Hello, friends! In this episode, I take a look at two questions relating to talking to your children after experiencing a tragedy, and working through childhood issues when you struggle with numbness vs. unsettling flashbacks in therapy.
Hey Dr. Duff,
My son is in the 5th grade and attends a K-12 school. Recently, an 8th grade student committed suicide. I am sad to report this is the second in less than a year. Of course, my husband and I are discussing switching schools but there’s no running away from these things.
I talked with my son about reporting bullying and reaching out to talk to someone about his feelings. What advice do you have to talk to children about such a tragedy?
I am trying to work through some struggles from my childhood. And I have some questions related to that. First a little backstory. I am 25 years old. Growing up my father was an alcoholic (he still is). When I was 14 he had a violent episode. I have tried to recall what happened, but it is like my brain is locked. But even if my brain cannot remember, my body still remembers. I get panic attacks, and I struggle with an eating disorder. Both started to happen after the thing that happened with my father.
Firstly, I find it difficult to talk about, since I have almost no memory of the episode. Furthermore, after the episode, my father ignored me for a good couple of years. He would not look me in the eye, etc. That almost made me believe that I was making it up in my mind. Last year I talked with my little sister about that night for the first time, as she had also been present. I do not know why I have not thought about talking to her about it sooner, but I finally got confirmed what I always thought had happened, but never actually knew.
So – turning to my issue/question. When I am in therapy and try to notice what I “feel”, I either get so numb that the feeling disappears, or nightmare-looking scenes come flashing in front of my eyes. Which scares me so much, that just I shut off.
After almost a year of therapy, I am starting to get slightly frustrated. I feel am just banging my head against a brick wall. The brick wall being me and how my body responds. And I can’t seem to move past it. I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the subject.
Episode 291 – Related Posts
As well as listening to the podcast, you can also find my thoughts on the questions in written format in these related posts!
Question 1 – How Do I Talk To My Children About Tragedy? – Duff The Psych
Question 2 – Trauma Dissociation: What Is It and How Do I Move Forward? – Duff The Psych
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