The following is the opinion and personal experience of the writer.
I remember the day I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist. The only people who knew that I was seeking help were myself and my therapist. Previously I had been against seeking out a professional for this type of support. It was a taboo thing to do, and I felt something was wrong with me if I reached out for help. Yet, going to talk therapy for the last year and a half had done little to ease my mind.
It seemed as if I was irate, yet kind and sweet. I had a temper but also a heart of compassion. I was raised to be caring, but death had made me bitter. It felt as if I was always on a see-saw, experiencing emotional highs and lows. Yet, I believed that I was okay.
Sitting down with a psychiatrist allowed me to explain my trauma and reflect on my behavior as an individual struggling with grief and wanting to live life abundantly. But I couldn’t, my mind wouldn’t settle. It continuously ran with worry and feeling as if everything wrong that happened was all my fault. Surely it was not, but how to get myself to understand that was an everyday battle.
The psychiatrist told me that everything I was dealing with was expected and was healthy. Of course, my brain was all over the place; after all, I was human. When we struggle with trauma, the mind reacts in the only way it knows how: survival mode. It doesn’t know how to respond; it merely does.
I was prescribed medication to help me sleep and for the nightmares and my mood swings. And although I felt like there was a problem with me, I was okay with that. I began to accept that this was a part of being a person affected by murder.
This account is just a glimpse into my personal experience, and I encourage anyone who is struggling with the loss of a loved one to reach out. Whether you reach out to Homicide Survivors, Inc., or another mental health agency, know that there are help and support. You are not alone, for I am with you. There are many ways to cope with grief, even if it means merely acknowledging that we are impacted. Because yes, it hurts as much as we want to bring our loved ones back, we know that is not an option. But we can heal together, and we can lean on one another for comfort.
A grieving Sister,
Share Your Story
If you are a Homicide Survivor and would like to share your story and any advice you may have for other survivors through the healing process, please click the button below.