Betrayal, Loss, and Grief
By: Javan
February 21, 2015

imageHave you been betrayed by a loved one? Have you felt loss after divorce? Are you grieving a life that didn’t happen as you had hoped? Sometimes grief is losing someone you love. Sometimes it’s not having life go the way you thought it would. Sometimes it’s about an old pain that haunts you from a loss of long ago. Sometimes grief is the sadness that comes from realizing what could have been, but never was…..If you’ve ever been divorced, gone through a separation, ended a relationship, lost a parent or child, or had a sad childhood, then you have been visited by grief. Loss can show up in so many ways.

How someone grieves is unique to each person. Grief is an important life process. It occurs for a reason and needs special attention. It’s the part of you that says, “I did not want that, now I have to adjust to the reality of what is and not what I thought would be or what I am unprepared for.”

Grief can be messy, complicated, and unpredictable. Understanding your grief or loss can feel overwhelming. Many people use avoidance or pain killing and do not process grief, which elongates the time to recover. Therapy can provide a manageable framework around loss or betrayal that can allow for more manageability. A system to identify the main emotions and their importance. Elizabeth Kubler Ross designates five main stages of grief. That doesn’t mean that a person can only experience grief within these stages, but it does help identify some of what a person goes through in the grieving process.

5 Stages of Grief:

Denial – unable to accept, wrap your head around the reality of the loss

Anger – angry, not accepting the loss, though you are aware of the loss

Bargaining – making deals to try to change what has happened/hasn’t happened

Depression – feeling the deep sadness of the loss, feeling unmotivated

Acceptance – understanding the scope and ramifications around the loss, what it means for you personally, knowing you are at peace with the loss

There are deeper, more intricate detailed stages of grief within these stages. Also, they don’t necessarily occur in order. Grieving is a natural process.We love, we hope, we lose, and we grieve, and then grow from there. At least we hope that is what happens.

imageBut what if that doesn’t happen? Not recognizing grief can cause other issues and challenges. Misplaced anger, implosive or explosive anger, long-lasting depression, distancing, emotional shut-down….there are a number of ways the brain can decide to allow the pain to “leak out” or resolve itself one way or another. Sometimes pain killing can become part of the routine of someone’s life. To remain distracted from unresolved pain requires work. This could include medications, alcohol, being too busy, addictions of any kind that help distance oneself from feeling grief and loss. Not grieving influences relationships with others, causing withdrawal and anger issues, pushing others further away.

If all these feelings around grief are going on inside of you, it becomes difficult to maintain healthy and connected relationships with the people you love. Taking the time to do what you need for yourself equals hard work now for a beneficial payoff in the long run. Grieve a little, live a little, it’s okay to be sad for whatever you feel you have lost. Your pain matters, so give yourself permission to grieve what you lost, so you can grow. So go ahead, grieve and grow…