PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

How I handled my PTSD (witnessing a violent crime) all by myself

EFt Tapping Outdated ImageNote: This is one of 3,000 articles written prior to the updated Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial™.  It provides practical uses for EFT Tapping and most EFT'ers should find it very helpful.  However, if your benefits are temporary or a more in-depth approach is needed, you are urged to (1) consult The Gold Standard EFT Tapping Tutorial, (2) Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist, and/or (3) get help from a Certified EFT Practitioner.  

Hi Everyone,

Lisa Rogers gives us another example of how she collapsed her own PTSD. This one is a bit graphic and not for the squeamish.

Hugs, Gary


By Lisa Rogers

Dear Gary:

When I found the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) I had no idea then how much it would change my life.  It seemed too good to be true.  Nothing else had worked and since this was something I could do on my own, I decided to give it a try.  What did I have to lose?  I tapped every day.  My ritual was that I would tap every time I went to the bathroom.  It was private and I knew I’d be there a few times day!

Although there were many major issues I needed to address, I think it would be helpful to focus on one at a time.  Having already addressed my child sexual abuse in a previous article, I would now like to focus on being a witness to a violent and tragic event that contributed to my PTSD and how I was able to collapse the emotional trauma I had felt over it for years.  This story may be considered graphic to some.

I was 17 years old at the time of this event.  I was sleeping in my room and awoke to my next- door neighbor’s daughter pounding on my door.  She alerted me to her house where I found her father laying in the driveway.  She was screaming, “mommy shot daddy”.  There was no sign of his wife but it was clear that he had been shot several times.  He had blood and matter coming out of his nose and mouth.  He was still moving.  I wasn’t sure if he was dead or alive.  I was afraid to go to him because I was afraid of being shot too.  I ran back inside my house and called the police.  They came and it was bedlam.  The ambulance came for the husband but it was too late.  They called the S.W.A.T. team, like in the movies.  There were television cameras everywhere. 

I had the duty of calling their other 3 children and telling them their father was dead before they saw it on the news.  When they asked how, I had to tell them that their mother killed their father.  This was an overwhelming task for a 17 year old.  After a 6-hour standoff, the S.W.A.T. team stormed the house and found the wife dead with a gunshot to the chest.  Apparently she had shot herself right after him but no one heard the shot.

The reporters would not leave.  By this time the couples’ devastated children gathered in my home, overcome with shock and grief.  I did my best to console them but I was just a kid in shock myself.  Everything was in slow motion.  I watched the news, and none of the stations reported the facts correctly.  It was if they were making it up as they went along and reporting it as truth.  Even with everything else going on, I was terribly impacted by the realization that even the news couldn’t be trusted.  That day whatever faith and trust I had left in the world was lost.

These people were Deacons in their church.  He held an elected position for the township.  They were the last people something like this would happen to.  I had known then my entire childhood as the “nice parents”.  My sister and I would go over on Sunday morning and they would make us pancakes and take us to church with them.  I spent my childhood envying their seemingly normal family.  Now that image was shattered and with it my image of marriage, family and security.  I thought I would never feel safe again.

I suffered from feelings of guilt because somehow I thought I should have done more to save this man.  The police told me that there was nothing I could have done but it didn’t stop me from feeling responsible.  I had nightmares that would wake me in terror.  These nightmares lasted years.  I would dream that it was me that killed him and I was trying to bury the body.

I started tapping.

Even though they should have never died…

Even though I should have done more to save him…

Even though I still feel guilty…

Even though I thought they were the perfect family…

Even though I was too young to handle it…

Even though I keep having these nightmares…

Even though I’m still scared…

Even though I can’t believe she shot him…

Even though I’ll never be safe again…

Even though I can’t trust anyone…

Even though I can’t trust adults…

Even though someone I love could kill me…

Even though I imagine my family getting shot all the time…

Even though all the news reports were wrong and Ill never trust the news again…

Even though it was my fault…

Even though guns terrify me…

Even though I’m afraid someone is going to shoot me…

Even though my husband might kill me…

Even though I can still see the body…

Even though I can’t believe it happened…

I tapped daily and regularly on these statements and within a month of tapping I no longer had nightmares or flashbacks.  I am now able to easily discuss the matter without the emotional pain I used to have.

I believe that the key to my success in applying EFT to this issue is persistence.  I tapped every day.  I used the 0-10 scale to measure my level of intensity.  Like the trees in the forest metaphor, I would pick some of the less emotionally charged aspects of the issue to tap on and it would help reduce the whole issue.  Then the “whoppers” would be more manageable.

I believe that applying the Emotional Freedom Techniques to this issue, along with other major issues had freed me from my PTSD.  Although stressful events have occurred in the last 5 years, I have not had a single panic attack.

Lisa Rogers, EFT-CC

 

 

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