huge emotional shock

I just need to know from anyone in the know if a colossal emotional shock can turn you into behaving totally different from the real you? As in totally detached from people and a situation? I've always believed this is what happened to me a year ago but no-one has ever said this could be the case. I just need to know if you can APPEAR perfectly rational but FEEL AND ACT totally detached strangely due to shock.

11 Replies

  • Shock will definitely do this to you - one way of coping is to shut down - but if you are still feeling this way a year on it sounds as if there is a problem. Advise you got go and see the GP

  • HI,lucy 34 got it right, as i said you are not alone, my father died suddenly at the age of forty seven 38 years ago. I never have got over that, my wife of 30 years has just left me having found a new man on facebook. Although i have felt like this before ie when dad died the shock of her leaving sent me into the dreaded suicidal thought pattern yet again. I guess what im trying to say is that you are a real person with human emotions and when s..t happens u are the only person in the world its happening to.But you are not, i know i said it before you are not alone and you are stronger than u think x

  • I never had any love from my parents. Best clothes going, nice holidays, but never a cuddle, no love ever shown. I had always wanted to believe there was a god and two years ago I started going to a local evangelical church. The atmosphere was electric, the songs brilliant and the people kind and genuine. They kept going on about the love of god and how much he loved ME. So much that he died for me. I was dubious about this love because I felt if someone I could touch and feel had shown me no love, how could I trust someone I couldn't touch and feel! But slowly bit by bit by bit I began reading up about him, buying lots of Christian literature, going out EVERY night to church groups, house groups, writing loads, thinking loads, joining religious discussion groups and the more I "researched" the hungrier I became. I began to pray and put my trust in this god. My youngest daughter and her partner then went to Australia to work in hospitals there for a year after getting their Masters degrees. It was always my daughter's dream to have a baby and in Australia they began to try. My daughter though is a born worrier and as the months went by and she didn't get pregnant she began thinking there was something seriously wrong. I loved her so much but every email to me was full of worry about these tests. I began to pray for a positive outcome and other people in my church also prayed. Every single time she went into hospital for one of these invasive tests she asked me to pray, and every time she'd send an email back saying the test showed no problem. On her very last day in Australia she found out she might be pregnant. She was a blubbing wreck. I of course prayed again that the blood test would come back positive, it did, I thanked god, the arrival scene at Gatwick was amazing and the next couple of weeks passed in a delicious blur of her feeling sick -- which she was delighted about!! She wasn't a Christian but even she came along to church with me to say her thank yous. I was so in love with god -- naïve I know now, but that's how I was a year ago. Then the nightmare began. She came to me in tears one morning and said she thought her baby had died because all her pregnancy symptoms had disappeared. I tried to reassure her that wasn't the case at all but she was so upset she booked a private scan for the following day. She asked me if I was worried and I said no, because god wouldn't let anything bad happen now that he'd brought her this far. But the scan revealed Mother Nature's cruellest trick. There never had been a baby!! --, there was a chromosome disorder at conception so nothing had developed BUT nature had allowed the placenta to continue to grow -- plus all the pregnancy hormones too. Hence the nausea. I was so shocked. The crucifix I was holding in my hand was boring into my skin. From that moment it was like I left and another Sarah took my place Nothing felt real. .Everything looked blurred, like if you rub your eyes hard. I knew the car I got into was mine but nothing felt real. I knew I was in my living room and the sofas were mine but nothing was in sharp focus and I felt unreal. I deliberately twisted the skin on my forearm leaving a red bruise. I thought that would wake me up and it was all a dream after all. My daughter said I showed her no love. She said if she was the mother she'd have held her daughter tightly to her and never let her go. I remember my stomach feeling like a huge lurching twisted knot. I remember doing everything like puttng the kettle on as normal but I was on auto pilot. Nothing felt real. I kept saying I couldn't believe god had allowed this. I don't remember saying this over and over instead of putting my arms round my daughter but apparently I did. She locked herself in the toilet and I was down on all fours looking under the door, begging her to talk to me. Then she ran down the street howling for her baby. Her partner told me she had locked herself in her car and was lying down. I imagined the worst and vomited on the spot. Then I ran to the car crying my eyes out and crying out to her out to her that if only I could take her place I would do it in a flash and take all her pain upon me.. She seemed to lose a stone in weight overnight and was so pale. She just kept looking down at her tummy howling for her baby. That image I will take with me to the grave. The next day she left my home and my life, sent me a text saying I was dead to her and I honestly wanted my life to be over. She had to have a D and C to get rid of the products of conception and then there followed a year of her excluding me from her life and the next pregnancy. She's just had a baby girl, things between us are a bit better but I can't forget last July, the scanning room smell and I still can't put the same colour throw on that sofa she sat on coming back from the scan. I keep going back to that dark place every time she upsets me, even if she doesn't mean to, because I think she's wanting me out of her life again. And I stay in that dark place because we're on two parrallels. She says I showed her no love whilst I catagoricalIy swear that I did. I've never felt such love and compassion for her before or since. I naively but totally believed god would be there for her pregnancy and when this happened I went into some sort of shock where nothing felt or looked real and maybe it was the disbelief that made me not respond with loving arms wrapped round her like she wanted. I thought I had done this but she swears all I talked about was "I don't believe god has allowed this to happen" over and over.

  • I really want to reply to this but i have to think about it. I to have always believed in god, but i also believe in me now. as arnie says ill be back

  • Hi, Absolutely, it's called PTSD and it better treated sooner rather than later so I would definitely go to see your GP and don't let him shove you on meds, ask for treatment for trauma. Sue

  • Two counsellors have listened to all this -- and more -- and told me that initially they thought it was ptsd but they now believe it's some kind of bereavement/religious thing that I haven't got over. They said if it was true ptsd I'd get scared and fearful everytime I came into the living room and get palpitations at the thought of putting a throw on the sofa. I don't get any of that.. I just seem to go straight back to that dark place each time I feel my daughter wants me out of her life again. Even at the slightest dispute. We all have family disputes. I know that's normal. But the way my daughter cut me out for a whole year when all the time I was not only innocent of what she accused me of but so traumatised when she walked out of my life, that all it takes is the slightest feeling of being "disapproved of" that I immediately go back to that dark place, relive the pain, the accusations, the memories of EVERYTHING that happened. Then I'm back on citalopram and feel sick with apprehension it's all going to happen again. All I heard from her last July and all this year are lies, or what I interpret as lies,about showing her and her partner no love. Last July I sort of turned into a silent scream. All I wanted to do was scream and never stop. But you can't do that! So I held the scream in and just carried on with that huge lurching knotted stomach. When I say I don't want to live anymore I'm not being a drama queen. Im not the person I was. She's gone and nothing will ever be the same again. My daughter used to call me her "rock". All her life she's called me this. But not anymore. When I reminded her of this she said "yes I did indeed call you this. But that was before I had any other rocks to compare you with".

  • Hi, I don't know whether this will make sense to you but I think that although the counsellors said it was not ptsd I think what you describe points to it being that but that the events with your daughter represent some other event from your earlier past. I think maybe it triggered feelings from your own early history and that the baby that died was the part of you when you were a baby and had no one taking care of you. I think it would help you to go more into your own experiences from childhood, to write more about them as the thing with your daughter may be a mechanism to distract you from the pain about your own child self. What about you as a baby and child, how did you cope? I think it's hard for you when your daughter accuses you because it raises your feelings about your own mother and the possibility of perhaps not being good enough just as your mother was not good enough for you. Suex

  • Hi I can hear your distress and panic about what your going through, it seems absolutely horrible and no wonder your desperately looking for a solution. I've been a christian all my life and I'm also a sufferer of PTSD, I'm familiar with the evangelical part of the church of England but I've been out of church now for three years. I'm still a believer but I find that just at the moment it's better for my mental health to stay away. I've attended counselling for five years before meeting the crisis that eventually led to me being diagnosed with PTSD which is not the only diagnosis I have. What I'm trying to say is it takes an expert to diagnose PTSD i.e.. a GP or suitably medically trained professional... not counsellors. If you look on the web at you'll find some really helpful advice and might be able to recognise some symptoms that you didn't know were significant that professionals will look for when they assess you.

    Personally I think that your daughter is going through one hell of a hard time too... this may be cold comfort but often we take out our emotions on the person closest to us who is least likely to retaliate... though it's really horrible for you, could she be letting out her pain and anger about everything that has happened on you?

    For you though, I can see how the church gave you hope and warmth that you so desperately need and deserve... and gave you belief that the world is full of love... something that is a very new understanding for you... but this tender new shoot of emotional and psychological optimism has taken a horrid blow in what happened to you daughter. Personally I find the message of love and hope that the church promotes is something positive and I take that on board... but there are other forms of christianity that are older and more deeply rooted that have an acceptance of suffering as part of the faith... christians too struggle with horrendous things happening to them some find their faith helpful to getting through it... you might try a church without an evangelical stance and see what their take on things is... that is if your still interested in God at all.

    Meanwhile I think you'd be as well to be gentle with yourself... you have had a really horrid shock... For me PTSD does make me panic, feel terrified in very normal situations because of what happened, getting things terribly out of proportion, I re-live what happened or replay it in my head, I've spent hours crying my eyes out and lots more besides. I think what I've learned is in the face of all the chaos that's going on in my head to try to calm myself down... to try and articulate in words(verbal/written) or images or music what's going on (sometimes this takes months) I've developed lots of coping strategies over the years... one is that I've chosen to feel the pain of what I've gone through - to let myself have time to weep, cooking good food and looking after my physical health are another part of it, I have kept a journal of my rantings about how horrid I feel and have found that this eases the pressure when people don't listen well enough or when I'm not articulating myself well enough, I do things that are good for me and bring me pleasure... essentially I've learned to love myself through it all. It sounds so simple and easy now I've written it but it's not... I've had to sit still half naked on the landing waiting for feelings of suicide to pass because I was scared that if I made any physical move it would be to enact what was going through my head... this takes courage. And when they had passed? I got dressed, ate a good breakfast and booked an appointment at my GP's, I was honest with my then husband when he came home and asked what I'd been doing that day and he wasn't able to cope with it. It got worse before I ended up with the support I have now.

    It is true what they say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... it's just that I never wanted to be strong.

    Do give yourself some respect... what you've been through is horrid... seeking help is a huge first step... but keep taking it, keep seeking help... sometimes peoples attempts at helping are less than ideal occasionally they make things a lot worse, so be wise: if someone's assessment of what's going on doesn't seem to fit or they're not really qualified to make such a judgement get a qualified assessment and even then maybe a second opinion too- it's your right.

    You're the expert on being you... stay calm, you will find an understanding of what has happened eventually and I hope that the beautiful relationship you had with your daughter is repaired in time. Perhaps as you understand quite what has happened and why the shock was so deep for you, you'll be able to help her understand your responses and that actually this has been a crisis for both of you, not just her.

    I'll be thinking of you. And as ever if what I've said helps, keep it... if it doesn't fit or makes things worse, throw it out with the bath water... what's good for me might be disastrous for you,

    Take care. :)


  • Thank you so much for all that. It must have taken you ages. It was really kind. No I don't ever want to "get involved with" god/religion again. I think what I went through was total shock. God had been listening to the whole time I asked for his help. He heard me keep on thanking him, talking to him, encouraging others including my daughter to pray "because he loved us all so much". I was so in love with god. He was well aware I was a very new Christian. He was aware of the terrible outcome of what happened. He ALLOWED it to happen. If I hadn't been so keen to find him, to find what a father's love actually felt like, to put my whole childlike trust in him, then I wouldn't be in this hell today. My daughter may well have still lost her baby but maybe my shock wouldn't have been so totally all-consuming and I would have been able to pull her close to me from the outset so she could have felt my love, my compassion and had a mother's proper support. But anyway, thank you for all you wrote and yes I will have a look on that site. xx

  • please don't beat yourself up about what happened... it's a consequence of you looking for some very old needs to be met and some really horrid unforseen current events... if you and your daughter can build bridges towards each other you may find that your relationship will be stronger in the long term and the love between you deeper and more sensitive.... I really hope that this is what happens.

    I also hear your anger at God and it makes me smile... it's a sign that you are already starting to articulate the shock of what happened... putting words to things going on inside you is really good... I still struggle with it, but if you can, keep doing it...

    you're doing well... keep at it.

    :) Kate

  • I've never been religious, but if you are to heal and let go of the anger at the god you adopted I would suggest seeking out someone from a calmer, more old fashioned church, The upbeat enthusiasm of the members of the evangelical church you joined may have given you false expectations. The god i see friends following is a complicated creature, who does not make false promises.

    gosh never thought I'd see the day that I stood up for religion.

    Your daughter has her own anger issues that take time to work through.

    what does she need from you now?

    An apology , an acknowledgement that yes, you are human and can make mistakes too? If seeing your grand child is at stake, then it may be best for you to be the one who is flexible and gives in, to acknowledge to her that your own feelings might have stopped you giving the huge amount of support that she needed at the time.

    It sounds as if she is truely her mothers daughter, both of you are dissappointed at someone you trusted completely and are finding it difficult to acknowledge that no one gets it right everytime.

    The shock of the actual event will have passed, how often a day do you think back to the event? Do you need to work on techniques for cutting down on obssessive thoughts?

    Has your daughter taken the opportunity of counselling, or sought out help from support groups, else she will take a long time before moving on.

    You won't forget that day, but I think that anything you can do to heal your daughter and improve your relationship now will help towards cutting down on that horrible knot in the stomach feeling when ever a fresh argument crops up.

    Does your daughter know how you are still feeling? Would it make a difference?

    And do remind yourself that you weren't in control of the situation that day, you can not let yourself feel guilty for what was an immediate knee jerk reaction.

    Ditch the guilt, you are only human...

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