In a new ground breaking memoir, "Reconciliation: A Son's Story", the author reflects back on his father's war time experiences as the context underlying his own family dynamics and abuse. Through the author's research and study of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he comes to an understanding of his father's behavior and how this deeply impacted the family which eventually leads to healing.
Steve Sparks writes, "I owe my success in part to my Dad, but not without a high price. I call this 'collateral damage' from living in a family culture affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At that time, men at war and coming home from war were too proud to share their stories and admit that anything in the way of mental illness was on the table for discussion. My Dad was no different than thousands of veterans with similar symptoms, especially those who were battle weary and emotionally damaged. The children and wives and others close to these men would have to experiment and learn how to navigate our way through a terrible circumstance. We did it well, but not without scars that often show. WWII has been in our past for well over a half century, and most of the 'Greatest Generation' passed on, but the effects of PTSD carry forward just like bad genes. We are still feeling the effects of WWII when PTSD was not studied and treatment was minimal. As a result, we are just beginning to address the realities of PTSD, including diagnosis and treatment, along with complete recovery from this unfortunate mental illness is now possible."
This is a true American story about father who went to war and came back changed by what he saw and by what he experienced. How this impacted his family was profound, yet unrecognized for what it was back then. Today we know much more about the effects of PTSD on the individual, but what about the family members closest to that person? This story of living through a toxic environment yet ultimately coming to an understanding leads to the long sought reconciliation of a son with his father.
A very timely book, this may help the thousands of families of veterans of our own current generation returning from their war experiences to better understand the effects of PTSD on the family.
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