Trauma takes away important things. The life you knew before, for example. Plus, who you were, and maybe some friends or family. Definitely, trauma hijacks your identity and so you’re left trying to put back together the shatter pieces of who you were and then figuring out who to become after that.
It’s absolutely natural that you’d need some time to mourn what’s been lost. You may have really liked who you were before. You may have really loved your life. You may feel now like the grief of what and who you have lost is enormously overwhelming don’t fight it. Grieving is a natural process of PTSD recovery. In fact, many recovery sources site mourning as the second part of recovery (right after establishing safety).
The question is, how will you mourn?
1. Recognizing that there is nothing wrong with you. Whatever your feelings are, they’re legitimate.
2. Finding people who will understand.
3. Being honest about how you feel.
4. Developing a ritual or ceremony to commemorate what’s been lost.
As a society we have many grief rituals for when people pass away. What rituals can you develop to mourn your life that has passed away?
Having the support of friends and family during recovery makes a big difference. On next week’s show my guests will discuss how that support affected them, and how they communicated their needs to friends and partners. Survivors Dan Rhema and Debbie Schmidt join me.