Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a diagnosable medical disorder that some people develop after experiencing a dangerous event, like a natural disaster or violent attack, or living through a sustained trauma, like an abusive relationship.
People with PTSD experience a range of symptoms, from flashbacks and avoidance to angry outbursts, distorted feelings, and loss of interest or memory. Symptoms can be chronic or triggered by memories, sounds, people, or anything related or similar to the initial trauma.
Someone I love is in an abusive relationship and now has PTSD. Early on in their relationship, their abusive partner would subject them to verbal and emotional abuse as punishment for interacting with family members. After many years of this abuse, loving family members are now triggers for this person's PTSD. Now, just hearing our voices or seeing our numbers on their caller ID causes a PTSD episode and increases the stress and fear of abuse.
If you have a friend or family member who is experiencing abuse here are some things you can do to help. The most important thing to remember is that the choice to leave or not is theirs. You can't make them leave a bad situation but you can be supportive and helpful in their choice. They will need someone they can count on when/if they do decide to end or leave the abusive relationship.
Domestic Violence knows no boundaries when it comes to race/gender/sexuality/age/socioeconomic status/geographic location/culture.
Remember, domestic abuse affects ten million people in the US every year. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please know that the folks at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1 800 799 SAFE or thehotline.org) are ready to listen and support you, as well as refer you to a local program or organization. If you observe someone being abused, you can also call the hotline. A good samaritan call can save a life!
All of the quilts in the Domestic Abuse series so far can be viewed here.
Miss P and I love to do needlework and I have long enjoyed embroidery but lately have gotten in a rut of just using a handful of stitches such as backstitch, outline stitch, lazy daisy, and the french knot. I have a collection of vintage needlework books that include how to do many embroidery stitches. This Mary Thomas Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches includes over 300 different stitches. P and I decided this year we will work through the book and try them all. Our goal is to learn 365 different stitches this year, a new one each day. This book will carry us through most of the year. Here is my sample of the first four stitches in the book - Algerian filling stitch, Algerian stitch (plaited), Armenian edging stitch, and the arrowhead stitch. Tomorrow we stitch the back stitch.
We will try to keep up throughout the year. When posting on social media we will use #365handstitched2017 along with others who are participating in a 365 day embroidery project.
Do you have a "word" for 2017? Some people come up with a single word to guide them through the year, to help them make choices and stay focused on their goals. I thought about it this year and didn't come up with a word as much as a saying, "do the work."
I think "do the work" is pretty fitting with any of the goals that I have whether they are business, artistic and creative, or personal. I will have to put in the man hours and do the work to achieve my goals.
I will have to do the work to keep up with this embroidery project but if I do, I will be rewarded with the ability to incorporate more variety and interest into my future hand stitched projects.