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Reaching closure and the art of dealing with loss : A brother shares his story

A tale of surviving loss and reaching closure...

 As told by a brother (Name withheld to protect identity)....

I had been a straight A student all along. I had always been a top ranker throughout school. Always a good student, making my parents proud!

But then suddenly, in my first year as an engineering student, my grades fell. From being a top ranker in my class to failing in subjects, my performance suffered a drastic shift.  

I also suddenly realized that I was watching a lot of porn. Every night, I found myself surfing on porn sites and I felt helpless about it. I remember trying hard to focus on my studies but not being able to. I just kept getting distracted and ending up on porn sites.   

Enter – my psychologist who eventually diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder. An emotional condition, that develops in some people after they have suffered from a shock, a loss or a scary experience in their life. She traced my problem back to something that had happened to my family a year ago.

One morning, my older brother had left along with his camera, on a photography expedition to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and never returned. We found his dead body a few days later in the form of a decayed skeleton. The authorities refused to investigate the issue on grounds of it being an animal that killed him or a spat between him and some dacoits. This shattered my family and me in unimaginable ways.

At 18 – I was lost, unable to understand what I was feeling. Unable to express what I was going through, unable to understand what had just happened to me and my family. I started to shut myself in. This is when my psychologist revealed that I was suffering from the Post-traumatic stress disorder. She made me realize how my porn addiction actually stemmed from my trauma and that I was still to reach closure with my brother’s death.   

“Closure – however is a complicated term! It is not a room full of memories that you can slam shut the door on, and get closure. The thing with closure is that you have to accept your loss, express your grief and deal with it rather than just slipping it under the rug” I remember my counselor telling me.

Here are 5 things that helped me deal with my grief and reach closure with my loss. Hope these exercises from my counselor that can help…

 

  1. Write a letter to the loved one you have lost. Express all that was left unsaid, let out emotions that are bottled up inside.

 

  1. A part of Gestalt Therapy is the Empty Chair technique. This exercise needs you to imagine that the lost loved one is sitting in an empty chair opposite yours’. You can now address that loved one and say everything that was left unsaid.

 

  1. You could also write a letter to yourself. If acceptance is key then writing to yourself and pacifying yourself about what happened might help you reach closure.

 

  1. Reading/watching inspiring stories of loss and how people (popular people) have emerged victorious is another way of telling yourself to get over what happened and move on.

 

  1. Remembering your lost loved one, honoring their memory as a family and learning from the mistakes that were made is another way of moving on from the loss. Talk it out or write it down either way, acknowledge grief to be able to get rid of it.   

 

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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5 Misfits who rose against all odds to become Superheroes

The Black Sheep, the outcasts and the misfits who turned their sufferings into their super powers...

Superheroes! Aren’t they just the most amazing figures? Let’s face it, everyone has a favourite, but have you ever wondered where these Superheroes get their super powers from?

We think, the reason they choose a life of fighting the bad guys is deep routed within their psyche. Our Superheroes have this one thing in common – they were all the black sheep the outcasts who were once regarded as failures. The Superheroes of today were once the misfits; with emotional issues and problems. Only, they chose to turn their weaknesses, negativity and problems into their super powers!  

Read on as we look at 5 Superheroes who taught us how to turn the evils of life into our strengths...

Batman – Bruce Wayne

Our favourite rich guy, Bruce Wayne AKA Batman was grief struck after the loss of his parents while he was still a young kid.

But Batman managed to deal with the loss of his parents exceptionally well, finding meaning in their death and not sinking in the negativity. He managed to use all his grief, pain and wealth for the betterment of Gotham.

Counsellor tip – “Even if you’ve experienced grief and loss, it is possible to move on if you allow yourself some healing time and most importantly, if you discover the true purpose of your life and follow through.”

Superman – Clark Kent

Superman’s story is one of the most heartening tales that we have heard from the land of superheroes.

Born on planet Krypton, Superman had to leave his family and his home planet and relocate to Earth. He had to fit into a new world and find his way without any family roots to fall back on.

Even though Superman could never really fit in because of his super powers and suffered from the Part of Two Worlds Syndrome; he learnt to deal with it by choosing to use them for the betterment of his new home.

Counsellor tip – “ There is no such thing as a perfectly happy life. When we learn to make the most of what we have, we can learn to live well, despite the differences.”

Spider-Man - Peter Parker

Having suffered the loss of his parents as a kid, Parker did deal with a sense of loss but his real problem was being bullied.   

As a science loving nerd and an amateur photographer, Peter was majorly bullied. This is what we believe laid the foundation of his strong morals.

Even after being bitten by the radioactive spider and acquiring those powers, Parker is responsible enough to use them only against the bullies and the supervillains.

Counsellor tip – “It is important to realize that the person bullying others was a victim at some point, who did not find a healthy coping mechanism to address their issues. So learn to forgive the perpetrator and view life from a positive but realistic lens, that should simplify everything.”

Wolverine –

Born with the mutant powers of regeneration and of course bone claws which the government then exploits and fuses with the unbreakable adamantium metal in the name of special ops, Wolverine has also been subjected to immense torture.

It is this suffering and emotional plus physical baggage that leads to Wolverine becoming a loner who distances people away from himself. In spite of all the negativity, Wolverine still very much has a human side that fights to maintain the order of the world.

Counsellor tip – “Sometimes, people who’ve endured extreme suffering have to isolate themselves in order to heal completely.”

Hulk - Bruce Banner

Hulk, our beloved big guy, our angry green man suffered from abuse as a kid.

Hulk was subjected to intense psychological trauma at the hands of his alcoholic father. His father was physically abusive. As a result Hulk suffered from explosive fits of anger and rage.

Turning into Hulk is his way of relieving that anger. Hulk has however learnt to use it to his advantage and the betterment of the society as a member of the Avengers.

Counsellor tip – “Unpleasant experiences of abuse can teach people valuable life lessons. While it is natural to feel violated, angry or upset, in the end, how you end up channelizing those feelings is will determine your quality of life.”

If you have been through any emotional issue or have a query, you can write to the counsellor at expert@teentalkindia.com

 

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.