July 30, 2010

Raychel: Guilt and Shock

One of the toughest things I had to face, besides the loss of Abigayl, was dealing with the guilt. I carried a huge burden from the moment I found her.

As I said in my last post, Abigayl slept with a blanket that almost always ended up over her face and it was that way when I found her. I know that every book, article and doctor says that you should have your baby sleep on their back and with an empty crib.

For a VERY long time I felt like if I wouldn't have put that blanket in the crib with her she would have still been with us. I struggled every day with that. The other terror that haunted me was the mental image of finding her. It was like getting kicked in the chest by an elephant every time that image popped into my head.

After months of killing myself with the guilt and mental images, I finally decided to seek help. I found a psychologist and it just so happened she used a technique called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) that helped me with my shock or post traumatic stress.

First, she helped me understand the guilt. The way she put it, guilt was a way for me to feel like I had some control over the situation. I DIDN'T have control over the situation. GOD had control.

Then we dealt with the mental images with EMDR. I couldn't believe how it affected me after the first session. After going 6 or 7 times, I was able to stop without having a recurrence of the strong feelings I had to those mental images. I fell that without her help I wouldn't be able to write or talk about that day. It would have been to debilitating.

If you are struggling with feelings of guilt, I highly encourage you to find someone to talk to because it is NOT your fault. There is nothing that could have been done.

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