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Mica

How do you live with it?

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Mica   

My boyfriend died in November.

I still feel like im waiting for him to come back. I'm sort of moving along a lot of times and I know I can live, and even laugh, without him but i dont always know if i  want to... or how I can do this long term.

His mom found a ring when she was going through his things. I can't imagine ever feeling as loved or accepted or comfortable with anyone else ever or loving anyone else like that, nor do I want to.

I don't really know what I believe about after death but I know he isn't here with me and sometimes I wonder if I'd be there with him.

 I don't know if this is the right place to post or not. Or if it's okay to say that but I'm afraid to tell someone in real life because I don't want to worry people.

I need him to come back. People keep telling me it gets easier but I can't see how. I don't know how to do this.

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Tim   

How do you deal with it? You take on only one day at a time. Don't think about tomorrow, just make it through today. Sometimes I had to break it down smaller that that and just make it through an hour at a time. 

Write him letters. Make a scrapbook full of memories you shared with him. Join a local bereavement group, you will meet friends who can relate. 

It does get easier and the pain does heal. 

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Mica   

Thanks. I'm having such a hard time with everything and with the exception of the night after his funeral and last night I've only had nightmares about trying to find him or what happened. (The other two were actually nice, we're hanging out in dreamland kind of things) so it's like I can't even escape from the pain in my sleep. 

I will try those things. I do have a therapist and I'm looking for a support group. I've been putting that off a bit, im not really sure why.

It was weird when I got the email notification for your reply. His name is also Tim and for a minute I got really confused. :-/

 

I know what happened wasn't my fault but I still feel like i failed. We met in recovery and he'd struggled to stay clean but was doing really well. He was supposed to come over after that night after a friend helped with some stuff at his dad's house... that "friend" ended up helping him to relapse and he died.

 Sometimes I wish he had taken me with him. Or I could go now. But I'm stuck here.  I just feel really lost. 

I'll try the things you suggested

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KayC   

Even17,

As Tim suggested, one day at a time...or hour or minute, but try not to think about "the rest of your life", it's too much to take on.  Today is enough.

You can make it through this, if I can, anyone can.  I wanted to drive my car 120 miles per hour into a tree, but I knew that wouldn't be right to those who love me.  I didn't want to live without him.  I didn't see how I could, how it was possible.  But I have.  Our bodies are amazing at healing and survival, I think it must be one of those innate instincts.  

I believe in life after death.  So many people have died on the operating table, and been brought back, and their recounting their experience is amazingly similar.  I don't believe we just cease to exist, only our physical bodies die.  I believe with all my heart we'll be together again.  I know one thing for sure, our love didn't die the day his body gave out.  It continues still, it's like there's a veil between us but we both still exist.  So I continue on faith, the same way our relationship began.

It's common to feel responsible for their death...we run the last day over and over through our head, asking ourselves what we could have done differently, something, anything to have a different outcome!  But the truth is we all did our best with the knowledge we had at the time, and that's all any of us can do.  There's no resounding answers, hollowness returns it's reply.  But we continue.  We learn, we adjust, we cope, little by little...so little it seems imperceptible.  But after a while we look back and can see some strides we've made, things we didn't notice at the time.  The missing them continues but we learn to coexist with grief.  We learn to smile and not feel guilty for it...after all, it is not our anguish that holds us to them, it is our love.

The big joy in my life, George, is gone, but there are still small joys I have learned to appreciate.  Someone calling, a rainbow, a puppy's kiss, an act of kindness, these are the things that we learn to appreciate.  I've learned to live in the moment and fully appreciate, an art that takes effort but we get better at it with practice.  One day at a time.

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Mica   

Thank you, kayc. 

As I said, I'm not sure what I believe, and what worked in the past when my grandparents died or other friends who I wasn't as close to, doesn't work now. It's not good enough.

Your thoughts on your beliefs were comforting.  My therapist had said similar things about her beliefs from her 'scientific' perspective of what makes sense to her (more or less her words).  

 

I find myself being kind of okay and m9ving along and then realizing he's gone again and it's like it all hits again. I just keep thinking how he needs to come back now. I still feel like he has to come back. 

I watched a show where a guy is delusional and hallucinating people and It makes me jealous.  I wish I could have some sort of minor psychotic break and believe I could still see and feel him. But I can't make that happen. How crazy does that sound

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Even17, 

I assume that when you say his mother found a ring that you are talking about an engagement ring. And if it is that, then I am so, so sorry for the situation you find yourself in. 

I lost my fiance just over a year ago, and at the time he was 'technically' (I hate using that phrase because he was always more than my boyfriend) my boyfriend. An engagement ring he had purchased prior to his death arrived exactly a month after his passing.
I know that for myself, it was extremely bittersweet. It was a wonderful way to know that he truly did want to marry me. It was another to realize that that would never happen, let alone that he would be able to give me the ring himself.

I hope his mother you keep it. I know that my ring has become a great source of comfort to me over the past year.  

Please keep in mind that any of the emotions you are feeling or the thoughts you are having currently are completely natural and valid. You've lost a significant part of your life and it is going to be some time before things start making sense again. 

Please keep reaching out to us on here, and make sure you have someone to talk to. 

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KayC   

Even17,

I hope his mom let you have the ring as well, it was intended for you and I would think, like clarribassist said, it'd be of great comfort to you, a symbol of how he felt about you, although bittersweet now.

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Mica   

Thank you. 

She did let me keep it. She gave it to me when we met for coffee before Christmas.

I am glad to have it but, as you say, it's bittersweet.

I find myself resenting my friends who are in relationships or recently engaged/married. I feel badly for resenting their happiness and feeling so alone again without him and not understanding why. We were supposed to do so many things still. 

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KMB   

Even17, Sorry for your loss, you are in pain and I know how devastated and alone you must feel. It's very touching you have your ring that your boyfriend must have been thinking of giving you for Christmas, maybe? His mom was so loving to give it to you.Speaks volumes for the loving son she raised. All of what you are feeling is completely normal---the emotions will bounce around for a long time. You are so young for having to deal with this kind of loss and I am sorry. I hope down the road, you will find that you are getting stronger. Try to stay connected to his mom, family and friends, they are grieving also and you'll find much comfort with a support system. Hugs to you.

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Emeliza   

The bitterness and anger at others happiness is normal, though it sucks.  It can come on strong and out of no where.  For me, to cope, I try to think of how I know if I stay bitter, my husband wouldn't like that.  He didn't want me to get old and bitter so I am going to try not to.  

I went to a weddin reception about 3 weeks after my husband passed and it was awful, so I do recommend skipping those events for awhile, but don't skip everything.  It is hard and you might not want to go out, but it was healing for me (several months after his death).  I know my tendency would be to hermit so I am working hard not to.

Best wishes

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KayC   

It is hard watching everyone get their spouses and lives while ours was cut short abruptly.  I tried to keep in mind that they are enjoying their lives right now but it's short lived for all of us, we just don't know when...it helps me have more empathy for those that have theirs now.

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On 1/2/2017 at 2:08 PM, Even17 said:

Thank you. 

She did let me keep it. She gave it to me when we met for coffee before Christmas.

I am glad to have it but, as you say, it's bittersweet.

I find myself resenting my friends who are in relationships or recently engaged/married. I feel badly for resenting their happiness and feeling so alone again without him and not understanding why. We were supposed to do so many things still. 

 

You are going to resent your friends for a while, and that is okay. You don't resent them or their happiness, you resent that you lost that chance with the person you love. I've had 5 different friends get married this year, and each wedding is difficult in its own right. Like Emeliza said, you might want to skip anything like that for a while. 

You are going to resent a lot of things for a long time, and that is okay as well. Just be sure that you have someone to talk to about all of that. Holding it all inside will definitely make things worse. 

Yeah, the ring is bittersweet. There will be days you are hardly stand to look at it and other days where you can't tear your eyes away. 
Are you wearing the ring at all?

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Mica   

Ive hardly taken it off.

 

On 1/2/2017 at 7:20 PM, Emeliza said:

 I know my tendency would be to hermit so I am working hard not to.

I'm having a hard time with that too. I'm trying to make myself still see people or talk to people. It's just so much easier to hide

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KayC   

claribassist' post is so spot on, you can tell she's been through it and understands.  It is easy to succumb to holing up, it's good to force ourselves out a bit just to maintain a bit of balance, but other than that, do what feels comfortable to you, get through this your way.

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Mica   

thank you everyone for your replies. it has been really helpful, and having somewhere to talk. I'm not good at being open to people about certain emotions and thoughts, especially as it moves further away from the event, or its not as much of a "crisis" feeling. I start to feel like I'm being dramatic or attention seeking? or should "be over it"... partly i guess because everyone else kind of moves on (aside from the family, obviously, but the people in my daily life). This is a feeling/thought I've dealt with in general, dealing with mental health issues since i was a teenager, but i always thought that if there was a real trigger for it my feelings would feel valid. 

I have a lot of support from people, friends, family, even people i only know in passing who knew him or i knew years ago that have reached out or check in on me, and people at work check in on me, but I have a hard time using those resources. I have a couple friends i feel comfortable just going to their place and being there when i cant be alone, and a couple i feel okay being a little more open about what im thinking, but its hard, especially in person. 

I learned when i was in middle school that it was easier to share more anonymously, and in writing (I had joined one for mental health issues). It seems that now, 15 years later, that;s still true.

 

I'm back at work this week (I had off the week between Christmas and new years) I have a fairly mindless job (typing a lot) and sometimes its hard not to let my mind wander to him. Especially since some of the things I type remind me of him. On the one hand its probably good to be productive and distracted but on the other...its still hard to focus sometimes, but i know I'm expected to be back at my best after the break and so much time has passed.

The nightmares seem to have gone for the moist part and now i keep dreaming that i find him and its all a mistake and he's really okay somewhere, or maybe not "okay" but alive and we can make him okay. but then i wake up. i know "fair" is a word for childhood games but... its just not fair.

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Mica   

Just so anyone knows, and to avoid any confusion, I changed my username from Even17 to Mica, partly because I think a couple people before have thought i was 17  (i'm fairly young, but not quite that young, oh my.) 

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Emeliza   

Thanks for the explanation with the name.  I should have figured that out, but I was confused for a minute.

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On 1/3/2017 at 7:08 PM, Mica said:

Ive hardly taken it off.

2

I'm glad to hear it. I cannot speak for you, of course, but I know that mine has become such a source of comfort for me. I feel rather naked without it now. 

6 hours ago, Mica said:

thank you everyone for your replies. it has been really helpful, and having somewhere to talk. I'm not good at being open to people about certain emotions and thoughts, especially as it moves further away from the event, or its not as much of a "crisis" feeling. I start to feel like I'm being dramatic or attention seeking? or should "be over it"... partly i guess because everyone else kind of moves on (aside from the family, obviously, but the people in my daily life). This is a feeling/thought I've dealt with in general, dealing with mental health issues since i was a teenager, but i always thought that if there was a real trigger for it my feelings would feel valid. 

I'm back at work this week (I had off the week between Christmas and new years) I have a fairly mindless job (typing a lot) and sometimes its hard not to let my mind wander to him. Especially since some of the things I type remind me of him. On the one hand its probably good to be productive and distracted but on the other...its still hard to focus sometimes, but i know I'm expected to be back at my best after the break and so much time has passed.

13

Opening up to anyone about these emotions is difficult, especially for situations like ours. People tend to judge us by our titles and they will expect us to move on quickly. 
Don't give into that, and don't feel as though you are being "dramatic" or "attention-seeking". Your loss is significant, and would not be made any more significant if the two of you were engaged or married. 

You are probably feeling numb right now. You are probably going to feel variations of that for a while. When the four-month mark comes around, you'll experience something different. 
You don't need a "trigger" for your feelings to be valid. You have suffered a devastating loss in your life, and that is reason enough for any of the emotions you feel for the next couple of years. 

Work can be good, but you have to ensure that you are doing what you must, to take care of yourself. If you haven't talked to your employer yet, I would do so. They don't need to know all of it, but they need to know enough to be able to help you when you need it. 
Keep making sure that you take all the support you need. You deserve nothing less. 

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KayC   
19 hours ago, Mica said:

I start to feel like I'm being dramatic or attention seeking? or should "be over it"

Nope!  Society (that doesn't get it) might think we need to "move on" but that's not true or reality.  We NEVER "move on" from our grief!  We continue to miss them the rest of our lives!  The trick is in learning to live with it...we hone our coping skills and little by little we adjust to the changes this means for us.  We learn to continue with our lives but it's so altered it will never be the same again.  It is quite a lengthy process and it takes more time and effort than we could ever realize in the beginning.  As we are adjusting and making some progress with this, it is so small as to seem imperceptible, but it's happening all the same.

No way is this attention seeking!  This is very real, unfortunately.  I liken it to brain trauma.  No one would be dismissive of us if we suffered brain trauma, no one would expect us to be "over it" in a relatively short span of time, yet our brains have taken a hit and this is no easy feat to make our way through.  Be patient and understanding of yourself.

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Mica   

Thank you. I forget if im repeating myself, but its comforting(?) to have  "permission" for how im feeling still. It;s like, logically i know one thing (that its okay, "normal", still actually pretty early) and i can see what i would tell another person in this situation if the roles were reversed (and i have been on the other side, comforting someone who has lost a loved one)... but then emotionally, i tell myself something different, or have different standards or perceptions... and i'm not sure how much of what i think others are expecting is accurate and thow much is me being hard on myself and projecting. 

I mean, there's definitely the pressure from outside, like with work. thats real. (Although i did tell my boss that while i'm fucntion better, especitally during the day when im busy and distracted) i still have hard moments and dont always know when they'll hit. i told him (via email) i joined this site and that i might sometimes post here during the day if i had a particularly hard moment, for the extra support, and i would try to keep it minimla and not let it interfere with productivity, but i wanted to keep him in the loop in case he saw me on an unusual website.  I told him he didnt need to respond, and he didnt, which in my-boss-language = acceptance.)

but i also feel weird socially, like i shouldnt talk about it too much because i dont want it to start defining me. right now i dont really want to talk about it all the time, but when people ask how i am, or if i get emotional when im with someone, i feel more like i need to suppress it than i did in the beginning. (I've mostly been just seeing close friends though, sort of for that reason so that kind of helps i guess). I'm sure people/friends of any closeness would understand (because i know i would if it was flipped) so its probably my aversion to being publicly  emotional in general, but i FEEL like i'll be judged? i'll annoy them? i'll depress them? I dont know exactly. 

Again, i know i'd tell you, or anyone else, **** what they feel about it, youre entitled to how you feel and if they dont understand that's their problem not yours,  it's their job to take care of their own needs. you take care of yours., etc. ButI guess im so used to being the caretaker its hard not to constantly worry about how i'm effecting them, and let them support me, even if half the reason we;re talking/getting together at that moment is because they care about me. 

again, thank you. Hearing those things (that it's okay to feel like this, etc.) from outside helps immensely with combating my inner monologue. and the more i hear it the better. It also helps me get past the wall i've found myself wanting to start building of keeping it to myself so i dont "bother" anyone else. 

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KMB   

Mica, We are listening. I'm sorry you feel the need to have permission to feel your feelings. They are YOUR feelings. You have the right as a human to express those feelings. You are dealing with a traumatic loss. If you kept those feelings bottled up, you would be doing you body and mind huge harm in the long term.

It was a step for you in notifying your boss about going on this forum when you are having a difficult time. He understands and there is gratefulness in that.

You should not feel weird socially. Do not worry about how others are going to perceive you. Judging you, annoying or depressing them? Please do not have assumptions on what others may or may not be thinking. Most people have compassion and empathy, but just do not not know how to express it in a more accepting manner.

Your grieving is going to define you. How can it not? The loss of your boyfriend, the loss of a future with him, it is going to affect you. Your loss has already changed you and your life. Now, you are on that journey of finding yourself again, coexisting with your pain and building a new life. Don't think of yourself as *bothering* people or building a wall around yourself. We, as humans, need others and social interaction.  Keep your chin up, Mica. You are doing well.

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Francine   

Mica,

I'm so sorry for your lost - but know that what you two had will always be.  I too lost the love of my life and we were together more than 45 years - and I still loved him as much or more than when we first met.  You mentioned you didn't know how to do this - for his sake and yours, you can, you must and you will.   You also mentioned that you didn't know if you believed in after death.  I do!  This couldn't be all there is, right?  This world is full of strife, pain, death, hurt and sorrow - there's got to be more, don't you think?  I know there is because God promised there was - and he is the truth and the light.

You indicated you wanted him to come back - guess what, he's never left.  Your love is still here - only he's in spirit form - and you're in earthly form.  That's why you don't see him - but believe me, he's there.  It's gonna take a long time for you to get past the hurt and sorrow, but I pray that God gives you his peace, love and strength.  He will if only you ask and keep you heart open to him.  

Once your earthly task is finish on this earth, your spirit will be reunited with his in eternity.  Imagine eternity - that's gonna be awesome.  God bless you and keep you safe.  

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KayC   

I agree with what's been said...try not to worry about what others think.  What, others that haven't been through this so don't have a clue what it's like?  Why concern yourself with their opinions about it?

Francine is right, our love continues even if our interaction has been disrupted.  I still talk to my husband, think about him all the time and miss him continually.  But I've learned to coexist with my grief, it's always there, even when I have good moments.  I've adjusted to this new life, even though I can't say I like it.  I'd give anything to have him back, but that's not an option. :(  It does take a long time to process our grief.

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