This is where it gets hard. I know I have a massive amount of unresolved issues with grief. When my sister died my parents lost themselves in their bereavement, and in my almost fifteen year old eyes I had to hold it all together for them. The sight of my six foot tall Dad sobbing in his five foot nothing sister's arms on Christmas morning destroyed my belief in the solid foundations of my life. Somewhere deep inside I feel I did not do enough, I should have made it easier for them. I should have been able to lessen the pain and devastation. Logically, I know I needed help, but I was left to cope. Probably because I appeared to do it so well, a trait I still have today. Reading some of my teenage poetry from back then is quite confronting. How very close to the precipice I was. I do not know why some of the other adults in my life could not see it, the scars are burned in my soul, deep and charred even today. When I fell into the black hole of depression at the time Wise Woman 1 was so very ill, I finally requested the help of a professional. A psychologist.
Well, what a major cock up, to say the least. Sad when you realise you are smarter than the therapist you are looking to for help. She kept focusing on so-called unresolved issues with Boy 1's ASD - something I had dealt with and resolved many years ago - and not my problems with grief. I was honest and quite blunt in my appointments, and yet she still did not seem to understand the situation. If I had been in a better place I would have sort out someone else, but did not have the emotional energy at that time to do so. Though it did scare the shit out of her when she gave in to my requests to screen me for depression. She had NO idea how severe it was until she reviewed that little piece of paper. And then her bandaid solution was to get me onto anti-depressives, not to delve into the underlying catalystic emotions. Nothing resolved here I sit today: same issues, same problems.
Loss is not something I cope with. Upon hearing of a death I am thrown head first into the feelings of old, that terrible feeling of helplessness, the despair, the frustration even anger. And the pain, the unrelenting pain... I think it is why I want to help so desperately, yet in most cases am unable due to distance, other circumstances or even the fact that it really would be intrusive at such a terrible time. It is why, when people in my real life are the victims of tragedy, I always step up and ask: "How can I help?" or if I know them well I do whatever I can without asking them to think. I am not trying to big note myself, it is a selfish reaction not altruistic at all. I do it because in some strange way it helps me cope with MY grief. I am doing something, and even though I cannot change circumstances and fix what is wrong, I can sometimes assist in some small way. I am no longer the powerless child frantically trying to hold her shattered family together.
Sorry for the me post, I just needed to get it out.