It IS difficult for the loved ones around us. At least he feels comfortable to express his frustration to you.
I don't know if anyone else feels this way (and correct me if I'm wrong), but in my life, I have found that if I'm not careful when I have a period where there are flashbacks and memories, it is VERY easy to fall into the trap of a vicious cycle. I find myself almost obsessing at times when this happens and it only serves to make the situation worse.
I have found that the best thing for me to do when this happens is to remind myself not to get caught into the cycle and that I have a choice now as an adult. I can't stop the memories and feelings, but I can certainly try and change my attitude about them and how to deal with them. I have also found that being productive and working serves as a wonderful "distraction" so that I'm not dwelling on what I'm going thru.
If I'm off for the summer and I need to do something I usually find someone else to help and that keeps me from obsessing. I guess the bottom line is that we have a choice as to what to do with these feelings - we can allow ourselves to get caught up into the "frenzy" as I call it, or constantly remind ourselves that we ARE adults and we DO have choices at this time in our lives. As I said, it doesn't change the fact that things will pop up at the most inopportune moments, but I certainly can get some control over my reaction.
Richard Bandler (one of the "fathers" of NLP) once said: "There are no unresolved issues in life; they just weren't resolved the way we had hoped." If that ain't the truth! Things are resolved, but just not to our liking. It's all about how we look at things.
Am I saying this is easy? Not at all. When I am fighting feelings, fears and then physical pain rears its ugly head, I get despondent to the point that I really wonder why I'm living (don't worry - no suicide)... I wonder what purpose I'm serving here and do I have another 40 or 50 years of this **ap to look forward to? But that's where the self-talk comes into play along with a little bit of distraction. Sometimes we have to search really hard for the good things in life because we have hidden them from our own eyes with the blinders of ignorance and fear.
Fear and worry are SO unproductive! My father used to say, "Worry is like a rocking chair: you can do a helluva lot of gyrating but you don't get anyplace." Then I think, why should I worry about the future? It's already written so worrying about it is not going to change things. The same can be said about the past. So that means I need to live in the here and now and take an active role in shaping what my life WILL be.
Anthony Robbins says that all of our emotions are simply products of our minds - of our imaginations. We can sometimes take the most innocent of situations and twist them out of proportion so that they are something completely different in our minds. For example: let's say that a friend of mine hasn't called in ages. I've called and left messages and done everything possible to get him to call back. No response- I start thinking, "Did I do something wrong?" or "Who the hell does he think he is - how rude to not return my calls! I've always known that there was something that I didn't like about him."
Then we discover that the friend has been in the hospital in a coma for weeks from an auto accident. In our minds we have built up a picture of this uncaring SOB who has abondoned a long-standing friendship. I have successfully built an entire scenario in my head and decided the motives of the other person based on my own insecurities and fears.
So, with that bit of wisdom, "grasshopper", remember that things will always work themselves out. We have a TINY bit of control over them and it's up to us what we choose to do when life throws a brick at our faces.
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"