February 17, 2012 - submitted by Becca, United Kingdom

Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #59
Recently, everything has been more than a little upside-down for me. Back in October, my best friend's dad killed himself. It happened at about 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. By 2.30pm, I was there too. I won't go into details but I'm just not coping with anything to do with that. At all. I have post-traumatic stress disorder and I'm really too terrified to talk to any of my friends about it, since last time I was dealing with a very sudden death, everyone kind of turned their backs on me.
I feel so, so alone and I've just had enough with feeling the way I do. I'm using sarcasm to deflect from all of my feelings but I don't want to hurt my friends' feelings - though nor do I want them to find out. I don't want to be pitied, just understood.
Please, please help me. I don't know who else I can turn to.
Thank you.


The Oracle replies:

I am so sorry to hear of this terrible incident and the effect it's having on you. I know you realize that you can't cope with this on your own but am saddened you think you can't get the support of your friends. Please don't let the previous experience put you off sharing this. You need to talk about it even if at the moment it is just to explain the reason for your sarcasm to them. Your feelings are inwardly eating away at you and that can only lead to bad things. It's not healthy to keep it to yourself. I also suggest you speak to someone in your family that you feel you can trust. Isolating yourself is not the answer; coming here is a great first step. In the UK we have Victim Support which may be a good second step. If you have a teacher, doctor or counsellor you feel comfortable with, ask for help and advice from them too.
Keep a journal of your feelings so you at least have some outlet but please don't despair. There could be a support group to help you come to terms with what you witnessed. The sooner you talk about this, the sooner you can begin to come to terms with it and move forward. I wish you well. Over to you.

I'm so sorry to hear about you're situation. What caught my attention is how you mentioned that you suffer from PTSD because of the incident. I did some research and read in many sources that people who have PTSD might have trouble opening up to people. However that it is really important to do so. They say the more outside support you have the better you cope with PTSD. But if you’re friends aren’t willing to help you, you should maybe consider going to support group where you can meet new people, or maybe asking a therapist for help. I also read that it is important to sometimes just take your mind off of everything that is going on. I always suggest doing something new that you have always wanted to learn. Whenever I feel sad and am in absolutely no mood to talk, I bake. From big chocolate cakes to tiny muffins. I feel a million times better after that. Maybe you have something that you have always liked to learn but have just never gotten to it. Maybe join a team sport outside of school so that you could meet new people too.
Hope this could help. Silke, Barcelona J. P.S. HAVE A GREAT TIME AT THE COLDPLAY CONCERT!!!


As a first responder, over the years I've seen several graphic and sad situations, the bulk of which I've never even considered bringing home to tell. Things which I prefer to never recall. Fortunately, I've the brotherhood of my department to talk, vent or keep each other generally sane. I cannot stress enough that you are entitled to feel the way you do. It is NOT abnormal, but it IS imperative you seek a support system to truly comprehend what you've experienced and to work through the effect it had on you. Just the act of talking to someone who will listen can greatly relieve you of the burden you feel. Since you seem to feel your friends may not be the best resource, seek out any relative you trust will listen or a school councilor, municipal social worker, etc. You'll surely heal, but it can take time. Court.

Not too long ago, I went through a pretty difficult time and I had never felt as alone as I did then. But now, I feel so much happier and stronger! Having said that, I would like to tell you that as lost as everything may seem, it never is. The only time darkness will take over your life is when you let it. Not coping with something terrible that has happened doesn't make you a bad person. You'll deal with it when the time is right - for you. When it comes to your friends if they are true ones, they will be there for you no matter what. Tell them about it, about yourself. Just talking is sometimes the best therapy you can get, regardless of how the feedback will be. You said that you want to be understood. Well, let me tell you this: You are understood, Becca. By me and by many others, I promise. So, for the sake of you and the people who love and understand you, stay positive and strong!
PS: Have fun at the Coldplay concert!!! I have tickets to see them in August, and I couldn't be more excited! Nothing lifts one's spirits like Coldplay, right? Enjoy it! Sincerely, Medina.


Becca, death can be a hard thing to cope with, especially difficult is suicide. I've had two people I know, find their loved one after committing suicide; a friend found her son and my nephew found his best friend. All I wanted to do was take their pain away. It sounds so corny, but the pain eases with time. The thoughts and flashbacks will become less and less. You didn't mention anything about talking to your parents. Even if they couldn't counsel you they should be able to comfort you and they may have resources for you to get counseling. I don't know how old you are, but check with a school counselor, they can also point you to professionals that may be available at little or no cost. I'm sure there are other resources out there for you, but professionals know how to help you through this. Your friends are not equipped with the knowledge of what to do and may back off out of confusion and not wanting to say the wrong thing. In the mean time do things that make you happy, distract yourself with school, work and play, nothing destructive. You are not alone, your best friend is also going through this, you have each other for support. I'm so glad to hear you are going to see Coldplay. I went to their concert about 3 weeks after my brother died and the energy of the band and the crowd kept me happy and smiling for weeks and the joy helped me move on. Remember, everyone dies in time and they are always with us in our memories and spirits. Dawn.

I'm very sorry to hear about what you're going through. I really think you should talk about it with someone because right now you're holding everything in. I know the feeling and how lonely it can be. You shouldn't feel embarrassed at all about asking for help because what you've seen and been through can be very traumatic and it's healthy for you to feel this way. I'd be more worried if you didn't. You're on the right track, tell people how you feel. Maybe your parents or closest friends, maybe even an adult from school. I know sometimes its easier to try to detach yourself from everyone and be sarcastic and not put much effort into anything, but to move on and to feel better, I think you have to accept your feelings and confront them. It might feel worse before it feels better, but keep your head up, and know that you aren't alone. For one, you have us here at Coldplay, and I'm sure your friends and family care about you as well, let them help you. It might be hard, but try not to push them away. You get to see the guys play in June; so happy for you! Have fun, girl! I wish you the best. Love, Darem.

I'm very sorry for your loss. You say you feel alone, that your friends turned your back on you before and now you don't want them to find out. But you need to tell someone how you feel! It's important to get your feelings off your chest so they don't weigh you down. Just remember that nearly everyone has shared your loss of having a loved one pass away, so try talking to your friends again and let them comfort you. Writing out your feelings and seeing your words on the page is another healthy way to express what you are feeling. I know your best friend must be going through a great deal of pain since their dad died, so most importantly, make yourself available and be there for your friend as much as possible. Warm regards, Blake.

Your friends don't sound like very good friends to me if they didn't help you through the last sudden death. I'm not surprised that you don't want them to find out but I still think you need to tell them. Or someone. Anyone! Well, you told us so that's great. Terri.

Thanks to all who sent in their replies. If you'd like to take part in this week's Team Oracle, click to read this week's question, and send us your answer.