Episode 20: C-PTSD and Grief - The Unrelenting Shadow of Complex Trauma


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Episode 20

C-PTSD and Grief

Grief-The Unrelenting Shadow of Complex Trauma

March 18, 2021

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross brought clarity to the grief process when she identified the 5-Stages of Grief. Regardless of the culture, all grieving people experience these 5 stages. Grief applies not only to human losses, but inanimate objects as well. Let me illustrate how I grieved the loss of my favorite ink pen. It’s not just any pen, it was a perfect pen. I paid a lot of money for that pen and I had that pen for many years. It was more than just a pen. Do you get the idea? I am really attached to this pen. Keep that in mind because people tend to get extremely attached to people. Whether it’s people or pens the stages of grief are there.

Stage 1: Denial: “Where the hell is my pen? I can’t believe it’s not here. I always know where that pen is.” This is denial. “The pen can’t be gone, it’s still here, somewhere. Denial gives a little cushion against the pain of our loss and opens the door to anger.

Stage 2: Anger: “Damnit! Where is that pen? I hate it when I can’t find my pen. I am such an idiot. This really pisses me off!” Here we have anger. Anger at the pen for being lost and anger with myself for losing it. This begins an effort to bargain the loss back.

Stage 3: Bargaining: “I know it has to be around here someplace. Maybe it’s in the kitchen. Is it in my coat pocket?” This is bargaining, with the hope that the loss suddenly shows up. This is fueled by fear that the loss is real. When we can’t bargain the loss back then depression sets in.

Stage 4: Depression: Eventually, I realize my pen is really gone, and I become sad and depressed. “I really miss that pen. It was a really good pen. I feel really bad about losing it.” This is the beginning of letting go and I am preparing myself to accept the loss.

Stage 5: Acceptance: Which brings me to acceptance. This is where all of the pieces of my grief come together and opens me up to life again. In this case, life without my favorite pen. “Today, I’ll buy a new pen.”

The 5 Stages of Grief are a real thing. Test yourself with them. What have you been able to successfully grieve and what are you still struggling with? Perhaps a loss so personal, that it has been impossible to look at until now. Now is the time to grieve. Be proactive and when you find yourself dealing with loss, then remember these five stages of grief. If you nurture yourself through your own grief process, then your load will be lighter, and you won’t keep getting stuck in the past with a bucket full of unresolved grief.

Here is a brief article that talk directly to grief and Complex PTSD. There are also more resources in the body of the article.


Here’s an article that asks 5 questions related to Complex-PTSD and grief. There is some real good information tucked into a short article.


This is a great article if not a bit wordy. Stay with it and you will gain a lot of insight as well as some good practices to explore if you want to go deeper into your grief.


37 episódios