Hello and thank you for writing to us:
I am so very sorry for your pain and losses. I have worked with many people who have a similar problem of not being able to remember parts of their lives or becoming numb. I have seen this to be especially true in those who have suffered a horrifying experience such as yours. I’m sure that you know that you have PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that you have symptoms that are common in people with this disorder.
While I don’t totally buy into people dissociating from their personalities, I do believe that you have disconnected from your memories and feelings as a means to protect your sanity. It’s not a voluntary thing, either. Your mind will disconnect when it cannot tolerate these feelings and unfortunately, drugs and alcohol can wipe out even more memories. Both PTSD and drugs can cause you to disconnect like this. After all, you lost someone you love, and it hurts too much to risk getting hurt like this again. So, you withdraw emotionally to protect yourself, it only makes sense.
I wouldn’t use hypnosis or talk therapy for a person who has suffered as much as you have. I would suggest you find someone who specializes in EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization, which is proven to help you recover and get your life back without re-traumatizing you. They are using it on Vietnam veterans who have been lost for decades and it is working. I would suggest that you read some of the research on it and go to Psychology Today to find a therapist who offers it as a treatment tool. It honestly works and won’t hurt you. If you cannot afford a therapist, contact your state psychological association to find a doctor who can help you at a fee you can afford.
I hope this helps,
Dr. Diana Walcutt