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imrainmaker's avatar

What was the most traumatic event in your life?

Asked by imrainmaker (8365points) April 18th, 2016

How did you come out of its effects? Did you become mentally stronger after that?

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23 Answers

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I lost a child. You don’t get over, or come out of it. You live with it every moment of every day in a world that is forever changed.

Cupcake's avatar

I was raped as a 15 year-old virgin. I gave up all rights to self-autonomy and “dated” him for a few months before I got pregnant. My parents refused my request to have an abortion. I met a family to adopt him, but didn’t like them. I ended up becoming a mother at 16 and I’ve raised my son into adulthood.

It has effected me every day of my life, sometimes in surprising ways. I have PTSD, which is largely under control but creeps up now and then. My son is now struggling with how to be a man and have healthy sexual relationships, which he openly discusses with me. I am grateful for our open relationship, but his developmental stage is slightly re-traumatizing to me.

Of course I’m stronger. In every way possible. I’m also traumatized.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I lost a friend recently, for some unknown reason. I have got back to my normal mental state now, not because I’m unemotional, but because there is no point in wallowing in grief. Beside, I’m pretty sure my friend wouldn’t want to see me become unhaply, if he could ever see me. I realized that I have done a lot of things that I normally needed his help. I have learned to live without him successfully. Still the memory come back to me sometimes, and I still wish he was here with me. And I can’t bring myself to read our letters or anything that remind me of him.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I understand every word. Loss is personal and we all deal with it that way. Take care of yourself.

picante's avatar

Molly, your loss must be unbearable. Anything I say pales in comparison.

On the frivolous side, catching a glimpse of an old woman in the mirror and realizing it’s me is a trauma I experience almost daily.

Two events from my childhood were traumatizing:
My father, who had a volatile, violent temper and a cache of weapons, came home from work one evening bleeding from several small wounds on his hands, arms and face (that image alone was awful) – and he was enraged. He said that someone attacked him with an ax (????) at his auto repair shop. Purportedly, the man was on his way to our house to kill him. My mother calmed him down; and I remember spending a sleepless, terrified night watching out my bedroom window in case the man came to kill us all. It was horrifying to me.

I was the victim of sexual molestation by a family member; and he threatened to kill me if I told anyone. It took me a couple of years to work up the nerve to tell, and my mother didn’t believe me. That last part was the more traumatizing, I have to say. I do think this event gave me some strength in the face of adversity. The first event was simply terrifying – I can’t think of any positive outcome.

Mariah's avatar

So sorry for the horrible things my jelly friends have been through. I can’t even imagine.

Everyone knows what I will say because I am a broken record. I was a healthy happy 14 year old when I started pooping blood. Lots and lots of colonoscopies, blood transfusions, drugs, surgeries, one near death experience, and nine years later, I am still not over it. Being physically sick was a part of my daily life for about five years. It isn’t anymore, but I am still so damn affected and I still talk about it and think about it so much and carry around so much fear and I always wonder what is wrong with me for not being over it.

I even hesitate to chime in on a thread like this because it’s just more talking and obsessing over it which I already do way too much of. I have allowed it to become one of my most defining traits. I’m Rachel, The Girl Who Survived Being Sick And Is Not Otherwise Very Notable. I always wonder if it would be different if it had struck me much younger, so it was just a fact of my life that I’ve always lived with, or older, so I would have had chance to form an identity around something other than being sick and being proud of having survived being sick and being ashamed of being so proud of having survived being sick.

So yeah…for awhile I thought this whole thing made me stronger, but now I think I’m just obsessive and hung up and not stronger in the slightest.

imrainmaker's avatar

Oh man..you all have been through so much in your life. Hats off to you all for your courage !!!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I grew up gay in a small town in Oklahoma in the 70s. I was subjected to hate and harassment from an early age, and it got physically abusive at times. It was a constant, gut-wrenching anxiety 24 hours each day with no respite. There was no safety anywhere. The church was one of my biggest tormentors. They raped my soul. My family contributed to my terror. I was threatened with being thrown out into the street.

It took 30 years of therapy, but I can honestly say I’m fine now. I have no desire to ever revisit the town where I grew up, but I don’t fear it any more either.

I could have grown to be just as strong as I am now even if I’d never known the hate I have. I didn’t need to be despised and spat on in order to become an emotionally mature man. My wound is healed, but I harbor no illusions that I am somehow “better” for having been wounded. I know grown men whose experiences are much more benign, and they are strong, upstanding men.

That being said, I am who I am, because of my wounds. I can’t turn back time and un-wound myself. I accept it now, and I wake up in the mornings and put my clothes on and go to work. I live my life.

To the other contributors to this thread, I would like to give virtual hugs. I hope you are able to heal. I hope you find the healing that works for you, whatever way that may be. If you live in doubt, I can say that healing happened for me. It is possible. I don’t know how it’s going to happen for you. I hope you find it.

MooCows's avatar

I had a baby at 34 and had the worst post pardum depression
that I don’t even remember the first year of my son’s life.
My poor husband had no idea what was happening to me
and I had no family around then. I won’t go thru all the
details but you can imagine a new dad dealing with all of this!
That was 25 years ago and because of that one episode
I have dealt with depression off and on all my life. It was
like it turned on a switch in my body and from 1990 on I
have endured my share of the dark times and the many
meds that worked then didn’t work. Thankfully my son grew
up unscathed and I had another son but was on meds the
whole time. But I was left with a darkness that comes and goes.

janbb's avatar

A brother died when I was four and I was sexually abused by a family member for years. My parents didn’t handle it well. Then my husband walked out after 37 years of an ok, but not wonderful, marriage. The last “trauma” certainly has made me stronger, I was far too dependent on him, but it hurt like hell and I could have lived without the previous two. On the other hand, I have been very fortunate in other ways.

@Mariah I hope you know that to us you are far more than the girl with the disease!

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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Being locked out of my dorm room for a couple of days in the summer sun . I was one of the few people on the campus for summer.

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Trauma is a delicate subject. In my line of work, I encounter it and its ramifications daily. As a society, we do little to help individuals heal from trauma. The mental health field is the lowest paid medical field.

There are appropriate ways to ask for information from survivors. The possibility to re-traumatize the victims is real and must be guarded against. I hope we can all work together to build safe places for the survivors to come to.

I am a trauma survivor, and it took 30 years of therapy and countless hours of personal work to heal. That’s a simple sentence to write, but there is a lifetime hiding behind the words.

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LBM's avatar

My Dad passed away at a young age.
I was there at diagnosis and cared for him every day. Tried to help him survive longer. Took on the terrible health care system. Moved into the hospital in Dad’s final week, against hospital policy.
I slept on the floor, until they realised I was going no where. I had to decide on medications, end of life care. When he went unconscious, I read to him, held his hand. Watched him pass away. Organise his funeral and empty out his house.
It broke me. I have never known such pain. I never ever thought my Dad would die, especially not just yet, and not how he did. Will never ever get over it.

janbb's avatar

@LBM But the pain will soften some in time. (())

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

My condolences to all of you brave souls. I’ve had a few tragedies, but they are old and are almost trivial compared to yours. Again, it is heartbreaking to read these posts. Please know that there are people here who care.

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