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Life After Traumatic Loss with Crazy Relatives

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by AuntJulie, Aug 27, 2007.

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  1. AuntJulie

    AuntJulie New Member

    Hi all.

    Today I am completely overwhelmed and found myself wondering around the web trying to find answers. That search has lead me here.

    On May 18th of this year I received a call from my sister that my 18-year-old nephew was "missing" at the river where his senior class picnic was being held. My first thoughts were "oh, yeah; more hysteria from my Borderline sister." I casually put on my shoes, grabbed my keys, and headed to the river. By the time I was at the end of my driveway, I had a spritual realization that he was gone and a strange calmness washed over me.

    I was at the river's edge within 20 minutes. Teams of firefighters, rescue boats, cadaver dogs, and the endless sound of circling helicopters were all that greeted me. The search continued for 39 hours; finally finding his body in 18 inches of water about 100 yards from our family. While he wasn't perfect, he was truly a wonderful young man on the threshold of life; beautiful both inside and out. His death has left a void in my soul that can never be filled.

    The next several days were a blinding whirlwind, but Aunt Julie took care of it all. I have always been the strong one in my family; holding it all together when the others were falling apart. Now I am the one falling apart and I don't know where to turn for support. To say that I am overwhelmed would be a gross understatement. I've sought the help of a therapist, but how much good can it do to talk to a shrink for one hour once or twice a month? I've seen the shrink twice now, and was not suprised when she told me I am suffering from PTSD.

    I know this will be a life-long process but hope just to be able to have others to talk to who understand the paralyzing effects of this. It has affected me both personally and professionally, and if something doesn't give I'm afraid I'll just run away and never look back.

    This is just the beginning of my story; it has only gotten worse rather than better since his death with my sister's shenanigans. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    Aunt Julie
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  3. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    Hi AJ, welcome to the forum. Gald you've found this place. Hopefully it'll facilitate the healing process.
  4. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Julie, welcome to the forum. I am sorry for the loss of your nephew, never a pleasant ordeal. Julie, the key to helping yourself is identifying within what your largest problem is, being the most overwhelming negative feeling. Deal with that, and your on your way.

    Why do I have the feeling though that this is not your first traumatic event!!!
  5. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Hi Julie,

    Welcome to the forum......I am sorry about the loss of your nephew...Death is never easy... Be kind to yourself...

  6. AuntJulie

    AuntJulie New Member


    You're correct, this is not my first traumatic experience. I also survived a near-fatal car wreck 9 1/2 years ago but never really saw that as being connected. I still re-live that in my mind, but thought I had found peace and it was subsiding rather nicely except for the continuing physical symptoms. Now after Harrison's death, the pain in my torn-up joints and the blinding headaches from a closed-head injury are worse than ever. I dealt with depression following my wreck and know what that feels like, and to no surprise that has returned.

    I don't really know which is the most severe; the grief, the depression, the anger, or the physical pain. All I know for sure is I want to escape (definitely not suicidal escape!). I want to escape my santuary of home because the helicopters still fly directly over my backyard all too frequently on their way to the river (I only live 4 miles away). I want to escape my job because of the pressures of too much responsibility for right now (I love my job and work with wonderful people and for a wonderful company but carry a heavy load).

    I just want to stop and be quiet but my life does not afford that luxury. A wonderful and supportive partner, one still-dependent kid in college, one kid in high school, a full-time job, a part-time teaching schedule, a full-time college student myself, being the primary wage earner for my family, it all adds up to disaster if I don't figure out a way to let it all out. I haven't really given myself permission to cry, because I'm afraid if I start I'll just never be able to stop and I will go crazy.

    Just knowing there are others out there who will listen to my rantings brings comfort. No one in my real world seems to want to talk about it, so hopefully this virtual world will allow my voice to be heard. Thanks for the support.

  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Your welcome Julie.... and I knew you had more trauma in your life before you said it due to the fact of what you outlined initially, in that a person does not get PTSD from the death off a loved one in such circumstances, instead deeper trauma has already occurred, this new trauma is merely the one that breaks the minds banks so to speak. Just like river banks, the banks break and the brains hemispheres collide.
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