Author Topic: Is isolation the way.......  (Read 96 times)

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Offline Laney

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Is isolation the way.......
« on: May 17, 2018, 01:32:17 PM »
Hi, I am new to this, it seems strange reaching out to an unknown entity to share personal issues but I just canít seem to connect to friends and family and havenít been able to for a while. My brother died in an accident over a year ago, this happened a couple of years after I had been involved in a serious road traffic accident and also a brush with cancer. I was already diagnosed with PTSD at the time of his death. We were so incredibly close, I feel (much the same as everyone in this predicament I am sure) as if part of me died with him, so alone. My parents are devastated, I feel I cannot share my sadness with them, and although I was/am very close to my brotherís partner, Iíve lost my way with him recently, I donít know how to connect. I havenít been in touch with him for some time and this bothers me, that Iím not being supportive enough. I have opted to avoid contact with most friends, this is boring to them, how could they understand?  I know they would not feel that way but thereís a sense Iím not moving on quickly enough. My brother and I share many mutual friends,  I feel angry/upset/sad when I dip into social media in a non-participatory way and see moving on of lives, the banality of it, how can they be over him? I know what I would say to someone in my/our position, I would show kindness, but I canít seem to say it to myself. My grief seems to be getting worse with time, I still canít fully accept he has gone. I donít know if I ever will.....

Offline Karena

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Re: Is isolation the way.......
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 05:17:46 PM »
Hi laney.
It does happen a lot that you either cant talk to people because of fear of upsetting  them more as with your parents -or you cant talk  to them because they dont get why you are still grieving -or you fear you are being embarssing, dull, repetative -no longer the life and soul of the party - they dont mean to do it  but unless it happens to you it is very had to understand - i wouldnt take too much notice of facebook either -we tend to post more general stuff on their - and sadlt in this day and age -esepcially blokes, it doesnt necessarilly reflect how they feel, but he was your brother and so your relationship with him is different to his mates relationship with him. His partner -maybe you could make contact -do you have an interest in common -so you could say can we go and see/do this thing together  -could you just arrange to meet up in a cafe or something for lunch -once the contact is made then the ice is brocken and you may find talking too each other about your brother helps both of you. If not then you are still not isolated -   thats why we are here and over time we will become less of an unknown entity, This place was a lifeline for me when i found it after my husband died. All of us are at some stage of this journey so we do understand  :hug:

Offline Laney

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Re: Is isolation the way.......
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 11:43:49 PM »
Thank you for your kind response and understanding. Yes youíre right there is a sense of not being able to relate to my ďoldĒ self..... that had set in after my own accident, having dealt with trauma, physical injuries and PTSD, my brotherís death added another layer to that.

I moved away from my place of birth 15 years ago and whilst loving living where I do (or at least did until the accident) my brother lived a long way from me, I would see him as often as could when he was alive but itís more difficult now. I feel isolated from mutual friends who knew and loved him. My brother was gay, I only mention this to indicate he was extremely sensitive and intouch with his emotions and therefore attracted like-minded people, his/our mutual friends are very caring, the problem stems more from my rejection of them or anything that reminds me of my brother, as itís just too painful to deal with reminders at the moment. Writing this in itself is extremely painful as Iím acknowledging his death, something up until now I just havenít really been able to do. I donít want to be stuck in this no Ďmanís landí of not being able to face up to whatís happened, that Iíll never see him again, but equally I canít imagine not having these feelings as they attach me to him, or a version of him, the loss of him. In the early days after his death, everything was so raw, I couldnít allow myself (or my brain wouldnít let me) to think things through, it seems to get worse as the rawness softens and one begins to allow an element of processing to take place. Sorry, Iím just thinking aloud really x

Offline Emz2014

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Re: Is isolation the way.......
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 08:28:48 AM »
Never need to apologise here for thinking aloud or writing long posts, its one of the things that really helps here, having that safe outlet  :hug:
I joined the forum around a year after losing my dad as I was finding it hard to reach out to others and was struggling (I also felt i had to support everyone else through various crisis which rapidly after losing my dad). I also struggled to understand what I was feeling at times, hard to articulate it, which made it hard to talk to friends about, especially those who hadnt lost loved ones before. When we're hurting its quite natural to withdraw, I know I did, doesnt mean you cant return to those friendships when you're feeling stronger.  Its important to be kind to yourself through bereavement

Its a rollercoaster journey, with lots of different emotions and thoughts, some phases can feel quite scary but by talking you keep gradually moving through the journey.  It is like the brain only releases a certain amount for you to deal with, then adds more as you go (which sometimes makes us so weary, as once we've survived one drop on the rollercoaster we feel we're making progress but then often feel shocked to be taking what feels like a step backwards).

Are you receiving any help for your PTSD?

Keep talking with us here, you may find it helps to have that outlet. I have found I've made real friends through this forum, something I never imagined would have happened when I joined xx
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline Karena

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Re: Is isolation the way.......
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 10:58:06 AM »
I agree real world friendships have developed from this site,and sometimes without rejecting old friends new ones are more able to help and here because all of us do understand our own grief so even though everyone is different, between us it becomes a greater understanding. As Emz said our brain tries to protect us by only allowing us to process so much information at a time, and being in limbo is tiring,There is a well established greif theory about there being five stages -i,m not one for theories or being put into conveniant slots for the sake of societys apparent need to do so, - our grief is our own and the process is our own and there is no doubt everyone differs, but i do recognise that at some point we go through different phases from those five.

The last one on the list is acceptance,
many people see this as something that happens at the end of the process,a point at which we cut the bond and move on - -a "cure" i dont think it is at all.

Grief is exhausting and frustrating in the sense that we long to not be grieving any more even try and speed it up. I think its is acceptance of grief, acceptance that it takes time, there is no escape and no speeding it up.If you broke your leg there would be more acceptance that you have to lie up for a while then start moving slowly doing physio using crutches until you can walk again,that it will be a long time before you run a marathon.But you may always have a limp, you may always have an ache in that leg that worsens from time to time - but becomes part of you anyway -- Grief is the same but more difficult to accept and for others too accept in us, because we,re not in hospital, no-one sees crutches or plastercasts and so its a more lonely journey.

Also we want to heal and we want peace but dont want a "cure" the idea that we can be "cured" of missing some-one we love is plain silly,and at some point on the journey there can be pauses when we think actually i dont want to feel better because that would be a betrayal. laughing for the first time, enjoying something then feeling guilty because we shouldnt be enjoying ourselves, living life going somewhere new, doing new things, forming new relationships and it becomes a hurdle -"how can i do that when he cant, if i do then i,m betraying him."

Much later in history some-one came up with another theory, the theory of continuing bonds -when i found it, it was like some-one lifted a big weight, gave me permission to be myself.It doesnt see things in the same way,it doesnt have the goal of a "cure" Its not about breaking the bond with your loved one and moving on, its about those bonds changing taking a new direction as they are no longer present in the physical sense it has too but it isnt  ever lost.

Some people do that through religion or belief in an afterlife, some do it by carrying that person forward with you -in your soul, thinking of them, living your life on their behalf, saying to ourselves, "what would they have said, what would they have advised what would they have done" and following their wisdom in your heart.
Grief is the painful process we go through as the change happens, but even though it remains with us, we will eventually find peace with the new direction our bond has taken.