Of the many threads that connect survivors, one is a definite feeling of loss. Whether it's loss of the belief in safety, loss of our happiness, loss even of our hope or childhood - we know a thing or two about loss. It's not an uncommon thing for Survivors to know exactly what it is they've lost, but have no idea of how to regain it.
So often we fall into the trap of trying to get back to exactly where we were before the trauma - or for those abused in our childhood, to achieve that "normal" ideal we're always told about. Most people encounter this in the "Aren't you over that yet?" attitude we can be met with. You *cannot* achieve the exact state you were in pre-trauma. Trauma changes your world, but it does not
have to destroy it, or you. We are survivors, and we can acknowledge the change in our world, mourn the loss, and re-find the feelings of love, safety, and happiness that get knocked to the side.
So this week's question is focused on mourning our losses, so that we can rediscover all those good feelings we all strive so hard towards:
- What is it that you lost? Did you lose safety? trust? happiness? love? all of the above?
- How do you think you could mourn that? How would you acknowledge that which you lost without feeling hopeless? (Don't worry this is *not* an easy question to answer!!!
- If you have found a way that worked for you to mourn your losses, how did you do it? Was there anything that you found particularly helpful in your mourning?
As always, you're not expected to have all the answers - or even any of the answers. If you are particularly stuck, check back in here and see how other people got through it. This is a resource for all of you, and a place to get extra help when you're stuck :)
What I lost: trust. my childhood. feeling safe. two unborn children. my right to feel angry or sad or lonely.
How I mourned it: I cried, a lot. I made gravestones for my two unborn children, and gave them names and birthdays. I still sometimes cry for myself - having gone through so much, so young, and having lost that ability to be carefree. I stood up and said "I deserve to be angry, even if it doesn't feel like I should". I gave myself time to mourn what I'd lost... it felt much like mourning a loved one that died. I knew I could find happiness again afterwards, even if it took a lot of time... so I just kept at it.
Bonus question: If anything, what was most helpful in mourning was letting myself *feel* the sadness I had. Knowing I had a right to my feelings, and a right to mourn... that was the most helpful. Beyond that point, I felt much more like a Survivor, felt the strength I'd gained, and was able to recognize what I could do to bring that love and happiness and safety back into my life. Though life will never be perfect or without pain, I'm glad to say that I have good days more than bad days, and though I certainly encountered a lot of trouble getting through to this point, it was well worth it. I guess I have hope to offer, and the advice of "you have a right to mourn, to feel everything that you feel"