There are many ways to experience grief. We grieve over the death of loved ones, to be sure. That’s a biggie. We grieve over unrealized dreams or failed relationships or scarred childhoods……all because of how it feels. It’s not because of what actually occurred, it’s because of our unfulfilled expectations. No matter what the cause, with our hopes dashed of whatever we were hoping FOR, our hearts break.
We all have to take whatever time it takes to walk through the grief to find our way to a new normal. And, each grieving process is different based on the person AND the experience.
As I pondered those with severely scarred childhoods at the hands of those charged with providing their care and nurturing, I realize I’ve observed many who have grown almost numb to their experiences. They can recount their traumas by rote, even in a monotone voice, as though they’re reading from a book. It’s likely because they’ve assimilated their abuse in to their psyches WITHOUT feelings. They grew up in an environment where THEIR needs were pushed aside in deference to the needs of others. Thus, they can assume their requirements don’t matter.
This can spill over in to adulthood, by seeking out partners and spouses who are equally needy as their caregivers, in an attempt to “re-do” the scenario with a different outcome. It’s not until that person digs deep to acknowledge the injustice, to have the desire for insight, that they can justifiably grieve their loss and make strides in their own self enlightenment. They finally learn what they want, what they need, MATTERS! They are finally validated.
It’s too late for anybody else to “fix this”, so the only way the work gets done is if the individual is willing to dig in and find it, no matter how painful.
Scary? Yes. Lengthy? Usually. Worth it. SO worth it. Does it matter?? It’s the ONLY thing that matters. We cannot provide regard for others if we do not address our own self-care.
It’s still grief, right? So, does it matter WHAT a person is grieving for? Does that dictate the attention we must pay to nurture our loved ones? Not if there is unconditional love.
Your grief matters. Don’t ignore it. No matter what you’re grieving for. It matters. YOU matter.