“…I thought I had buried those memories so deep they would never see the light of day…” That’s what happens when we repress things, BIG things. Then years later there’s a trigger that takes us straight back. I had a totally differing situation but buried it, then 20yrs later Boom, no sorry that’s more like BOOM it really rocked my whole self. I thought ‘I’d buried it all before, hell, I could do it again’. But try as I did I couldn’t keep it buried. I tried to drink it away. I tried to drug it all away, that had worked previously (who was I fooling? the drink and the drugs just changed the view and the end destination was just as ugly). And ‘my dam broke’. It was all to big for me to deal with on my own and I had to ask for help.
Look, I’m not going to tell you dealing with all of this is easy, it ain’t. But that ‘Dam’ breaking can be a good thing. It can allow you to deal with what I called ‘My load’. I spent many years avoiding ‘my load’. Then I started working with people in a pseudo social worker role and little things would trigger a memory. It didn’t even have to be tangibly related, just a trigger and I’d be right back in that time I’d long buried. Every trigger was bringing it closer and closer to the surface. It had to be stopped from ‘exploding’ above ground, the results of which could have be disastrous.
I saw my dr, explained the situation and he referred me to a couple of services. This was the best thing I could have done. I saw a psychologist and worked through a lot of it, it’s still there, but I now acknowledge that it’s there rather then deny and avoid.
Now, please, DO NOT take this the wrong way. But as you acknowledge you are a grandma and without be ageist, back then it was never recognised as an issue. Just close the door and move on, but it’s never that simple. As we ‘now’ know.
Tears are not a bad thing, they are like a release valve. But if you recognise that this could be an even bigger issue than just a release valve, PLEASE see your doctor. They will know of relevant services in your area and how to best access them.
Sharing of experiences can be VERY therapeutic for ALL involved, especially when those shared experiences are also within your family. These experiences can be VERY isolating (as you well know), That simple ‘I know, because I’ve been there too…’ can lift a huge weight and as is often said ‘A weight shared is a weight halved’ and that’s for all involved. But please do still be aware of the emotional toll for everybody involved, including yourself. We, the carer’s, often forget about ourselves. But the reality is that if we burn ourselves out we won’t be of any use to anybody else, so YOU must also look after YOU.
I wish you the very best, this can’t be easy for anybody.
Merl from the Moderator Support Team