There have been seasons along this journey of grief in which I felt nothing. Those moments can be a bit frightening. To some degree, we become accustomed to the pain that we feel. It’s not that we get use to it, it’s simply that it becomes so much a part of us that we have forgotten how we felt in the ‘before’. When a period of numbness envelops us, we tend to fear that something is wrong. Have we stopped caring about our child? Absolutely not. Is there something wrong with us that we do not ‘feel’? No…
In my experience, they have usually been times in which I have gone deeper. It’s similar to nightfall for a plant in which it many grow taller as it searches for the light. Roots will often go deeper, as well, at such times. I am internally processing when I go numb. Over time, I’ve adjusted to these seasons and have even learned to embrace them. I know that when I finally get to the other side of it, I will be better off having passed through it. It’s just another phase in the grieving process. It’s similar to a time of rest…rest from the heartache and pain.
‘The Mayo Clinic explains that two types of emotional responses can occur with PTSD: emotional numbing and emotional arousal, such as becoming easily startled. During the emotional numbness stage, patients may avoid thinking about the traumatic event. PTSD patients may have difficulty maintaining close relationships. Problems with concentration and memory can also occur when PTSD patients become emotionally numb.’ (Livestrong.com).
Being overwhelmed with the excruciating pain that accompanies grieving can also result in a stage of numbing. We need not feel alarmed when this occurs. It can be a natural response to the trauma, allowing us a time to ‘skate’. It can be beneficial as it permits us to have a season of emotional detachment, somewhat like a built-in survival mechanism. If we fear it or fight it, anxiety can develop which can complicate things. We’re best to just flow with it. The preoccupation that may exhibit itself in these seasons is that internal processing taking place on a deeper level. If we allow it to take its course and not try to force ourselves onto another level, we will eventually and naturally rise once again to the surface. Of course, when we do, the pain often presents itself anew at which time we think we have gone backwards. But, we have not. We are still moving forward along our journey of grief. We simply have to ride the wave until it once again brings us into shore.
If you fear you have been stuck in such a stage for too long, a grief counselor may be beneficial. But please do verify that they specialize in grief. Others may simply prescribe you drugs that simply treat the symptoms. Over time, this can make matters worsen. A counselor that specializes in grief will have a greater understanding of what is ‘normal’ in this process. They are more apt to validate what you are experiencing and more able to quench your fears.
Psalm 138: (NKJV)
8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))