I Figured Out I Have Complicated Grief Disorder From Playing Silent Hill Shattered Memories

My shrink was surprised when I just asked her if I had it and then confirmed that I did. 

My brother killed himself 10 years ago in 2002.  He was less than 2 years older than me and we had grown up very close in an abusive household in poverty.  He was depressed his whole life and was into drugs as an adult (mostly weed), even though he had been very much against it when he was a teenager.  I don't think this dissonance helped his depression.  He fell in love with a girl but was too shy to talk to her because he was quiet and overweight.  He lost 125 lbs but was still too shy.  She got married, so when he heard about it he went home from work in the middle of the day, got high, and shot himself.  He wasn't found for four days.  I cleaned up what was left of him.  The night before his funeral our older brother who we didn't grow up with raped me.  I didn't tell anyone about it for years because I felt like it would steal the attention from my brother's day and he deserved at least one day where people thought about him.  I was angry at my older brother not for what he did to me, but for how he used our brother's death in order to do that to me.  He disrespected my brother.

Since then, I haven't been able to accept that he's gone.  I keep thinking that the universe I'm in is not right.  That nothing really matters because the world is on an alternate track.  Nothing is right without him.  I've done some destructive things without him, but mostly a lot of fantastically positive things, but I don't feel them since he's not here.  Everything feels surreal.  I have a haunting feeling that there is some way that I can get back to a universe where he exists.  It doesn't help that I am an atheist and so was he so I don't think that this place is heaven.  It's just a weird feeling like I'm in a dream, except I'm awake.  It's like almost remembering something, but not.  Occasionally I think I see my brother in other people.  Very occasionally I dream about him and ask him if he is sorry about what he did and he tells me he didn't do that.  Usually if I see him in my dreams I just think I had been wrong, that he never killed himself.  He's been alive this whole time.

My ex boyfriend who I was still in love with killed himself last year.  He knew about my brother and I knew he was suicidal.  I told him everything I wish I could have told my brother to stop him and it didn't matter.  Now I think I see him all over town.  Sometimes I almost stop the car because I want to go see if it was really him.  If I stop to think about it, I can still feel his arms around me.  I can literally still feel it as if he were there.  I also can't accept that he's gone.  I can't talk about him with other people without crying.  I've lost 40 lbs since he died.  I'm friends with his brother and sometimes his brother will say or do something that reminds me of my ex bf and it makes me feel ill.  His brother has pictures of him up at his house, but I can't look at pictures of him because it's too hard. It like overloads me.

It was only this year that I was able to put up pictures of my brother and it's been 10 years since he died. 

I also have PTSD and I thought all this was just that, but from Silent Hill I learned that the confusion with reality is actually Complicated Grief- the continued thinking you see them in crowds, having thoughts that they can come back somehow, and not always being sure that they're really gone.  It's like I KNOW that my brother is gone, but I'm not sure what the world is without him.  I suppose my mind tries to bend stuff around to make him NOT gone so that the world makes sense.  I guess he didn't think that since we were together our whole lives I wasn't capable of perceiving the world without him.  People don't really think about things like that before they kill themselves.  They think about their own pain.  You can't take some things back, though. 

So anyway, that's my story.
BaltimoreMD BaltimoreMD
31-35, F
2 Responses May 22, 2012

I have felt all of those feelings but they are because I lost my Mother. It's so horrible when people in the family die. I don't know if my heart will ever be whole again. There is comfort in knowing that other people are suffering from this too and that it's not something we 'made up'

i am so very sorry for your grief and pain. i too suffer from PTSD, depression and i am dealing with a touch of complicated grief as well... it's hard to explain but if we ever talk outside of these comments i would share it with you. i know what it feels like to keep on believing somewhere in your heart and your mind that they are still with you, i know the pain, anger and crippling anxiety that happens when you try to push past that dreamy feeling of denial and i think i might be making some progress now after years of swinging back and forth with these feelings and the opposing numbness that the PTSD haz provided. reading your story swept my heart away for your pain. thanks for sharing... i know you're hurting bad but there are people around here reading and caring about it. <br />
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i hope you find peace and that your therapy helps... i am still hoping i can find some for me too. xx