I’m not sure this is the best time for me to be doing this 5 Heart Rating. For a variety of reasons. But at the same time, there may be someone out there right now who reads this and could really benefit from my/our experience. I put off purchasing a weighted blanket for my daughter for years. Why? I don’t know. So here goes…
Most people who know me personally know my beautiful daughter (inside and out) was in the Peace Corps in a VERY remote part of West Africa, as a Public Health worker. But almost no one knows she came back with PTSD. She left as an extremely self-confident, calm, loving human being, simply wanting to help the poorest of the poor in any way possible, before she started medical school. A dream since she was a child. She had already had a variety of great life experiences, traveled a ton, lived in New York City and perfomed with a professional ballet company, and thought the Peace Corps was a good fit for her. In her role she saw and experienced things no one should have to witness, let alone experience. It changed her. She still has all of her qualities that I have always said she entered the world with, but now she has what I will call episodes. She gets triggered. She’s much better now than she was when she first came back, but she is not the same.
Without going into detail, let me just say here and now that PTSD is real. I knew nothing about it, only what I had heard and read, but had no first-hand experience with what it really means to the life of the person suffering and the people who love them. It’s a process. Patience, love, understanding, and especially empathy, are key. Conscious efforts to support someone with PTSD are essential. Which brings me to the subject of this 5 Heart Rating.
All along the way I have done various things to help my daughter. Many have helped, some made no difference. Again, as I mentioned, it’s a process. But the one thing I wish I had done for her the day I knew she was coming home, is get her a weighted blanket!
We talked many times about getting one and when I think about it now, there’s really nothing I can say except that I messed up. We both did. This would have been such a simple thing to do. A good weighted blanked can be purchased for as little as $50 bucks!! And of course, with Amazon, it can be delivered to your door in a day! Again, why we didn’t do this sooner is baffling to both of us.
Needless to say she has her blanket now and is sleeping better and feels more rested in general. But additionally, the blanket makes her feel safer when she sleeps. Which is huge because she slept under very threatening conditions in Africa. We are both health nuts and KNOW the benefit of good sleep, second maybe only to breathing, and I am so grateful. I’m already looking for organizations I can donate these blankets to. I wish women’s shelters provided them. If you know of any that do, please contact me!
If you know someone who has experienced trauma in their life, I HIGHLY recommend you look into getting them a weighted blanket. A quick Google search will provide numerous benefits. And if you have any questions for me, as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out.