"Option B" by Cheryl Sandberg

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"Option B" by Cheryl Sandberg
« on: July 08, 2017, 11:17:29 AM »

 Loss is loss. We all struggle in life. It might be from tragedy, or from our own stupidy and confusion.

I am a widow- lost my beloved husband 3 1/2 years ago. So I am interested in grief and healing from trauma.
He died suddenly and it was traumatic and I was traumatized afterwards.
Recently I saw Cheryl Sandberg on tv talking about her book-"Option B". She talks about
the trauma of losing her husband to a sudden death.

I think what the authors Sandberg & her co-author, are trying to say in the title: 'OPTION B' is to try to look in other directions, to experiment and work on RESILIENCE,
 this way or the other, and not wait for perfect situations to come along.

Cheryl Sandberg talks about "post traumatic GROWTH". Below is a reader review of Cheryl's book from amazon.

 Maybe those most damaged by a trauma NEED to make sense of the experience, to give it meaning,
 Most trauma survivors  will say they have become better people. OR
 maybe those most affected are desperately trying to believe they are coping so well and so they state
 the opposite of "I'm not OK" { " I'M OK " }  to both convince themselves and others...?..

5 years before my husband died there was a firetorm in Southern Calif where we lived.
Our home and 1400 other homes burned-total loss!
 After the fire, we had hope that our life would return to normal and things would be "better" eventually
once we got a new home. Why - why were we so hopeful-? Because my husband and I still had each other & our dogs.
 We had love and support from friends and family.
We had good insurance and were able to make decisions and get the new home built.

 After losing my husband, I did not have ANY hope that my
life would get "better". I think [ 3 1/2 years later ] I have "recovered" as well as can be expected but my life now is
most definitely not "better" than the life I had with him. I'm living-you might even say I am
"thriving" because I am in good health and doing volunteer work !

Yes - Cheryl S. is right- we can all HEAL to some extent but MY life will never be "better" [ !!!]
much less the same!

My now ex narc bf and I broke up 3-4 times during our 15 month relationship that finally ended in May.
I ended it with him because I had lost all hope that we could ever have a healthy relationship
based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. Am I experiencing "post traumatic GROWTH" now
once again ? Perhaps. Time will tell.
book review

The smashing point of this book: All people can heal, and some people are even launched to a more meaningful place after experiencing trauma; clinical research shows how.

Growth is actually more common than the much better known and far better studied posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The challenge is to see the opportunity presented by seismic events. After trauma, people need hope. In the aftermath of the tragedy, people need to know there is something better.

Following a traumatic experience, most people experience a range of problems: Trouble sleeping, nightmares, agitation, flashbacks, emotional numbness, avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, anxiety, anger, guilt, hyper-vigilance, depression, isolation, suicidal tendencies, etc. Until recently the entire discussion of the human response to trauma ended with a summation of the hardships incurred by trauma. But as it turns out, a traumatic event is not simply a hardship to be overcome.

Instead, it is transformative.

Trauma survivors and their family and friends need to know there is another side to trauma. Strange as it may sound, half of all sufferers emerge from the trauma stronger, more focused, and with a new perspective on their future. In numerous studies, about half of all trauma survivors report positive changes as a result of their experience. Sometimes the changes are small (life has more meaning, or the survivor feels closer to loved ones) and other times they are massive, sending people on new career paths. The worst things that happen to us might put us on a path to the best things that will ever happen to us. A brush with trauma often pushes trauma survivors to face their own mortality and to find a more meaningful and fulfilling understanding of who they are and how they want to live.

To be clear, growth does not undo loss, and it does not eliminate adversity. Posttraumatic growth is not the same as an increase in well-being or a decrease in distress. And even for those who do experience growth, suffering is not mitigated in the aftermath of tragedy. Growth may make the pain meaningful and bearable, but it does not deny the hurt.

For decades, nearly all the psychological research into trauma and recovery has focused on the debilitating problems that people face, but Option B speaks of the paths people can take to heal from their experiences and discover new meaning in their lives.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 10:20:13 AM by Spring Butterfly »



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Re: Option B
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 12:36:09 PM »
I too am widowed from a sudden death.  I remarried fairly soon after my husbands death and was one of those that were pushing and avoiding grief.  I  became enmeshed in dysfunctional friendships.  I think people suffering from trauma are vulnerable to victimization from cluster B PDs.

My life isn't better than before just different but I'm happy and enjoying my life with my DD and DH.  I do feel much closer to my DH and DD than I did in my previous life. 

But  if anything the experience with PDs has taught me I need to learn and work on setting up appropriate boundaries in my life.  I haven't read the book but I'm building a small library for myself and I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for the review.



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Re: "Option B" by Cheryl Sandberg
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 06:48:59 PM »
This is interesting and I cannot help but think about two widows in our extended family, let alone myself who has been motherless from a young age.  Obviously I have little to go on in terms of a relationship with my mother -- and life likely would have been better if she had remained alive.  That being said, who knows how NF could have been with her in his life?  Maybe she was unhappy with him but was tied down with 3 children...

The two widows are PDmil and her sister.  Both lost their husbands in the span of a few years.  PDmil lost her husband first.  She has not found happiness since then.  Her health has declined.  She spends her days rooted in front of the TV and napping -- shooting down all suggestions for hobbies, activities, etc.  -- generally being waify and demanding that DH be her "fill in husband".  This behavior has taken a toll on all of us.  I don't like it and neither do our teens.  Part of my healing is to move on from the past and this is why it has been very painful to be around PDmil.  She is keeping us trapped when we are around her. 

The other widow is PDmil's sister.  She has made amazing strides to pick up with her life and carry on.  I am fascinated by her energy.  She radiates positivity -- something I have struggled with my whole life.  I don't know, maybe she cries at home -- but in public she is phenomenal. 

I think that both women were not the happiest in their marriages.  Lack of warmth and mostly they resided under the same roof as their husbands but did their own thing.  The Aunt seems to be breaking away from her past whereas PDmil is staying trapped there.  Death is a huge trauma but can be overcome.
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.