“Why, Mommy, why? Why can’t I have friends over like everyone else? Why do all the other fathers laugh and play with the children, and Daddy doesn’t? Why doesn’t Daddy ever come to parties in the kindergarten?”
Through the eyes of a child, Lea Zvi describes a painful problem, which affects many thousands of families in war-torn countries.
For our Survivors Speak Guest Post, I have chosen to interview author, Lea, about her book “Where did daddy’s laugh go?” The book’s message captured my attention and I felt that it was important to share with my PTSD community.
Michele: Give us an overview of the plot. Lea: The book is about David, a 6 year old boy who begins kindergarten. David’s father suffers from PTSD as a result of the war. The father’s condition makes it difficult for David to lead a normal childhood. He cannot bring home friends and at home, he must remain quiet. One day David has a serious problem with his father, which leaves him in a flood of tears. David’s mother decides to take him to see the doctor who treats his father. The doctor explains to David what his father is feeling. He also gives examples to David about other people who suffer from PTSD as a result of illnesses or accidents. After the conversation with the doctor, David understands more about his father’s PTSD. This understanding enables them to become more close and more together. In the end, David’s dad is finally able to attend school functions, which is fulfilling to David.
Michele: What motivated you to write this book? Lea: I wrote the book because of my personal story. It was important for me to write it and tell it so that families know they are not alone.
Michele: Why do you feel this is an important topic? Lea: This is a very important topic. The book gives the tools necessary to deal with the problem of PTSD and it also raises awareness about this important issue.
Michele: In your opinion, what’s the best way to help a child affected by PTSD? Lea: The best way is to talk about the problems, not repress them. It is important to talk with children at eye level, to explain to them that they are not the cause of the situation so that the child does not carry guilt.
Michele: What specific things will readers learn in this book? Lea: Readers will learn that they can get help and they are not alone. Situations can improve. Options are available.
Michele: What would you like to see happen in the future of how children and PTSD are treated? Lea: I would like to add to this interview that children who grow up with a parent suffering from PTSD should not be overlooked and should not feel alone in the world. I want women of husbands who suffer from PTSD to know that there is help and that treatment is available. Finally, I want everyone to know that there are people who care and people who want to help them in their time of need.
Review: “An amazing, moving and touching story, which skillfully describes the phenomenon of post-trauma through the young, innocent eyes of a boy of six. Post-trauma has extensive consequences. The impact of the disease affects all members of the household, and coping with it is no simple matter. This extremely important and valuable book provides a coping tool for children living in the shadow of the disorder.” – Dr. Miki Polak, Psychiatrist
“Where did daddy’s laugh go?” is available on iTunes for $2.99