Forums de discussion

past trauma and grief 
Créé par Eppie
21 juil. 2021, 17 h 03

I am new here. 35 yrs ago I have lost both my parents in a car accident and I was 15 yrs old at that time. I have never really gotten any help in dealing with that trauma. My life just went on dealing with our situation as orphans,school life, problems with relatives and other stuff. Basically I think I've just kept it all to myself and tried to bury the past. I remember things and events here and there and there are stuff I can't seem to recall and felt like missing gaps in my memory. I felt like after all these years I still haven't really moved on. Am I still in denial? During this pandemic, dealing with menopause and work stress, I felt overwhelmed with all these emotions, stress and anxiety which I thought I've always been strong enough to manage on my own but now feel I've lost control and overwhelmed and exhausted. I am doing steps to help myself with the help of my doctor as well. One of the things is looking for support group for grief. Maybe here sharing with a group of strangers I can give myself the strength to understand , accept and move on. Thanks for listening. 
Réponse de eKIM
21 juil. 2021, 22 h 02

Hello Eppie

I am so sorry to hear of your loss and the current heartache that you are having.

At 15 years old, it must have been so very difficult for you, Eppie.  I remember my two daughters at 15 – a very tender age.  Now I have grandkids in that age range and I can't imagine them having to go through what you did.

I wish you could have had more help back then.  Do you think that if you had been helped by a professional grief counsellor back then that it would have prevented this delayed grief that you are now experiencing?

A huge trauma for some people can result in a "soul injury".  A "soul injury" can colour the emotional responses to all of one's major life events – sometimes for a lifetime.  I don't know if this is what happened to you.

I'm not trying to diagnose.  I am not a professional, merely a volunteer.

Professional help might answer this question for you.  It is still not too late to seek professional help, if you want to.

At the hospice where I have volunteered for 11 years, we strongly recommend people seeking professional 1 on 1 assistance, if they are open to that.

After that then many people join a group grief group and/or having a volunteer (like me) act as a compassionate companion and listener for once-a-week sessions lasting 12 weeks. A hospice or locally-run government-licensed facility usually offers its services at no cost.

The point is, that your journey of grief is something that you do alone, but you don't have to feel lonely. If you can find someone or some people who are willing to open their hearts to you, it is very helpful.

Sometimes simply telling our story to someone who is a compassionate listener is just what a person needs.

The purpose is not to "rescue" or "fix" the situation. The purpose is to simply "hold space” for you to help you find peace and continue on your journey of healing.

We here at Canadian Virtual Hospice are able to provide a place for you to express yourself.

But perhaps (in addition) you might look at exploring local assistance so that it would be more convenient for you. 

We are here to listen, Eppie, if you need us. 

- eKim

Réponse de Mert
21 juil. 2021, 23 h 38

Hello Eppie,
I admire your courpage in sharing yourself and your story with this group of strangers.  What binds us together is our personal experiences with loss, grief and struggle, our experience in finding comfort in the compassion of others and our desire to offer othrs the gift of feeling understood and supported.  I hope you will find the comfort and strength you're looking for here as one of us.

I believe that the strength you seek is already there inside you.  I can't imagine how much strength you must have needed to carry one with your life after the sudden brutal loss of both your parents when you were only 15.  I assume from the plural 'orphans' that you had one or more siblings; I'm wondering if perhaps you were the oldest and hence felt the greatest pressure to get on with the tasks and difficulties of your new reality.  Though olne doesn't need to be the oldest to be invisibly designated to be the responsible one!

Traumatic memories are different from other memories.  They are frequently buried because, as you say, the person has all they can do to deal with the everyday realities post trauma. Sometimes these memories are so well buried that people actually 'forget' the event; I experienced that myself.  I was sexually assaulted by a boarder staying in our home when I was only 6 or 7 and I buried that memory so completely that I didn't even know it had happened till in midlife the traumatic memory came roaring back when I was in therapy. In your case there are just gaps in your memory and that is pretty normal.

Unlike regular memoreis which fade with time, traumatic memories tend to remain as vivid and emotionally overwhelming as they were at the time the precipitating event occurred. So it's not that you haven't moved on; it's more that the memory hasn't.  And I guess as we get older the effort of keeping it locked away just gets to be too much and it bursts through.  It's not so much that you've been in denial as it is that you did what you had to do at the time to survive.  And the answer to the 'why now?' question might be that the trauma is insisting on being acknowledged because the uncounscious part of you that wisely locked it away to protect you at the time believes that now you are strong enough to deal with it.

But I do hear you loud and clear that you are not feeling strong but rather overwhelmed.  And I do undeerstand how totally crazy-making the wave of old grief and anxiety can be.  Please know that what you're experiencing is 'normal' in the context of buried trauma, and that you'll get through this just as you got through the dreadful loss and upheaval at the time of the accident.

We're here for you.


Réponse de TrevorL
22 juil. 2021, 21 h 57

Hello Eppie,

Welcome to the community. I can only imagine your experience of losing both your parents at 15 and subsequent loses that often come with the relationships and life you had before. My closest understanding father had a similar loss at that age and the emotions certainly stayed with him long after the event. Like my fellow forum members have said, seeking support when you are ready is advisable, either in 1-on-1 or group sessions.

It sounds like you have already started this process with talking to your doctor. It takes courage and to ask for support, though from what you have relayed of your past experiences you clearly have tremendous strength to carry forward through so much loss. I wish you all the best in your grief journey and am glad you are part of our forum…you will find many supportive and wonderful people here to help you in moving through the emotions that have sat with you for so long.

Réponse de Eppie
03 août 2021, 6 h 55

Hello, thank you for your responses and advice. Just reading them gives me sense of comfort, understanding and belonging. eKIM, I've never heard of "soul injury" before but it makes sense to me and feel this is what I have. A lot of stuff in my life has been affected by what I've been through. The decisions I made, the path I have taken, the way I've dealt with people, challenges and life in general. I overthink, I'm emotional and then be completely opposite and be stoic and detached. I pretend to not care but deep inside I am hurting. I have lots of regrets because of this. There's always the feeling of emptiness. 
Mert, yes I am the eldest among 5 siblings and even though at that time I don't know what I am doing I pretended to be strong and kept to myself and avoided asking for help believing I can do stuff on my own as I've lost trust on relatives mostly.  My siblings and I have been through a lot and it's a long story but we survived. And yes all these past grief and anxiety has slowly burst out of me together with current life's stresses: work, pandemic, health....
Trevorl, I am surprised myself that I am finally able to trust and open up to my doctor.She is helping me together with other professionals to deal with my physical and mental health.The past and present has put so much toll  on my mind and body. But I am now taking steps to take care of myself. I owe it to myself and my family. Thanks eKim,Merl and Trevorl.
Réponse de Mert
03 août 2021, 20 h 46

Eppie, I'm so glad you're getting the help you need from professionals whom you trust. It takes a lot of courage to open up one's vulnerability to others  yet it is certainly the first step towards healing  and a richer life. I wish both of these for you from the bottom of my heart.


Réponse de eKIM
03 août 2021, 22 h 48

Eppie, it's nice to hear from you. 

It sounds as though you are making some significant progress on your Journey of Healing.

Any time you need to "get it off your chest", we'll be here for you.

Réponse de AMT
11 sept. 2021, 13 h 39

Hi Eppie,
I'm a volunteer with the virtual hospice and after a hectic summer am finally able to sit down with some quiet space and engage on the forum. I read your original post and the comments from other members on the forum and felt that comfort you noticed myself. Just reading the gentle and supportive messages I felt myself settle a bit. I'm wondering how you are doing? Working through trauma that has laid dormant for a long time can be tough going some days. 
Im sending you warm and encouraging thoughts. Like eKIm invited, please use the forum to share, vent or process any part of your journey.

Nos partenaires

Découvrez ce que les Canadiens veulent savoir

Consulter un professionnel
Consulter un professionnel

Notre équipe d’experts est là pour répondre à vos questions à propos des maladies potentiellement mortelles et de la perte d’un proche.

Simplement envie de parler?
Simplement envie de parler?

Participez aux forums
de discussion.

Livres, liens et bien plus
Livres, liens et bien plus

Recommandations de notre

Programmes et services
Programmes et services

Services offerts aux échelons
local, régional et national