Being an experienced counsellor didn't help me at all when I had to face the sudden loss of my daughter. (In January of 2011.) I no longer have the ability to manage life in the way I used to. I can't speak for anyone else, so speaking for myself only, I would say that trying to fight my anxiety has been very unhelpful. I felt an obligation to be strong for my daughter's children, and for my dear son. But during the last two years I realised this 'bravery' was causing even more harm to my mental, emotional and physical health. Instead, I began learning to be far kinder to myself. Now, I won't undetake anything I that I feel will overload me, and I no longer feel guilty or 'weak' about refusing to please others. The people who really matter understand, and those who can't accept this different Carrie aren't welcome in my life. I began work again in 2012 and I believe I'm still able to help others. But now I have the confidence to be totally honest with myself and others about my limitations. I'd just say that it can be beneficial to have some compassion for yourself and to respect your emotions rather than feeling they are intrusions. (I know full well that the emotions can be agonising.) Again, this is based on managing my own grief and anxiety, so please don't feel I'm giving any instructions or telling others how to respond to theirs. With lots of good wishes to you all. Carrie.


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5 Replies

  • Carrie, thank you for this post. Nothing compares to the loss of your child. I lost my son almost 20 years ago, and yes, even though, life 'goes on'.... it took awhile... I was fortunate in that someone advised me to always express my emotions...not to hold them back... and I didn't... So, for those of you who read both what Carrie and I say... maybe this can help you or someone you know.

    Also...I think this is important...maybe I should write a separate post...don't know for sure... But anyway... Beginning about 4 yrs ago, I started in being WAY too dependent upon my adult daughter (who is now 50) and finally she just kind of exploded and fell apart one day... which was really what I needed.

    Its easy to SAY: oh she should have had a nice quiet talk with you... but unless you have BEEN in her position (or like Carrie's) DON'T JUDGE~!!!! Everything is fine now with my daughter's and my relationship...and 'love' was never a real question even though we tend to feel SORRY for ourselves sometimes...

    Its easy to also SAY: "that is what family is for" .... but that is not a license to do an overkill and expect them to always 'be there' bright and chipper and encouraging... When you are a little child that is different...but once you claim to be an have to take on that responsibility and think TWICE (or more)....

    OK... done I guess... :)

  • Thank you for replying Betty. I am so very sorry about your son. Yes, the loss of a child is unlike any other bereavement. I admire your open-ness in sharing what arose between yourself and your daughter and I'm really glad that you've been able to resolve it.

  • Hi once again Betty and any other kind people who read my post. I didn't think that initial post had appeared, so I wrote another. (It's rather similar to the original but I've been a bit more specific...I think.)

  • Thank you for your post Carrie. It really highlights the real issues that trauma can cause, and the importance of putting your health first. I'm glad that you can now be clear with others about your limitations. At the end of the day regardless of our training or profession we are all human. X

  • Thank you Habinns, for your caring response. Yes, it's so true, we are all human. (Yet it seems that we're often expected to have super powers in terms of coping with immense pressure.) x

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