Author Topic: PTSD  (Read 7221 times)

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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PTSD
« on: January 29, 2011, 09:19:17 PM »
I am diagnosed with PTSD as I would imagine many a bereaved parent is. I am suffering tonight with my feelings and I was just wondering if anyone has some suggestions? I am very sensitive to triggers and while I try to protect myself from them I cannot do so all the time. I feel like a barometer to my family moods, wants and needs. Yesterday was not a good day for my husband and he vented.   I understood but had difficulty with it since yesterday. He understood and apologized twice but I do not recover easily - in fact it seems to take a downward spiral until I can lift up out of it. Tonight my daughter was in a foul frustrating mood and and she too after venting was kinder - so on top of yesterday and now this I have been very unsettled. And despite it all, I still maintained our social obligation last night - knowing that it was better to be occupied than wallow and nurse my hurt feelings. Today I had a friend over for coffee as her presence is usually a calming one. So the end result is I feel like aplit personality - or two people in one body. Crying one moment, being a hostess the next. I wish I could feel more even and on solid grounding that I do. I cannot protect myself from what other people do or say, I need to learn how to control my own reactions, which is a work, albeit hard one, in process.
Thanks for listening,
Paula
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Rebecca

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 04:48:58 PM »
I think when time passes we all become split personalities, not in the real clinical sense but in the sense of being able to survive.  Do you exercise?  How about a hot shower?  I know these sound so simple.. but they might work. Can u take a walk outside, maybe ask your husb or daughter to walk with you. Hold his/her hand.  Take deep breathes.  You have so much to contend with that you are all over the place. Please do not beat yourself up for being a hostess.. it is just part of who we are, one minute at a time.  We are all acting on a stage we did not ask for but we have no alternative.  Sure we have an alternative but we cannot take that and will not take that for ourselves or others.  Also, have you thought of games on the computer.  They are very good for redirecting. I play mah jongg against other people. Costs $40.00 per year and then the card.  It takes my mind in a different direction.  Thinking of u.
Rebecca Jason's Mom

SarahW

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 04:50:42 PM »
I am diagnosed with PTSD as I would imagine many a bereaved parent is. I am suffering tonight with my feelings and I was just wondering if anyone has some suggestions? I am very sensitive to triggers and while I try to protect myself from them I cannot do so all the time. I feel like a barometer to my family moods, wants and needs. Yesterday was not a good day for my husband and he vented.   I understood but had difficulty with it since yesterday. He understood and apologized twice but I do not recover easily - in fact it seems to take a downward spiral until I can lift up out of it. Tonight my daughter was in a foul frustrating mood and and she too after venting was kinder - so on top of yesterday and now this I have been very unsettled. And despite it all, I still maintained our social obligation last night - knowing that it was better to be occupied than wallow and nurse my hurt feelings. Today I had a friend over for coffee as her presence is usually a calming one. So the end result is I feel like aplit personality - or two people in one body. Crying one moment, being a hostess the next. I wish I could feel more even and on solid grounding that I do. I cannot protect myself from what other people do or say, I need to learn how to control my own reactions, which is a work, albeit hard one, in process.
Thanks for listening,
Paula

Paula, sorry to hear you had such a hard time.

I do know what you mean abou that "feeling like two people" thing - one that goes about doing daily things, working, socializing, etc. - and one that feels constantly and completely bereaved.

I wish I had some suggestions, but it is as you say:  It is hard work to go from day to day and learn how to manage the pain and the loss.

When it comes to dealing with others, I find that I am avoiding "drama" as much as possible.  I do my best to avoid getting involved in the upset of others.  There's only so much you can do, I know - and I'm not perfect at it, but I try to walk away and not "engage."

Other people just have to work out their own problems; I need to look after me.

I can't remember if you said you had a counselor or not - though if you have a diagnosis, maybe you do?  I go weekly, and it does help me.

Sorry to hear you are feeling so low.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

SarahW

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »
I am diagnosed with PTSD as I would imagine many a bereaved parent is. I am suffering tonight with my feelings and I was just wondering if anyone has some suggestions? I am very sensitive to triggers and while I try to protect myself from them I cannot do so all the time. I feel like a barometer to my family moods, wants and needs. Yesterday was not a good day for my husband and he vented.   I understood but had difficulty with it since yesterday. He understood and apologized twice but I do not recover easily - in fact it seems to take a downward spiral until I can lift up out of it. Tonight my daughter was in a foul frustrating mood and and she too after venting was kinder - so on top of yesterday and now this I have been very unsettled. And despite it all, I still maintained our social obligation last night - knowing that it was better to be occupied than wallow and nurse my hurt feelings. Today I had a friend over for coffee as her presence is usually a calming one. So the end result is I feel like aplit personality - or two people in one body. Crying one moment, being a hostess the next. I wish I could feel more even and on solid grounding that I do. I cannot protect myself from what other people do or say, I need to learn how to control my own reactions, which is a work, albeit hard one, in process.
Thanks for listening,
Paula

Paula, sorry to hear you had such a hard time.

I do know what you mean about that "feeling like two people" thing - one that goes about doing daily things, working, socializing, etc. - and one that feels constantly and completely bereaved.

I wish I had some suggestions, but it is as you say:  It is hard work to go from day to day and learn how to manage the pain and the loss.

When it comes to dealing with others, I find that I am avoiding "drama" as much as possible.  I do my best to avoid getting involved in the upset of others.  There's only so much you can do, I know - and I'm not perfect at it, but I try to walk away and not "engage."

Other people just have to work out their own problems; I need to look after me.

I can't remember if you said you had a counselor or not - though if you have a diagnosis, maybe you do?  I go weekly, and it does help me.

Sorry to hear you are feeling so low.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 05:27:08 PM »
Thanks Rebecca and Sarah for responding to my post and for your kind suggestions.
Rebecca I needed people around me from the giddyap, while Craig tends go to into seclusion. For years I have played in a MJ game, took a break after Adam passed, then resumed and when the nonsense trivial issues chat gets too much for me I stop playing for a while again. I see people a lot, I think I do a lot to soothe my discontent ... some days it helps more than others. My friends tell me that while I still present to them as sad, they see positive changes in me. I still wrestle with any change, I know intellectually that it isn't so but my heart says to move on is to leave Adam behind. Sarah, I go for counseling, without it, I may have not been able to maintain my promise to my children not to attempt suicide again.
What scares me now is how little it takes for me to get rattled and how long it takes for me to recover from that. I used to be strong, now I am weak.
I guess there are no answers ... but thank you from the bottom of my heart for responding to me.
XO Paula
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

SarahW

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 05:54:04 PM »
Thanks Rebecca and Sarah for responding to my post and for your kind suggestions.
Rebecca I needed people around me from the giddyap, while Craig tends go to into seclusion. For years I have played in a MJ game, took a break after Adam passed, then resumed and when the nonsense trivial issues chat gets too much for me I stop playing for a while again. I see people a lot, I think I do a lot to soothe my discontent ... some days it helps more than others. My friends tell me that while I still present to them as sad, they see positive changes in me. I still wrestle with any change, I know intellectually that it isn't so but my heart says to move on is to leave Adam behind. Sarah, I go for counseling, without it, I may have not been able to maintain my promise to my children not to attempt suicide again.
What scares me now is how little it takes for me to get rattled and how long it takes for me to recover from that. I used to be strong, now I am weak.
I guess there are no answers ... but thank you from the bottom of my heart for responding to me.
XO Paula

I am having such a hard time doing the home repair/safety things I need to do, to complete my foster parenting certification.  And I know it is because of the reason you mention:  It feels like I'm leaving Vince behind, like I'm letting go - and it brings it home so starkly, so undeniably, that he is gone.

And I think there is a large part of me that hasn't fully believe it yet, so all those little things bring it home, make it more undeniable . . .

I am glad your counseling is helping. 

I don't feel so much that "I used to be strong, now I am weak."  For me it feels more like "now I am quiet."  I feel like I've become more of an observer of the life around me, than a participator.

But I'm trying.

Had to tell a cousin I hadn't seen in a few years about Vince's death a couple of days ago, and that layed me flat for a few hours.

Onward and upward, Paula.  Hang in there.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

Terry

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 07:08:16 AM »

What scares me now is how little it takes for me to get rattled and how long it takes for me to recover from that. I used to be strong, now I am weak.


You're still moving forward, one day at a time and that's all any of us can continue to do. And, that takes a great deal of strength.

Our children have died. We have survived the unsurvivable. The very worst that can happen to a parent. Give yourself time. More time. It takes years to learn to rebuild our lives and to figure out where we fit in and then how to work hard to sustain our new existence. There will be more up's than down's as time goes on. The emptiness, the loneliness from missing them will always be there. We just learn how to incorporate who we were before into our new existence and to find joy and happiness with our loved ones we are still very blessed to have in our lives.

Please try not to be so hard on yourself. You're dealing with so much, Paula and have been since long before Adam died. This is complicated grief, as if grief in itself is not complicated enough. There has to be time set aside for your grief without dealing with so many outside stressers. You really have never had that time as for so long, your own grief has been put on hold.

I've also seen a lot of positive changes in you. Hold on tight and know I care, so much and I'm always here for you.

You have my Love,
Terry

« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 09:26:27 AM by Terry »

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2011, 11:48:16 AM »
Terry, Recently I filed for Social Security disability benefits; physical and mental. Both inhibit me greatly from being able to work. Since Adam has died I have been fired from two jobs. The years of unrest (since my childood sexual abuses, to a lot of childhood stressors, early marital stressors, children with special needs and then children with suicial ideations, chemical addictions, arrests, jailings) etc. have led me to be a living breathing shell of who I used to be. Maybe it was just a fascade all those years, I dunno for sure, but I do know that while I am resiliant enough for the body not just to give up and die I am truly a broken person who continues to live with a lot of the same stressors and it is far too much for me to cope with. I do everything that I can to "do right". I socialize, I have hobbies, I go to therapies, I take medication ... I truly am at a loss on how to heal; other than time. Yesterday I went to the mental evaluation portion of the SSA disability process and the questions tore down all my defenses. I cannot say if the doc was trying to provoke responses in me to help make his determination or he truly believed what he said; in either case it took a terrible toll on me. I know that no one make you feel any which way, that belief beongs to you, the individual, but it did touch a nerve in me. In came on top of Craig being upset last week and the concerns and emotions that had upon me .... the triggers that are out of my control and I am trying to learn how to deal with them effectively. I was struggling with that and then the interview came, which probably would have been hard anyway, but it was the push over the edge. So much of me Terry just wants the pain to stop. Why is it not acceptable to say I had enough, I love you all, but I just don't want to do this anymore?
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

jsdaa

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 11:44:25 AM »
Paula, I have to say that I feel the same as you.  I've been through my share over the years....though no childhood abuse...but some similar things.  Sarah's death has just brought me to my knees and as much as I struggle to exist, I see no way to make it through this life without her.  Don't get me wrong, but after a year and a half of trying to "check out", I know that's not an option.  As sick as it is to say, I can only hope that I don't have much time left here, no matter what the cause, it just can't be my decision.  

I have four other children and six grandchildren, 3 of them are Sarah's.  You would think this would make me want to live but it does not.  My family has been completely destroyed and feels non-existent.  I thought it would get better but it has only gotten worse in these two years.  I have little or no communication with my other 3 grandchildren because of this.  All of my efforts have been hopeless.  Sarah's 2 oldest are with their dad and he is clueless and his only concern is himself.  I do see them and Adrienne who is 10 now is a mess.  I fear for her future.  Sarah's ex will not do anything for this little girl who was so traumatized that morning.  I do what I can but she has so much anger and the influence that I had when Sarah was here is overshadowed by her dad and other grandmother who are oblivious to her pain.  It is so upsetting to see the neglect with both of them and there is not a thing I can do about it.  Lucas who was 10 mos. when she died will be turning 3 this month.  My last attempt to see him was ignored by his father.  Between this shell of a life and the guilt, sadness and not knowing why she died or if her boyfriend was involved is too much.

I am a complete and total mess.  I can't cope with any stress at all.  I have had 5 jobs in the last 2 years and have quit them all because I just can't handle it.  I am bombarded with "brain shocks", which I call the moments of true realization that she is gone.  I thought they were gone but surfaced right before Christmas and have continued.  The replaying of the time from the phone call and days after continue to be a destructive force in my mind.  Sirens bother me, I can't go anywhere close to the area that she lived or shopped without taking something and the smallest thing can cause an outburst of tears or lashing out.  I was watching "American Idol" out of boredom a couple of weeks ago.  One of the contestants was a sweet young man who had been engaged when his fiance was in a bad car wreck.  She was in a coma for a month with severe brain damage and even though the doctors told them that she most likely would not come out of it she did.  She has apparent brain damage and her mother and fiance now take care of her.  I was a complete and utter mess after seeing this.  Sarah was not in a coma but it was apparent that she had brain damage.  The doctors repeatedly told me that there was no hope for her but I kept telling them that I wanted to wait.  Nurses almost every day would report that they saw  "purposeful movement" or response from her but the doctors would say no.  One time when she was not heavily sedated, she looked right at me and the look of recognition was there.  Everyone loved her smile.....her eyes would kind of crinkle around the outside.  For a moment then, I saw not a smile but the crinkle.  I am sick that I made the decision to let her go.  If I had know then what I know now, I never would have let her go.  I would have given her a chance.   No matter what the outcome, I alone made that decision and took her earthly existence away.  I would have gladly cared for her the rest of my life if there was a chance that she could have had moments of joy.  Her children would have been her inspiration and the impact that having her here, regardless, could have changed everything for them...for all of us. I believed the doctors at that time but no longer wish I would have listened since I have learned so much since about brain injury.  

I will never know what happened.  The hospital did not do any tests besides an initial ua, which showed positive in 2 categories, both prescriptions that she was taking.  No blood work to determine exactly what and the levels.  The police that responded to the call reported to detectives who came to the hospital that her boyfriend was being evasive and acting strangely never did anything more.  He had a domestic abuse charge against her just a short time before, was on probation and had a documented legal history of anger issues.  She had just started a new job and was so happy about it.  She also planned to get out of her relationship with him.  

I know this is really long winded.  I just want you to know that you are not alone.  I don't post that much and sometimes I can't even read.......too painful.  When I do, your posts, more times than not, hit home.

I care,
Jamie
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 12:32:13 PM by jsdaa »

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 06:16:44 PM »
Jamie,

Those of us that had life support removed, will go to "did I do the right thing" for various reasons.  Its a tough decision.  In my case, my son lived 16.5 hours after life support was removed, so my wondering began early.

Me and AC had discussed what he wanted done, if he had a accident and there was brain damage.  He wanted "the plug" pulled.   Made my decision a little easier. 

But, it still wasn't easy.  You did what you had to do at the time.  Many people never get better, some totally recover.  I have a friend that her son was in a coma for 26 days, they told her he might not ever wake up.  Her son is fine now, no outward signs of brain damage, that makes me wonder if I did the right thing,

But, somewhere in my mind and grief, I know I did the right thing.   You did what you had to do, and it hurts.

Love and Hugs
Peggy

SarahW

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 07:37:40 PM »
Jamie, Peggy -

I am so sorry to read of what you had to go through, and the terrible decision you were faced with.

My son was also on complete life support, but he started to have trouble after only a few hours.  They tried to revive him, but were unable to do so.  So I was spared the terrible decision you had to face.

You faced the unimaginable, and you did your absolute best in a unthinkable situation.  I admire your courage very much. 

You are human, so it's imperfect and painful and difficult - but you have found a way to bear the unbearable, and start to move forward.  You are brave survivors, and I am glad you are here to share your experiences with the rest of us.

All my best to you both.



I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

AC Mom

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 08:21:25 PM »
Sarah,

Thank you for your kind words.  I remember my now ex talking to the Dr that was taking care of AC, shortly after we learned of the accident.  I was on the extension listening.  The Dr asked if AC was a "no code", my husband told him to code him until I got there.  AC coded that night, while we were in the plane flying to Colorado, and they revived him.  I think I was kind of hoping that once we got there, AC would just go on his own.  But, 3 days later, we had life support removed. 

I know what I did was what AC wanted, that is what gets me thru the day to day aggravation of this life.

Love and Hugs
Peggy

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 09:23:32 PM »
Oh Jamie, I don't even know what to say to you. My heart is in my throat as I read your post. I'm so sorry for your loss, the not knowing, the fears that you live with if you made the right decision, the situation with your family members ... so much to deal with and with no one to truly guide us and tell us this is for certain the right way, the correct decisions to make or you made.
I don't know why we hae to suffer so. Is it karma, ours or our children or a combo of both? I just cannot figure it out. I have to mostly stop thinking in order to survive and I hate walking around like a zombie b/c that is just not a life to me.
I wish I could offer you some wise answers. Thank you for responding to me, please write whenever you want to vent and I will listen.
Sending you prayers, hugs and hope for some peace,
Paula
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 09:27:21 PM »
Wow Sarah you said it so good, you are now quiet and an observer  .... I am far more quieter that I ever was, people comment on that all the time now about my "quietness" and I never initiate anything anymore. Counseling does help but once a week is a lot of times not just enough and almost 1 hour is not nearly enough ... but insurance dictates to how we can go.
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Terry

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 11:37:41 PM »

((((((((( Jamie & Peggy ))))))))))

Reading your pain brought tears and the affirmation that the people on this board are so amazing that I would recommend anyone trying to rebuild their lives after being totally shattered, to come onto here to learn from those who are living proof that there is hope after losing a child. I'm not at all suggesting that a new found happiness/lifestyle is born out of this pain, but what I do see, and over and over again is someone getting back up after being soulfully battered beyond recognition to continue the climb.
As "Jamie" shared regarding "checking out"....."I know that's not an option."

The pain does change us. We want it to end. In the beginning, we try everything to end it from bargaining to promises and then to my favorite, sleeping through it as long as we can and hoping that when we wake, it was all a bad dream. But, none of that works, does it? What it 'does' do is delays the intensity of the pain to come. And, we all know what that feels like and it's almost impossible to put into words.
And, as "Peggy" shared with "Jamie" regarding her path to surviving amidst her struggles, "I know what I did was what AC wanted, that is what gets me thru the day to day aggravation of this life."

Finding that middle ground which seems to be nowhere in sight for so long, is the structure of any foundation for it to be able to stand the test of time, which also holds a different meaning for us now.

Jamie, I know of your struggles (as we've shared of the similarities in our situations) and with all you fight to cope with daily, you've always found the time to care so much for others. You've been there for me, always remembering my babies dates. You have such a good heart. A lot of the people in my life who mean the world to me are right here on this board.

Thank you, Jamie & Peggy for sharing your hearts. I'm so sorry for all of this pain....for everyone's pain.

My Love,
Terry