My name is Christian Benedetto, Jr., and I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in November 2013.
In the nearly 25 years that have passed since my military service with the United States Marine Corps in the First Gulf War and the early 1990s, I felt something was terribly wrong with me, yet I believed I was hiding it well. My nightmares, self-isolation, consumption of drugs and alcohol, heightened sense of alertness including barricading the door to my house and other erratic behavior were classic symptoms of PTSD. As a former military man I did not want to acknowledge I had a problem. I thought what I was feeling was a weakness, that I wasn’t being tough enough. PTSD often happens when you’re too strong for too long.
By the age of 40 my body was weakened from the multiple surgeries I suffered during my service with the marines. Then I got married and the next year was blessed with a son. My new found happiness did not match the pain I felt inside. As time progressed it became apparent to me something was not right in my internal world.
One Saturday morning my son wandered into our room to get into bed with us. I was groggy after another restless night of intermittent sleep and nightmares. Startled by my son, I awoke abruptly ready to defend myself and grabbed his wrist very hard as he moved in the bed. I scared myself more than I did him. I realized my panic attacks and disconcerted state of mind were something I had to address. A few days later I walked into the Disabled American Veterans office. I started therapy and now, less than two years later, I feel that I am becoming a less dangerous man every day. I’m no longer with my son’s mother, but I am alive and trying to do well every day.
Providing support and healing sparked my interest in creating PTSD Journal. Finding information about PTSD and similar afflictions is difficult because there isn’t one central place dedicated to research and resources. A publication like PTSDJournal would have been invaluable to me. I know if it can help one person, it will help many.