So - if you're on this forum, you've probably lost both of your parents and probably at least one sibling, like myself.  Here's my question:  After the loss of both parents while still in your formative years - do you automatically go one of two directions?

My second parent died when I was 19 and my sister was 16 - and at that point she spiraled downward until she took her own life at 25, leaving a 6 year old son behind.  On the other hand (and opposite side of the country), I'm an NYU grad, have been unusually successful in my career, and am still single at 28 - but am outwardly extremely well adjusted. 

I'm going to assume that if you're actually out there looking for help - you fall more into my camp: Survivor.  Thoughts?

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I'm the survivor type, too. My sister was the first to die (leukemia, 1997) and my mother committed suicide in '98. She was completely unable to deal with her grief. My father became a mean, nasty drunk and he died last year of cancer, leaving only me.
Occasionally I watch "Intervention" on TV. The addicts almost never have "sob stories" as bad as mine, and yet they completely gave up on life. I have a brother-in-law who is a junkie and he claims that life is just too tough, but the worst thing that has ever happened to him was his parents' divorce. Honestly, I get sick of people like that who can't keep it together. I think I'm a bit self-righteous in that regard.
This is not to say that I don't struggle. I have my moments of self-pity when I just want to be done. With everything. But I have a husband, three children, friends, and extended family who are all in my corner, rooting for me.

Ruthie - Thank you for reaching out.  I feel the same way about the sob stories, and that feeling of "literally, NOBODY understands me" makes the whole thing so much harder to deal with.  In an intellectual and humanistic sense, I'm grateful to be alive, to be intelligent, to be healthy, to be successful, and all of those things....  on the flip side, I find small talk insufferable, people who complain about their parents abhorrent, and clearly I've developed the same self-righteousness that you're talking about.  I just moved from New York to Texas and when I see a person in their 20's or 30's panhandling, the reaction is just too much.  It's this crazy combination of "That could have been me," and "Get a freaking job!" that I really don't deal well with.

Have you found any support groups, books, or individual therapists that helped at all? 

I haven't found anyone or anything that has helped. I saw a therapist for a while after my father died and I saw that I was left out of his obituary (he used to blame me for my mother's suicide and we had been estranged for a few years.) The therapist didn't really seem to get what the problem was, so I stopped going.
No one gets it. I feel like my family was in some terrible wreck and I was the only one to walk away from it, but I'm clearly injured as well.

Hi Jessica,

I just joined this site a few days ago and came upon your group and of course this discussion.

I'm in a little bit of awe right now at how much I am in agreement with how you see others when they complain about 'the little things' as well as your humanistic approach. I even wrote about this in my profile section. It's a very rare thing I think, to go through our kind of trauma (although not completely alike) and come out of it a 'survivor' with at least a grateful approach to life.  It's a struggle every single day.

I had to write and comment on it even though this thread is over two years old. 

Thank you for creating this group and do hope you are faring well in Austin.

-K

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