Loss of Dad Has Left Her Emotionless

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Dear Dharma,

I’ve always been a lively and warm-hearted individual but after the death of my dad over a decade ago, I’ve become a shadow of myself, unfeeling and uncaring. In fact, nothing seems to faze me any longer. Sure, this helps me face challenges and life issues head on but over the years I’ve also become the type of person who finds it difficult to mourn with others.

When I hear about bad events and deaths, it’s almost as if I can’t bring myself to produce the right emotions. This condition has turned into a huge bother for me; I don’t understand what is wrong with me anymore!

Last week one of my friends lashed out at me because I didn’t have the right words to console her when she lost her grandma and she’s right. I was aloof and when I tried to console her my words were kind of hypocritical, even to my own ears.

I’m at my wits end. I don’t want my friends to desert me because I’m an ice queen! I really need help on how adjust this disorder back to normal.

No Tears

Dear No Tears,

So there’s some really good news here, and that’s that you’ve realized you have a problem and you want to fix things.  You’re reaching out in this venue, which is a great start, but you’re going to have to take it one step further.

Counselling.  Grief counselling, specifically.

To have been feeling this way for so long – my goodness, over a decade? – is a definite indication of needing some assistance, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  So do a search of counsellors in your area and get that appointment made.

In regards to your friend, or anyone around you who suffers a lost, it is completely okay to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m terrible at knowing the right thing to say.  In fact, nothing I say will make this any easier for you, so please just know that I am here for you.”

And if it helps you, know that most people don’t know the right thing to say in these types of situations, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Mainly what you need to focus on is working with a therapist to help you get over the loss of your dad.  You’ve shut down your emotional self in response to that event, and that’s not a great way to live.  Getting back to your lively and warm-hearted self, and being able to experience all the emotions, is achievable, but will just take a bit of work.

Sending strong thoughts your way…

Dharma

 

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