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Emelia8
Senior Contributor

A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

As a young child and into my teens, I have vivid memories of a violent and abusive father.  Dad was essentially a good man and worked hard to provide the necessities for his young family.  He was also a very proud man, and it was hard to make ends meet as a lowly paid manual worker. He was by nature a quiet, shy and gentle man with a lovely dry sense of humour. But alcohol turned him into a violent abusive drunk, with a quick and volatile temper. Mum would tell me and my siblings to go to our room whenever this happened. I know she tried her best to shield us from the violence as much as she could.  But it's hard to miss the shouting and the smashing of items as arguments raged.  Our tiny 4-roomed home allowed no escape from what was going on. We all knew not to comment afterwards on Mum's frequent and obvious injuries.

 

As a pre-teen, I experienced the heartbreak of losing a much loved uncle via a tragic shooting accident.  Soon after, I lost a school friend to drowning in a farm dam, and a fellow classmate to an accident in a grain silo.

 

In my senior high school years, my best friend died in a car accident, 2 additional classmates died in separate car accidents the following year.  All this while still at school.

 

When I started going out on dates (as a young and naive 19yo) the first boy I ever went out with was critically injured in a random attack in a hotel. The second man I dated, died in a work accident while carting hay.  My next boyfriend lasted a little longer, I dated him for a year before he too died - in another car accident. I was devastated.

 

When I was in my late 20's, my Mums youngest brother died at the hands of his then girlfriend.  When in my early 30's, my Dads youngest brother (and my favourite uncle), committed suicide. 

 

When in my mid 30's, I was beaten and sexually assaulted in my own home, by a former friend and someone I had trusted. I could not escape the fear of it happening again, nor the horror of it all.  Feeling vulnerable and unsafe, I sold my home a few months later and moved. Still trying to escape I sold and moved again, this time to another state.

 

A couple of years after the assault, I entered into what turned out to be an abusive and highly volatile relationship.  I married someone just like my Dad. My husband is essentially a good man, but has a traumatic past himself, and is an alcoholic and a narcissist.  I guess that old saying, that you end up marrying someone just like your Dad, is true.

 

In my early 40's my remaining best friend from high school died on the operating table during what should have been a very simple routine minor procedure. I'm godmother to her children. She had fled a violent marriage when her kids were young, and had essentially been in hiding since that time.

 

Around the same time, the husband of a workmate of mine died in a freakish workplace accident.  My 24yo nephew was seriously injured in a mining accident which resulted in permanent injuries to both legs which will limit him for life. 

 

Our neighbour from the adjoining farm to ours, committed suicide during the hardship of a prolonged drought in the mid 2000's. Our two families had been quite close, and this hit the very small rural community very hard.

 

I was in my 50's when my youngest brother was seriously injured in a fatal car accident.  He was very lucky to survive and, five years on, he continues to have serious ongoing physical and mental health challenges. Tragically his young daughter died in the accident. This major loss affected my whole family very badly, and marked the rapid decline of my Mums health. The loss of her only granddaughter, whom she was very close to, broke her heart.  My beloved Mum died just over 12 months ago.

 

After so many of my friends and family died or were permanently injured in freakish circumstances, I started isolating myself to a large degree - cutting myself off from any remaining friends. In my 20's and 30's I never went on dates - no more boyfriends for me. Therefore no more losses?  I never permitted myself to get close to any new friends. I figured I was cursed somehow and caused all these tragic things to happen to so many around me.  It seemed I wasn't safe to be around.  As tragedies continued to happen throughout my life, it served to reinforce that thinking.

 

Working life ... I experienced a workplace accident when in my late 30's which resulted in permanent physical impairment and ongoing chronic pain.  In my 50's I was targeted by my workplace manager after calling out a case of workplace bullying against a fellow worker. I became the target of sustained harassment and bullying as a result.  It became more than I could handle, so I resigned.

 

Given my physical limitations and ongoing pain levels, I sought and found part time work. I worked with a lovely bunch of people and thoroughly enjoyed the work for about 6 years in total.  Unfortunately I was forced to leave work a few years ago due to carer responsibilities.  Leaving work and being stuck at home every day was a major adjustment for me. I miss the mental stimulation of work and the interaction with former workmates.  As I do not have friends, my workmates was all I really had.

 

My husband suffered permanent brain damage as a result of life saving medical treatment he received two years ago. He has Stage IV terminal cancer, a degenerative neurological disorder, a serious auto immune disorder and several MH disorders. Caring for him is now my full time job.

 

Last summer's bushfires raged all around us, and we were on evacuation alert numerous times. In the end, we were one of the lucky ones.  But tragically, 4 lives were lost in our local area.

 

And now of course, we are all living through the COVID situation.  I have been unable to visit elderly and frail family members due to border closures and travel restrictions.  With restrictions and impositions on our normal everyday life changing seemingly every day, life is such a rollercoaster.  COVID is making us change our lives every single day, and I do not adjust well to major change.

 

I know I should switch off the news and not look at sad and traumatic news, but I seem drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  I feel I need to know what's happening at all times. And yet I find myself more and more upset by the growing death tolls, lost livelihoods and global virus tallies. I do not think life will ever be the same again.  How can it?

 

I don't know if you become immune to trauma and tragedy, or if trauma builds until it eventually breaks you. There's been times in the past that I've felt almost numb to it all.  But more recently, I seem to be breaking and feeling even more alone and without hope of things ever turning around for the better.  I just feel that I have no hope left in me.

 

Emelia  🌸

4,514 REPLIES 4,514

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

Hope is in keeping going despite our past and despite all the obstacles placed in front of us. So in that respect, deep down inside, you have more hope, more strength and mre courage than you even know is possible..Hold onto that @Emelia8, value each day as a new day, one that you are alive, one that your have survived and one that is precious for all the possibilities it can bring.

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

@Emelia8  💜💜💜💜

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

@Emelia8

Welcome to the forum.  Sorry to hear you were in danger recently with fires. That is a lot of death to deal with, and grief from sudden unexpected death is tricky and complicated. I have spent a little time on farms and have to say your story shows some of the real difficulties of country living.  Car accidents are a major issue, and all the other events show how hard others around you have had it.  Seeing others suffer and losing them is serious trauma, and its understandable you avoided connection to also avoid further loss.  It was good to hear about your enjoyment in your work.  I have had trauma and loss, and can only say numbness is part of it, can be helpful to prevent you feeling the pain, til a time when you can safely process it.  Hope may seem distant at times.  The Sane Community can help, reading others' stories and getting to know people with tips, sharing experiences or distractions can all be a part of building up resilience and finding a way to keep on being.

Stay Safe

Apple

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

Lots of love and hugs @Emelia8  HeartHeart

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

Oh gosh, @Emelia8  - such unspeakable loss you have suffered throughout your life...am so very, very sorry to hear. 

 

 


@Emelia8 wrote:

I don't know if you become immune to trauma and tragedy, or if trauma builds until it eventually breaks you. There's been times in the past that I've felt almost numb to it all.  But more recently, I seem to be breaking and feeling even more alone and without hope of things ever turning around for the better.  I just feel that I have no hope left in me.


I so wish for a speck of hope for you. And some healing...full healing I think is not possible, but some healing is. You are truly amazing to have come through what you have...it's no wonder that such a lot of trauma and tragedy have left their damage. 😞

 

Sending you a very gentle hug, and listening ears to support you as best I can Heart

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

Thank you @Zoe7, @Maggie, @Appleblossom, @BlueBay, @NatureLover for your responses here.

And also to @Molliex @Shaz51 @Former-Member @outlander  @CheerBear  who have greeted me elsewhere. 

Quick shoutout also to @greenpea @Peri @Dec @eth @Eve7 @Former-Member .

 

Its been a really difficult 6 weeks for me offline, and a tentative return to here. 

But your warm welcome and lovely posts are very heartening, and reinforces the reason I needed to find a way to return.

 

Thank you.


Emelia 💕

 

Image result for thank you

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

@Emelia8  Good to see you back :). Hope to see you around some more and hope that life is treating you kindly. Love peaHeart

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

Love @Emelia8 ❤️❤️

Re: A Life of Trauma and Tragedy (Possibly Triggering Content)

good to see you back my sister @Emelia8 

and starting a new thread is awesome start for the future xoxo

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