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Accountname2

Delayed grief

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Accountname2

Hello all,

 

I lost my dad when I was 12. He had cancer for five or six years and expectedly passed away, which helps, but still obviously the worst thing that can happen.

 

I was lucky enough to have a few solid male mentors in my life before and after my dads death, though where I’m from it’s admirable and expected to be “manly” and the “head of the house” no matter what age you are (small town Indiana). A few days before my dad’s death my uncle told me I was the man of the family now and I had to take care of my mom. What the literal ****? My mom always got mad at them for saying this.

 

But I tried listening to them and in my head to be the man was to not talk about what I was feeling, and also to not be a bother on my mom. I was very very quiet and never talked about my dad. EVER.

 

Middle school is almost always bad for almost everyone. But it was also torturous because of holding everything in. The things my mind did to deal with the non-talked about pain makes me cry and cry for the 13 year old me. The pain he went through...trying to be a good son.

 

Luckily I made friends later in middle school and high school. They carried me through. Luckily I inherited my dad’s and mom’s sense of humor. Humor helps with pain so so much. I overdid it on the jokes and took nothing seriously. Not a bad way to cope compared to drugs and alcohol.

 

I had no plans for my future. I just did. Not. Care. I picked my college because my best friend went there. I just didn’t think about things.

 

When I got to college, a couple hours from home, I kept picturing my mom dying to the point it was interrupting my classes. This was the first time I went to counseling and actually talked about my feelings.

 

The obsessive thoughts about my mom stopped and I kept going to counseling. It was great telling someone else my emotions (not my dad yet, of course). It helped a lot. I went to counseling on and off throughout college.

 

After college I saw a counselor for two and a half years. Much progress was made. She would occasionally talk about how I need to grieve my dad but I would say, “my dad died. I understand it. I don’t need to talk about it.” And she would kind of patiently shrug her shoulders.

 

I lost my insurance and had to stop seeing her. 6 months later I started seeing a grad student for 15 bucks a session. Long story short we got to the meat of it. Grief was triggered suddenly. Delayed grief is so weird. I thought and still sometimes think I’m going crazy. My mom, sister, and girlfriend have helped and have been necessary through this whole thing. It’s been three months since it was triggered and the waves are coming slower and slower.

 

But I just had a panic attack this morning at 5 am. I had stopped talking about it or acknowledging it. I just want it to be over. I want to stop hurting. I don’t feel as crazy but I do feel crazy sometimes. This pain is nearly unbearable.

 

I’ve read you’re supposed to embrace the pain but I just can’t most of the time. I ignore it hoping that I’m over it.

 

I feel more normal now around people. Not as anxious. Like a huge huge huge weight has been lifted and I can say what I’m really thinking. But when a wave hits. It hits.

 

I picked up Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking hoping it will help. I just finished It’s Ok to not be Ok and it helped a lot. That book helped me cry (which is hard to do even when I want to).

 

I’m going to keep on pushing on. I’m still terrified by the waves. I have to keep talking about it. I can’t let it bottle up anymore.

 

I feel like a grief forum is the one place you don’t have to apologize for length of a post. If you read this even an “i hear you” would help.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Grieving.com

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reader

Dear Accountname2,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Please know there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. And there is no fixed timeline. Different things work for different people. I know many people will identify with you. Losing a parent at such a young age is very hard. Keep taking it day by day and doing the best you can. 

We will be here to listen. I also wanted you to know I found these website helpful in processing my own grief:

What's Your Grief

Grief in Common

Grief Healing Blog

Tiny Buddha

Take care and please know we are all with you.

 

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Vincent F

As someone who is currently going through the delayed grief of my mother dying when I was 13, I hear you. 

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jeremyseeley

it happened to me too after my father passed the first year i thought i had this then it hit me very hard 

i'm with you brother

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Accountname2

Thanks for much reader, Vincent, and jeremyseeley. It helps knowing others are going through the same.

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