Jump to content
Forum Conduct & Guidelines Document ×

Ticking Time Bomb

Sally Worth

Recommended Posts

  • Members
Sally Worth

I had what I believed was a wonderful marriage. He walked away and replaced me, 25 yrs later. At the same time my son left for the USA on a tennis scholarship and my daughter went to work in Dubai. My youngest went to her dad as I was left with an old house to repair and a huge amount of trauma and confusion. It is now five years later, thousands of hours later having applied for work everywhere I can, two start up business attempts later and so much more going wrong in my life. 


I have lost all my friends due to emigration and the complexities of my life and nobody really understanding me, my efforts and the challenges I face alone each day. I was not left enough money to sustain myself long term, at 54 yrs there is no work in South Africa, there are no men, only opportunists and I have all day every day alone trying to find a new future, with no doors opening. I am lonely, bored beyond belief and so lost. I long for one companion and one glimmer of hope . Living alone is hell on earth for me. The God I loved and served is not visible to me. So much loss in every area of my life ...hate getting to the end of the day with no progress made as I don't know where I belong or what I do wrong or where I will find a companion I long for again.

I know I am better with somebody alongside me but there is nobody. Torture daily and seemingly impossible as I pay bills, rack my brain looking for purpose and a sprinkle of fun. Tiring is an understatement.

Edited by Sally Worth
Spotted grammar errors
  • Hugs 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I am so sorry for what has happened to you in your recent life.  I, too, had this happen to me after 23 years of marriage, I was in my forties...but I found someone wonderful, and married him.  I wasn't looking for him, but knew him when I "met" him through of all things, writing, in response to a letter I'd written to the Editor.  They read it out loud at a Promise Keepers and it got a standing ovation.  When at last I talked to him on the phone, I thought his voice magical.  We were only married a short few years and he died of a heart attack.  I've been alone since, it was over 18 years ago.

I, too, wanted purpose, it took me ten years to find it.  I struggled financially, lost my job within a year of his death, and but for the grace of God, could have lost my home.  So I can relate to you, all our friends turned their back on me when he died, my two BFFs not even bothering to attend his funeral two weeks later!

I, too, felt deserted by God, but it was a year later when I realized He had carried me, I couldn't hear  His voice because of my own brain fog.  How long has it been since your husband left you?  It takes time to process everything that has happened to you.  My church turned their back on me when my husband left, so that too was a huge adjustment.  Now it's been 23 years since and I've been in my newer church the same length of time.  It was small town gossip that did me harm, all because he was talking and I was hibernating...

I've stuck it out, becoming my own best friend. I used to look in the mirror every morning and tell myself, "It won't be like this forever."  And it wasn't.  I taped a sign up in front of my desk (it had a counter over it so no one could see the end of my desk) it said something like "You are a wonderful person."  It was an affirmation I needed to affirm to myself every day, esp. when others hurled...bad things my way.

It's been 18 years since my husband died.  You wouldn't think others would ditch you because your spouse died, I realized they did a few years before when my previous husband left me, perhaps thinking me leavable, but when my husband died...they acted like it was contagious, they didn't know how to handle it or what to say, so they withdrew instead.

People can be cowards.  Who we count on is ourself and God.  You will come through this stronger than ever and will realize your strength as a human being, but it takes time to get there, time to process all that's happened and what you will do with it.

I wrote this with the idea in mind of people who have lost their spouse to death, but I believe much of it could be applicable in your situation as well.  And for what it's worth, I think you must be a pretty amazing person to have found this place and posted...that shows some strength and courage.


This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and uses these terms of services Terms of Use.