Complicated Mourning/Grieving Process

I’m new here so hope I am posting in the right place

I feel like I am grieving wrong

It will be two years in December since my grandmother who raised me died. We had a complicated relationship, i estranged from my family for many years and still mostly don’t have a relationship with them

Since she died my life has been a mess. It didnt start immediately and I don’t know what has just been stress created by unfortunate circumstance, very limited support network and having autism but I definitely experienced regressing back into an old version of me that was not healthy, a codependent version

It’s as though I was trying to be her daughter again to keep her alive or more likely out of guilt for saying ‘no’ all those years ago to the family toxicity. Anyway, the regression resulted in an abusive relationship with someone that was covertly narcissistic. In typical ‘repetition compulsion’ I attracted a relationship with someone like her

It’s been been very damaging while also revealing another layer of how abusive my grandmother actually was as well as the depth of neglect, abandonment and abuse perpetrated by her. It’s as though now she has finally gone I can see it, feel it, grieve it—I’ve never known pain like it

The grieving process has been very damaging and reflected in many ways the damaged done in my relationship with her. I’ve even reverted back to old self-harming habits I used to have as a kid and as much as I am aware of this it’s hard to stop it

It’s over all isolating because there are no people to grieve with, most people have lovely stories about parents and how they miss them and all the rest and I think it’s quite taboo to openly talk about complicated feelings towards deceased people

I don’t miss her at all, I am broken by the fact the one person I thought maybe cared was not very caring at all, in fact the opposite and maybe her death helped me come out another layer of denial

If anyone has any thoughts or relevant experience to share that would be much appreciated

Thanks for reading


Hello @Omi,

I can see that you’re new to the community. I really hope you find it to be a support to you. It is very brave of you to share this. Hopefully someone will be along to offer their support - you are not alone in having a complicated relationship with the person who has died. If you click the magnifying glass at the top of the screen, you can search for threads which talk about this.

I also wanted to share these links with you that may be helpful.

I’m worried to read that you have reverted back to self-harming behaviours. It’s important that you reach out for support with this; you matter and you don’t have to do this alone.

  • Samaritans are available 24/7 to talk about anything that you are worried about in confidence. You can call them on 116 123.
  • Shout are contactable by text, 24/7. You can text REMEDY to 85258 and talk to them about anything.

Sue Ryder offers an online bereavement counselling service. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. There’s more information about this service here:

I do hope that these resources are something you will consider exploring. Please take good care,


Hello, I understand what you’re saying. I had an abusive relationship from my mother, emotionally and neglectfully. She would lie to my father who believed her so when I told him I was punished for causing problems. I don’t miss her and I thought I would feel relief, which I did for a while but then her narcissistic personality had used my brother to continue his emotional, verbal and violent abuse against me and he has turned my family against me so my sons and my grandchildren are no longer in my life. I’m unable to cope often and don’t know where to turn

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One of the easiest, yet most difficult, things I have learnt is to forgive them. I dont mean forget. Just forgive.
If we dont, the only person we are hurting is ourselves. So we are being kind to ourselves.

Yesterday, I went shopping, and finished up in Starbucks for a flat white and cinnamon whirl (highly recommended!)

Im trying to cultivate a quiet, calm demeanor, so I sat there for quite a while listening to the carols on the tannoy, watching people coming and going, chatting away and smiling.

“I want a piece of that!” I thought, so why was I not achieving it? So I just decided to sit there while my coffee went cold, and watch the world go by. Then I just asked myself, what was going on in my thoughts, ie a bit of Mindfulness. This is where we stop thinking and live in the present.

I found my thoughts were going back to those things I could no longer put right, and those who hurt me. I decided then and there that all I had to do is forgive them and let the thoughts go. Again, its not about forgetting , the memories are still there, but they dont hurt me. I just learn from them.

The people who hurt us didnt even know they hurt us, and probably wouldnt care if they did. Not worth a thought. Not even a “STUFF 'EM”.

The one person we are sure wants us to be happy is ourself.

I was even happier as I left Starbucks with a couple more cinnamon swirls in my hand, for later.

PS this approach leaves an awful lot of space to think about the happy memories