“After the worst happens, the two most common pyschological responses are known as intrusion and avoidance. Intrusion involves suddenly relieving a traumatic experience, and can include nightmares and flahbacks…
Avoidance – the repression of painful memories – is the other coping device we use in the face of disaster.”
– Jerry White (I Will Not Be Broken)
There are 4 methods of avoidance mentioned in the book, I Will Not Be Broken:
- actively avoiding related thoughts and memories
- forgetting important aspects of what happened
- numbing ourselves, shutting down emotionally
- detaching emotionally from our environment
My fiance’s family suffered loss a couple of weeks ago. He lost an uncle. The family is having a hard time coping with the grief, but most of them are handling it fine. That is except for my fiance’s brother.
He was really close to that uncle of his – they worked together. He steadily refused to deal with his grief. He told someone that he feels as though his uncle has just gone on a short journey and will soon be back. He avoids the family meetings where the rest of them meet to plan the funeral arrangements. He goes out and tries to drown his sorrows in bottle after bottle of alcohol, unfortunately for him, he does not get drunk no matter how hard he tries.
I’ve been praying for him constantly because it weighs heavily on my mind. I hate to see people hurting and this is directly in my face. Reading Jerry White’s book, what I see is classic avoidance. I know that unless he faces up to the fact that his uncle is gone and never returning, he’ll never get over the hurt. It’s doubly hard for him because they lost their dad several years ago so this uncle was like the father he lost.
I intend to lend him my copy of I WILL NOT BE BROKEN once I’m through with it. I would have given him now but for two reasons: First, I selfishly want to finish reading it and Secondly, the grief is still too fresh for him to want to read anything just yet. However, I will make sure he reads it soon.
The book is perfect for anyone who is going through grief at the moment. It does not necessary have to be the loss of a loved one; it could be the loss of a job, abuse, the break up of a relationship…..it doesn’t really matter how it happens; grief is grief after all.
If you still haven’t bought your copy of Jerry White’s I Will Not Be Broken, you should do so. Even if you are not going through grief at the moment, chances are that you will encounter someone who is sometime in you future and you will know just how to be of help to that person.