Early Attachment and Trauma in Grief

How well we handle difficult and sudden loss and do or don’t recover from it – especially the death of a child – may depend on the early attachment style or relationship we formed to our primary caregiver(s) from infancy through childhood. If this was not a secure attachment, which is the optimal environment in which to be raised, we learned the same defensive patterns our parents or other caregivers used to defend against their negative experiences or trauma, and relied on these throughout our adulthood to protect ourselves against any negative affects we may have encountered along the way.

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PTSD IN GRIEF

In 2005, I lost my twenty-two-year-old daughter to suicide. I was diagnosed in 2014 with PTSD as a result of that trauma. Though I suspected I may have PTSD as far back as 2007, this remained only a suspicion until my medical diagnosis. Up to that point, I didn’t understand the toll that PTSD was taking on my body. The diagnosis brought me incredible relief and was a critical turning point in my grief that led me to make the most positive changes I’ve been able to in my healing so far.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE PTSD?

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Getting Grounded in Grief

As a bereaved mom of a beautiful daughter who died by suicide in 2005 at the age of twenty-two, I certainly know pain and suffering. Just like a lot of other people know pain and suffering who have lost someone to suicide, sudden and/or traumatic death. I have done a lot of work to heal from my pain over the years and have had tremendous success to this point, but it’s an ongoing journey.

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Mountain or Molehill?

I struggle with anxiety. Fortunately, not on a daily basis anymore, but it does sneak up on me depending on how much seems to be stalled in my life, giving me lots to worry about if I so choose. I’m well aware that nothing is ever stalled. It just seems that way. But for a person living with anxiety, it can take the occurrence of only one or two small things that remind us we are not in control, to kick start the feelings of anxiousness and worry into high gear. Normal situations that millions of people deal with every day can suddenly turn into problems the anxiety-ridden believe are or potentially could be monumental disasters.

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