Is there life after repeated trauma?

by Liz
(United Kingdom)

Yes, but here I am feeling sorry for myself because my only surviving daughter is leaving home in a few days.

Why? Because she has to as she is 27 years old and desperately needs to live her own life. She is excited and it will be a happy move for her to another town about 2 hours drive from here so no daily contact. I love her and actively encourage her in every way I can but how I am going to miss her.

It is with some fear and trepidation that I too embark on this new chapter of our life together. I am suddenly going to be alone.

My husband and my daughter's father died 18 months ago of cancer, at home because that is where he wanted to be. My daughter stayed and helped us. What a girl, compassion, level headedness, beauty, talent, she has it all.

But she has suffered unbearably because her sister also died suddenly 10 years ago, - she was a few years older and they adored each other. After my eldest daughter's death I slowly slipped into deep depression and before my husband died I became seriously mentally ill. She thought she had lost us all.

I am so sorry for that time because I would not have put them through more trauma for the world but I did not understand what I was doing and I tried to drown myself in the sea as her sister had accidentally done years before.

We had gone from being a small family to one that was decimated by death and decease in the space of a few years. But I wanted to say that we have and are have coming through it, we are not the same as we were at all but I am well and some days even happy and when my daughter leaves I am going to find the courage to embark on new adventures. I am blessed with a lovely home and enough income to live reasonably well. But it will be strange in the house, so quiet and they will have all left. Soon I may sell the house and move, maybe even to a different country but not too far away.

I am lucky to have been loved and am loved by my dear family and friends through all. I am tremendously lucky. I now have a growing faith and calmness, I never feel alone because I know that their love is always there for me and always will be.

Everybody's story is different and so is mine but may God bless you in your helpful website which I am sure is tremendously helpful to others on their journey.


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Coping with multiple traumatic losses

by Lynn

How do you cope with several major losses in short sequence?

1) sudden terminal illness, travel out-of-state to care for and hold my Dad's hand as he deteriorated and passed away in 2 short months, plus his legal and financial issues I was unaware of, such as drug squatters in his home stealing all his valuables, so by myself scary face-offs with criminals led to police, court, insurance claims, etc.

2) came back home 2 days after his military funeral, forced to put beloved pet down (my main source of comfort),

3) job lost due to 2 months absence,

4) 5-year significant other bailed admitting he had no support skills, 5) was denied unemployment due to lies my crooked employer reported to avoid accountability,

5) still unemployed during energy downturn,

6) finally closest friends distanced themselves after lecturing me about religion and praying, leaving me totally shocked and overwhelmed.

"Professional" grief counselor told me "if you have a strong enough faith in God, you don't need a support system, so stop burdening your friends and family", which only sent me deeper into isolation. First and last "professional" visit, as my faith is alive and I was deeply offended.

Reading everything I can get my hands on, praying, want to journal, but I'm still so physically and emotionally traumatized, like a form of PTSD. Coming into the holidays, loss of closest friends only seems to deepen the grief.

I'm not suicidal nor succumbing to addiction, I can laugh with remaining friends and my adult children, etc. Just looking for ways to heal and enter 2016 stronger again, recover my balance and sense of self. How do you cope?

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My sister lost our mom and a son within 2 days.

by Amy
(Pennsylvania )

My mom got suddenly ill and was on hospice in my home for 5 days until she passed. She had been in a nursing home and neglect of a simple urinary tract infection led to her getting sepsis. I blame the home, but also myself for missing how sick she was. My 3 still living siblings were here with her also.

My oldest sister talked to her son who is schizophrenic and was having a psychotic break in the midst of all this. He was 37, had a college degree, a good job and had done well for years. She has always followed him on some GPS phone app as a way of helping her not worry about him. She lost his phone signal last Saturday night.

Someone in his car was found deceased on Monday. She is in California and this happened in Texas. I am in Pennsylvania. Medical records needed to be sent to identify him. I assume he shot himself. I don't know how to help her when I haven't even processed my mom's death. I took care of my mom for 13 years and am devastated by this loss. I am numb, I feel nothing at all. I watched my mother suffer the loss of my brother from an accident 12 years ago. It was more painful for me to see my mom go through that than for me to have lost him. My sister will never recover from this. I am so far from her. I just don't know what to do. Life is so cruel.

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Coping with Multiple Losses and Chronic Illness

by Connie

Severe depression, multiple losses of 8 close relatives and 3 in laws. My daughter and son nearly died plus I became disabled. Because I was the 24/7 caregiver for my mom and sister and we lived off their income, when they died I had no income. I worked as long as I could but finally could not carry on. I did not qualify for registered disability because of my last 10 year work history. They did not want to go in a nursing home and I honored their wishes.
WELL disability only counts the last 10 years and not your whole work history and so although I had worked plenty it was just not at the qualifying time.
The one medication that so helped my depression they won't approve and I can't buy it. I WAS on patient assistance program but once a generic came out that ended. AND it's as high as the branded. I became the matriarch at 48. AND facing my own mortality. I'm living on a poverty income which am grateful for but also in the same time frame I lost 3 in laws and my daughter and son nearly died.

On top of it all, my sister died at 39 and she left 6 children, 4 were still minors so I helped finish raising them. On top of that lost 4 precious animals also.

I so need someone to talk to and someone who understands. I feel so alone and sometimes wish the hopelessness will go away no matter the cost. I ALWAYS have been happy, light up a room. NOW to get out of bed is so hard. That medication is all that helped. Almost was Connie again. It's funny - I am good at fixing others' problems but never seem to be able to help me.

I really need help in so many ways. I always have helped others, am hoping someone may would take a lil time with me. IF busy is fine. Just a hope. PRAYERS and peace for all:)

Have a blessed day.


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Multiple losses of very close family members

by Jean L.
(Eugene, OR, USA)

In the past nine years, I have lost my: Husband of 29 years, Father in law, Mom, favorite Auntie, Brother in Law, dearest Mother in law and Sister. Also my health, career and only Child, a Son moved across country. I am overwhelmed with grief and am now suffering from depression and anxiety. I feel that these profound losses came faster than I could grieve them. Each loss piled up on the other (some with only three months apart) with sorrow restimulated from the previous one. Since I lost my Husband first, I was a widow trying to handle all the others without my life partner and our mutual support. Fortunately I had two years to mourn my Husband before my Mom died yet there was months of caregiving and Hospice for both.

My question is, how to now walk the grief journey with each one without getting more overwhelmed? One at a time? I thought after my Husband died, I learned the tools to grieve in a deep and healthy way. But now, I am simply overloaded, still in shock and not sure where to start. Just let the tears flow and do the very best at self-care and compassion until I can see my way clear?

I am seeing a licensed counselor about 3 times a month but it doesn't feel like enough. I'm blessed with special, dear friends as well as good widow friends but no one who has experienced numerous losses. Most of the time, I feel pretty lonely trying to get through this and heal.

Your thoughts and guidance would so very appreciated.

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Did I just experience grief overload?

I'll try to keep this short. I'm a 31 year old male. Marine, college educated, have a lot going for me. I've been dealing with some pretty bad depression as of this past year which I am now seeking help for.

To sum it up for you, I was sexually abused by an older step cousin when I was 6 or 7. Never met my biological father. My adoptive father and mother divorced when I was 4. He moved away when I was 10.

Fast forward 11 years and in the matter of three years, my mom and stepdad father split. My grandma died. My mother dies. Both dogs die. Had to sell the house we grew up in. GF broke up with me. Step father died. Grandpa died. Fast forward 8 years and my ex-fiance cheats on me. I am now the most, miserable bastard walking this planet. I'm in a deep depression and meet someone amazing. After 8 months of ups and downs and self sabtogage on my part she and her three little girls leave for good, forever. I tried to play some calming music this morning after getting out of the shower and I literally WEPT like stopped breathing, whimpering for an hour. Did I just let go of some that grief? Because I'll be perfectly honest with you. I never really grieved any of that growing up and getting older.

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