Bereavement due to traumatic death

Lisa - Interview 29

Female

Brief outline: In the 1990's Lisa lost two good friends due to murder. When her ex-boyfriend was stabbed, Lisa was in despair and at times suicidal. She was ill for over six years. She sought help in many ways. Finally, a healer from a spiritualist church restored her.

Background: Lisa is an artist. She is engaged to be married and she has 1 child. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

In 1996 Lisa was devastated to hear that a girl-friend had been murdered. Seven months after that murder Lisa’s ex-boyfriend was murdered too. He was stabbed. Lisa read about his murder in the newspaper and then identified his body. The murderer was caught and pleaded guilty and was given a ‘life sentence’ of 15 years in prison. After that her girl friend’s killer was caught and sentenced.
 
Lisa was shocked by these events. She felt as though her soul had left her body. Reality had changed and she felt in utter despair. She cried and cried and at times she felt suicidal and she harmed herself. She also felt angry. Just being alive was painful. She also felt exhausted, and she gave up her job.
 
The Salvation Army organised a memorial service for her ex-boyfriend. It was a lovely event, but made Lisa feel suicidal. She went to the Samaritans and was helped by a wonderful woman. The Samaritans helped Lisa on many occasions. They helped her to survive and to stay alive by listening to her whenever she phoned them.
 
Lisa was very ill for over six years. Her GP referred her to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed depression, post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorder. He was unable to offer her individual psychotherapy, but prescribed various medicines. Some of these helped but others did not. He then referred her for group psychotherapy, which Lisa did not find helpful. Then he suggested individual art therapy, which Lisa did find quite helpful. Lisa tried Cruse counselling, but was disappointed by that.
 
Finally, in despair, Lisa found a healer at a local spiritualist church. One of the healers from the church put his hands on her shoulders and on her head and made her feel warm and relaxed. Lisa felt that he had restored her soul. She felt well again. Lisa went to see the healer weekly for a few months. The healer did not charge for his help.
 
During the awful time that Lisa was ill, her partner and friends provided help and support. Lisa also tried other forms of help, such as Reiki, crystals and pottery classes. She found that writing a diary helped her tremendously and she needed the company of animals.
 
Lisa is now grateful to be alive. She feels optimistic about the future and is back at work, running her own business. She feels really happy.

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