Parenting with PTSD: The Impact of Childhood Abuse on Parenting
October 12, 2017 marks the release of Parenting with PTSD, a book for parenting survivors of childhood abuse, their families; as well as, medical, mental health, family support, and direct-care human service providers.
Parenting when you have experienced childhood abuse can feel like walking back into a war zone as a soldier with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are flashbacks and triggers everywhere, and most parents are completely blindsided by them because no one talks about it.
Over the last two decade, 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 kind of interference in healthy development will be supported with therapeutic interventions; most will not. However, all survivors of childhood abuse have one thing in common; they grow up, and most become parents. 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 went looking 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 the Trigger Points Anthology, now Parenting with PTSD. The decision to revise and re-publish the original anthology is due in part by the overwhelming response from readers, the majority of which carried a diagnosis of PTSD or C-PTSD, but also because the editors have significantly increased their knowledge and awareness of how to best serve, inform, and support parenting survivors.
Each essay included in Parenting with PTSD walks you through not the individual’s abusive experiences, but rather how such experiences have affected the author as a mother or father. Parenting with PTSD has the original content from the first edition including 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. Essays on post-traumatic symptoms not previously discussed, writings by parenting survivors who either provide trauma-informed services or educate those who do, and new tools have all been added.
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.
Parenting with PTSD will be available in print and digital formats on Amazon beginning October 12, 2017.
Get a closer look at the book by viewing the Parenting with PTSD book trailer.
For more information visit the Parenting with PTSD website.
To contact Dawn Daum or Joyelle Brandt, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.