Hello, friends! This week I answer two questions that relate to coping with grief and moving forward after the death of your partner and understanding the experience of ‘secondhand’ trauma, i.e. trauma that did not happen to you directly, and what you can do to help overcome this.
I recently stumbled upon your podcast while searching for something to help. I really dig your vibe and you’ve been quite helpful thus far. I’m writing because obviously, something is wrong, I recently lost my wife to cancer. I’m a 43-year-old male. My wife passed in April of 2020 from gastric cancer after a 2 year battle. Other than her doctors, I was her sole caregiver. She was my everything, my best friend, other half, soul mate. She made me promise that I would be okay after and move on as I should. I really try to honor that, but I just can’t allow anyone else to even have a chance. I find myself far more open to other males than females. (I’m very open-minded) I can’t allow myself to feel anything romantically with a woman. It feels as though I’m cheating on my wife. Even though, I know she would want me to live and move on…I drink a lot and smoke a ton of pot to attempt to numb this but nothing works. Is any of this normal? I have a great support group for the grief, I need help moving forward. Thanks for listening.
Several years ago when we were still together, my ex-boyfriend was sexually assaulted by his sister. We were both in our mid-twenties at the time. In the years since then, I have been wracked with guilt, thinking maybe I could have prevented it had I been there. I have frequent flashbacks to the day of the assault and his telling me about it to the point that I feel sick, depressed, and suicidal. My question is, is secondhand trauma a thing and if so, how do I cope with it?
Thanks for all the wonderful work you do.
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