EFT for PTSD – War Trauma – Handed Down Through The Generations

Most people of my generation were raised by parents who had extensive war trauma. My father was a POW for three years in Russia during WWII. His mother died from a wound while he was gone. My Grandfather served in WWI and II. My mother’s family were refugees. Memories they never overcame.

War was present at the dinner table, in discussions about politics. An undercurrent of anger was normal. Nobody to blame for this. But it sure hurt.

The trauma was handed down generation for generation, and depending on the circumstances of the war, children were raised with pride or shame, rage and withdrawal.

My father never talked about what happened in those three years in Russia, when his friends were starved to death and he barely survived because they had a use for him as a musician. We were not allowed to ask. Nevertheless, there was barely a day when the aftermath of what happened to him wasn’t sensable.

I never thought of my father of a man with PTSD. I had no idea what this was, and he truly didn’t show many symptoms. He was friendly and quiet, somewhat withdrawn and hard to get to. The only way to truly connect with my father was through music. So I learned the piano. Asked him to teach me. And he did. That was special.

When I was about fourteen years old, I had the courage to ask him what happened in Russia. It was just one sentence, one question. I wanted to know, enter the forbidden territory of questions never to be asked.

I have never seen him so angry. He flew over the table, his finger pointing at me shouting “You must NEVER ask me that question again. NEVER! Do you understand?”

I understood, and I was sorry. Very sorry. I thought that time might have healed some wounds. And I wanted to know. I didn’t know about PTSD.

My mother told me that she had found letters in a drawer in the basement from friends who had made it out as well. “You must forget.” they said. “You must try to forget and live.” Nobody will ever know what happened in Russia.

My father died from cancer when he was 61. We all knew: He died from a broken heart.

He was a quiet man, whom I will never understand. I knew that the scars in his neck were from infections he got while he was captured. I was photos with his head swollen from starvation. Most people never knew what he had been through.

And even if they did, they would never understand.

I wish I had had EFT back then, when the dinner table became a battlefield of yelling and accusations. Teenage kids say stupid things, and parents who have to work so hard to keep it together don’t always know how to react.

I wish I had had the ability to tap with him and my mom when they got angry. It would have changed things, opened a dialogue. 

EFT wasn’t known then.

Today, it is.

All over the world, families suffer from the aftermath of war. Kids are being raised by traumatized parents. Families break apart because nobody speaks. It is easier to hide what happened than to face it, fearful of admitting how bad things have become.

Veterans are terrified to hurt their wives and children in a flashback and leave before they can do them harm. Others freak our or withdraw, drowning their memories in alcohol and drugs. Others again overwork and volunteer where they can, serving their communities in whichever way possible. There are veterans wherever we look. Many of them carry a load of memories, sorrow, sadness and rage.

It is not abnormal, it is normal. Anybody who has been thought what they experienced would feel the same way.

But today, with EFT we can make a difference.

Families can make a difference.

Friends can make a difference.

Buddies can make a difference.

Most Veterans prefer to talk to a buddy or a loved one over talking to a therapist at the VA.

So we have to help the families, the communities, the people they want to talk to  to help with EFT.

EFT is not rocket science. Kids can learn it. Teachers can learn it. Mothers, fathers, wives and husbands can learn it.

And they can help better because they care. They want their loved one to be well. They have the insight, the patience, the compassion. They are there when the soldier wakes up screaming from a nightmare. They are there when he sees blood all over the place. They are there when the smell of burning plastic makes him run from the backyard. They are there when he is afraid to use the bus or attend the 4th of July fireworks.

They are there when he needs help. And with EFT, they can do something that makes a difference. A real difference.

It saves families and allows for a better future.

I am grateful that EFT is so effective with war trauma and Veterans.

I only wish I had known about it when my father suffered from PTSD.


1 Comment

  1. Birgit on January 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    That was the story of my father too… he survived a Russian camp, and later in life became alcoholic after a life threating event triggered something. Of course I see this now in retrospect, 40 years later. At the time I was just another victim of WWII, long after it ended .

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