No, PTSD-PNES does suck

Posted: February 3, 2019 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It is funny as my church’s minister starts a series on the Lord’s Prayer, and we celebrated new life in community through Communion that these thoughts tumble through my heart.

That’s life as the old song goes. It creates this idea around mental health to suck it up or buck up and carry on. Sometimes it works, sometimes it malingers and tears you down. In spiritual circles we shift to the pray/meditate about it. This idea that it only exists because we are somehow not holy enough or lack faith. It is the heresy of our times.

Life is a journey. We truly do not have much control over what happens to us, but we have control over response, and when we do not, as in the case of mental health, we have the decision to seek aid or not. The title of this post is a take off on two things that hit me this week, one was a Brad Paisley song, Noand the other was a find in the Red Deer Scott’s Parables. We had gone up to Red Deer for my son’s 13th b-day to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and stopped by the shop for him to get some Veggie Tales, that he oh so loves. On the racks I found Kerri Rawson’s (daughter of the BTK Killer) memoir, A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Sotry of Hope, Love and Overcoming. 

The song speaks of prayer. Whether you are one to mull, contemplate, meditate, pray in the traditional or the affirmative sense the song rings with truth. It is that all prayers are answered, even when it is no. It walks through a young man’s loss of his grandfather and other prayers that got the big N-O and what the outcome of that was. It is a reminder, that there are times when we have yet to grow into our journey. For any answer, is an answer in the journey of life.

This song wrung in my ears as I read Rawson’s memoir. Her prayer for her adult life was a calm normal life. Then on February 25, 2005 it all changed when the FBI arrived at her front door saying they had arrested her father, Dennis Rader for the BTK serial murders. BTK stands for Bind, Torture, Kill. The killer had terrorized and taunted Wichita, Kansas for over three decades, with her father’s confessions he was found guilty of 10 murders (8 adults, 2 children), 7 families of victims. The memoir is a journey through the 8th family of victims. His own. He was a eccentric, sometimes abusive in the home, but he was a loving and caring father. He was the president of their church, and a Scout Leader. The journey is Rawson’s of faith, and transformation as she understands what the No to the prayer of her life was bringing her into and through. The shedding of the old skin, the family life growing up her Dad had been quoted as calling social contacts and pawns in his game; into her new life as wife and mother, and healing(ed) daughter.

It is the journey of discovery and challenge for me in the last few years. No, my father was not a serial killer. But in the healing process it is the No answer to many methods and spiritual practices that I had used to keep myself healthy in the journey. In the work of helping. When Mr. Roger’s would say in the dark times look for those who are the helpers, and you will see hope. I had the honour of being one, and serving with many. That crashed down in 2017 after months of mystery from 2016.

It is a journey of discovering the new-true you on the other end. Shedding the old damaged skin, and knowing what lies ahead. Denying the No’s from prayer, because that was obviously not meant to be so why hold fast to it. Stepping into and affirming the maybe’s and the yes’s. It is about resting. Resting in the silence of the Holy Mystery’s love.

Sometimes, the hardest part is admitting one needs help. The second hardest will be the patience to wait for that help to materialize. It is a journey, there is a shimmer of light, now what one has to ask is simply,

what new book of life awaits?



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