A woman who has suffered from posttraumatic stress for 20 years asks if she will ever feel okay again, or have a normal life. She is wary of feeling too hopeful, and having her hopes smashed.. This question was posted by Tara on our Discussion page:

I''m about to turn 35 and have had ptsd symptoms for about twenty years. I''ve had some good therapists, and have been able to complete some of my goals (just finished a master''s degree), but still feel very damaged. I''ve always wanted to have a partner and a family of my own, but am still on SSI and have never been able to hold a full-time job. In the last two years I''ve developed fibromyalgia symptoms. The things that help, like acupuncture, are usually out of my price range. I have a boyfriend who is concerned about moving forward with me because he doesn''t want to be stuck taking care of me. I know that ptsd sufferers often feel like they can''t have a normal life. But so far, despite my efforts, I don''t have one! My symptoms still control my life to the extent that I''m just surviving. I saw the guided imagery book and will check it out, but am wary of optimism--I''ve tried everything and wonder if I should stop hoping to be able to truly celebrate life, to thrive. Should I give up the idea of being able to have a family and or partner given my age, health issues and financial situation?

Rather than answer this myself, I refer you to the eloquent, practical and inspiring answers from Anne, Lynne and Charlotte over at the Discussion Boards.