Can’t Seem to Get Over the Trauma


Original Letter


Something really bad happened to me about a year ago, it really affected me and my family even though i’ve been denying that since it happened. I thought it didn’t touch me at all and i was glad about that. But i’ve found out that’s not true at all, it affected me emotionally, it changed me. It happened in July 2016, so almost a year ago. And i’ve always been a very entertaining and goofy person. I always told everybody to be happy and enjoy things, i was the sunshine in the room. I thought i upgraded in the past year, i graduated, i’ve got 2 jobs now, i’m going to a new school this year. My life couldn’t have been better. But my personality has left me, and i just yet found out.

Ever since it happened i started getting more quiet, i’ve always been a peoples person, i could get along with anybody and i had tons of friends. But i changed, they changed and now i’m starting to wonder why i always feel so lonely and insecure. Even though i try to avoid admitting it, i’m very insecure these days. And i never was, i’ve always been happy with my body i was confident in my skin, enjoying life. And without realising i’ve lost all the personality i had. I’m not entertaining or talkative anymore, most times i just sit there and feel like shit. I go out a lot, i’m around people constantly, but i’m just not happy with myself. And i know i have done nothing to deserve this, other people did this to me. And i still keep blaming myself. I know it’s not my fault and i keep feeling sorry for myself or keep blaming myself.

Elder Response

Lisa, I’m glad you wrote to us and I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling yourself.

It would have helped a lot if you’d told us what it was that happened to you, but I’m guessing that you can’t talk about it even in a request for advice, and that alone is a big, red flag.  Obviously it was something traumatic enough to also affect your family and completely change your personality, and keeping your feelings inside is not helping you one bit.  I’m not any kind of professional therapist, but I do know that we have to talk about the bad things that happen to us, (it’s called ‘venting’)  because keeping them inside can very often lead to depression.

The best advice I can give you is to talk to your family doctor and request a referral to a therapist.  It’s not unusual to blame ourselves for bad things that happen to us – it’s a very common reaction for rape victims – and talking it out with a professional helps to put things in perspective.  It’s very difficult to recover from a traumatic experience without help and if you’re not feeling better after a year, I believe you DO need help.

I don’t know where you live, but you might also try searching for a help or crisis line in your country, where you can talk confidentially and anonymously to a trained counselor on the phone.  They would also be able to refer you to counseling help in your own community.

You have very good insight into what is wrong with you, Lisa, and you’re obviously very troubled that you’ve lost your lovely, happy personality – I’m sure your family has noticed this too.  I’m guessing that you start a new school in the fall, so if you reach out for some help now, you should be feeling quite a bit better by the time school starts.

I wish the very, very best. Please feel free to write back if you want to talk more. We’re always here for you.

Best Regards,


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