About four years ago, a man attacked me…. As a result, I cried every night until I finally revealed to my family what had happened and we reported it to the authorities.

Since then, I have not been able to stop thinking about what happened to me and, when I do, I cry, and horrible images come to my mind and I have nightmares. I feel that he is watching me or that he wants to hurt my family. I don’t know what to do to get better and stop thinking about it, though I try.

Dear Friend,

We are so very sorry to hear about the violence that was perpetrated on you and about the emotional distress that you have suffered for the past four years! That man robbed you of a lot, including peace and emotional security.

We are not medical doctors, so we cannot diagnose illnesses. However, we encourage you to research Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to find all the similarities between that disorder and the symptoms that you are experiencing. If you find that your symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of PTSD, then we encourage you to see a medical doctor to ask for a diagnosis and possible treatment options. The doctor may refer you to a different kind of specialist, or to a group that you should join.

You may also need to take medication for awhile. The attack you suffered caused emotional reactions in your brain which then affected your brain chemicals. Medication can sometimes help to regulate those chemicals.

Please understand that your reaction and symptoms are not uncommon. Trauma causes lasting effects on our physiological being, and those effects may not ever go away or be minimized unless we seek treatment.

God cares about your hurt. He mourns over the evil that was in the heart of the man who attacked you. It was not God’s will for that man to perpetrate evil, but since God gave each of us the freedom to make our own choices, the man chose to disregard God’s way and to violate you as He did.

However, some people blame God and ask why, if He is a loving God, He allows such evil to happen. It is true that God could have prevented evil by making us all pure and impeccable from the beginning, but if He had created us that way, we would not have any choice as to how to act. We would be like robots who can only act as they are programmed. And we would all serve and obey God out of obligation. Since God wanted a loving relationship with us as His children instead of an army of robots, He had to give us the ability to make our own choices.

You can now choose to continue in misery, or to do the difficult work of seeking and complying with medical treatment. We urge you to make the wise choice.

We wish you well,