I received the text from my father-in-law around midday.
“I see you got published in the NYT.”
I was but had not told anyone.
The New York Times published my letter to the editor in the print and online versions of today’s paper. I wrote in response to a Saturday, January 23 article on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My letter expresses agreement with the article’s author about the importance of sharing our difficult stories to free ourselves and others from the isolation and pain of silence.
I was diagnosed with PTSD eight years ago and I still struggle. One of my biggest challenges is overcoming the shame, the fear of not wanting anyone to think I’m broken or crazy.
I have written about my trauma over the years and remember the responses from women who had experienced similar losses. One woman in particular wrote that she had not spoken about her trauma for 40 years. She had carried her grief, pain, rage, and guilt alone for all that time. She wrote that reading my essay was the first time she’d not felt alone.
Breaking my silence helped us both hope to be free from the isolation and self-hate. She was a woman in pain, not broken nor crazy.
Our exchange reminded me that I’m not broken nor crazy either.