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Do You Feel "abandoned" By Family And/or Friends

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Posted · Report post

This has happened to me but from what I'm gathering is common. Family or friends or both, though they know you are hurting badly and in various real ways feeling or being very alone, don't check on you. They rarely if ever call, let alone make an effort to get together. After a small flurry of calls and a few cards immediately afterwards, since then I can easily count on one hand those who have made any real effort to keep in touch at all, let alone "check" on me, and same goes for any who have made any real effort to get together. There have even been a few I THOUGHT I meant a lot to who have still to say anything to me in any way - a call, a card, even an email. What the ####? I didn't expect many, and I don't expect people to call non-stop, but it's been months and it's barely a trickle. It has only compounded the loneliness and emptiness. People are strange.

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Hi - I could really relate to your post. Our loss is different (as it was my mother who died in May 12, 2011) but the majority of my family and friends have visibly vanished from my life. I didn't expect to be grieving these losses as well. We are truly not alone in this feeling, as many have written before us on this website regarding this situation. So, that was, at least, helpful for me to know. I don't have any suggestions, as I am currently readjusting to this new "abandonment" as well. Just wanted to write to you -- because, not getting a response at this website can only enhance these feelings -- believe me, I know. Seems like the topics are viewed -- but -- most "viewers" don't write back. But -- I know they are there -- as I am. From what I have also read, grieving time might not be the time to make too many big decisions (like -- ending friendships), so, I am just keeping to myself, learning about myself, my expectations and acceptance -- and writing on this website to help my clarify my thoughts. The strength from having my dear mother's love in this lifetime helps me go on.

My best to you.

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Thx - I wasn't worried about responses here per se, that's very common on the 'net (many views, few responses). Thank you for the reply and I'm sorry you experienced similar. It really is odd. I think a lot of it is it's so awkward or uncomfortable for people so they avoid it, but that doesn't excuse it.

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Wouldn't you just love to know what goes through people's minds? I have three brothers, three sister's in law, and nieces and nephews. However, I rarely hear from anyone.

My husband has been gone for 4 years this month and two or my brothers didn't even bother to come to the funeral. Our father died 11 months prior to my husband's death, that was the last time I saw two of my brothers until I made an effort to go see them. The experiences have been hard to deal with. It has been a struggle for me to learn to live with the "new normal" for my life. I don't get why they seem to think that I don't need any support. Guess it's because they still have their spouse, I don't know.

A year after my husband's death, I decided to "kill them with kindness" and wrote a note to each of my brothers families every week. I didn't sent an email, I wrote to each of them with a pen and paper. I just talked about how I was doing, asked them what was new with them, etc., etc. I NEVER got a response, so after about 3 months, I just stopped.

One of my brothers actually brought his family to Colorado, about 45 minutes from where I live, and didn't even call. I learned a bout their trip on Facebook.

Every time I go back to Kansas, I call the two brothers who live in Kansas and try to arrange a meeting. If I make the effort and show up at their houses, they act like they are happy I am there and we have a nice visit, but underneath, I am simmering!

Dick, my husband, and I were blessed with one child. I worry that when I am gone, our son with be totally without family. How is he supposed to feel he has people to "fall back on or depend on"?

I have asked by brothers if they are unhappy with me or something, and they respond like I'm crazy. They say dopy things like, "Well, if you need anything, you know you can call." Sigh!

It's been four years and I still have times of incredible loneliness and I know that there is not cure for that, but maybe a bit of attention would help. It sure can't hurt?

I know that I am babbling, but I have spent a long time wondering about what I can do to change a situation that is not mine to change. I can only change what I have control over and I don't have control over other people. I know one thing for sure, I have learned how it feels and I will NOT abandon them when it's their turn!

Anne

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Hi Anne, wow your response hit home:

Guess it's because they still have their spouse, I don't know.

This might be part of it. Their lives are more or less "back to normal" and they don't like being reminded of the terrible loss you suffered so they avoid it by avoiding you. Horrible I know but again it seems pretty common, so partly just human nature I guess. Though again I don't think that excuses it.

A year after my husband's death, I decided to "kill them with kindness" and wrote a note to each of my brothers families every week. I didn't sent an email, I wrote to each of them with a pen and paper. I just talked about how I was doing, asked them what was new with them, etc., etc. I NEVER got a response, so after about 3 months, I just stopped.
Wow. I tried similar though not nearly to the extent you did (a few emails) - I was less patient than you - after no responses I took the hint and figured OK if you don't want to keep in touch, whatever.

One of my brothers actually brought his family to Colorado, about 45 minutes from where I live, and didn't even call.
This really hits home, although not related to my loss per se. Before then, some years back, my best friend and his family (who are like family to me) drove to another (my) state a few states away for a tourist site. You have to drive about within 10 mins of my place to do so. They never even told me they were going, let alone offered to let me join them, or join afterwards for dinner/etc or even suggest stopping in. That hurt. A lot.

If I make the effort and show up at their houses, they act like they are happy I am there and we have a nice visit, but underneath, I am simmering!
I don't even get that. Oh they are polite and cordial enough, but typically I'm there when other family is visiting (holiday etc) and even if it's been a long time (year or more) since I've seen them, they like they just saw me 10 mins ago. It's kind of like a yawn. That also doesn't exactly make me feel warm and fuzzy. It's clear they don't care if I show up or not.

Dick, my husband, and I were blessed with one child. I worry that when I am gone, our son with be totally without family. How is he supposed to feel he has people to "fall back on or depend on"?
Well hopefully he will find someone special and start his OWN family. At least you have him!

I have asked by brothers if they are unhappy with me or something, and they respond like I'm crazy. They say dopy things like, "Well, if you need anything, you know you can call."

I have grown to HATE that expression. It's like saying "let's do lunch some time." Why not just go "blah blah blah" because it has about as much value IMO.

Maybe you should say "OK - what I NEED is for my family to call me once in awhile instead of me always having to call - or God forbid ask about visiting some time."

It's been four years and I still have times of incredible loneliness and I know that there is not cure for that, but maybe a bit of attention would help. It sure can't hurt?

ya think??

I know that I am babbling, but I have spent a long time wondering about what I can do to change a situation that is not mine to change. I can only change what I have control over and I don't have control over other people. I know one thing for sure, I have learned how it feels and I will NOT abandon them when it's their turn!

EXACTLY. You are not babbling; well said and best to you.

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I know exactly how this feels.

My dad passed away just over a year ago, he had many brothers and sisters who lived close by, me and my mum can count on 1 hand how many times they've visited. They all seemed to take his death so personally because he was a father figure to them all as he was the eldest, but I was only 22 when he passed and all I feel is alone with everything.

What makes it more maddening is that my dad spoke with 2 of my uncles on his death bed on how they were to support me all they could with my small holding. They've built 1 wall for me and just had there sheep grazing and visit when they feel like, as if it's their land. Walls are falling down left right and centre, I'm having trouble maintaining all the tractors, trailers and other machinery and just feel so so mad at how helpless I am, I'm a young female who does not have the physical strength to do this manual labour, I have asked and asked but nothing comes of it... and even more frustratingly you get the "If there's anything I can do, All you need to do is ask" I DO ASK AND NOTHING HAPPENS!

So I have taken it upon myself to organise renting it out, I mentally and physically can't do it anymore.

It just adds insult to injury.

I just don't think they know how it really feels and how much your world changes. They're just insensitive to it all, ignorance is bliss hey?

Sorry I wish I could say it gets better but since my dads death things have only got worse. I know now the only people I can really trust and who will help me through and visa versa are my mum and brother, but have lost many acquaintances and my long term boyfriend who walked on me just months after the death.

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Bless your heart! I wish I was close to you and could just wrap my arms around you. You are awful young to have to shoulder all this responsibility. Shame on your Aunts and Uncles.

Since I'm a city type gal, I honestly can not actually understand the magnitude of what you are faced with, but I am sharp enough to know it tons and tons of responsibility. I think that you are organizing things and renting it out, sounds like a good plan. You are so wise to realize you can't do it all yourself, no point in letting it all weigh you down to nothing.

I pray that there will be a light at the end of your tunnel.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are coping.

Anne

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Sorry to butt in on this thread.

Yes I'm young and feel it but at the same time feel very old with what has been dumped at my feet. I feel very vulnerable. I think the main thing i'm having trouble coping with is the break up of my ex-boyfriend of 6 years. I feel really angry at myself for constantly thinking of him. Surely I should be thinking of my dad and family... but i'm obsessed with my ex. I feel like I could hear anything about him sleeping around and things and i'd just be like "bring it on... deal me some more rubbish!!" i feel like i've been to the very bottom, surely i can't go further....

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I feel like my friends and EVEN my FAMILY have left me alone in this world. The only thing i have left is my DOG, he loves me , follows me every where. My FAMILY don,t call me , it,s like they Treat me terrible. They don,t know i am still grieving over HER. We where very close, i feel like apart of me has died inside. I loved her soo much, she loved me in every way. ALthough i have a best friend Judy, she is the Superintenant and busy so she can,t alwys be there when i need her. If i did,bt have a DOG i don,t know... People say a lot of things to you, they will CALL but they don,t, its only to MAKE THEM FEEL better ,,LIke i was there for you..etc... It seems today in this world, everybody is FOR themselves! Sometimes i can, EAT or SLEEP until i can go to her Grave, then i feel a little better, We could always talk together.

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I really don't know. I think that grief is striking everyone in different way. They might not do it out of discreet. They might think that you want to be alone at a times like this. From what I 've seen women want around people while men turned to themselves. When the mother of my ex (he was my boyfriend at that time) died he distanced himself until he broke it off. No matter how many times I tried to reach at him, he answered in a way like he didn't want me there. Last time I sent him a text and didn't even reply.

So what I 've learnt is that grief is different from anyone. You say that people don't contact you but what if they do and they cannot reach you (emotionally not physically)?

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katrina,

It's very common for friends to disappear and disappoint you following death of a loved one. It happened to me when my husband died...my best friends did not even bother to attend his funeral! Even my pastor went on vacation the morning after he died. I am glad that you have one good friend, you have to understand when she's working, and make time when she isn't. We all have to work, chores to do, family to see, etc., so I understand people being busy, but when someone first dies, you'd think people could be there for you at least a bit. I, too, had people say, "Call if you need anything" and if you do, they are busy and don't call back. I think it's not so much that they don't care, but it's uncomfortable for them (like it isn't for us?!) and they treat it like it's contagious, they seriously run from it! Some even moved and didn't give me their new number! You literally have to rebuild your life from scratch, it takes time to find your "new normal", I mean years. Grief is the hardest work I've ever done! It helps to get a grief counselor to help you map your way through it, and a grief support group (you can contact hospice for a referral to one) to attend, and of course, voicing yourself on here. I worked hard at my grief...I wrote letters to George, I talk to him and think about him every day (even after eight years), I used art to express myself...both what I felt like and what I wanted to feel like, like a collage of my goal. Sorting out their belongings is a very individual thing, some throw everything away immediately, some hang onto their things for years, it's up to you and what you feel comfortable with, but I'd caution anyone from tossing everything right away as they might regret it, maybe put things away out of sight instead because feelings can change. I've put pictures up, taken them down, up, down, right now they're up, it depends on if it brings you comfort or pain. Be prepared to have sights, smells, etc. trigger memories at any given moment and know that grief bursts can hit without warning...it's normal and to be expected. Remember it is okay to cry, expected to feel sad, but it really is good to get help with dealing with it.

Pollara is coming from an opposite experience, where someone shoved her away because of their grief. That is not the common grief response, but it happens enough to be considered normal. It's hard to understand when the rest of us would have loved to have had someone there for us. But some people feel guilty if they enjoy any good in their life, like they're betraying their late loved one. I don't think that's what's happening in your case, I think you mean just what you say, that you have reached out for people and they just aren't there for you. I'm sorry. Time to make new friends! I know how hard that is right now, but start with one, it might take a long time to build new friendships, but it'll happen as long as you don't stay holed up. A grief support group would be a good place to start. Let me know how it goes!

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It can go both ways, at least in my situation. My husband died five weeks ago. My two brothers, who had ignored us for several years, called when they heard of his death. (I just wish my darling could know they have been in touch. He was their big brother for 60 years.)

What really gets me, though, is that my husband's ONLY relative (beyond his children, etc.) is a half brother who has not made contact with me even though our son called him five minutes after the death. I'm working myself toward contacting him because just maybe my husband would have wanted that.

I have been shocked by the behavior of one woman who has actually attacked me three times related to the fact that I did not personally notify her of the stages of Dick's illness and death (hospitalizations, palliative care, Hospice). And then she told several of my friends that I did not want phone calls! I need help to deal with this in a way that leads me to letting go of it.

Okay. Those are my gripes. I am reaching out, a little at a time, to fill my empty hours with being useful to others who need attention. I have learned a lot about that already.

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Galelucille,

I hope you will join us over in the Loss of Spouse section.

I know I grew some backbone when my husband died, and really learned to stand up for myself. Whether this is good or bad is relative, but in my way of looking at it, it was good because now I know longer have him to stand up for me, I have to do it for myself. That any &%*#! could dare attack you infuriates me beyond belief! Personally, I would have told her that it's not about her, that I'd had my hands just a little bit full with my husband's situation, and she'll have to get over it. But that's me. I'm sure you'll be more tactful and sensitive than me...I just don't have time to care or deal with people of that caliber. As for the others she's telling that you don't want them to call, I would personally call them and tell them how much their calls would be appreciated. Then it's up to them what they do with it. Many people, myself included, have had good friends just disappear on us when our spouse died. Some people are uncomfortable with death, so they avoid it all, us included...not thinking about the fact that it may have made us uncomfortable too but we have no choice but to deal with it. In my estimation, a good friend will not desert you...those that do turn out not to be as good a friend as we'd thought. But we will and do make new friends, better ones.

I'm sorry about your sorry brother-in-law too. Some people just don't have it in them to cope or deal with things the way they should. They don't mean to come up empty handed, they just come by it naturally. We have others on our site that have experienced this too. I hope your brother-in-law will see it in his heart to show some expression of condolences, but after five weeks...I wouldn't hold my breath for much. You may want to make the first (or second as it may be) move as an ice breaker as the more time that passes, he may be more incapacitated in doing so. My own husband's family disappeared when he died too...out of 9 brothers and sisters left, only three showed up to his service, and his own dad wouldn't even bother! Alas, this is more common that you'd like to think.

I am very sorry for all you are going through; I do hope you'll join us in the other section, it has been a godsend to me over the years.

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i feel very alone and abandoned. don't really have any friends here except for howie. no family here either. my friend louise is agoraphobic so i don't see her. she did have her daughter drive her to the emergency room the night hubby was admitted. haven't seen her since. when we talk on the phone and i cry -- she tells me to stop.

in the beginning a few neighbors said "call if you need anything". now i don't here from them except from my neighbor next door who helps out with a few things. they put my garbage up front for me. my driveway is like a road -- it's so long. they've done other things like changing light bulbs, etc. i don't like to bother them too much. they both work and have 2 kids. once in a while they send dinner over. they have keys to the house.

my friend michael in new york calls every tuesday night. we talk for at least an hour. he understands my grief. lost his cousin in the towers on 9/11. my friend jill in new york e-mails every day or calls. if i don't answer an e-mail or my phone, she knows something is wrong and she'll call howie who has keys to the house and my alarm code. my step daughter calls every few days.

my granddaughter calls at least once a week. my sister and i do not speak. we had a blow up a few months ago. a few months after hubby passed i called her and she said "i can only talk to you for 5 minutes -- the bachelorette is going on". i said "can you call me when it's over"? she said "i'll be too tired". whenever she did call she was always on her way someplace so it was very brief. i feel better now that we're not talking. she can't hurt me anymore.

sometimes days go by and i have no interaction with any other human being except on the internet. today i went out for food. it was the first time i was out since last friday.

arlene

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Arlene,

Well if it's any consolation, the Bachlorette is a huge disappointment this year...soft and subtle revenge to your sister. :)

I don't think it's abandonment you're experiencing, so much as loneliness. It sounds like you have a good support system with the neighbors next door and with those who call and check on you on a regular basis. It took a lot for your friend to show up at the emergency room, people with that condition just don't go out, it requires extensive therapy to help them begin to emerge, so she must really love you. My best friends did not attend my husband's funeral, which made me realize we weren't as good friends as I'd thought.

I'm sorry your sister is lacking in her ability to care for others...sometimes that comes from having had life easier and not having experienced hard places ones self.

I appreciate the internet myself so much, as only one who lives alone can relate...but it doesn't substitute getting out and around people. Have you considered getting out once a week to a grief support group, church, or other activity, just for the contact? It might help you feel more connected.

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kayc -- the reason i don't get out more is because i have health problems, i.e., CFS/ME, IBS, scoliosis, herniated discs, osteoarthritis. i need a lot of rest and sleep. i don't sleep well either. if i bend over to do something my back hurts so bad that i have to immediately sit or lie down. fortunately the grocery store has a furniture department -- most times i have to sit in one of their lounge chairs to rest my back. i see a pain doc and have had 6 epidural shots which did not work -- so i have to take vicodin several times a day, howie's massages help too. the support meeting are far -- the nearest is about 50 miles round trip and takes place from 3:30 to 4:30. even if i decided to go i don't know if the chairs would be comfortable on my back. at 4:30 i would hit a massive traffic jam.

my sister had an easy life. my parents divorced when she was 2 and my mom spoiled her rotten. after my mom raised her 2 kids she didn't want her around anymore and my mom moved to phoenix to be near me. my sister broke her heart.

i'm also extremely depressed. i'm on my 5th antidepressant. i have problems with SSRIs and am on a different one for more than 4 weeks. i don't see any change yet except i seem to be crying even more.

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I realize you have a lot of health problems to contend with, I just thought perhaps getting out once a week would help your mindset. I'm in the same boat with support groups, for me it'd be 100-120 mile round trip and in the winter especially...just not feasible. With all of the commuting I do, the last thing I want is more driving. :) Would it be possible for you to visit your friend, since she's shut in? Or is it just too painful? That much medication must make you feel sleepy. My GF is on heavy medication and it wipes her out, she loses days.

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i do get out. i go food shopping once a week. i get my nails done every 2 weeks and my hair gets touched up every 3 weeks.

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I know, but that's not the same as interacting with others while you're out, do you have a friend you could meet when you go out for your nails? It'd be a good time for lunch out.

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KayC-- don't you read? i don't have any girlfriends. the only one i have has a agoraphobia. i sleep late -- breakfast is at 10 or 11 -- lunch is around 3 or 4. i never leave the house before 1 pm. who would want to eat lunch at that time even if i had a friend? i feel sick most of the time tired, nauseous, pain -- just having my nails done is tiring. food shopping is exhausting. i have to lie down when i come home. are you familiar with chronic fatigue syndrome? my doctor years ago said i had the most severe case he ever treated. my life sucks. when john was alive he did so many things for me. i never even cleaned a cat's litter pan till john passed. even that is exhausting.

it's 1 pm now and i getting ready to go out to see a doc for a treatment which is supposed to help with my anxiety. i'm nauseous and i have to force down some boost. all i've eaten since 10 am was a cup of tea and 1/2 apple turnover.

i know you mean well, but you're not in my body and you don't know what i'm going through both physically and mentally.

you know what really sucks? i did all the right things. in the early 80s i started eating really healthy, took vitamins, even went vegetarian for a while. i went to the gym and did weight bearing exercises. yet i have CFS and osteoporosis. the IBS has been a life long problem. i have a colon that is huge. doc said it belongs in a 250 lb man. nothing can be done about that. i had it under control for many years with daily aloe, but the last few years it's been giving me problems again.

sorry for the rant. i'm also extremely depressed. i'm on my 5th antidepressant since john passed and none seem to work for me.

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Yes Arlene, I read. You could go over to see your friend then since she can't come to you. I'm trying to come up with ideas for you but you shoot them all down, still I'm brainstorming. I'm sorry I've somehow managed to offend you. And yes, I am familiar with CFS, I was diagnosed with it years ago. I also got Mono but I still made it to work every day, and oh yes I do know how hard it is. All I know to do in life is put one foot in front of the other and keep going, it's all I've ever done, no matter what I've been through.

(((hugs)))

I won't give you any more suggestions then.

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there are varying degrees of CFS -- some people are able to work while others are bedridden. there's a site on facebook "hunter hopkins" run by one of the docs who's been researching and treating people since '85. i've met a lot of people on that site from the US, UK, australia, canada. when i first got sick it wasn't as bad as it is now -- even though i qualified for social security disability. i had trouble sleeping and was tired, but i managed to get out. about every 2 or 3 weeks i'd have to spend 2 or 3 days in bed but then i felt better -- never good enough to work or go on vacation or go out at night. it was hard for me because i worked my whole life and we depended on my salary. around '05 i started to slowly but progressively get worse. my friend who has agoraphobia also has CFS. she doesn't want me to come over. she always lived in nice houses, but after she left her lover she bought an old house. she's embarrassed to let me see it even though i told her i'm not coming to see the house i'm coming to see her. i'm sure it's not as bad as she thinks it is. it's also about 20 miles each way from where i live.

sorry if i got an "attitude". it's just that after 24 years i'm tired of trying to explain this illness to people. i had one woman tell me all i needed was to get 10 minutes of sunshine every day. another person told me it was "psychosematic". my nail girl who is from viet nam said "what does your doctor say"? the only people who seem to really understand are those on the hunter hopkins site. so forgive me if i get "pissed off".

thank goodness john understood. some marriages have broken up because of this illness.

nuf said.

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Arlene,

I realize there are differing degrees of CFS, some can be managed, some cannot.

I feel I deserve to be treated with respect and not sarcasm. I care very much about people on this site and take it very seriously. Perhaps someone else is better able to respond to you, I am not sure what you are wanting.

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Kay-C -- i'm sorry if i seem sarcastic. i get the feeling that you're not cognizant of my situation. what i want is for you and others to understand my situation and respect it -- not just on this forum, but in general. i found your statement offensive "I am familiar with CFS, I was diagnosed with it years ago. I also got Mono but I still made it to work every day, and oh yes I do know how hard it is. All I know to do in life is put one foot in front of the other and keep going, it's all I've ever done, no matter what I've been through." it was like you were telling me that's what i should do whether i can or not.

i think it's best that we end this conversation. thank you for trying to be helpful.

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All I wanted to do was encourage you.

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