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Is anyone else "stuck?"


azsummer2003

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azsummer2003

Does anyone else feel stuck in their growth toward being "healed?"

It's been nearly four years. I can't really remember what Taylor's voice sounded like. I can't remember his hugs, or his smell. I can't even remember his smile.  I have videos, but I'm deathly afraid of looking, for fear I may end up back at step one.  I go into his beadroom (at least waht would have been his room if he had ever even seen this house... he died the week we moved here) and I look around it and just can't wrap my brain around the fact that he is gone. GONE. I never even got to say goodbye.

I feel as though I am the reason Taylor died. Both my daugher and husband hate Pittsburgh (where we moved to since

wanted to move back east to be closer to family in Buffalo. We had been living in Arizona) and I am reminded of it on a daily basis. Sure I've rolled my eyes and have tried to joke the painful comments away, but this is KILLING me.  I'm terrified.  I'm not sure what to do. I'm not working (I haven't worked full time since moving to AZ because of Chron's Disease and Breast Cancer - but you would never know I've ever been sick. I go to all my treatments alone.) I try not to drag anyone into the "disease zone" because that's all my husband or daughter need, you know? 

I feel SO GUILTY.  And it's literally killing me.  It's been four years, and I haven't told a soul how I feel. Not that anyone wants to hear it anyhow, you know?  I mean, it's been FOUR YEARS!  I adored my son, we were extremely close, we had matching personalities and thoughts. I was close to Brooke too, and I still am, but she gets angry if I talk about Taylor, so I have to be careful what I say. I realize it's got to be difficult to compete with a dead sibling so I try not to compare her to him too much because I know that woulnd't really be fair. So we don't talk about him much.

It's just that we had the perfect family. (Not a great marriage - I tried to leave my DH but he ended up with a nervous breakdown so I moved back in with him and we moved away from our families to Virginia in the first of many moves. Sorry for the digression.)

We had the boy first and he was a very nice, easy kid. We had the girl next. I loved both my kids equally, but so differently because one was a boy and one was a girl. I LOVED being a mom first and foremost because I didn't have a family growing up. (My mom died when I was a kid and my father never remarried. He was an alcoholic steel worker, but he's better now at 84 with dementia living in a nursing home.)

I don't cry in front of anyone. My neighbors think I'm "fun" because I try to be helpful and talkative. I'm the present buyer...

I'm always there for my daughter, going down to Florida whenever there is a crisis (dorm roommate problems, classes, whatever she needs) and I know she loves me. But Taylor is always in the back of my mind. I just feel as though I've lost my best friend. (I actually DID! My best friend died just 9 months after Taylor! I know! Even my DOG died a month BEFORE Taylor! I have death all around me...

We're not doing the golf tournament this year because we need a break (DH gets nearly 100% of the donations for the auction through work and it's VERY emotionally draining for him.) I certainly couldn't do it all myself and he basically has done the majority of all the work for the tournament every year. (He works for a major sporting goods company so we get the items for free) But now I'm feeling guilty that we are not doing it. I'm just so afraid that we will not ever do anything in Taylors memory again. 

I must say, my husband is as heartbroken about Taylor's death still, as I am. Our grief is what keeps us married. That and our daughter who really just doesn't need anymore sh*t in her life to deal with.I have not been able to catch my breath. And now DH is looking to move to another job - this one is in Georgia! I totally understand, because he really, REALLY hates it here.  Jesus, this stuff never ends.  Oh, and we have our house on the market here because he'd like to move closer to work - which I totally understand.  Okay, so there's a bunch more that's going on, but you at least have a taste of how complicated my life is.

Am I depressed? No, I'm just telling it like it is. Is it better than the gut wrenching cries of pain that you experience the first year? Absolutely. It's dulled, but with the dulling of the pain comes a new set of emotions. I haven't told anyone I feel this sad at times. I'm the "rock" in the family and I think that if I ever fell apart, my entire family would crumple. 

I'm so surprised that I feel so empty still. It's as if a bridge that connected me to the rest of the world has been torn away when Taylor died and I have not been able to reach the other side. I'm stretching out my hand, I'm trying to help others (I talk to grieving parents on the phone 24/7 if they need someone to talk to.) I'm trying to "move on" and I just can't.  It's as if someone pushed a switch and my world stopped. Except the rest of the world is going on and I'm standing next to it trying to jump back on, but it's going too fast and I can't.

I know that one reason I feel like I do is because I identified so much of who I was with being Taylor's mom. I was always working full time crazy hours and weekends (coaching gymnastics so I could still help the kids during the day at school) so I could be the PTO President, the room mom, the scout leader (Taylor's and Brookes!) the holiday mom, soccer mom, like most of us have done. But when we moved away to AZ I ONLY was a mom doing all the school volunteer stuff everyday. I lost myself in their lives and now, without Tay, it seems as if the world has stopped and no matter how hard I try (like getting a part time job) I can't seem to get back on.

*sigh*

I guess because I feel as though the whole world expects me to "be over it" and after a while, people (friends & family) don't bother to mention his name.  I suppose out of sight out of mind has a lot to do with it.  I do understand, and I don't expect people to talk about Taylor all the time. But maybe a, "How are you doing?" once in a while would be nice....

Maybe it's because we never had the chance to grieve with Taylor's friend's because we moved the week he died and no one had ever met Taylor here.

I just don't feel the typical depressed feelings. I don't feel worthless, or suicidal, but when I think about Taylor and how much I miss him I cry. I think it's getting worse and not better.

Does anyone else feel this way that is this far along? Does anyone feel as though after a few years, people pretty much think, "Well it's been a few years, get over it already! For instance, even when posting on forums, unless you are a newly bereaved parent, people sometimes react as though you're making a bigger deal about it than you should and since it's been years, you really don't belong online crying about your sadness, instead you are expected help the newbies instead. I must be so screwed up, I just feel as though this is never going to end and the further I get away from Taylor's death date, I feel less and less capable of ever moving on.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Does anyone know of a forum I can go to that deals with people like myself who don't seem to be getting better? I feel as though I am the only one who has not been able to move forward.

Thanks for listening.

Lori

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azsummer2003

Thanks Mary! I'll look for it.

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LOri, I don't think that you are the only one who feels this way, lost and stuck, but I think that on this forum right now you may be the only one with 900,000,000 complications. Honey, you are dealing with so many obstacles that it has been impossible for you to fully grieve. If you had gone through the grief process, actually it is an ongoing one, but had you been able and allowed to fully grieve, you probably would not feel that it is getting worse. five years out and it does feel as though you are fairly new to this but I do believe it is because of all the guilt you harbor. You have been diagnosed with some serious medical issues, fighting disease, and because you wanted to move and Tay died in that move, you have been the scapegoat for everyone else's anger and despair. Oh if I could Lori, I would absolutely encourage you to see a good therapist, someone who will listen and be able to give some gentle direction. Gentle, gentle, as it feels like you have never had a gentle time of someone giving you care. There is a hurt child in you, one that had to grow up and not deal possibly with the death of your own Mom, and then to face an alcoholic dad. Lori, so much of your pain is based on all the unfinished and unrealized issues in your own life. Taylor and you were a team, and five years after his death, you are still taking on the guilt of his leaving. Brooke is five years older, dealing with a whole new area of life, and so the whole definition of your role as Mom, has been altered. And now another move? What will ou do? Will you go with your husband or will you stay nearer to your sister? Lori, that you are posting bigger posts, asking for others to advise or answer your questions makes me happy because it means you may be ready for some answers. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TAYLOR DYING! I hope that you will talk some more tomorrow and perhaps we can help you to make a plan and a timeline as to how to begin to feel better. Remember, better does not mean forgetting, infact, you mentioned not remembering his voice his smell, you may find when you do start feeling better, that you will remember more and it will feel good to remember, it won't crush you. As far as whether or not you are depressed, you feel you are just telling it like it is adn what I hear is a woman who is still as sad as she was adn feeling stuck after 5 years. This might not be traditional depression, but you could definitely be suffering depression. Have you ever talked to Taylor? I know some may think that that is crazy, but i feel great relief when I talk to Erica. I let her know how I am feeling adn I ask she and 'God' to help me make good decisions, I ask her to forgive all the things I have done in this world that made her sad, but I also had to learn to forgive myself. I am here Lori, as we all are, just let out all that is inside and allow the ache to be there so that you can one day, get to the other side of it. I do believe that anyone who has dealt with so much can do this, I believe Lori that you can get to the other side of this feeling and begin to live your life.

WIth love and hope,

dee

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Lori - Heck no you are not alone nor are you stuck.  Simple put you are a parent who has lost a child and all the other stuff becomes magnified 100 times over.  Your marriage, jobs and relationships suffer and nothing is the same.  Getting that is one of the hardest parts of this journey

BI is the one place where getting over it is not the focus - finding a place to just be is. 

Guilt is something each of has in some form or another.  I believe it comes from the theory that as parents we should be able to protect our children from everything..unfortnuately that is impossible.  You are not responsible for your child's death, if anything you are responsible for loving that child so much that you now find your life altered beyond recoginition.

As for health issues, moving and isolating, families can sometimes deal better than we think with life's struggles.

In the past months I have met parents that have been without their child for 5, 10 and 20yrs.  The stories have so much in common, just the verocity of the feelings are softened over the years.  None have 'gotten over it', many have moved in different directions, but all have survived to find their 'new normal'.

Pls come to Loss of an Adult if you feel you are able.  Share you story with the many parents who have lost their child - none of us have the answers to all the questions but we certainly get where you are and you might find sharing your load can lighten it to the point where you will find a peace you seem to be missing.  I know I find myself there often.

Take Care - Trudi Micheal Shane's mum

 

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azsummer2003

dee,

that was the kindest answer. Thank you! I do agree that I have not really had much time to gieve. Cry - yes, grieve, no.  I cry when I am alone, but that's my problem, I am ALONE 90% of the time.

My neighbors are great. But they never met Taylor, they don't know me well, why should they shoulder my burden? 

Between all the moving aound, trying to get Brooke healed (which I do have to say is going well) except she said something the other day that is making me take a step back. WHen she and her cousin were at the mall, the electricity went off and she sorta freaked. Not screaming, but she was really scared. When her cousin told her everything was alright, she replied, "I know, but I kind of have a lot of pressure on me not to die." And she's right. Both my husband and I are terrified she will go out and get killed.

I've tried not to give her too much pressure (I let her party with her friends A LOT in Arizona during high school) I encouraged her to go AWAY to college in another state. We are in PA, she goes to school in Florida! We are helping her get her own apartment while she is in college in Florida. I don't even call her everyday. (If she doesn't talk to me, she's aleady spoken with dad, so I don't bug her about it.)

I don't FEEL depressed, but I do feel like I've gotten the short end of the stick most of my life and I've had to deal with everything alone. And yes, my marriage stinks. My hubby never really wanted to get married I think (although you'd never have known that back then) and he really likes to go out with his friends from work for dinner and drinks.  Now with him thinking of moving to Georgia I'm seriously looking at divorce! I cannot make anothe move. I haven't the strength (it's a LOT of work - I know, I've done it 7 times since we've been married.) I just done have the stanima to start all over again. New everything! On top of being sick. I'm really concerned. 

I do talk to Taylor, but lately I don't "feel" him around. Oh sure, my lights go on and off, the alarm system goes off, the dogs act strange sometimes (like we've seen a ghost) and I cannot tell you how many humming birds end up in my house (or the amount of dead ones fom flying into my windows!) But lately, I've been feeling scared when stange things happen. Like, it's not Taylor.  I know, I KNOW! I'm a mess.

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tanmanmymagicman

Lori, I just want to add to how bad I feel for you.....When people say life is not fair; they have no idea........

Honestly, I fight to live in my mind all day every minute; The sadness and loneliness I feel is something that scares me.......I just can't and don't want to admit my son is gone it hurts so much....

You have way too much going on.....I honestly think you are a very strong women just dealing with it by yourself.....If you have made it this far for so long without ANY support; quite the opposite you need to give yourself a break....

We are working on a golf tournament for my son.....So I cried all day......A pain that NEVER goes away; I know dad's love their son's but mom's and son's always something special......they always seem to need their mommy.....my son was 16.   He has been gone I don't even want to count anymore; almost 2 years....

Just Bless YOU so VERY much........Someone needs to step in and help you.......take some burden off you; care about you......Honestly I wish I had the magic words for all of us but there is none...its called life and ya just gotta keep living and taking care of yourself the best you can.....I try and count my blessing and not always be asking God for something.....I try to thank him also......A big hug to you.....You are not alone in grief;;;we all suffer; and I don't even go to the guilt part; my son was not suppose to be out driving my old truck with no seatbelt; etc................I am working through all that and my friends here have really helped me with that alot......I know its not my fault he made a choice; BUT gave him the choice and was not aware of it...........

Tanner's Mom Cindy

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azsummer2003

[user=27335]welovedrew[/user] wrote:

AZSummer...I sent you a private message! (Drewsmom) Mary

Mary, I will try to call when I can. We're taking Brooke to see Aerosmith tonight and then I leave for Nashville tomorrow.  I'm exhausted.

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azsummer2003

[user=19712]tanmanmymagicman[/user] wrote:

Lori, I just want to add to how bad I feel for you.....When people say life is not fair; they have no idea........

Honestly, I fight to live in my mind all day every minute; The sadness and loneliness I feel is something that scares me.......I just can't and don't want to admit my son is gone it hurts so much....

You have way too much going on.....I honestly think you are a very strong women just dealing with it by yourself.....If you have made it this far for so long without ANY support; quite the opposite you need to give yourself a break....

We are working on a golf tournament for my son.....So I cried all day......A pain that NEVER goes away; I know dad's love their son's but mom's and son's always something special......they always seem to need their mommy.....my son was 16.   He has been gone I don't even want to count anymore; almost 2 years....

Just Bless YOU so VERY much........Someone needs to step in and help you.......take some burden off you; care about you......Honestly I wish I had the magic words for all of us but there is none...its called life and ya just gotta keep living and taking care of yourself the best you can.....I try and count my blessing and not always be asking God for something.....I try to thank him also......A big hug to you.....You are not alone in grief;;;we all suffer; and I don't even go to the guilt part; my son was not suppose to be out driving my old truck with no seatbelt; etc................I am working through all that and my friends here have really helped me with that alot......I know its not my fault he made a choice; BUT gave him the choice and was not aware of it...........

Tanner's Mom Cindy

Thanks Cindy. I know I have too much going on.  In the back of my mind, I've always known that. Between my health and taking care of Brooke and Guy, and all the othe stuff, I don't have time to think.  I think Guy (my husband) likes to keep busy to not think about it, but I'm SO busy (because of the cancer and Chron's and the moving around to get Booke back on track) I've not had much time to focus on Tay.

Gosh Cindy, I KNOW someone needs to step in, but Guy thinks I'm weak to ask for help - even in the form of anti-depressants.  He's VERY anti-drugs.  He thinks the thyroid medicine I take and the chemo drugs are stupid! I take them in secret. I do need help, that's why I'm terrified if he follows through on getting that job in Georgia. Then I have to start all over AGAIN.   I've only been here for a year!  All new doctors, dentists (a little off topic here - this Friday while eating diner, my capped front tooth came off and I swallowed it! I had to wait until Monday to see the dentist because it happened on the weekend and I was home in Buffalo not in Pittsburgh when it happened! I seriously have the wost luck.) and trying to sell this house, find another, etc. I just feel like Guy goes to work and everything else is on me. I'm terrified to leave him though because of my health problems, (which I can handle, but the insurance is another thing!) and if I were to do that, then we wouldn't be able to afford Brooke's tuition at her college. I haven't given up, but I sure do feel as though someone is playing a big joke on my life....

Thanks for the words of wisdom Cindy. It helps to talk it out with people who understand.

Lori

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tanmanmymagicman

Honestly; that is abuse; I don't care what your husband thinks about drugs.....he sounds selfish;

You are a person that has suffered a great loss; Now heath issues;

I know it is easier said than done but you are in a bad rut and would be better off doing what you know in your gut is best for you....Its not easy....I have been through that part myself.........

I never send emails like this but I just had to tell you how I feel....If my Dr. suggests it and tells me it will help well HECK YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bless you sweetheart;

my family is at mem.com; click name Houk; my son is Tanner...........

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azsummer2003

[user=19712]tanmanmymagicman[/user] wrote:

Honestly; that is abuse; I don't care what your husband thinks about drugs.....he sounds selfish;

You are a person that has suffered a great loss; Now heath issues;

I know it is easier said than done but you are in a bad rut and would be better off doing what you know in your gut is best for you....Its not easy....I have been through that part myself.........

I never send emails like this but I just had to tell you how I feel....If my Dr. suggests it and tells me it will help well HECK YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bless you sweetheart;

my family is at mem.com; click name Houk; my son is Tanner...........

I'm beginning to realize that. I was always under the impression that al long as he didn't hit me it was ok.  But I'm falling apart trying to keep up with him.  I'm going to try to see a counselor (but I know that will cause MAJOR problems as he thinks that all counselors are out to screw you up more.)  I'm out of town again (I have to go to tenessee with him to visit a client.) for the weekend. Then I'm asking my doc for help. I may end up in NY with my sister if I have to.  Sure wish we had a national health insuance program. My ill health is the major reason I can't leave!

Have great weekend, you all will be in my thoughts.

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I think that if it means staying with your sister, then please do it. I bet the symptoms that are aggravated by stress will alleviate when you are not under the daily crap of him. I am sorry, but I fully agree, having grown up abused by my dad, and then dating men that treated me poorly, did not hit, but there are many kinds of abuse and most of us endure thinking we have to. We don't. I married a good man but an alcoholic and so as time went by, he had less and less to give us, and god rest his soul, after divorcing him, he learned what he was missing with the kids and got his act together, but women do continue to punish themselves with the men they choose when they have poor self-seteem. I then dated a man that on the surface seemed great, but later on, oh boy, abusive! So finally out of that. There are places for help, but I certainly agree, this health care stuff makes it much harder for your decision. I would ask a lawyer if you could in your aggreement stay on his insurance as a settlement in a divorce. I know that sounds outrageous, but maybe if you gave up other things in hopes of insurance? I don't know, but I would say that living away from a man that does not regard your illness, does not allow your grief, has blamed you for the death of your Boy, is not someone I would want you to stay with.

My prayers are with you, stand for what you believe, and believe in you.

dee

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azsummer2003

Thanks all.  SOrry I haven't been on lately, besides Taylor's death date coming up (http://www.TaylorBurgstahler.memory-of.com) I just found out my breast cancer may have come back. Just had a biopsy done yesterday and will  hopefully hear something in a few days. Strangest thing is, if it weren't for Brooke, I'd be hoping it was cancer. I'm exhausted, if Brooke weren't so young, I'd give up. Sometimes life just doesn't get any better you know? *sigh*

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[user=14326]azsummer2003[/user] wrote:

Thanks all.  SOrry I haven't been on lately, besides Taylor's death date coming up (http://www.TaylorBugstahler.memory-of.com) I just found out my breast cancer may have come back. Just had a biopsy done yesterday and will  hopefully hear something in a few days. Strangest thing is, if it weren't for Brooke, I'd be hoping it was cancer. I'm exhausted, if Brooke weren't so young, I'd give up. Sometimes life just doesn't get any better you know? *sigh*

I hope for the best for you. I think Taylor's site address is wrong, it is not working with what you put. I think it should be this:

http://www.taylorburgstahler.memory-of.com/About.aspx

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Laurie, my prayers are with you as you wait for the biopsy report to come back.  Brooke needs you, please dont give up on life. 

Hugs,   Marcia   Bethany's Mom Forever

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azsummer2003

Thank you everyone. I still haven't found anything out. On one hand I don't really care about the results, I am really to give up the ship because I'm exhausted! But on the other hand, I feel if I do I'll ruin my daughter's life - however independent she is.

Taylor's date is approaching fast and I had to correct my original post becasue it's been FOUR years, not five. I can't even think straight anymore.

Has anyone ever thought about fostering children? I'm thinking that maybe I should try to bring a child back into my life. My husband doesn't agree (he likes his freedom) so I may end up leaving him and doing it on my own.

I would really like to feel that joy again that I once had when being a mom.

 

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I believe Bonnie "heartbeataway" on Loss of an Adult child was thinking about fostering. 

Trudi

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