us out to use our new skills in public.

    It is for women with PTSD so they’ve got to be aware of the dislike of crowds and noise and over-stimulation that are hallmarks of the disorder.

    And maybe that will be a good aspect of the program as well, one that I hadn’t thought of, that we might get some practice with a “trusted” group to start venturing out into society again.

    Reply
  5. Katydid

     /  March 22, 2012

    At first glance this may seem inappropriate, but may I recommend that you take a look at http://www.flylady.org ? That website is at least on the surface intended for people who can’t figure out how to handle housework, but the underlying lesson is building routines, and breaking apparently insurmountable tasks into tiny bits. “You can do anything for fifteen minutes…or ten…or three” is kind of her byword, as is “Perfection is temporary – good enough lasts longer”. The website – and her endless motivational emails and badly spelled philosophical musings – are free (she pays for it by selling doodads, but you don’t have to buy them to participate.)

    Her nick comes from “Finally Loving Yourself” (FLY – get it? Sigh.) Just about everything she says gets a “Well, yeah, I know that!” response, but somehow it hits home just when you need it – or at least when _I_ do..

    If you’re looking for routines in your life, she may just be the person to help you set them up and make them habits.

    Reply
  6. innnnteresting!

    most of the habits I need to develop revolve around PTSD issues; things like getting out where people are, recovering from triggers instead of heading down the rabbit hole, exercising even if there’s someone else nearby in *my* secret spot, etc etc.

    I’ve been using something called “It’s Done!” to remind myself to take meds, eat, feed Keegan, brush my teeth, stuff like that. It’s a pretty well done little app.

    But, that website looks very intriguing. I just found this page..
    http://www.flylady.net/d/launch-pad/thursdays-reminders/
    I like it…
    Thanks! 😀

    Reply

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