First, I would like to send a huge thank you to all those who emailed me and posted comments to this blog this past year – your support has been invaluable to me. It’s hard for some people to understand that they can not “fix” a parent who has lost a child…but just being there, not forgetting their child’s name, and just being supportive, is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a grieving parent.
And, I would also like to express my apology for my lack of posting for some time now…time doesn’t get any easier, and Steve and I have been having an extremely emotional time with the holidays. I know that after a trauma, it’s normal for people to experience flashbacks (I have had many of those), anxiety (that goes without saying), hyper-vigilance (constantly), and grief (never ending).
Sadly, so many people experience trauma in their lives, and with that trauma they start to experience PTSD. According to mental health professionals, post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a condition that results in a series of emotional and physical reactions in individuals who have either witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. Stalking is a traumatic experience, as well as losing someone you love. An unknown author said, “Grief is like a earthquake. The first one hits you and the world falls apart. Even after you put the world together again there are aftershocks, and you never really know when those will come.”
Being able to speak with a grief counselor over the years has been a huge help for Steve and I, but this type of trauma is not something that you ever get over…you don’t wake up one day and the pain is gone…no, the pain continues, so we have needed to learn how to deal with that pain.
I would like to share with you some grounding techniques that we have been given – techniques to can help control the symptoms experienced after a trauma. Again, not everyone’s trauma is the same, but many of the symptoms of trauma are.
Body Awareness: The body awareness technique with bring you into the here-and-now by directing your focus to sensations in the body. Pay special attention to the physical sensations created by each step.
- Take 5 long, deep breaths through your nose, and exhale through puckered lips.
- Place both feet flat on the floor. Wiggle your toes. Curl and uncurl your toes several times. Spend a moment noticing the sensations in your feet.
- Stomp your feet on the ground several times. Pay attention to the sensations in your feet and legs as you make contact with the ground.
- Clench your hands into fists, then release the tension. Repeat this 10 times.
- Press your palms together. Press them harder and hold this pose for 15 seconds. Pay attention to the feeling of tension in your hands and arms.
- Rub your palms together briskly. Notice the sound and feeling of warmth.
- Reach your hands over your head like you’re trying to reach the sky. Stretch like this for 5 seconds. Bring your arms down and let them relax at your sides.
- Take 5 more deep breaths and notice the feeling of calm in your body.
I hope this helps a little – I will try to post some more ideas soon.