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I'm stuck in a hole and lost without my mom...


Kate

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On Jan 1, 2012, I lost my mom to stage four lung cancer after only 4.5 months. I moved out on my own in March (my dad is kind of toxic and I couldn't be around him). My boyfriend just moved out for awhile to take a new job and I'm on the edge. My only "family" here is my best friend, who as of the last several months has been less focused on school and only cares about partying and drinking and going out with her loser friends that don't have jobs or any real motivation in life (we're all 26).

I've stayed away from the party scene because its been a bit of a problem in my past. I'm a bit of an overachiever a lot of people say..... but in the past, I've covered up my stress from being a young business owner and full time student by drinking. So, Ive stayed away from alcohol since my mom passed.

The thing is... I'm on my own. I keep booking these trips out of the country and I feel better when Im out of the country...like if I run for a little while and I'm not in the same place, the problems don't exist. But then I have to come home. And the only person who cared about my hopes and my dreams and supported me is gone and I miss her so much. I spent Easter alone because I was so incredibly sick. I had offers to spend it with my dad, my best friends family and my boyfriends family but in the end I was so sick I slept through it. Now the four month anniversary of her death is looming and I just don't feel any better than I did months ago.

This time last year she was hiking 5 miles with my sister. In july, her hip basically collapsed and in August she had to have a replacement and thats when they found out a cancer tumor had caused the demise of her hip and was also in her lung. By Sept. it had spread so fast and she was hospitalized in October as it spread to her brain and spine. I would have taken a leave of absence from school- it was too much. Every morning I'd wake up with her, go back to bed once she was settled, sleep a few hours, get up and work for myself with my company, come home, take care of her, talk, make her dinner and then by or 9 I had to leave her alone so I could get online to do homework. Id fall asleep around 1 or 2, getting back up around 4 when I'd hear her get up to go to the bathroom b/c I didn't want her to fall and make sure she had everything she needed. You know what I can't forgive myself for? Those 4-5 hours I spent doing a not so great job on my homework. I'm in a really hard business program and I should have taken a leave of absence and spent those nights watching movies and being with her but I didn't. I was spread to thin and now that chance is gone and she's dead.

I loved her more than anyone in the world. In 2009, I was finally put on the right treatment for bipolar disorder and finally wasn't suicidal anymore. I've been fine since her death. Now....honestly.... I'm not suicidal but I'd wish I were dead too if I didn't have my dogs. They're the only things keeping me going.

I'm traveling, going back to school in the fall, keeping myself busy with my move, working on music, but at night...now I'm alone. And no one gets it. I'm 26 and the sister I'm close to is eight hours away. My boyfriend is an hour away, my best friend is more concerned with partying and that just leaves me. My whole life I've taken care of everyone else and I've had my mom and she took care of me and I took care of her when she needed it...now I need a support system and its not there.

The icing on the cake is that I'm trying to switch doctors b/c my current one always cancels but I need a copy of my records so I can switch. I got canceled on again today. I'm trying to create a support system with a new therapist, I know I can't do this alone, but I also feel like I'm so young to be going through this much absolute **** and I just wonder... is anyone else? For me, its not a day at a time. Its an hour at a time. And my heart is so beyond broken that I don't feel like I'll survive this heartache....

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Oh Kate,

I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. You sound like you certainly have a lot of things on your plate, but you also sound as though you are taking some really positive steps in the right direction. NOT drinking is the best decision you can make under these circumstances. That would only add to your stress in the long run.

I understand about school. I am struggling with a full time job, a part-time job, graduate school and four children. It's very tough, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will both finish and be done with it soon.

Your mother is a profound loss for you. Of course this is going to be the toughest struggle you've faced, but you will get through this.

I am glad you are going to a therapist. Have you considered a group therapy such as a self help meeting for grief and loss? What about broadening your circle of support by trying to meet some new people? Why do you travel so much? Do you think it helps?

We can be here to support you,

ModKonnie

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Kate -

I am so sorry for your loss. You sound a lot like me, burning the candle at both ends. I lost my mother a little over a month ago. It feels so long ago and just like yesterday at the same time. A support system is very important and you are taking the steps to build one since it sounds like you don't have much where you are. Some of my support is not physically near me, but knowing that I can call them any time does help. I'm sorry that on top of your loss you're also going through a mourning period with your best friend. Eventually all that is heaped on your plate will ease. Good Luck, take lots of deep breaths and take things one day at a time.

Kitty

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Kate,

I am so sorry I feel your heartache. I also feel so alone and feel I don't have the support system now that my Mom is gone. My Mom also had what they think was lung cancer( they did not have enough time to figure out primary cancer) that spread to her bone. She died 9 days after diagnosis. We barely had time to grasp things and my beautiful Mom was gone. I have a husband and 2 kids but without my kids I would just want to go be with my Mom. It's hard to get out of bed on most days. Today is 15 weeks since her passing. I would give anything to have her back. The loneliness is awful. I feel robbed at age 36 without my Mom so I can only imagine how you feel being younger. You made a great choice by not drinking I am sure your Mom would really be proud of you. I wish I could give you some words to ease the pain but I have no clue what to say. All I can say is please know we are here for you and can totally relate. Sending hugs and prayers your way!

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I know how you feel. My mom has cancer and is going to pass any day now (if not tonight). We got her terminal diagnosis two days before Christmas and she slowly declined up until a week ago. Then suddenly she took a nosedive. Before that she thought she would make it until my baby is due at the beginning of August. The hardest thing was losing her mentally. She's been mentally "gone" since last week and it's hard having her physically be here and be so sick but knowing her soul has already moved on. Her mental coherence literally dissapeared overnight and her physical decline has been almost as sudden. Less than a week ago her hospice nurse told us she thought my mom had 4 to 6 weeks left. Now it'll be a miracle if she makes it past Sunday. When we went to see her yesterday I had a total emotional breakdown. It feels like your soul is being ripped apart. I already feel so lost without having her to talk to. It's even harder for me because I'm 26 weeks pregnant with my first baby and her first granchild. I don't know how I'm going to get through being a mom without my own mom here to guide me. It breaks my heart. My kids will never get to meet their grandma and my mom will never get to hold her grandbabies. I hardly ever drink but there have been days when I wished I could make a few extra strong margaritas or take a prozac, something to take the edge off. But I can't take anything while pregnant and I would never do anything that might harm my baby. So, I get to deal with the raw grief of it all and try to cope. One of my best friends has never once asked how I'm doing or how my mom is doing through this whole thing. I know she might just be uncomfortable with death, but she just had a baby herself and her dad almost died last year so I think she would be a little sympathetic. It really hurts that she hasn't offered any support. If I mention anything about my mom or how hard this is for me she ignores it and changes the subject (usually to something about her baby). And though I am not suicidal either there have been many days where I wish I would die too, so I know where you are coming from. Up until this last week my husband hasn't been all that supportive (thinks you can't grieve for someone before they die so I must just be mopping around). I've really felt alone through a lot of this. None of my friends have lost a parent (I'm 23 by the way) so none of them can relate and I don't know anyone who's lost their mom while they were pregnant. I deeply regret not getting pregnant a year ago, but the doctors thought my mom should have at least a few more years so I decided to wait until this last fall. I keep kicking myself for it. If I hadn't waited we would have had a baby already and my mom could have been a grandma for at least a little while. She was so excited about having grandchildren and I can't imagine having this baby without her there. I don't have any words of advice really since I'm trying to figure out how to cope with this too, I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I never thought I would lose my mom in my early 20's, or be put through this much stress all at once. In the past four months I've had to deal with being pregnant, watching my mom die, and finding out my baby has birth defects and will need special care and extensive surgeries and therapy to fix it. I feel like I'm being robbed of the joy of this pregnancy and having a baby.

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Lthompson79

Hi Kate:

I read your story and my heart truly goes out to you. I lost my mother at 30 to stage 4 brain cancer almost 3 years ago now (August 24, 2009) and though it has gotten better, it still hurts. She was 55 when she died, literally 4 days after her birthday. She collapsed in a seizure one day (March 13, 2009 - Friday the 13th) and we didn't know anything was wrong with her. She lasted only five months and it was a grueling, dignity robbing time spent often in hospitals, hospice units, and finally a nursing home where she died. We did daily chemo and twice a week radiation for 6 weeks, which robbed her of enjoying any of the little time she had left on this earth. The cancer itself did such damage to her brain that she went from a sweet, articulate, thoughtful woman to someone who was incontinent, incoherant, couldn't even walk on her own. I can completely relate to the lack of support you feel - I am adopted by my stepfather and though he is a great guy, it's not the same bond. My sister crawled into a bottle and would come see mom maybe twice a week - mom would get so upset she would kick her out. I ended up having to take care of her as well as my mom. My extended family is not close and scattered across the country anyway - they only came to see her when she was in Hospice and going to die. My boyfriend at the time was so good to me throughout her illness, but completely changed after, it was like I owed him - plus I was such a mess. Unlike you I did drink quite a bit, which I am glad to see you are staying away from, trust me, it only makes things worse. And like you, I felt like a change of scene would do me good and moved out to Colorado, though it was almost a year later, knowing only one close friend here. And it hasn't been an easy journey - I have made some decent friends here but it's hard to "get out there" and be outgoing and social like you need to be when it still hurts so much and it's hard to be fragile among people you don't know that well.

I know you are in so much pain right now, but I will tell you it does get easier. I'm not going to throw out the cliche of "it takes as long as it takes", but that does have a ring of truth to it. In ways I felt worse a year later than I did the several months after. I still miss my mother everyday and am still pained over what her death has done to my family, which wasn't really solid before but now is pretty much broken. As you can see even now, 2 1/2 years later, I am joining an online grief support group :).You are right to seek out counseling, I hope that comes together for you. One thing I did find that helped a lot was yoga. That's a huge thing in Colorado, not sure where you live and if there are yoga studios or a yoga community around you - but aside from being a wonderful, healthy thing for your body - not only do you become physically stronger, leaner, etc., but the focus on breath and just staying present helps in ALL other areas of your life. Plus you will find that most serious yoga practitioners are recovering from personal tragedies and are not freaked out by grief, sadness, etc. I have lived here a year and a half now and most of the people I consider true friends are people I've met through yoga.

Like I said, even though I don't know you, my heart completely goes out to you and I know how you feel. You just do whatever you need to for yourself - cry if you need to cry, go and break a bunch of things if you need to. And I don't know you but your story touched me so deeply that please, feel free to reach out to me if you need to.

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