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Feeling like I'm "less than"


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foreverhis

I'm not quite sure how to put this.  Sometimes when I'm reading posts by members whose losses were more recent than mine and they talk about looking for the bright side, finding positives, and doing much better, I feel like, "Well, there must be something wrong with me because I don't feel that way."  Even though I know our grief is unique to each of us, I still sometimes feel like I'm expected to be (and therefore, should expect myself to be) doing and feeling better.

I admit I'm not always down in the dark pit. I have had little glimmers of light over the past several months, but for the most part, life is still dark for me.  So then I start to wonder "What's wrong with me?  Why am I not happier now?"  It's been nearly 11 months and, after moving forward a bit earlier this year, I really haven't for the past 4 months or so.  I have a good support system of local newer friends who've really stepped up and a tiny circle of family and friends who are scattered 200 to more than 1000 miles away. They do help.  I have had good moments, hours even, but for the most part it's still just me missing the love of my life and wondering how soon I'll be allowed to join him.

It probably sounds dumb, but it's kind of like I've always thought of the way we talk about cancer.  Everyone is supposed to "be a fighter" and "look for the positive" and "be strong" and so on.  I've always thought that makes it seem like people who die must somehow be to blame. It's as if they didn't fight hard enough or have enough positive thoughts or something.  As if they are somehow "less than" the ones who recover/go into remission and so they didn't deserve to live.

I've come to believe that I've spent far too much time "putting on the brave face" and pretending to be much stronger than I am.  That is something I'm working on changing these days.  I've told people that I'm not going to wallow in a puddle all day, every day, but I'm also not going to pretend I'm "fine" because I'm not.  The pretense of acting as our uninformed, unenlightened society demands is exhausting me.  And I think it's actually making me feel worse.  So I'm trying to change my approach, regardless of society's expectations.

Anyway, does anyone else ever feel like they're seen as "less than" because of not progressing in a way that others or society in general expects?

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Well, Foreverhis, I am in the same place as you. Totally understand how you are feeling and life is dark for me too thirteen monnths without my soul mate.

I have run out of words to describe the pain.

But, every morning I wake up and go through it all again.

I have no intention of having treatment such as chemo and radiation should I be diagnosed and people can think what they will. I have seen my mother and my husband go through all that. I don't intend to. If you have people to live for, I understand why one would do it but when you have no one....???? Don't think so.

I am glad to hear that you are having some better times and moments. Hopefully they will become more frequent. That is all one can hope for.

By the way, I really don't like the way those of us who are suffering perhaps more than "normal"should be hidden away in a secret club so as not to upset others who are being positive. 

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KitchyBitty

Wow, foreverhis - there are so many parts of your post that I can relate to. It's been just over a year since my father died, and I still feel very depressed. Now that both of my parents are gone, I think about my own mortality all the time and wonder when/how my daughters will have to deal when I go. My sisters both seem to have moved on nicely, and I feel like I'm stuck. My sisters are both married, and I'm divorced, and living in a freshly emptied nest. I have supportive friends and family, but I feel like I've already talked this to death, and it's just not getting better. I, too, am sick and tired of pretending to be ok. 

tlc, I agree with you. I don't think this should be hidden away. Sometimes you just need to be able to say, "No, I'm not ok, thank you very much. Life sucks for me right now!" and know there are other people out there who completely understand.

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foreverhis
11 hours ago, tlc said:

If you have people to live for, I understand why one would do it

Even though I do have a daughter and granddaughter, as well as a small circle of family-friends, I too have no intention of having aggressive treatments of any kind should I be diagnosed with something fatal.  I plan to let nature take it's course, though with pain and other comfort medications because I'm not a masochist.

I'm changing my medical PoA and designating my sister-in-law (husband's sister) as my representative because I know she will follow my directives.  I adore our daughter, but fear she would have trouble letting go, especially because she's already lost her beloved dad.  He really was just the best dad a girl could hope to have.  We've always been close to my SIL, who took care of both their mother and her father-in-law through health crises and dementia.  I know she will put my desires first over our daughter's, her own thoughts, and anyone else's wishes.  She will fight for me if needed.  It's a strange comfort, but gives me some peace of mind.
 

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foreverhis

I don't mind so much having this circle here, but you have a point.  We're all grieving in our own way and at our own pace.  Separating those in "the dark pit" from others can be seen as a form of "less than" as if we're here so we don't bother other members.  Come to think of it, that's kind of what society does.  I suppose the question could be, "Why not put the positive thinkers in a separate circle too?" 

Still having read the last couple of increasingly angry interactions on the regular forum, I can live with a separate circle.  OTOH, as I recall, this circle was created because @HPB started a thread that he specifically asked be kept on topic of "the dark pit," but that was hijacked into "Why aren't you doing things differently?  You should be looking for the light and climbing out of the pit.  Here are things you should do instead of wallowing." etc.

I don't know.  There's really no perfect answer and I'd rather have this circle where we know we won't get the "cheer up" responses.

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ModKatB
13 hours ago, tlc said:

By the way, I really don't like the way those of us who are suffering perhaps more than "normal"should be hidden away in a secret club so as not to upset others who are being positive.

 

4 hours ago, KitchyBitty said:

tlc, I agree with you. I don't think this should be hidden away. Sometimes you just need to be able to say, "No, I'm not ok, thank you very much. Life sucks for me right now!" and know there are other people out there who completely understand.

I don't think that this was done so that it is hidden away. I think it was more of a way for those who are having a harder time dealing with things to have a place where the subject stays true to the feelings of darkness and the pain that lingers. Everyone is always welcome to post in any of the forums.

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Hi. I just discovered this site. Yes, I have felt "less than" because of not being able to meet society's expectations for grief. I moved away from my home town a few years ago, and it was the best decision I ever made. It was a small town near a big city. Most of the people I went to high school with still live there. Both of the guys I dated in high school died in tragic, unrelated ways. I felt like I was surrounded by people who either pitied me or looked down on me.

The first ex boyfriend died of cancer during my first year of college. The second ex boyfriend died of suicide less than two months after my wedding (my first marriage). The suicide was a big reason my marriage ended in divorce. It was "wrong" of me to be sad. But it wasn't a choice. 

I am in a much better place now, all around. But I do feel sad sometimes still. And I worry about judgement. I wish people could understand that there is no time limit on grief. And an "ex" boyfriend or girlfriend isn't always someone who did something deserving of hate. Sometimes break ups can be mutual. And there was a friendship, regardless of a romance. 

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