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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / trauma of witnessing my brother die

Topic: trauma of witnessing my brother die

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. dragondundas
    dragondundas avatar
    1 posts
    2 February 2021
    i didn't really know where else to turn too, as i am fighting this battle 'some what' silently.
    i have been really opening myself to trying to accept what happened.
    my brother only three years old, and was hit by a car right in front of me, when I was eight. I am now twenty three/ almost four.

    For a long time I blamed myself, as anyone would - but I just have really been struggling with it. PTSD symptoms and severe anxiety have striked me pretty hard since September 2020. My father also died in a house fire. When I was seventeen.

    My family does not really talk about the grief aspects, which makes it hard as I do not feel comfortable going to them as they seem like they are already over it, which when I brought up that I wrote about the events that occurred the day of my brother accident. Mum told me to accept what happened, I was only eight, and that it's done 'never mind' she kept repeating. Which was hard, and good. But I feel pressure to get over it - when I feel like I just cannot. It is so heavy, and as I saw it happen - I can STILL see it happening. I used to have really bad flashes back to the accident. I am currently on medication as well as awaiting to receive counselling.

    I am just trying to accept it more - because I am really going through the emotions of it all. Especially, LAST NIGHT my family have kept a photo album of my brother, which consists of images of my brother, dead. A little morbid. But it really took me back, as we were around his body as a family and it was very emotional to look back on, there was also images of him - after the accident took place. Which were very hard to look at, but as I had forced myself to not look at them for years, I felt really strong being able to be there, and attempt to accept it more.

    But it just hurts so much. And I miss my brother, and my dad just as much. And I am trying to find like-minded people online that are going through remotely the same emotions, because I just feel so alone with it sometimes. A lot of stress and pressure, and I am quite reserved with it all, so if you have read this through to the end - I appreciate it, and any advice you want to share or experiences you feel would benefit my strain and ability to cope - please.

    thanks, dragon d.
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6594 posts
    2 February 2021 in reply to dragondundas
    Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums drangondundas, 

    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your younger brother, we acknowledge how devasting this must have been for you and your family. We know it can be hard to open up about such personal experiences, so thank you for having the courage to do so. You've come to a safe space and our wonderful community is here to offer as much support and advice as you need.

    It sounds like you're in a really tough space and it might help to talk it out. We'd recommend getting in touch with Griefline. GriefLine provides counselling support services free of charge to individuals who are experiencing loss and grief. One of the friendly counsellors can offer you some support but also provide you with advice and referrals for seeing a counsellor in a more ongoing way. 

    Hopefully, a few of our welcoming community members will pop by to welcome you and offer some words of support and advice. If you would like to post further, please tell us more about what's on your mind and how we can best help you here. 
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10917 posts
    4 February 2021 in reply to dragondundas

    Dear Dragon.d~

    I'd like to welcome you here and also am glad you were first met by Sophie who has sensible experienced advice and was able to give you a most suitable link.

    I guess the first thing to say is that greif, loss and trauma affect each of us in different ways, and we do not always say what is in our hearts to others. When trying to comfort other we do not know what to say.

    You fell the losses very deeply and would wish others seemed the same, perhaps they do, perhaps not.Either way you cannot realy talk to them on the same level.

    There is no timetable for PTSD, trauma, grief and loss and absolutely no point in comparing your reactions with anyone else. You are a unique individual, as we all are, and have to try to cope with the hurt and injury inside ourselves as best we can.

    If it is of any consolation I was involved in the death of someone in a fire and will never have those images expunged from my brain. Other things too.

    It has been a long time and the images and reliving matter are slower, slighter and easier to deal wiht . I've had professional help in hte form of a GP plus psychiatrist and it has made a huge difference. One thing, I take my likely reactions into account all the time, and if I feel something is liable to set them off, even if only to the extent of no sleep, then I avoid them if I can.

    That is my recovery, to be able to handle PTSD, depression and ongoing anxiety, not cured, but able to deal with them , take them into account, and seek help if needed.

    I often talk over these matters wiht my partner, and the outside perspective really helps.

    I have also lost my wife, a long while ago now, and am very familiar with loss. Here the images include good ones.

    May I suggest firstly that as you are seeking medical help, a consultation with your GP leading to proper skilled treatment for PTSD, grief and loss. Counseling has it's place but may not be what you need at the moment due to the time elapsed

    Secondly try to avoid the trap of reminders in the way of graphic photos, they do not help, they do not harden you to the event, and they simply reinfection what is already in your mind.

    You have talked about your family, is there anyone in it, or else perhaps a good friend, you can talk frankly with about your feelings? They only have to listen (with patience as I kept on saying the same things) and care. That's all they have to do but it leaves you feeling less isolated. That helped me.

    I'd like to talk again if you'd like


  4. sunnyl20
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    sunnyl20 avatar
    208 posts
    5 February 2021 in reply to dragondundas

    Hi dragon d.,

    It is very courageous of you to share so honestly what you have experienced. Thank you for reaching out. I am so sorry to hear about what you witnessed and the effects that it has had on you, I cannot imagine how harrowing, painful and traumatic that would be to experience and live with. And to feel that you cannot be open about your experiences and your grief with your family, to not feel comfortable to share with them, that must only intensify the pain. I am sorry that you have felt so pressured to "get over it" - you have mentioned not one, but two very traumatic and painful experiences, it is understandable that you feel you cannot move past this, especially when it sounds like you have not really had the support that you want/need. From what you have described, it sounds like you have never really felt able to process those experiences and memories - I really hope that you can get the right support/treatment to help you to do that.

    I am so sorry that you are feeling so alone, please know that there is support out there. You are not alone in what you are experiencing. If you are feeling that things are reaching a crisis point, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (available 24/7, you can be anonymous if you prefer) or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (they cater for 12-25 year olds and are also available 24/7).

    Please do not hesitate to reach out when you feel up to it. You may also find it helpful to look through past forums - there may be some advice and support that you can find there from people who have had similar experiences. Please know we are here for you, you are not alone. Take care.

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