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how to comfort someone when you hate them


butterfly10954

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butterfly10954

My father died this past 4th of July, and I hate to say it but I do blame my mother for his death. I am 41 years old, and all I can remember of my childhood is my parents fighting. It is tough for me to think of good memories, even though they were there. My parents would have been together 50 years this October, and it never ceased to amaze me how he stood living with my mother.

She could be mean, insensitive and belittling to my father and it always bothered me, but never so much as the last few years. My father was getting older, and my mother would constantly be on him to do stuff around the house, and help her with this or that, then berate him if he didn't do it the way she wanted. She would criticize him over everything, and he would just sit there and take it.

The day he died she was bugging him to do something, and he said he was tired. She kept on complaining til he finally did it, even though he obviously hadn't been feeling well for a while, although he never told anyone. I kept thinking why can't she just let the man rest???

After we left that day, he was taken to the hospital with a heart attack, and he never made it through. Everyone, including my mother, was devastated and shocked, because we didn't even know he was sick. He never told anyone he had been having chest pains, which he had, and he just did whatever was asked of him, although he must have been feeling like ****.

That day was a metaphor for his whole life.

So as you can imagine, it is really hard to comfort my mom at this time. I feel like she never appreciated him when he was here, and now he is gone and she doesn't know what to do with herself. She is beside herself w/grief, and probably guilt too. I try to listen to her, but that old anger is just below the surface, and I really can't forgive her for how she treated my father for years. I am also angry at him that he never left her, but I guess they loved each other in their own twisted weird way.

So how's that for complicated?? Any suggestions? Cindy

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Butterfly,

You don't have to feel guilty or beat yourself up on this account. My situation is very similar, but with opposite parents - father is the bad one, Mother was the better one. They were together all of 60 years and he made her institutionalized illness ( for 6 months ) and passing, AND aftermath for the rest of us, sheer hell overall. The ONLY good thing he did was visit my Mom pretty much everyday, but then it was often only for an hour/day. To make it worse, his sons are/were more like him than our Mother. My eldest brother then died 2 months after our Mom, and the worst one of the two is left as my only remaining brother. He's just carried on the 'tradition' of being evil, greedy, impossible, so I no longer have any contact with him. He's stolen our future inheritance already, after putting our father in a home and not paying for his care there. In any case, not feeling like being supportive is pretty natural when you're dealing with horrible people who made someone's life hell. For me, I first tried, out of the goodness of my heart, to be nice to my dad, but he screwed me so badly despite my effort that I don't give a damn about him anymore. And he forever ruined my Mother's final arrangements, which can never be changed now. I don't feel guilty in the LEAST for not caring about him! I gave him one final chance, he blew it royally, so he can reap the consequences for that now, and he is. Not one soul visits HIM in the home he's in - too bad, so sad, I say. He's dying alone, just as me, my Mom, one of his sisters and a multitude of other people said he would if he didn't clean up his act years ago. Tough beans for him! Being alone, with severe dementia isn't as bad as what he did to everyone else his whole, rotten life.

On the plus side, at least your mother is feeling SOMETHING for her dead husband, which is more than what I saw with my dad. He'd go from lightly crying about her, according to him, murder ( just a story in his head, more than likely, but I had to listen to this! ), which was more about his loss of control over her than her actual death...to WHISTLING a happy tune!

As for leaving the marriage, I'd asked my Mom many years ago, when I wasn't even a teen yet, why she stayed. She said for us kids firstly. I told her I'd rather be with JUST her, rather than having to live with that monster, but then she told me she'd threatened to leave him before and he said he'd hunt her down and kill her ( and I think us kids, too ) if she dared try. So many parents stuck in terrible relationships may have their reasons, whether they're good reasons or not. I also suspected that, as a woman, back in those days, things weren't easy at all for single mothers, plus I think my Mom was hanging on to the supposed financial security ( not uncommon, even today ), so there was probably more to the story than maybe even she had figured out. There's also usually an emotional and mental pay-off for anyone staying in bad relationships, whether they can see or admit to it anyway. It's hard to figure these things out without more information from either that person themselves or other relatives. And I know how difficult this is to settle in our hearts, as the children of bad marriages, once our loved parent is gone and no more answers are forthcoming. It's not even really our job as the children to have to worry and fret about such things, and yet we do. How can we NOT, when it affects us so deeply? All I can tell myself in the end, is that it wasn't MY choice to make and I just have to deal with my own personal fall-out, as best as I can manage. So for your mother, do what YOU really want to do, after weighing the pros and cons and probable consequences of your actions. And yes, you're also allowed to change your mind at any time, and make mistakes, too, as you try to deal with this. You can also try doing one thing and see how it goes, how you then feel about it, and see if you need to try something different after that. For me, there was ZERO comfort to be either derived from, or given, to my remaining brother, as far as I could tell. He wasn't sad in the least, that he showed, that our Mother died, and when our brother died, the ONLY comment he made to me personally was, "If he hadn't died, at least I'd have some HELP here!" Not only was he trying to lay a guilt trip on me ( which I wasn't about to accept, as I don't live where they do, and had NO income at the time to travel again, and he wouldn't consider paying my fare to get there to help him...out of all the money he had control over then ), but to him, it was all only about money and effort, with no feelings attached. So to hell with him, too! I disowned everyone but my Mom years ago, and although it has pained me no end to see my hopes of reconciliation in the face of family tragedy totally STOMPED on, I can do it again, in the name of my own sanity. I have to live with these sorrows every day now, but it's better than putting my now-more-fragile self in the hands of the enemy! The last place I MIGHT see my brother is in court, if I decide to pursue a contestation of the illegal Will he had our father draw up so that everything went to him, when the time comes. It won't be pretty, or easy, if it comes to that, but if there's a good chance of winning ( if there's even anything left to fight over ), I'll do it for ME, for my MOM, and too bad what my brother or any other relative thinks. They all abandoned me in my grief, so TOO BAD!

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My husband and I lost our eldest son, Jack aged 5 years, when a crayfish trawler collided with the runabout the boys were fishing from, in May 2004.

Just last month we went through the ordeal of revisiting our raw emotions, whilst being involved in the trawler skipper's criminal trial. He was charged with gross negligence. The element of "reasonable doubt" (due, I believe, to baffling the jury with legal technicalities) saw him get off with a not-guilty verdict. At the same time as the trial, I also gave birth to another son (our fourth child). I share these details to paint the picture of our family circumstances at the moment, and to confess, that at the moment my husband is my least favourite person. I am aware that everyone deals with their grief differently. I am also aware that a high percentage of marriages do not survive the death of a child - and I'm beginning to see why. Hubby has, in my opinion, an addictive personality and a couple of "sociable" addictions to go with it, this was the case before Jack died and is still the case now - how convenient to now have a "legitimate" excuse to lean on drugs and alcohol! But it is his anger that is causing me the most pain - emotional pain. Even the self-medicating with booze isn't numbing his anger any more and my greatest fear is that our marriage isn't going to make it (to the detriment of our three surviving children?). Anyway, in amongst all of this, my daily prayer is the Serenity Prayer: Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. And I've been reading some good books - this following quote I adapted from Dr Phil's Family First book.

'Finding meaning in my suffering: I won't allow myself to be devasted for no reason, no meaning and no purpose. I want to create some value to the pain that I've experienced in my life. From the tragic circumstances surrounding Jack's death, I choose to learn from the event and thereby protect my other children more effectively in the future. I choose to show my children how to learn to deal with and overcome adversity. I choose to help those who are further back down the trail than I am. I choose to take social action in order to create menaing out of suffering and to change the situation in which this crisis took place, thereby protecting other families. I will use my pain and what I've been through in my life, to create value from adversity.'

And this quote, I got from my Al-Anon daily reading:

"In Al-Anon I discovered that I don't have to react just because I have been provoked, and I don't have to take harsh words to heart. I can remember that they are coming from someone who may be in pain, and try to show a little compassion. I certainly don't have to allow them to provoke me into doing anything I don't want to do. Detachment with love means that I stop depending upon what others do, say, or feel to determine my own well-being or to make my decisions. When faced with other people's destructive attitudes and behaviour, I can love their best, and never fear their worst."

Still trying to take my own advice, love Peta.

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alwaysmyjennifer

riversoflife, I am so deeply sorry you are going through so much, and for the tragedy that took Jack away from you. I'm a recovered addict, now clean since 1980. About addiction, I can only say that the addicted mind seeks reasons to use. The death of your child is more than his addiction playing into the tragedy, it's also a source of depression. A depressed addict will use more, trying to numb the pain of the depression. He must break this cycle, and he'll obviously need help to do it.

For you, if he is turning physically or emotionally violent against you or your children, please act on it for the sake of your children. To see a marriage end is painful for children, but to live in abuse is much worse. I know. I grew up in foster care. Please keep your children safe, even if it means you need to separate from him. I'm not saying divorce, but a separation to protect you and your children, and also that act of finality that will hopefully result in positive changes for him. If you must go this route, you will need to see long term positive changes before you reinstate your marriage. The addicted mind can be seductive in getting results for personal gain.

I hope this helps. I'm not an expert, just a guy who grew up in a bad situation, turned to addiction, then got clean. Now that I am, I have a beautiful family, and I'm even a proud grandpa.

My thougths and prayers are with you.

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alwaysmyjennifer, thank you for your words of wisdom. I have been suspecting that separation may eventually be a path I'll have to consider, but until then I'll continue to address my own need for healing especially regarding issues of self-acceptance, emotional dependancy, 'detaching with love' (Al-Anon have taught me heaps!) and all the other stuff I inadvertantly contribute to our dysfunction. I read a fabulous quote recently which sums up where I'd like to be: "Serenity isn't freedom from the storm, but peace within the storm." I believe this relates to my grief journey also. Question - what was it for you that got through the addled addictive thought processes, that motivated you to clean up? Sometimes I wonder if even separating won't 'open the eyes' of my hubby, but only give him reason to be angrier.... as one thing I have discovered through this journey, is that there's very little in my life that I actually control. Thanks for your thoughts.

Peta

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Good Afternoon Everyone, As often as I come to these boards, as never thought to share on this topic until today. That seems to cover how I feel about my mom. My grandmother used to say that you don't hate a person, you hate their ways. For a long time I couldn't seperate the two. I was in my 40's surviving all kinds of emotional and physical abuse and years of addiction before I learned that my mother did'nt have the ability to pass on to me something that she doesn't possess. There is something deficient in her. I'm her first born child and for years I couldn't understand why she treated me like she did. No matter what I did it was never enough. What I didn't know was that I could never do enough. She knew that I wanted, no needed her love and she dangled it in front of me like a carrot on a stick. In search for a feeling of belonging I dealt with people and went places that if I liked myself, I wouldn't have gone. It took treatment and therapy to learn that whatever issues (and there are a few)she has I had to stop making them my issues if I ever wanted to be my own person. One day I told her that I wasn't going to keep taking the blame for her getting drunk and pregnant. The expression on her face was priceless. Am I flawed? Damaged? Hell yeah. But I have found a God of my own understanding, who loves me. I am beautiful in his eyes. And I am learning to love myself in spite of years and years of my mother's negative reinforcement.

G.I.JOE said that knowing is half the battle. Been clean and sober since 1999. In treatment you learn that even though others may not change, you have to. Lost my grandmother in 2003, godfather in 2004, grandfather in 2005, husband a month later in 2006. I know not to look to my mother for support. Since my grandmother passed away she can't face all the damage she's done to our family. Her denial is in full effect and she is a danger to me. And as much as the old me would like to, the new me can't save her from herself. I have to protect me and mine. Her negligence caused a fire at our home the week after Stanley passed. We suffered damage to the house and loss of possessions. Now Thursday I have to take her to court because she's been holding my share of the insurance settlement hostage for the past 2 months. There's only me and her and she refuses to acknowledge that I'm entitled to my half. Trying to push that same ole button. I pray for her and for me too. Don't know what's going to happen but I'm leaving it up to God. Take care everyone and remember to be good to yourselves. Have a blessed day.

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Guest,

First and foremost, you must not take offense at anything he might say or do in the process of his trying to handle and work through his grief for his Dad. Death is a traumatic experience and even sane people can become unhinged and seemingly "off the wall", when it comes to trying to adjust to, deal with or cope with a death of a cherished loved one, especially a parent and regardless of how that parent may have treated or mistreated that child.

You almost have to have a hard shell covering your emotions because if you don't, you will be offended in some way and only isolate and push your boyfriend away more. Yes, it is going to be real tough in your approach to him, but showing your love and understanding go a very long way to helping him deal with his loss. Be prepared for moodiness, anger, temper flare ups, unflattering words spoken in haste, rejection and even flashes of split personalities that can happen on a moments notice. Always be there for him, even if he doesn't seem to appreciate it and above all, give him plenty of space if he needs it. To know exactly what to say, is very difficult, but don't take any of his expressions of anger personally because if you do, then it only feeds into his mind and continues the cycle of anger for him.

Do whatever you can for him like preparing his meals, doing all the shopping, cooking and laundry, so as to free up any of his time so that he can begin his healing process. If he volunteerrs to help, let him because that will be a sign that he is beginning to heal. Just love him and let him know you are always there even if he gets a little "strange" from time to time. Remember, it will just be his grief being exhibited, okay??

Always a friend,

Steve D.

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alwaysmyjennifer

Starchild, I usually don't check on this thread, but I hope you return to read this. The reason I don't frequent this thread is from what I grew up in, a very harsh and unloving home. For years, I felt guilt about leaving my family behind, for not having much to do with them, etc. In the last decade or so, I've worked at trying to build (not rebuild) a relationship with my parents. It took me many years to learn that I can't value or devalue myself based upon their thoughts or words. I can't place guilt upon myself for their inability to care about me. I also had to learn to stop feeling badly that I left home at 13, the year my daughter was born. For me, trying to comfort them is impossible, for they want nothing of emotional attachment or comforting. Value yourself based on who you are, the love you shared for so long with Stanley, and based on the love you devote to your children. You're right by saying you can't save your mother from herself. I will keep prayer for you that you may have the peace you need, the emotional comforting you need and want, and the strength for today. Mark

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Mark: I beginning to think that you were sent by the Man himself.(smile)I only checked back because of an update on the topic. I've had alot of heartache and headache behind my dysfunctional upbringing. You can't help to be a little off center when all your life your taught one thing and get out there and find out it's something else entirely. Seems like I was always working from behind. But by the grace of God, he put people in my life who saw that it wasn't an act, I really didn't know any better. So they taught me to use my senses as well as my brains. I was basically raised by the streets. You know there's a part of me that wants to hold on to the old resentments. They were my comfort for so long. But as his child I had to learn to forgive her, so that I could forgive myself and grow in him. But I haven't forgotten. That pain is what reminds me of how much I don't want to be like her. And I believe how I treat her is the stick that God is measuring me by. Isn't it humbling when we realize that we have power after all. But the hardest part of the process was learning to use your powers for good instead of evil. It's always the hardest part. I know my friend that you can identify. My prayers for you and peace be unto you and your family. Till then, have a blessed one. Luv

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I just lost my 21 year old brother in a motercycle accident. I am filled with hate and anger. My mom and step dad are great and they have given me full family support. But my Real dad and my grandpa have always loved my brother but not me. To them girls never mattered. My dad used to beat my mom and my grandpa used to bring my dad out into fields so he could beat her more. My older brother got to pick out everything, even on my birthday. They took him fishing, hunting, to the ocean, everywhere. I stayed home with my grandma. So now that my brother is dead all of a sudden they want me back. My dad has apologised for this and i feel like i can forgive him a little. But when my grandpa was hugging me and grabbing me at the funneral and after i wanted to push him away. Now he finally wants to get to know how wonderful i am but all i want is my brother back. Not a grandpa and dad who nevered cared before.

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lorrainedeare

My mother invited me to her house in July of this year under the pretense that we were cleaning out her sewing room. When I arrived she told my daughter, 27, and myself that TWO YEARS earlier she had been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and had a "heart attack". I was devastated and could not understand why my 2 brothers knew of her illness but we were not informed until 2 years later. I recently received a letter from her telling me what a terrible daughter I have been. I am in shock and hurt so deeply I could just scream. I do not know what to do with her and this letter. She thinks I am a theif, a bad mother, terrible grandmother and that I show no consideration for her privacy. I am at a loss..I just need someone to talk to

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ladyhitchhiker
My mother invited me to her house in July of this year under the pretense that we were cleaning out her sewing room. When I arrived she told my daughter, 27, and myself that TWO YEARS earlier she had been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and had a "heart attack". I was devastated and could not understand why my 2 brothers knew of her illness but we were not informed until 2 years later. I recently received a letter from her telling me what a terrible daughter I have been. I am in shock and hurt so deeply I could just scream. I do not know what to do with her and this letter. She thinks I am a theif, a bad mother, terrible grandmother and that I show no consideration for her privacy. I am at a loss..I just need someone to talk to

I may not know how to fix your problem but I myself have a mother that is bi-polar and suffers from cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. One thing though that may have happened - and I don't know if this helps you - but as the heart loses power, as it does in heart failure, so does the brain. Maybe she was just out her head. Let's hope she didn't mean the things she wrote, because I know my mom's done all sorts of things she doesn't understand herself. You wouldn't believe the ugly things she has said to me, and then she won't "remember" that she even said it. It sounds like we almost had the same mom.

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My question is exactly the thread header. How do you? My abusive dad just died and i am supposed to comfort my mom, the woman who never had a problem with witnessing countless abuses of all sorts by her husband to her daughter. I want to let go and forgive all and everyone. But i am not there right now. Right now all my feelings are about hating my mom, and resenting her for wanting to play the part of the sad daughter, the caring supportive daughter in a happy family. I just don't want to have to play a role. But i am lost. I hope you all if indeed there is even anyone out there, are okay!

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I just read your post. What a difficult situation to be in. All I can say is feel what you need to feel and don't feel guilty for not feeling. Grief sucks. I suppose you could tell your mom "sorry for your loss, but you must know I don't feel it." Right now, she is in a haze anyway. Let others be the "comforters." Don't force emotion you don't have. Just keep a low profile if you can. There will be plenty of time to hash over all the pain.

It is good to post here. There will be others who will respond to you.

I wish you strength and courage to get through.

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4everjoeysmom

Dear Guest, I too am so sorry for your difficult situation. I totally second Sidvis in that you shouldn't try and force emotions. And try not to let guilt ride in, because you have NOTHING to feel guilty for. You are the victim of horrendous deeds, and I'm so sorry you rmother looked the other way. There is no rational excuse for that, and she must have her own demons to deal with as well. I pray in time your relationship with your mom can be restored, as often after the person who committed such horrible acts has gone, the ones who were affected by this can begin to open up, hurt and heal together. I pray peace will come upon you like never before and that you can find a way to process your past hurts and your current loss in a way that will bring you to restoration in self and heart. Hugs, Claudia

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I am confused about why my username said Guest? I did choose a username, that was not Guest. It totally doesn't matter, just confused. Anyways, i did not expect anybody to read and or respond to what i wrote. I sure am happy that you guys did though! Thank you so sincerely! It has just gotten back to me that basically my mom is on the edge...and i have been strongly advised by the one person who knows "stuff", not to think the day will ever come when my mother will be strong enough to open that can of worms at all. I do not want the worms! Do you guys think that i can do comething mentally, spiritually by myself to lose my resentment and forgive everyone including me? I know you guys are here because you have or have had a broken heart to, and know that i honor that and am ever more appreciative of your kindness because of it. I would like to one day pay the support forward here. But right now all i have is my present self'centered situation to overwhelm me. Whew! Okay then...I hope everyone is well today, prayers for all good things. Thanks again!

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4everjoeysmom

Dear Forgiving, miracles do happen! And though your mom is on the edge, nothing is hopeless, no matter what anyone feels or says now. But for now, you are right! You must take care of you. You have a lot of burden in your heart, so much pain and unforgiveness. When I lost my son Joey last July, I was angry and I knew I could only begin healing if I could reach the point of forgiving those that were negligent surrounding his untimely death at just one week prior to his 24th birthday. I got on my knees after a while and begged God to help me find my way to forgiveness, and He did lead me there over time. That was a miracle! You don't have to walk into a church to find that place with God to ask His help. I spent a lot of time praying, crying, begging, and on my knees. And He answered my call. I also kept reaching out to people here who could "relate" to me and my pain. So much wisdon is shared here as people journey together through loss, trauma, pain and healing. Please keep visiting and pouring out your heart in what ever way you need to. No one is judged for how they are processing their pain, and there is always a supportive person that will listen. A lot of venting may be necessary for you as well, and this is a good place to vent and sound off what you are going through. I believe you can and will come through this and that you'll grow through the adversity as well. Blessings & hugs, Claudia

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jackiewitter

Forgiving, I do not usually come to this thread but I was looking for Claudia! And low and behold I found her, helping someone out as usual! I could not agree with her more. It takes prayer and more prayer to get to a place where you can put some of it behind you. Rational thoughts are scarce when you are dealing with something this tragic. I continued to think if I just knew the exact causes and who was to blame for my brother’s death, then I could better come to terms with it. It was Claudia who pointed out to me that I may never know the exact circumstances and I may have to accept that. That was hard to swallow because I felt if I could blame someone then it would help me move on. Finding this site was a life-line for me. It brought me in touch with wonderful caring people and it brought me back to God. I think that most people either cling to their beliefs during these dark times or they run from them as fast as they can. I could not believe that God would allow something like this to happen and it took hours of pouring my heart out to Him before I began to accept His will (not mine). I would strongly encourage you to try and come to terms with your feelings before you tackle the complex situation with your mother. I hope that I can be of help if you need that. You too will find that reaching out to others helps you feel less alone and lost. I will pray for you and I think you have made the first step by being honest about your feelings and your fears.

Peace and blessings, Jackie

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Wow. How wonderful to have found my way whilst lost on my path to such compassionate and empathetic people. I am touched and grateful. I believe in Miracles. I have to. And i believe that no one could ever guide me through complicated forgiveness like those who have gone before. By example. I am so sorry for everyones losses, i truely am! Life is SO hard. I am wondering how one moves out of all the cognitive knowing of things like forgivess leads to healing etc...and into actually feeling it. I feel like i have the intension, but not the capacity, or the map. All i really am holding on to right now is my faith in prayer. I am quite depressed, manic and isolated right now. Afraid of it getting much worse. Anyways, you are all in my thoughts and heart and prayers. Thank you for your kindness!

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4everjoeysmom

Forgiving, I can tell you with certainty that you are farther along than I was in forgiveness. I didn't even have the capacity to forgive in the beginning. I believe God, in knowing this, extended great mercy to me and gave me the gift of forgiveness. It was from there that I could actually start feeling it. And THAT was my miracle.

Keep holidng on! You CAN do this, and we're here to walk through this dark valley with you until the light shines upon you and even farther still. Blessings & Hugs, Claudia

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4everjoeysmom

OK..now is my turn. How is this for dysfunctional crap making grief worse?

My husband and I both are a 2nd marriage. My 1st and I are very amicable, in fact we stayed with him and his wife when our son died last July--the 1st's son and mine. OK... And I am still really trying hard to cope with that grief on a daily basis, doing fairly well most days, but still crash and burn on others. His 1st is not amicable at best and worst I can't even say legally. She tried to kill herself a few days ago, which would have been successfull had my husband not initiated the 911 call to save her. Now he is the bad guy because the school counselors and social services are asking questions. Long story short, he is off to rescue the kids temporarily from that whole nutty scene and I will not see him for at least a month, maybe longer, as we are seperated by continents. Tonight the oldest estranged daughter of my husband waylayed me with every bad word she could think of to call me, and why? Because I was reaching out to the younger children. I know the pain of losing a loved one. I know what it feels like to helplessly have a son die. I would not be able to handle it if another kid dies for a senseless act--which one of the younger has resorted to "cutting" in the past several months--and it frightens me to think of her following suit if her mom does something so stupid. Cn you tell I am having a rough night? Here I sit, alone without my husband, bombarded with verbal attack by those he is trying to help, and being so far from my own family and friends--which one of my closest informed me tonight as well has advanced melanoma. Suddenly grieving my own son sounds like a peaceful chore............... Isn't that too sad??

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Dear Claudia, how crummy to be the one to have to bear that daughter's anger! I am so sorry she let it all out on you. I am glad you came to this place to express your distress, you know by now that it is very comforting to get it out and know we all hear you. Hang in there. You and your husband are to be commended for trying to do the right thing by his children. Peace

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Forgiving, try to remember what you are feeling is normal under the circumstances. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just take it all one day at a time. Peace.

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jackiewitter

Claudia, I am so sorry for the situation you are in right now, especially so close to your birthday and the anniversary of Joey's passing. You have to remember what you have told me so many times, you are strong and you are put in this place for a reason. I wish I could come get you and bring you to Texas and wrap you up and forget, if just for one day, all the pain that is out there. I can't do that but I can actually do one better. I will lift you up in prayer and ask God to keep you close and comfort you and be sure that you do not feel alone. Check your email, I sent some of scriptures I found this morning. Please know my thoughts are with you and you have my number, call if you need to. Much love. Peace and blessings, Jackie

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4everjoeysmom

Thank you Sidvis, and thank you Jackie. I got the e-mail--so timely. I wrote you back. You'll see just how blessed in the moment I was to have your message. It blessed Michael a continent away when he needed more than anything at that moment to hold onto that Scripture, as well as I am clinging to it now. I'd like to share Third day's version of Psalm 36 here.

Your love, Oh Lord, reaches to the Heavens

Your faithfulness, stretches to the sky

Your righteousness.. is like the might mountains

Your JUSTICE flows like the ocean's tide

I will lift my voice to worship you Oh Lord

I will find my strength in the shadow of your wings

Third Day's comment on the song: This is a praise song taken from parts of Psalm 36. It tells of God's great character. His love, faithfulness, and righteousness are far greater than any of us can comprehend or even deserve.

Thanks a million Jackie! And thank you Lord for your refuge!!

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4everjoeysmom

It's actually, I will lift my voice to worship you My King.

King, Lord, all of the wonderful names He wears and owns. He is awesome, and I don;t know how I could manage any of life's tragedies without Him, or without you all, my dear friends.

Thanks again! Love, Claudia

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4everjoeysmom

Forgiving, I just wanted to send a hello out to you today and see how you are doing today. Every day is such a different roller coaster ride in grief. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you... Blessings, Claudia

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Hi

Thanks for thinking of me. I am doing terrible. I really hope i can find the energy and focus to jump in soon with my sincere support and well wishes for you guys! I feel everybodys pain. My biggest problem now is that people don't seem to allow me to be functioning sub-optimally right now. Which i certainly am. I keep getting in trouble for doing a bad job at everything. Ie. communicating etc...It enrages me. I feel like saying "What the hell do you expect, do you have any idea what i am going through etc..", but instead i just bite my lip and retreat further into my sorry self, feeling so alone and misunderstood and angry and depressed. Anyways, i believe in prayer alot! And i spent all day yesterday praying that i could find people to pray for me. Would you mind to keep me in your prayers for awhile, i will certainly do the same for all of you! God Bless!

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4everjoeysmom

Forgiving, I will most definitely keep praying for you. When I was reading your post and how you feel, I got this image of you wearing a black T-shirt with big while letter, "YES! Thank You! I AM Grieving." Sometimes people are so clueless. But at work and places where people may not know or where people may just be busy in the hustle and bustle, I wouldn't hesitate so much to let them know you are having a tough day/a tough time. Some folks may understand. And as for friends and family that don't give notice that it's ok for you to be sub-par emotionally and physically right now, given what you are going through, maybe get that T-shirt on order. You could always ask them with a smile if they'd like one when you get the strange looks. :) Hang in there friend. Prayers are reaching the throne of God today on your behalf. Hugs, Claudia

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Thank you Claudia

Your understanding and kindness made my cry. Thanks for including me here! : ) And thank GOD someone is praying for me! I can't find my way out of this alone. Blessings

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Claudia

How do you do it? I know the pain you feel I know you have your faith but how do you keep together? I don't seem to function right even when I feel for others who are grieving. I wish i didn't have to be here I wish my daughter was here. I'm angry with myself for not having more self control and I'm ashamed because my faith isn't the best right now. i wish I really could feel God here with me to comfort me but all I feel is pain. I've been tempted to start smoking again and drinking just to forget and calm me down. I quit both about ten years ago. Pray for me I feel like I'm sinking in a pit and can't pull myself up. I've lost pleasure in life and doing things.

Deb

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Deb

I am sorry for your loss and your pain! I just wanted to say one thing here that i feel so strongly about. And that is PLEASE do not start smoking and drinking again! I too was free from these crutches until a string of horrible things happened in my life. Then i caved in to substance abuse again. It did NOT help one bit. I believe because it happened to me, that it will make your struggle worse. Please just trust that you will feel better. Keep posting and letting things out. I actually only have 2 days of sobriety now. I was going down so fast it was very scary. I know that the first thing i have to do to start my own healing is to feel. And i surely do not like or even think i can deal with the feelings that are upon me, but i am grateful to have enough faith hour by hour that it can be done. You can get through this. I am praying for you tonight. Please stay sober and cry when you have to and rage when you have to and do nothing when you can't do anything. But through all of it, know that you are important, and there are better days ahead. Love and support .

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4everjoeysmom

Deb, I totally agree with Forgiving on how those vices can make you spiral even further downward. Sweety, I am not as together as you think I am. I have to do a lot of things to stay sane. I listen to various sermons, sometimes over and over and over again to get courage and strength. I pray so much, and then sometimes i can't find the words to pray for my own self. But I do know the Bible says when that happens, the Lord stands as an intercessor praying for me. It's ok to just cry and know he is God. I watched a movie today called Amazing Grace. It was about the abolishment of the slave trade in England and the story of William Wilburforce--a very good movie. But something a preacher in the movie said to Wilbur caught my attention and blew me away. He said... "Sometimes God's work is in a slow drizzle instead of a storm, drip..drip..drip..." Meaning that we can't always feel Him working in us, or His presence with us, but he is there. How profound! I also have been listening to an "Abiding" series of sermons, which in one session it was said that if we aren't abiding, then it is hard to feel God's presence. Abiding is hard to do... We are such self-centered creatures of habit, we are. But regardless of any of that, please be encouraged that even though we aren't always faithful to be looking toward God, especially when we can't feel Him near, He is ALWAYS looking toward us. Once you enter into covenant with Him, He is faithful to that covenant, even when we aren't. That's what His grace and mercy are all about. That's why he is God and we aren't. So hang in there, my friend. WE WILL make it through this.

Forgiving, I couldn't find my way out alone either. AFter the death of my son last year, I was so broken I didn't think I could ever take a full breath again. But I did and I am. My childhood is one of tragic proportions too where my dad is concerned. He is an alcoholic, and he was very abusive and neglectful. I used to pray at night when I was a kid that God take him away and save us from this wretched excuse for a human being. My mother caved to him. She was so afraid and she had very little confidence in herself. I watched her self respect diminish over the years. I spent a good many years hating my dad and angry with my mother for "allowing" this to be our lives. I pitied her even more when she divorced my dad but within a few short months married another alcoholic that was no better, and maybe worse. What a horribly miserable life she made for herself back then. I didn't have too much respect for either of them, if any for quite a long time. I am grateful though that I have over the past 9 years or so worked toward a great measure of forgiveness toward them both. I would even go so far as to say i have great relationships with both of them. My mom is since married to a really great man, and she has blossomed into the woman she always had potential to be I am very happy for her. My dad is still having issues with alcohol, is way overweight, and I suspect he is slowly dying at this point. Nothing has happened that has erased anything for me with regards to what could have or should have been all through my childhood years and well into my 20's and 30's. But something in me became FREE when I began to forgive them in spite of themselves. You see, forgiving doesn't necessarily mean they would change or that anything that happened could be fixed. It doesn't even mean that my dad isn't still an ass at times. I actually pity him when he is. But what it does mean is that I am whole and free of that pain because I have forgiven them. It was my choice to forgive them, not by anything they did or didn't do to deserve it. I forgave them simply by grace. ANd the only explanation I can give is that in the same way God forgave me by grace for the many imperfections of my very ownnature, so did He give me the gift of grace to be able to forgive my parents without expecting anything in return. I suppose even if they both were still horrid people, the fact that "I" forgave is what freed me. I am fortunate that fences have been mended. And I never really thought my mother was horrid..truly (and mom if you are reading this, I hope you are not hurt by my sharing my feelings as I was growing up), but I now don;t carry around a victim status like I used to. My own unforgiveness, I realize now in the several years of being on the other side of it, was far more damaging to my soul than were the events of my youth. I was worse poison to myself than they ever could be, because I was pulling the strings, or calling the shots as they say, for my own adult life. they no longer had control, unless of course I kept handing it over to them. That's the beauty of forgiving... It's an act of grace, undeserved yet so totally freeing. SO, my dear new friend Forgiving, I am praying for you in ways that you had no idea, because I know where you are today, and I KNOW that YOU WILL BE FREE one day. Blessings and love to you, Always, Claudia

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Deb, hi, I hope the holiday was good to you. I don't have much to add, how could I when Claudia covers it so eloquently. I just wanted to emphasize the drinking thing. When I lost my brother I began drinking a few glasses of wine every night and then progressed to a full bottle before bedtime. I was hoping that it would help me sleep through the night, but it did nothing but make me sadder....if that was even possible. I spent several months doing that, I would take my bottle of wine into my bedroom and sit and reread his text messages from my phone, listen to favorite songs of ours and cry. Actually I did that for almost 6 months before my friends here and my family helped me realize that I was isolating myself and was really no longer "living". I would highly encourage you to try and not rely on alcohol for support; it works in just the reverse manner. Time is the best healer, time and prayer. I found this forum to have helped so much, not only did I make wonderful friends who understood and prayed for me constantly; the reaching out and trying to help others through their sorrow takes the focus off of your pain for a while. I wish you the best and pray that you find some comfort. Peace and blessings, Jackie

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4everjoeysmom

Just checking in on my "Forgiving" friend today. I am constantly praying for you and keeping you close in thought and heart. Hugs, Claudia

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Dear Claudia

To say that your thoughtfulness helps is a huge understatement! I am just so very appreciative of loving kindness. You are in my heart and prayers aswell! Today was very difficult. Most of the day i was being crushed by helplessness, hopelessness, rage, despair and so much fear. I forced myself this evening to go for a bike ride. A very hard thing to do because i felt completely dissociated. Anyways, i rode to a lovely place and watched the sunset and cared less for a moment about my pain and more about the glory of God. I wonder how and if anybody can get through emotional despair without some kind of belief in God, or some kind of spirituality. Though i also realize that when a tragedy like losing a child happens etc..., that someone who has had faith my lose it, at least temporarily. I would be a gonner long ago if i did not have faith. just some things i am thinking about. I appreciate all you shared with me in your last post. And will respond to it some when i can. I am just curious where you live. If you are comfortable sharing that. I live in Montreal, Canada. So from Montreal with love and hugs, prayers and support! Thank you friend!

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Dear Forgiving, I am so glad you took that bike ride, even if you did feel disconnected from your usual sense of peace and collective thoughts during your sunset rides. I know all too well the disociated feelings and the struggle to feel motivted to do much of anything at all. I still struggle with motivation, even a year past my own loss. And I do agree with you completely that I haven't a clue how someone can begin to move out of the despair without God. I had a time for a couple of months after when I was a bit more removed from looking for God in my life, and once I found my way back, I realized just how dark and lonely that time was. I am ever grateful for His faithfulness during that time. He patiently waited for me, whispering gently, though my ears could not hear. I believe in some mysterious way my heart did. I am originally from the States, having lived my young life in Illinois and ten years in North Carolina. For the past 15 months I have been in Ecuador. My husband and I are founders for a missions ministry we began almost 2 years ago, and here is where the Lord has placed us for His work, for a time. What was so very difficult besides the usual transition in such a huge life-changing move was that my son died 12 weeks after we arrived here. He was still in college, working toward grad school. It was hard to leave for the geographical distance, but we knew--or rather hoped--there would be my visits home and his visits here over time that would not make the distance seem so far. I also have internet communications that help to stay in touch often with my family. And I do stay very close with my son Patrick who is now 24, one year Joey's junior. But that was never to be with Joey. Little did I know that last long glance of a sad good-bye as I departed would be the last time I would see him this side of eternity. I am thankful that he did turn to the Lord at 21, just three years before. That is the ONLY assuring comfort I carry, knowing without a breath's hesitation that I will see him there in heaven. It took me a little while to sort through the guilt I carried for having left for my new vocation and not getting a chance for a proper "good-bye for now". But our last days shared together were good and I cling to that. In some way in that long-glancing sad good-bye God knew... and I guess that is why I was terribly mad at him for a time. I'm grateful he extended mercy and grace upon me even when I had none. And it seems I continue to wade through life's trials, now with my husband's family situation, so all I can surmount is that we must be doing a wonderful work in Christ for such heaping attack to constantly pester us. I think I am supposed to feel good about that, although I haven't quite managed to get there yet. I am, however, ever seeking his counsel, because I've known my life without it and it was not pleasant. That being said, I've probably gone on a bit more than I should have. However, I do desire transparency more and more these days. It helps to break open barriers for communication with those I would like to know better, so that one can see the realness of my own struggles. I am not an in-your-face, fell-good-all-the-time Christian. I am just the average saved soul that walks daily through the struggles and joys of life. I do feel so deeply for the pain you are feeling now. I pray the despairing feelings will dissipate in a short time so that you may take a full breath again without feeling the crushing weight on you. Sometimes loving kindness is all one has to offer, but often times its all one truly needs to find courage and strength to take another step into the overshadowed valley. It also helps to be encouraged knowing that while we may have to walk through darker valleys in certain times, there are always the peaks waiting for us in the radiant Son. SO to you, greetings from Ecuador, with much love and hope for your brighter tomorrows. Always, Claudia

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Hi there

Just want to make a peep here. I was planning on writing some stuff here this weekend, but just don't have the psychology for it right now. I can however extend thanks for the support and i am around and don't plan on going far away. Just waiting for a good moment to post something worthwhile. I basically feel like i have gone insane. SO overwhelmed that my mind is really a mess. I don't feel like i even know who i am, never mind why i am. I feel like i need to completely re create my identity and codes of living etc...Anyways, i hope that is normal for grieving!? Enough about me. Love and support.

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4everjoeysmom

Hey Forgiving, Don't feel like you should only post when you have good things to say or when you feel more sane. I could look back on my history and see in those early stages how much I just needed to vent. I felt like the only place I could be heard and understood was here on BI. What you are feeling IS normal. You have a lifetime of grieving, and you recent events have opened up your Pandora's Box, so to speak. So I can only imagine how the floodgates have opened for you. After I lost my son I began to understand that who I was no longer was. My heart wrenched and my guts twisted, and I couldn't breathe. I cried all the time, and I was so desperate not to feel alone. I still am very lonely often with my feelings and grief, and I too am re-creating--still in the process of discovering who I am and why I am. I'm glad you did feel up to posting something. I look for you each day, and I've been praying that you're holding on. Even when things don't make sense, there's a bigger tapestry being woven, and some day we'll look back and find the places where we've grown, and the parts of us that were ok to leave behind. It just takes time... Hugs for today and know that a light is shining in your direction. -Claudia

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Hi

Hope you're doing okay and keeping the faith! I'm not really looking for a response here so much as just trying to get some stuff out because i am about to explode! I am back at 3 days of sobriety. Slipped back for a few days as i really felt so much inner tension that i was scared i was really going to self-harm badly, just to relieve the intensity. I decided that altering my state of mind would be better than hurting myself. But consuming i realize is also self-harm, and makes me even more vulnerable to my dark thoughts. I was diagnosed with the very stigmatising mental illness of Borderline Personality Disorder just before my dad died. All of this in the past 2 months. Talk about having a lot of traumatizing things to process at once. Anyways, i rejected that diagnosis immediately as i wanted to believe more that i am having a spiritual crisis as opposed to a mental illness. But right about now i kind of believe it. And hate to admit it!!! It is so disempowering and well, just an awful thing to have to incorporate into 'who i am'. But i really don't know who i am. I feel like i am a walking grieving mental illness. And nothing more. Plus, the passing of my dad and my diagnosis i have pretty much kept to myself, as both of these issues are very private and complicated. I am only interested in discussing these things with people who can empathize. Pity makes me crazy. And judgment and misunderstandings make me even crazier. But, i am completely isolated in all of this, and my intense loneliness is starting to really feel intense. I am so overwhelmed and often feel suicidal because i can only imagine i will keep falling further and further into this deep pit of utter despair and agony. If i had kids or a partner or a family of any kind or friends that were not all drunks and addicts, maybe i would have more will to find a way to get better. But i am just mentally ill with my secret abusive past with no friends and an abusive mother that just said she can't survive unless i relocate and move in with her and help her pack up my dads stuff and support her etc...I can't even respond to my moms cry for help, as it is above and beyond anything i can even process at all let alone respond to. I am supposed to keep her from killing herself right now!? And what about me!? Who will help me from killing myself right now? Certanly not my mom, my drunk mom who refuses to allow me my reality, my past. Total denial. I am so sad and angry and scared and guilty....I feel also like i never feel like ever talking to anybody ever again. I just have to have faith that i will shift but by the grace of God out of this state of mind. But having faith is scary too, because i feel like i am playing Russian Roulette. I am hanging on, hoping to get better. But what if things take an even worse turn. My self-harm urges are huge, and my emotional pain really hurts so bad, physiologically. I am not very open to taking psychiatric meds, for many reasons. Anyways, i obviously feel very vulnerable now that i have said all that! But i need to feel like i am attempting to do something to move through my awful state of mind. I am praying for a miracle. Specifically, for trust in my intuition. And for my intuition to speak up. Because right now, i have no idea how to think, or make any kind of decision, one way or the other...I feel like screaming and crying and self destructing. But also like praying, and asking for more prayers. I feel like this thread is one of the best hopes i have to turn this around! Anyways, thanks if you read all the way to this point. I think that means in a way that i am not as alone as i think i am!? I need a hug! I think i just need a hug! Love to you

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Dear Forgiving, I AM sending you that HUGE HUG right now through my heart and soul, and througg powerful prayer being lifted up and heard by the Father, our God who hears you, who hears me, who knows your pain and your struggles, and who wants to lift you out of your anguish and dark thoughts of self harm. I too am praying for a miracle for you. God is a healer and a deliverer, and I believe with all my heart that rather than listening to your intuition, cry out to Him and listen for His resolve. He will answer. I know He will. I feel it, and I believe in it.

I can understand your hesitation for medications right now. I don't know the circumstances that led to your medical diagnosis before your dad died. But if it was related to depression because of your past hurts and torment, and maybe trying to stuff that away for so many years, then our minds and hearts do strange things to "protect" ourselves. I am familiar with personality disporder, and unless it's schizophrenia or a chemical imbalance, such as being bipolar, then sometimes, often times, our protective mechanism can kick in and form a place within us that allows us to feel safe and untouched by what haunts us. I actually thought I was nuts for years because I could not control my outbursts of rage and depression. I still battle depression, but I am healing with time and through my faith and learning more about the God who loves me and wants me to feel whole. I don;t think I knew who I was either until as little as five years ago, and even then I was still discovering only to have my life, my heart, my world shattered and blown to bits when my son died. I'm still amazed that I can even begin to recover from that. Truthfully. But the reality I am facing each and every new day is that it is solely by God's grace, and it is His power and strength bringing me to a point of new discovery and healing. I in no way could conjr up a formula for this in my own power or strength. I'm convinced of that. I know, because I have spent so, so many years of my life and so many months in this past year of new pain crumpled up like a beaten and battered rag doll left for the trash heap.

I can't imagine that you can be what your mom needs you to be in your current state. And I think that burden weighs heavy on you, only adding to what you are already trying to cope through. I don;t mean to get too personal outside of your comfort zone, so if I do, I won't be offended if you tell me to shut up. I just pray you please keep coming here and unloading, and sharing, and feeling that someone out here REALLY and TRULY cares for you and I am here ready to stand in the gap for you so that you don't fall into that big black hole. What I want to say is that if you need to "run away" or get away for a while, I live in the wilderness. I actually live in the rainforest in Ecuador, and it's very private and isolated as much as we need and want it to be. It's been a place for me of freedom to be what I need to be when I need to be it. And it has also been a place where I have been able to deeply connect to God through many avenues, including the wonder of his creation. If you have means and a desire to come away for a time, please know that I would open up this place we live in to welcome you. I live on a retreat site with provate guest rooms in a separate building from where I am, and just know that you are welcome...

That being said, I won;t go on for fear of having you to feel questioned, judged or patronized. My sincere hope and desire is to be your friend in a time when it feels like you have no one, and to be the mightiest prayer warrior for you that you can possibly imagine. I am feeling your pain, and I am willing to go deeper into it with you in the hope that we can both come out whole and free. Much, much love, many prayers, and BIG HUGS to you, my friend. Always, Claudia

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Claudia

You are an actual Holy Angel me thinks!!!! I am so deeply moved by your generosity and what i know to be totally genuine love. Please do not feel for a nano second that you could ever pry too personally. You could not. And i must say that when i read about your situation in Ecuador, and the guest room, i did say out loud in fact "shut up". But you know what kind of shut up i mean :). I was like, my God, an Angel just extended her hand to me from Ecuador...And i smiled and still am. I have commited that idea to memory, and for consideration. And this seems a great seguay(sp?) into sharing another thing about myself with you. Which is that until a year ago when yes indeed the stuffing of my past caught up with me really badly and found me in a massive depression, i worked at a homeless womens shelter. Trying with all of my tender empathetic genuine heart to help those with no faith and no home and only despair...So in a way, i feel our lives have this common thread aswell. Just wanted you to be able to picture a bit better who you are so thoughtfully connecting with. I know you are focused on helping others in need aswell. I however, have been too sensitive, more now than ever obviously, to go back to work there. I have been surviving this year doing odd jobs here and there when i can. Sure would be lovely to have an actual conversation. It is great to have the opportunity to connect over the internet like this, but it still feels a bit too fictional, though i do believe this is a true relationship. You know what i mean. Anyways, wow, you are such an amazing person! Thank you so much for helping me. And you really are. I sure will pray hard for your whole family to come to a place of peace and acceptance with your awful grief! I feel deeply for you too. Very sincerely!!! I will keep in touch. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your friend always. Forgiving Hugs for you (((Claudia)))

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Forgiving, I don't believe in coincindence. I believe in DESTINY that it is we met. Even if through the cyber connection in this time. I hope genuinely thet we can meet face to face some day. Hopefully it will be when you decide to take me up on the offer to visit for any period of time your heart desires. A young woman came and stayed here for 2 months recently, as she wanted a peaceful place to commune with the Holy Spirit. And she did find Him here. He is always with her, but somehow by being here she was able to hear from Him in a very intimate way. Speaking of working at emergency shelters for women, and I do admire that you dedicated a big part of yourself to doing that and may find your way back one day, a very precious person in my life spent a time also reaching into a women's shelter to help where he could. He was my boss for 5 years until he developed cancer and passed away. My heart was so broken in that time of loss, and I wonder if that was God's way of preparing me for even greater loss... I don't know. But I cherished my time knowing him and I cherished what I learned from him through his generous heart. He was like a dad to me when I was so far from my own dad. And he was my mentor and friend. I ministered to him throughout his illness and visited him in those last days at his home. I gave him a Scripture medallion to hold onto during that time, and it has come to be a very powerful Scripture for me as well. In fact, last Christmas when I visited a church here in Ecuador, the children of the church presented me and each person in my ministry group with a Scrioture verse attached to a little craft they made. The one presented to me was that VERY SAME Scripture verse I gave to my boss. Coincidence? I believe not! I want to share it with you now, that perhaps you can hold tight to it as I have clung to it through my darkest hours.

Jos 1:9 "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

This is a very powerful and meaningful verse for me. And I hope and pray you find it is for you as well.

I am elated, sitting here, heart pounding, and I am smiling as I feel very connected to you by the grace of God in this difficult time for us both--in different ways, but much the same in so many ways. If and when you feel you would like to e-mail me, you can always do that as well. Many times people like the anonimity of posting here on BI. But I do feel deeply about calling you friend, and you're a keeper!! :) Do continue to seriosuly consider coming here if you feel called to do so. Anytime, for however long you like. My home is a gift from God, therefore, I extend it as a gift from Him and me to you as well. NO STRINGS! Just love and the hope that your tomorrows will be brighter as we journey through grief and life together. God bless you dear friend. Always, Claudia

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:)

Yes, i believe there is a higher power at work here now! Thank God i believe that! Thanks for sharing that scripture, it sure is relevant, and very useful! I would love to meet you too. Things will unfold with greater clarity with time i am sure. Boy, you have really managed to fill me with HOPE! That is a miracle right there! I just really want to let you know that it is your turn now. I am sure you have some developments you might feel good to share with reguards to your recent situation with your family. Please share if you feel moved to, i care about and think about your situation! Also, i would like to hear from any other visitors to this post. How is everybody? I would love to email you actually! I am holding back some here for sure that i might not do if i felt a bit more privacy so to speak. Anyways, i just am so happy to have been blessed with your frienship! Chat soon.

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My e-mail addy is clab2010@yahoo.com E-mail anytime.

I just cannot tell you how joy filled I am to see with clarity a countenance change in your posts since that first post at noon. One of the things about this journey is the trecherous see-saw of emotions--one minute or day up, and the next down, and so on, and so on. But when we feel good, does it ever feel good!! One of the things my husband constantly tries to remind me is that emotions are only emotions. They affect us in monstrous ways, HUGE, but we can, again with the help of God's grace control them. He reminds me constantly of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." and to "Hold every thought captive, not to release those thoughts into emotion or action until I've sifted it through that Scripture. I wish I could say I;m not stubborn and tend to not think about it more than I do, but oh well. I'm a work in progress. What can I say?

Things are improving with my family situation. My husband has been spending time with his children, and it has been the best of quality. There are still some legal things in the works, and I should know more in the next week or two. For now we are very encouraged and just blessed that the kids are coming through the recent trauma with HOPE and love, and with their daddy by their sides. Of course I miss him. But over the past several days I have torn our apartment apart and am attempting to do some creative painting. So far 1-1/2 rooms improved! We'll see how long that energy lasts. For now it's keeping me busy, and for the first time in weeks I am doing something other than sitting here all day and feeling sorry for myself that I am lonely and depressed. I've been running in here today to my laptop just to check for word from you. And YOU, my friend, have equally cheered me. :) But hey! That's what "friends" are for. And it's so very cool to be lifting each other up in prayer and spirits. And that HOPE you encountered today... Hang onto that!! I'm thankging God for answered prayer!! And I will keep on praying. I've been praying for you all day as I've been taping things to prep for my next paint encounter--maybe tomorrow. For now I'm prepping some food for the tummy. I haven't been eating so well with Michael away. But today, right now, my appetite is ferocious. It must have something to do with that miracle. :) And as blessings go, I am blessed to knwo you too! More Hugs, Claudia

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And to you too, my friend. Sweet dreams and HOPE for a brighter tomorrow. When you get a chance shoot me a quick e-mail so I have your address. I want to send you a photo, just so this doesn't feel like an illusion. :)

You are firmly planted in my heart and prayers! Love, Claudia

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Hey Forgiving, How's today finding you? Hope you were able to get some sleep with a little peace. My night was kind of rough. Not sure why. Just didn't sleep too well. I'm back to my painting today. I'm actually really getting into it, and that's a good thing. My place is a shables though in the process. LOL. So goes it! I've been praying for you, and I started praying for your mom too. My prayer for her is that she can escape the co-dependency thing and think a little more outside of her selfishness and the additional anguish she is causing you, knowing full well what you've been through yourself. There was a time when my family was SO dysfuntional, it was ridiculous. I suppose in a way it still is. My brother (only sibling) is in his own world, chasing wealth and status. My dad is an alcoholic, and in denial that he's slowly committing suicide. He had a double bypass a couple of years ago and quit smoking, but can't give up the beer. He is so overweight now, I can just imagine how awfully hard his heart has to work to keep him going. And the death of his oldest grandson, one of two and only two grandchildren--my brother has no kids, has nearly destroyed him. My mom is happy in her life now, but sad as well for the obvious reason, and she misses me a lot. Both of my folks' parents are no longer living. And here I am, far removed physically, socially, economically, etc from all of them, except that I do keep in touch by phone, e-mail and chat. My younger Son Patrick is 24. He is the only sane one of us all, I think. :) He's doing great, and I miss him a lot...

Well, I have no idea why I went into all of that. I mostly just wanted to say hi and see how things are sailing for you today. Once we get going by e-mail, I would love to send you some pics of what it's like here--just to keep the contemplation going on the possible adventure for you here... Sending HUGS your way this morning, and looking forward to hearing from you. Blessings and Love, Claudia

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