“PTSD IS MY PROBLEM”
Ashley Greene, Brenna Blume, 23, displays little feeling when talking about her childhood for instance, the night her dad. a former marine, corralled his family into their bedrooms in their suburban Kansas City home and held them hostage until morning. “He thought we were Vietnamese,’’ she explains calmly.
In the vacuum created by silence and denial, many daughters imitate the behav ior of their troubled fathers: that, if nothing else, feels like a way to connect. While in her teens Brenna drank heavily, just like her dad; she even had his nightmares, waking up in a sweat after a jungle encounter w ith the Vietcong. In 1991 she went on the wagon, and lately the dreams visit her less often. But her fear of open spaces, so similar to her father’s, has yet to die. “It doesn’t matter where I am,” Brenna says, “my back is always against the wall. I have to know what’s going on around me.”
Robin Martin complains of the same thing. Her boyfriend used to tease her about always having to sit next to a wall. “It’s a security thing,” she explains. “Whenever I’m at a bar, I have to be where I can see who’s coming in that door.”
Cassandra Wyatt, a 21-year-old aspiring music teacher in Lamar, Arkansas, used to think of PTSD as a family problem.
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