Cynthia, I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to write you. I am not sure where to start but I will start out by saying I am having so very much trouble getting over my depression because back in 2005 my brother passed away in a car accident and we lived together for 9 years. I thought that it would start getting better but it seems it is getting harder then getting better. I just want to sleep all the time and just seem to have no energy and just at times do not feel like going on. I am just so scared and alone because I just have no one that understands me. Thanks for listening. Tammy
I wanted you to know I have been seeing someone and it does help some but the only thing is that in-less I have had a bad night like with flash-back etc. then it is so hard for me to go in there and talk about what I have been through and am going through now. I hope that makes sense?
Hi Tammy, I'm so glad you wrote in. What you're describing sounds terribly painful! Clearly there is something in the way of your grieving process, and I'm really glad you are seeing a therapist. I'm concerned that you don't feel so comfortable talking about stuff, though. Help me understand better; what makes it hard to talk to her about what you've been through and are going through? What makes it easier when you've had a flashback?
Last Edited by on Sep 15, 2009 2:13 AM
I think the reason it is so hard for me to talk is because I have been told all my life not to talk about my problems. I was brought up with a lot of abuse and it has just started coming out and so I don't feel like I am suppose to talk about it but then when I have a flash-back I am really scared and things tend to come out I don't mean to say because I am like the 5 year old child so things I keep bottled up will come out with her. Thank you, Tammy
Have you looked at any online groups for survivors of abuse? I've had clients who got a great deal of comfort from some that helped them feel less alone in the process of healing from childhood trauma. If you haven't seen your therapist for several years, I wouldn't expect that you would be able to talk easily, after surviving so much abuse, and now such a huge loss too. When we have flashbacks, we are operating from an isolated part of our brain that is associated with the trauma. So how you are in a flashback, is always going to be completely different than how you are the rest of the time, until the flashback is resolved and integrated into the rest of you.
I would just wish for you more support between therapy sessions. Do you think you could find that?
Yes I have went to some online groups for survivors. It seemed like everytime I found a room some were serious about it and some were just talking about crazy stuff. I just could not seem to find one that worked for me. I do see a counselor now but other than seeing her yes it would help to get extra help but I am scared to because it is very hard seeing the one I am seeing now and trying to talk to her much less trying anything else so I am at the point I just don't know what to do. I just feel like giving up because the pain is so deep and hurts so much I just don't have anyone to go to and I am so tired of feeling the way I do. Thank you, Tammy
Okay, maybe getting support from more/other people isn't right for you yet. It's possible if we could get you some relief, that people might be more accessible to you. What gives or ever gave you joy? Do you do anything that involves moving your body actively? Do you like to do anything creative? Do you have any spiritual beliefs? How do you feel in nature? Do you ever talk to your brother? Do you ever write in a journal?
The only thing right now in my life that really gives me joy are my animals. I love all animals and always have and when I am around my babies I enjoy them so much and when I am not I miss them so much and i can't wait till I get home with them because they are the only ones I have that I feel safe with and feel loved by. It seems like everyone in my life I do become friends with always end up leaving me so I just feel like I can not really trust anyone. I would love to find a counselor that I could talk to and trust because I really need someone in my life like that to help me through all of this. I use to have a lot of activity in my life, I was in dancing, on the swim team, I worked 2 and 3 jobs went to college, etc. and then all the sudden everything started coming to a surface from my past to present and I started getting really sick and then after my brothers death I just totally lost it and have not been the same sense. I have never been the creative type but sense my brothers death I have been trying to do things in rememberence of him. I have been trying to work on things like that. I never really grew up in church so I don't know much about it but as far as my spiritual side I do believe but I don't understand why God has let some of the things happened that he has. Like my brothers death, I should have been the one to die not him. The abuse etc. etc. I have been through and sooooo much more. It is so hard for me to understand? I love the outdoors and nature. I live in the country and I love it here. It is so peaceful and quit. As for talking to my brother I do sometimes. I just don't know what to say to him and I feel quilty for his accident because he had so much going for him and I didn't. I do go visit his grave often. I have never really wrote in a jouranl. I tried it one time but I just was not sure what to write etc. Love, Tammy
Thanks for answering my many questions! Journaling can be helpful in many ways. It can be something like someone to talk to without any worry that it will judge you, or not be there when you need it, etc. It can help you clarify and express your feelings and thoughts. It can help you practice figuring out what you feel. My only concern would be if it triggered a flashback, and you were alone to deal with it. Are the flashbacks about the abuse, or the car accident? It might help to practice techniques for grounding you in the present, and reducing your anxiety. That way, you'll know how to help yourself if you start to go into a flashback.
When you ground yourself in the present, sit with both feet on the floor. Imagine a thick cord running from up above, down through the top of your head, out those bones you sit on, and into the core of the Earth. Remind yourself aloud, if possible, what age you are now, what animals you live with now, and any other information that places you in your present life, and not in the past. Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly, like a slow leak in a blow-up pool ball. As you exhale, notice your arms and legs getting warmer and heavier. Repeat this with each part of your body, especially your jaw, neck, face muscles, chest, belly, back and limbs.
If you want to journal and can't think of anything to write, just write "I am sad because..." and see how many things you can think of that you are sad about--even really tiny ones. And/or do the same with angry, guilty, ashamed, lonely, disappointed, empty, joyful, etc. You can make a list of feelings, and look at them when you write and pick one you're feeling at the moment.
Also, believing you are to blame for your bother's death and that you don't deserve to live will keep your grief from resolving. Have you expressed this belief and the guilt you feel to your therapist? This is very important.
A few ideas for you to work on, if you want to.
Last Edited by on Sep 24, 2009 12:28 PM