Updated: May 21, 2020
I found you via the article in Lily, which I found through the Washington Post. I looked through the TMFRS website a bit and I appreciate you starting this and sharing your story.
I am a male, suffering from childhood and career-related trauma and PTSD.
When did it all start?
Seeing people on their worst day, every day for decades, certainly creates some pretty powerful cumulative trauma - but it really started with having a mother who did not have the capacity for anything near unconditional love. However, after her death 2 years ago, I found 40 years worth of her journals, and while they confirmed some of the hell memories of growing up with her, they also helped me find honest empathy for a woman who was undoubtedly struggling with undiagnosed mental health issues her entire life and was unable to show her love for her children in a healthy way.
... I had to stop reading the journals for a little while as I need to focus on some self-care, self-love, self-worth and transforming myself back into the artist I was years ago.
How do you manage your symptoms?
I am in the midst of a transformation year and trying to allow myself the time and focus to reignite my creativity - which I agree is the antidote to depression/anxiety. I see a therapist regularly, journal, walk/hike on the beach or in the forest and try and create something everyday - all of which helps tremendously.
I’m not really sure why I am even writing you, except maybe to say thanks and to let you know there are men out here also dealing with similar issues - probably more than you can imagine. Good luck on your journey of self-care, self-discovery and healing.