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Any psychology majors here? I have a serious question. (kind of long)

Posted by on Mar. 15, 2015 at 1:38 PM
  • 24 Replies

As many of you may know, my DSD who is 9 years old lost her mom last year in one of the worst ways imaginable. She was murdered by her fiance. He shot her multiple times while DSD and Mom's younger DD (who I'll refer to as Sis) were upstairs in their room. They heard the whole thing. Afterward her fiance went outside and shot himself as well. DSD and her little sister both saw their mother lying there after she'd been shot, DSD rolled her over and tried to do CPR but it was too late. She's been in therapy since it happened, and was actually released because she seemed to be doing so well, but has started back in the last couple weeks because she seemed to be having periods of depression. She had a sleepover at a friends house Friday night and came home yesterday. She was kind of sluggish but I thought it was because they were up late at the sleepover, which they were so I figured that was the problem. Well last night she came to talk to be me before bed to say goodnights and such, and she seemed reluctant to go so I asked her if she needed to talk. She didn't say anything at first, so I had her snuggle up and I just held her for a few minutes, she started to talk several times and stopped so I let her know it was okay, she could tell me anything and I would try to help her any way I possibly could. 

The tears started flowing and she told me "Everyone has a Mom except me and Sis" 

I know she sees this everywhere around her, but at home as well with her little brother (mine and her dad's DS). 

I just held her and let her cry until she could listen again, and I told her that Everyone has a Mom, even her and Sis, but for whatever reason her Mom couldn't be here physically anymore. That some people are born and live a really long time, and that some people are born and only live a few hours, and that some go when it seems like it should only be the middle of their life. She asked me Why, and I told her that I don't know for sure but I believe everyone is put on earth for a purpose, and once they have fulfilled their purpose that it was their time to go and that if it hadn't happened the way it did that it could have happened in another way.  There was a lot more that was said, but one of the big things that I had questions about is PTSD. She said that she can't think about her mom without thinking about what happened, without seeing the images and reliving that night. Thinking about her mom at all seems to trigger the images in her head from that night. We've tried exercises of imagining a big eraser erasing the bad images, and that worked when thinking about her Mom's fiance in memories but not about the images from the night she died. We've also had her draw pictures of what happened and destroy them (per therapists advice) but either it isn't working, or she is having new episodes of reliving that night. It has almost been a year, and when she stopped therapy in October she seemed to be doing amazing. She wasn't going through spells of depression, she seemed to be moving forward in her life and was finally starting to get back to her normal, then suddenly about a month ago it's like she regressed back to the first few weeks after it happened. I know this is probably something normal that happens after a traumatic event, and I'm glad she finally talked to me and told me what was going on so we can be there for her and help her. 

I plan to call her therapist tomorrow and talk to her, and I was looking on their website to see if they offered any sort of group therapy for other kids who have lost a parent so that she doesn't feel so alone, and family therapy so that we can better learn how to help her cope with her emotions, but while I was on their website I saw another sort of therapy that they offer there and I was wondering if anyone has had experience with it, and if in her situation she would be a good canditate for it. It's called 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR

From what I understand it's a sort of therapy that helps the patient not relive horrible events when they think about them. I'm nervous about something like this because I don't want her to lose memories or if that's even a possibility, but if it would help her be able to think about her Mom without reliving the night she died I think we may be willing to try it. 

So my question is, does anyone have experience with this? What is involved in the process, and have you had success with it? 

I know this is long and I'm sorry about that, but I am desperate to be able to help her. There is nothing in the world that can take away her pain, but I would give anything to help lessen it, or help her so that she can at least enjoy the good memories of her mom without having to relive that night.

(Just to insert here, I've been in her life since before her second birthday, her Mom and I were really close and DSD and I have always had a close relationship like this, so not just a situation of me inserting myself where I don't belong. Her mom would want me to take care of her as though she were my own child, she and I had many talks about things like this before she died)

by on Mar. 15, 2015 at 1:38 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sarahfaith123
by Sarah on Mar. 15, 2015 at 1:42 PM
My cousin had and my best friends DH both had that to treat PTSD. It worked for both.

Sorry she is going thru this. So tragic. How old is she?
aurora.dove
by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 1:46 PM
1 mom liked this

She's 9 years old, she was 8 when it happened. I'm glad to hear that it helped your cousin and your friends DH! 

Quoting sarahfaith123: My cousin had and my best friends DH both had that to treat PTSD. It worked for both. Sorry she is going thru this. So tragic. How old is she?


sarahfaith123
by Sarah on Mar. 15, 2015 at 1:51 PM
1 mom liked this
They both underwent to deal with events from childhood they couldn't overcome

Quoting aurora.dove:

She's 9 years old, she was 8 when it happened. I'm glad to hear that it helped your cousin and your friends DH! 

Quoting sarahfaith123: My cousin had and my best friends DH both had that to treat PTSD. It worked for both.

Sorry she is going thru this. So tragic. How old is she?

aurora.dove
by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2015 at 3:17 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm going to talk to her therapist tomorrow and see if it's something that she could benefit from.

Quoting sarahfaith123: They both underwent to deal with events from childhood they couldn't overcome

Quoting aurora.dove:

She's 9 years old, she was 8 when it happened. I'm glad to hear that it helped your cousin and your friends DH! 

Quoting sarahfaith123: My cousin had and my best friends DH both had that to treat PTSD. It worked for both.

Sorry she is going thru this. So tragic. How old is she?

copperswifey
by on Mar. 15, 2015 at 9:36 PM

I don't know anything about it, but I can understand you wanting to do anything to take her pain away. I would talk to doctors and do as much research on it as you can. Good luck to you and her :) 

timon95
by on Mar. 15, 2015 at 9:50 PM

this, good luck

Quoting copperswifey:

I don't know anything about it, but I can understand you wanting to do anything to take her pain away. I would talk to doctors and do as much research on it as you can. Good luck to you and her :) 


family car

LaniBee
by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 9:54 AM

This is so sad. She's very lucky to have you in her life and I hope this treatment will help her. Good luck to your family.

LoveBird14
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 9:59 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this happened! I would definitely put her back in therapy and it may need to be a long term thing but it will be so beneficial. At that young of an age she needs the help.
Bmat
by Barb on Mar. 16, 2015 at 10:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Poor child. Both children.

I am praying for them.

Your stepdaughter is lucky to have you in her life.

mrswillie
by Platinum Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:26 AM
I.agree

Quoting copperswifey:

I don't know anything about it, but I can understand you wanting to do anything to take her pain away. I would talk to doctors and do as much research on it as you can. Good luck to you and her :) 

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