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Everything I learned in kindergarten I’ve forgotten


Vivace50494

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Apparently, everything I learned as a child I’ve either forgotten or was taught wrong.  This horrible, lonely, painful, hopeless, unbearable journey I now find myself on has been made even worse by lost manners and lost friends.   It has been six weeks since my best friend and love Patrick died.   According to almost everyone I encounter ( granted, that isn’t many), I should be well on my way to recovery.  Translation:  no crying, no complaining, and no negative Christmas spirit.   There have been many posts about this period of time in the grieving process and how support and interaction fade away but it doesn’t lessen the hurt.   I have tried to reach out repeatedly.  I have shared how much I’m hurting still and no one seems to get it.  When I was in kindergarten I knew how to make friends but I can’t seem to remember how now.  I pray for just one person who I can share interests with, someone who I can talk to r gularly, someone who cares enough about me to check in on me or share their days events with me.   I panic when I think of the rest of my life without Patrick.  I don’t know what to do.   I was taught to care for and support others-especially after a tragic event.  I don’t know.  Am I wrong about this too?   Everything is such a confusing mess. 

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Moment2moment

Well, you have pretty much summed up my experience in a nutshell with people too. I felt like a leper when I was a caregiver for 3 years and I am really one now as well.

Like you, I did a lot of "reaching out" to a select few close people, but was reflecting on it this morning as to how no one reached out to me. If I didn't call them then I heard from no one. 

Granted some of them have their own hands full dealing with issues. My best friend has a husband with Alzheimers and the walls are crushing her daily.  She has a full plate, as they say. Every one has their own lives and struggles, so that is part of it. But not all of it. 

The rest don't get what I am going through and really I have quit expecting anything from them, including her family.

I figure after all the years of her illness and hospitalizations and they sent not one card, not one flower, not one phone call, text, or visit  then they sure aren't going to care about what I am going through.

I have had 7 months to accept this and really I don't think it is atypical according to what others have shared here and on other forums.

This kind of coldness from people is not the way I grew up and not what one would expect from others, but I experienced it too.

I have decided to quit reaching out to others. The phone runs two ways. If I never hear from them again then there is no real loss. 

I too have to figure out how to make new friends but I don't want them to know of me as "bereaved". I feel like that sets up a "shun" factor.

Don't want anybody feeling sorry for me or avoiding me because they don't know what to say.

Sounds crazy but it is how I feel.

I hang with my dogs mostly. They love me no matter what and we just enjoy what we can. I talk to my love daily too and know that we will be together eventually.

I am no longer expecting anything from anyone else. It is easier that way. No disappointment, no pressure.

End of ramble. Suffice it to say you are not alone in your experience.

I am thinking about some new ways to make friends such as volunteering with a dog rescue group, taking some photography classes,  joining a cycling group, etc.

I am not ready for those yet but I am investigating ways to be connected to others in the future.

Small steps. Right now I am focusing on self care for my physical and mental health. A lot of naps, walks, better eating habits, puppy kisses.

I wish you well and pray for your strength daily. Glad you came back here. We were worried about you!

 

Peace-

Lily Bell

 

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16 hours ago, Vivace50494 said:

According to almost everyone I encounter ( granted, that isn’t many), I should be well on my way to recovery.

According to my mentor and grief counselor from another site, Marty Tousley, "should" should be removed from the vocabulary.  No one can tell you where you "should" be on your journey, nor how you "should" do it.  Your journey is unique and is yours alone to deal with.  I want to swear when people pull this crap, I'm sorry, it infuriates me!  I feel so much protectiveness towards others who are grieving, I can't handle other people's ignorance, and that's what it boils down to!  Let's just say, they are damned lucky they don't have me there to overhear them when they say this stuff!  I'd give them a tongue lashing!  And you know what they say about people who give a piece of their mind (me)...they can least spare it!  :)

I, too, had people who said stupid ignorant things.  And chalk it up to that...stupid, ignorant.  That's all it is.  They haven't been through this, they don't get it.  Once in a while you encounter someone  who HAS been widowed that says these things, but keep in mind, not everyone's loss is the same, because not everyone's relationship is the same!  

You are right where you can be expected to be.  And you may be here a good long while.  You see, grief has a beginning, but it does not have an ending!  It is the rest of our lives.  No expiration date!  But the good news is it does not stay the same (thank God, we couldn't handle it if it did), it evolves continually, even as we are learning and adjusting, but our coping mechanisms are all different, our resilience is unique, just as our loss is, so no one can predict:  "Oh they're at six months, they should be thus and such!  Or they are at 12 months, by now they should...blah blah blah."  And that's all their predictions are: blah blah blah.  And you have my permission to print this out and show them.  Tell them I lead a grief support group and although I don't have a degree in it, I have been studying grief and loss for 13 years!  I have been on these websites and read the articles and books for THIRTEEN years!  Every morning for several hours!  I've read your story, the others' stories, and countless others as well.  And you get the picture after reading so many.  I doubt many of them get up at 4 am every day to come to a grief site to read each and every post and respond.  I doubt they study the subject.  Their advice is what they paid for it.

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Six weeks and people are telling you that you should be "recovering"?!?  At six weeks, I could barely breathe and couldn't function, much less start some kind of mandated recovery period.  It's been a bit more than five months and I am still having trouble with day to day activities.  I often feel as though I'm stuck in quicksand, screaming inside, and nearly everyone is walking around me, going on with their lives.  I am lucky though to have a very small, but very tight circle that helps me.  They reach out to me and I reach out to them.  But most people?  Forget it.  I have no emotional strength and no interest in dealing with anyone else, especially inconsiderate jerks who have no clue what it's like, but who will be happy to tell me what I "should" or "should not" be doing.  No, you are not wrong and you were not taught wrong.  Unfortunately, it's others who have forgotten the things they learned (or should have learned) along the way.

It seems like just about everyone here has experienced the 6 to 8 weeks after "drop off" of people calling, emailing, and just checking in.  I've mentioned before that I think our society sucks at handling death.  We're so terrified of it that we need to pretend everything is fine, normal, typical, or whatever as soon as possible.  That makes people like us who have experienced extreme loss seem like pariahs in people's eyes because we are (1) a nasty reminder that it can happen to anyone and (2) some sort of bad luck charm.  They don't understand; they just know they don't want to have to deal with all it entails.  I agree that knowing it's a common thing doesn't lessen the pain of feeling abandoned.  It will take time for you to figure out what is best for you.  Don't force yourself to try to make new friends right now, but do leave yourself open to the possibility.  Just like when we were kids, you may find a friend when you least expect it.

Maybe we all need reminders from kindergarten.  The days when we really started learning to care about other people, when we learned about compassion and understanding.  I used to be pretty good at making friends, but that gets harder as I get older.  In part, it's because my husband and I both had/have disabling medical conditions, first him and then me a few years later.  In part it's also because we were each other's best friends and support system.  We were our own little world inside the big world out there.  We lost many people we thought were friends because they could not handle the changes in our circumstances.  Now it's even worse.  But again, I realize that knowing this is common does not make anything better for you right now.

I talk to my love many times a day to ask for advice or forgiveness or to tell him something or just to remind him how much I love him and that I am still his and he is still mine.  It's times like now that I think most people hope there is something more, that wherever or whatever that something more is that it is a good place to be with our loved ones there for us.  I know I need to believe that now.  Even though my hubby and I were no longer part of any organized religion, we still had faith in each other and in the idea of a collective whole.  We do not "worship" any specific concept, but do believe that there are things we don't know, things we might never know.

Please believe me when I tell you that you are not alone in being so alone.  Looking down the road is the hardest, most frightening thing I've ever faced.  There are days I wonder how I'm going to make it.  When you feel yourself start to panic and if you find it helps, let out your feelings by talking to your Patrick, even if what you need to let out is anger, because who else do we turn to when we need support and understanding but our best friend?

It's okay to be angry at selfish, thoughtless people.  Don't rush yourself through your grief.  Take whatever time and energy you need to figure out ways to cope.  What you need will be unique to you.  I can offer you sympathy and even empathy, and I do.  I can tell you that you are not "supposed" be anything that someone else tells you to be now.  I can tell you that the members here have been an amazing new support system because everyone here "gets" it, each in his or her own way.  I am so very sorry you have to deal with additional pain because of idiots who I visualize slapping--hard.  Please take care of yourself and come here to "scream" and ask for help or advice whenever you need it.

Big hugs go out to you.

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Moment2moment
8 hours ago, foreverhis said:

Six weeks and people are telling you that you should be "recovering"?!?  At six weeks, I could barely breathe and couldn't function, much less start some kind of mandated recovery period.  It's been a bit more than five months and I am still having trouble with day to day activities.  I often feel as though I'm stuck in quicksand, screaming inside, and nearly everyone is walking around me, going on with their lives.  I am lucky though to have a very small, but very tight circle that helps me.  They reach out to me and I reach out to them.  But most people?  Forget it.  I have no emotional strength and no interest in dealing with anyone else, especially inconsiderate jerks who have no clue what it's like, but who will be happy to tell me what I "should" or "should not" be doing.  No, you are not wrong and you were not taught wrong.  Unfortunately, it's others who have forgotten the things they learned (or should have learned) along the way.

It seems like just about everyone here has experienced the 6 to 8 weeks after "drop off" of people calling, emailing, and just checking in.  I've mentioned before that I think our society sucks at handling death.  We're so terrified of it that we need to pretend everything is fine, normal, typical, or whatever as soon as possible.  That makes people like us who have experienced extreme loss seem like pariahs in people's eyes because we are (1) a nasty reminder that it can happen to anyone and (2) some sort of bad luck charm.  They don't understand; they just know they don't want to have to deal with all it entails.  I agree that knowing it's a common thing doesn't lessen the pain of feeling abandoned.  It will take time for you to figure out what is best for you.  Don't force yourself to try to make new friends right now, but do leave yourself open to the possibility.  Just like when we were kids, you may find a friend when you least expect it.

Maybe we all need reminders from kindergarten.  The days when we really started learning to care about other people, when we learned about compassion and understanding.  I used to be pretty good at making friends, but that gets harder as I get older.  In part, it's because my husband and I both had/have disabling medical conditions, first him and then me a few years later.  In part it's also because we were each other's best friends and support system.  We were our own little world inside the big world out there.  We lost many people we thought were friends because they could not handle the changes in our circumstances.  Now it's even worse.  But again, I realize that knowing this is common does not make anything better for you right now.

I talk to my love many times a day to ask for advice or forgiveness or to tell him something or just to remind him how much I love him and that I am still his and he is still mine.  It's times like now that I think most people hope there is something more, that wherever or whatever that something more is that it is a good place to be with our loved ones there for us.  I know I need to believe that now.  Even though my hubby and I were no longer part of any organized religion, we still had faith in each other and in the idea of a collective whole.  We do not "worship" any specific concept, but do believe that there are things we don't know, things we might never know.

Please believe me when I tell you that you are not alone in being so alone.  Looking down the road is the hardest, most frightening thing I've ever faced.  There are days I wonder how I'm going to make it.  When you feel yourself start to panic and if you find it helps, let out your feelings by talking to your Patrick, even if what you need to let out is anger, because who else do we turn to when we need support and understanding but our best friend?

It's okay to be angry at selfish, thoughtless people.  Don't rush yourself through your grief.  Take whatever time and energy you need to figure out ways to cope.  What you need will be unique to you.  I can offer you sympathy and even empathy, and I do.  I can tell you that you are not "supposed" be anything that someone else tells you to be now.  I can tell you that the members here have been an amazing new support system because everyone here "gets" it, each in his or her own way.  I am so very sorry you have to deal with additional pain because of idiots who I visualize slapping--hard.  Please take care of yourself and come here to "scream" and ask for help or advice whenever you need it.

Big hugs go out to you.

Words right out of my own brain! And I just got tired of dealing with these clueless people and have retreated from them.

I talk to my honey all the time and, really, I feel myself just in a "waiting mode" on this earth until we are together again on the same plane.

Meanwhile I rescue dogs and try to enjoy the good in the world and shun the bad. No one but me and my 4 leggeds and the spirit of my soul mate.

We too had created our own version of reality and I intend to continue living in it because nothing else means anything else to me. Days, weeks, months, years...however long I have to wait to be with her again.

Waiting is my new reality.

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btsbp1979@yahoo.com

I thought I was out here alone. I am sorry people think it is easy to just be happy and move on because life doesn't stop. But it did stop and everyday I feel like I cant breathe still. And I just cry when anyone takes a chance to notice then  I get the lecture of starting counciling  I don't need them to  feel bad for me but some empathy would be so appreciated. Ii want to make new friends  go out to movies  or dinner  but they don't make playgrounds for grown people and the bar is not my thing.

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I am going through this too - it's almost 3 months and I guess that is enough time for me to have gotten over losing my husband. I avoid the people who think that and only deal with them when it is absolutely necessary. I don't think most people know how to deal with grief and losing a loved one - and to be honest, the loss that we are feeling is not the same to them. They didn't share every day with our husband/wife/partner. They don't have years of memories with them. And I think that talking about death just makes people uncomfortable - they don't know what to say or they don't want to upset us so they just don't talk about the person who has passed . This upsets me more than talking about Bob - I WANT to hear stories or memories or someone tell me - ya know what? I miss him too. Our culture is screwed up in its approach to grief and mourning. We should be like elephants and all gather around and make a lot of noise and stomp and let our emotions out - and then celebrate the life that has gone on. Grieving in Mexico becomes a big, months long party, celebrating the life and that the person is on the Great Adventure now. 

Take it a day at a time. Don't sit and torture yourself with thinking about the future without Patrick. None of us knows what the future holds and trying to anticipate it doesn't help anything right NOW. 

Is there a grief support group in your area? Any kind of counseling? Maybe just talking to someone who has experience with what you are going through would help you. I have a close friend whose husband passed away six years ago and she is a huge help to me. There is no set time limit for grief. It all depends on your relationship and the circumstances regarding your loved one's passing. For some people, not seeing their partner suffering or in pain any more is a relief - that doesn't mean that they don't love them or miss them, but they are also not being tortured with watching them suffer and not being able to do anything to help them. Some people who have lost someone suddenly are still in shock and disbelief. Even though Bob and I were aware that, short of a miracle, he wasn't going to beat his cancer, it still snuck up on us - for which I'm grateful for Bob, so he was able to live his life to the fullest for as long as he could and didn't suffer and linger. But there are days when I still can't believe that he is gone - especially when I come across a photo of him looking so healthy and happy - he tried so hard the last month to stay happy but he was in a lot of pain and so tired. 

Try to let lots of love from Patrick carry you along right now. Sending big hugs and some healing good wishes to you. 

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Oh my gosh, I wish I could take you all into a big ole virtual hug!!  We all seem to experience some real similar things, mainly people fading out of our lives when we really need them so incredibly bad but don't know how to ask or even what to ask.  You are going to find that people just don't know how to handle us unless they have lost a significant other themselves.  This is unlike any death you will experience.  Not only do we loose our partner but we loose our future, we loose our sense of self because so much of our self is intertwined with our partner.  It is almost like someone rips you in half and now you have to function with half a body.  No one is going to understand that except for the WIDOW.  You may be lucky and have a super empathetic friend who feels your pain and sticks with you but for the most part everyone is at a complete loss as to what to do for us.  People who don't know what to do say stupid stuff too.  Mainly because they just don't know any better.  I think surrounding yourself with people who are widowed, like in this forum or local support groups is the best thing for us.  I honestly don't know what I would have done without this forum to come to.  I now have a friend who I am waiting to show up here who recently lost her husband.  I hope she makes it.  Because this kind of support is really the best.  I'm so grateful to whoever runs these forums.

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21 hours ago, Sunshine247 said:

they just don't talk about the person who has passed . This upsets me more than talking about Bob - I WANT to hear stories or memories or someone tell me - ya know what? I miss him too

You can tell us stories about him any time you want.  I know I feel the same way about George.  As more time goes by, there's less and less people around who knew him.  And that makes me sad.
 

On 12/20/2018 at 7:43 PM, btsbp1979@yahoo.com said:

I thought I was out here alone. I am sorry people think it is easy to just be happy and move on because life doesn't stop. But it did stop and everyday I feel like I cant breathe still. And I just cry when anyone takes a chance to notice then  I get the lecture of starting counciling  I don't need them to  feel bad for me but some empathy would be so appreciated. Ii want to make new friends  go out to movies  or dinner  but they don't make playgrounds for grown people and the bar is not my thing.

I've had to work very hard at my grief, I didn't expect this, it was sudden, shocking, I didn't see how I could survive, but I'm here 13 1/2 years later, somehow.  I got grief counseling, was active on a grief forum from the beginning, and it was a lifesaver!  I read books, articles, started a grief support group.  I've journalled, done art therapy.  It took me years to process my grief, years more to find purpose, and even more years to build a life I can live.  This isn't for the faint-hearted!  But no one asked us if we were up to this, we were thrust into this with no warning and each of us finds our own way through this.

 

13 hours ago, HeyJude said:

I'm so grateful to whoever runs these forums.

Me too!

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