My baby brother died when I was 18 months old (he was 4 mos. old )

I have abandonment issues. My little brother died when I was 18 month old. He was only 4 months old. My father was away on a trip and my mom was caring for us. He got pneumonia and died. I have not been able to identify any other traumatic events in my first seven years. I suspect that at this time when I needed her there for me she became emotionally absent due to his death. Perhaps she blamed herself. Both of my parents are dead. There is no one I can ask.

How can I help myself heal from something that happened when I was too young to remember?

Comments for My baby brother died when I was 18 months old (he was 4 mos. old )

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Oct 19, 2012
I so relate
by: Anonymous

I so relate to your post. I was 3 when my baby brother died at 6 months. My mother had a nervous breakdown as a result and our family was never the same, though my father, a very kind and caring physician, hired a full time housekeeper to keep things seemingly normal, and he was a very hands on parent, I lost my brother and my mother at the same time. Having children of my own has caused me to realize what deep grief and fear is inside me. Once when my older son was a baby he kept making little noises at night as if he could not catch his breath. I became so distraught that i did not sleep for days. At all. Our pediatrician finally had a home health nurse hook him up to a monitor 24/7 for a few days, and I imagine he did this as much for me as he did it for him. I think these were the only days of his babyhood that i slept soundly, as I knew the monitor would alert me if he stopped breathing. My younger son was just in the hospital with pneumonia and for the first time in years I was grabbed by a paralyzing fear that he would die. I don't know if I will ever stop fearing for my children's lives. I was told by a kind counselor that people who lose siblings when they are young often have PTSD like symptoms for the rest of their lives---more so than even young children who lose a parent. The young child can relate to the child that died and may never feel safe again. This is especially true when a parent unravels as a result of the death. Anyway, you are not alone. I hope you are able to talk to someone and find some comfort.

Jun 16, 2012
Dealing with similar problem
by: Kristie

I read your post as I was researching this site for the same problem. My 17 year old daughter has abandonment problems because when she was 3 my son (her brother) was born with major medical problems. THe next 28 months I spent trying to keep him alive. When my daughter was 5 my son passed away. I was so worried that my daughters would have life long wounds from losing their brother so I thought I was making sure that did not happen. However, there are about 5 years after his death that I remember very little. I now suspect that I was emotionally unavailable to them. Because of my daughters young age it affected her the most. It has been devastating to me to see what my reaction to my sons death has caused to my daughter. I would do anything to go back and change it or fix it now. I am sure your parents felt the same way. They would hate that you are struggling due to their grief. I pray for you and daughter in hopes that we will all find peace from the traumatic event that happened early in your lives.

Sep 03, 2010
Deep wounds
by: Don


It must have been a terrible thing for your parents to go through. I suspect you are right, getting caught up in the grief of losing a child is so traumatic that it may take a parent out of commission for a while.

Unfortunately for you it resulted in pre-verbal developmental wounds that left scars that are so deep you have not been able to put them into words or understand them.

A course in counseling with a therapist that knows techniques for healing such developmental issues would likely be the only way to drill down deep enough to help put the puzzle together.

A therapist that knows gestalt techniques or transactional analysis would be a couple of examples of the kind of therapy that might help.

CBT and strait talk therapy are usually not suitable to going back to the root of these kinds of issues.

Keep coming back!

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