Prince Harry has had the courage, to admit that he shut down emotionally after the death of his mother. I discuss the grief cycle here . He seemed trapped in denial for many years before he could address it and from reading, it was his older brother who prompted him to seek help.
I have seen a number of people trapped in this cycle of grief for years. A friends Mum being very shut down and addicted to prescription medication* after the death of an elder daughter as a toddler.
It started me wondering , I must admit not for the first time what the long term effect on the mental health of my children will be. They have effectively lost their Mum, have they stuffed emotions down? One of my children has definitely developed mental health problems already, it is very obvious. Yet the situation that has caused the harm does not change.
It is not just traumatised children who use denial as a tool, professionals do too. It is all lets pretend that it hasn't happened, we haven't placed these children with a controlling man, with a previous history of abuse. We will make out that all is well with these children, even though they have been traumatised, we will deny they haven't. No, no all is well and isn't he doing as excellent job as a parent. It similar to a toddler who has found a chocolate stash and despite the evidence plastered over their face denies that they have been eating chocolate at all.
Ironically my ex , lost his Dad at a young age ( he died suddenly) and I know he has never recovered from the trauma. This is really what does screw my head, why would he let his children go through the same loss of a parent when he knows how detrimental it is. Would he not want to break that cycle or does he not have the ability to do so. Or maybe it is part of his journey, to realise that blaming everything in life that goes wrong on his bereavement as he did, just allowed him to escape from personal responsibility.
More positively though, I as well as Prince Harry know that you do not have to be a victim of your past. You can work through trauma, not matter how complex. That gives me hope for the future of my children, it may not be at this moment, but as it becomes less stigmatised to seek help for mental health issues maybe, just maybe they will be able to reach out to grasp what is on offer as adults.
* help for those addicted to prescription drugs