Trauma has gotten increasing attention in recent years, and especially in cases where returning veterans come home to family and loved ones, with mental and often physical injuries that have changed them into someone hardly recognizable from the fresh-faced son or daughter who left for their first overseas deployment.

In fact, it was an undiagnosed condition until 1980 when the American Psychiatric Society added it to their Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.


My guest today, Anna Dowe, is the author of a new book, which chronicles a side of this condition that is rarely talked about or reported on—the impact on the wife and children of a returning veteran. Her new book, Bent not Broken is the story of her 10 year marriage to a veteran of the Canadian military. She describes a condition, called secondary traumatization, and her journey in making many tough decisions for she and her young children. Her book is her story. It is a message of healing and hope and a “gift to other spouses caught in the same situation”.


She is an international speaker, coach, guide and mentor with a long list of satisfied clients, including abused women, addicts, those at risk of suicide. Unsurprisingly, her academic training is in psychology, with a degree from York University.


In fact, Anna and I share the same book publisher, and I have gotten to know her a little. I have never seen here without a “glow” and a smile. Now that I know her personal life story it is even more remarkable that she exhibits such resilience and optimism. Long before her marriage, during her childhood, she was confronted with family circumstances that are traumatizing in and of themselves, and we will explore all of this today.


In this episode, you will learn:

— What “trauma” means and a description of some of the symptoms?

–PTSD is most often talked about in a military context, it is not confined to that. There are other forms of trauma arising from family violence, verbal and physical abuse and sexual assaults

–About a condition, rarely talked about and even known about?secondary traumatization

–Self-limiting beliefs: “how you see yourself impacts how you see the world”

— That spouses sometimes blame themselves for the behavior of the PTSD affected spouse?

–How a “burnt-out” brain is a recipe for disaster?

–How the events of Anna’s childhood gave her resilience through that experience?


In closing, I highly recommend this book to all of our listeners. How can someone get a copy? Thanks to everyone for listening. I hope you found it interesting and helpful in your own life.


Go to Anna’s website below!



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