Dealing with shock isn’t something I’d like to experience again in my lifetime, but looking back, it was helpful to know how shock felt, so that I could recognise the signs again if I needed to and so that I could deal with a new situation differently. At the time I didn’t understand that I was dealing with shock.
Unfortunately, shock is something that can leave us in a state of panic and disbelief, numb and with a slight hint of disorientation, not knowing what to think or feel or how to even function. It’s easy to feel out of our depth, a little lost, unable to breath properly, as the mind remains completely transfixed on the experience, in my case the assault.
As the shock I was dealing with involved a close family member, it became even more difficult for me to remove myself from the problem. It wasn’t a matter of hearing bad news about someone I didn’t know. That would have been bad enough, but when it comes to family, it feels too close to home.
Shock isn’t a quick fix either, but it is important we identify everything we feel, so that we can work through our reactions slowly. It’s easy to feel helpless, exposed and overwhelmed. I was lucky that I was able to disassociate my feelings with apportioning blame, but like everything, we still have to identify and work through our feelings.
I didn’t feel guilt, or anger, where it would have been easy to feel those things. Other reactions of shock may include frightened, sad, ashamed or being embarrassed.
Although shock isn’t something easily controlled, our mind-set and beliefs play a big part in how well we recover from it.