Defining Grief and Loss, Trauma & Pain
Situations that create Grief and Loss, Trauma and Pain:
- Relationship Issues – separation or divorce
- Loss of home or country,
- Loss of self-image through decreased mobility
- Chronic Illness, loss of health and independence
- Abuse of any kind, i.e. bulling, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual
- Accidents, homicides and suicides
- Emotional trauma and pain from childhood
- Loss of innocence, our childhood, teens
- Loss of financial security
- Loss of child through death or miscarriage
- Loss of pets
WHAT IS Grief and Loss, Trauma and Pain?
These may occur at any time in one’s life span, some examples include:
- threats perceived or real
- sexual violence of any kind
- loss of anything of value to you
- physical or psychological survival of oneself, a close family member or a friend.
We each have innate capabilities to respond to such situations and depending when in our life the event occurred, it will impact our return to a state of equilibrium. However, if the intensity of the situation overwhelms our resilience (often with intense helplessness, shame or terror), and we are not able to re-establish a sense of relative safety, our built-in survival mechanisms remain on high alert continually responding to threat. Thus we become traumatized. This can also happen with a one time event.
Unresolved grief or traumatic events that happened in the past (possibly in childhood) are still playing out in your life. This may be why your present relationships are not what you need, want or desire them to be. Because we are so connected to our bodies, we can and often do experience physical body pain. These area’s may well be the keeper of our pain/hurt stories. Addressing and releasing the blocked energy is very freeing; often there is direct correlation of our emotional status to our physical ailments.
The emotional aftermath of traumatic events can be every bit as devastating as any physical damage. Whether grief/ trauma stems from:
- a personal tragedy
- repeated trauma
- a natural disaster
- other overwhelming life experiences.
It can shatter our:
- sense of security,
- making us feel vulnerable,
- even numb
- disconnected from our self and other’s lives.
Left unattended trauma will build up and renders us incapable of coping with any part of life effectively. This is generally known as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). The impact of an overwhelmingly threatening experience can be incredibly pervasive in a person’s life and indeed can continue to seep into physical, mental, relational and spiritual health throughout one’s lifetime.
Grief and loss are subjects seldom spoken about in our society or even actually acknowledged. We have our first experience with grief when we are born – most of us received our first spanking from a stranger, usually with a nurse or mid-wife. We have many losses thereafter. We learn from our parents, our culture, our society and our community, and that often creates fear, confusion, anger, sadness, guilt and shame. All of these emotions accompany the loss of something or someone cherished and valued. Grief is a complicated process. The experiences of grief are intense and uniquely personal.
When trauma accompanies grief after a event such as an accident, homicide or unexpected death our grief is compounded. We lose our connection to self and everything around us. Our ability to cope, our resilience and our ability to access our inner resources are greatly diminished and compromised.
This is a difficult time and for some people acknowledging that they need assistance and understanding is the hard first step that they must take. Assistance comes in many places in our community such as our places of worship, outreach centres, support groups and therapists to name a few.
We are not an island -we all need assistance to make sense in this time of transition in our life.
At It’s All About You Therapy we assist people to make sense of this experience, we put them in touch with their inner and outer resources. We listen to and hear their stories. We provide the safe container for them to explore their emotions and make meaning of the experience(s).