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Quiksand

A year long nightmare. And I still can't wake up.

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I can't count how many attempts I took at writing down whatever's going on in my storming head. Even now I'm not certain at what I'm going to say. What's even the point. It's not going to get better anyway. Just duller.


I'm 25, guy. Two weeks ago my mother passed away. After a one year long battle against pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed it at stage 4 when I was abroad trying to make a living. I left everything and came back to be by her side throughout the treatment, while other relatives helped during the surgery. Everything was in vain. My life is empty and pointless.

(There was whole story here, but on a sober mind, I figured it was too overwhelming.)

The whole year was a struggle that slowly turned hopeless. The last days were unbearably agonising.

When she passed away, there was no relief. There were no tears. All the tears were spilled in the months before. There was just a dull feeling of heartache. And darkness.

The funeral was... like a bad dream. I was waiting to wake up. But then I was looking at her being submerged into the ground and wanted to scream at people to stop and get her back out cause what are you doing... that's my mother... stop burying my mother...

There was a gathering afterwards, a decent amount of people came and said words of comfort, as well as remembered what a fantastic and friendly person she always was, to everyone. I was still waiting to wake up. Afterwards I went back into an empty home. No one was waiting for me. I called her phone, and it wouldn't answer. I wrote her on Viber, but she hadn't been online for a few days. I waited for her to come home, but she didn't. Call me to eat, but she wouldn't. She was gone. Forever. I was alone.

After that... just blackouts. Days went by. Some drunk, some extremely drunk. Some inconvenienced by random events, or bureaucratic moments. Only the closest people would call and pass on their condolences, some would ask if they could help, or how I was holding up.

At first I was... accepting of what happened. The first few sober days I put up her picture on my table and would talk to her, greet her in the morning and wish her good night. I would take days one by one, hour by hour if needed. But soon this peaceful approach would no longer work. I put her picture away. I started resorting to sedating myself again. It did more harm than good, though. No doubt I destroyed my own health even more than the months long stress had already done.

What added to the nightmare is how some people WOULD INSIST I MOVED ON. Some would convince me that hey, parents die, it's a natural course of things! Others would gently remind me that I can't change anything anymore, like I didn't KNOW it. It was INFURIATING. Not a week later people would ask for my life plans and if I would decide to go on studying or look for a job and guys guys GUYS STOP. I just buried my mother a week ago, after a whole year of pain and false hope!! Can I at least... let it filter through me a bit?!

But they wouldn't understand. Some even got offended. People wouldn't accept that I'm not accepting of their pointless advice and would prefer to sit all day at home rather than go seize life and live it to the fullest.

What life though. My life ended with my mother's last heartbeat. Now there's a different, new life. A life without her, and it feels like I need to learn to walk and talk and live again.

But no one around me seemed to understand that, so I was borderline forced to put up a facade of normality and smiles and courage to get them off my case and show them that I'm handling it all fine, like a true champ.

Inside it's just darkness. A darkness that's slowly consuming me. A dull, sharp pain. Anger. Disappointment. Despair. Hatred. All mixed up in one shattered heart. Leaking all over my very being.
Some days are more bearable than others, I still have to pretend that I'm holding up. But the wall of denial I put up is crumbling. Pushing back memories and distracting myself with nonsense will eventually stop working. I stopped drinking, so there's no more sedating either. So how am I supposed to handle this all.

Talking to people about it doesn't help either. Not anymore. I mean nothing changes, so the reality catches up again. Panic attacks are happening more often, but I try to deal with them by myself. People wouldn't understand.

It's the third week without my mother. It feels like years have passed, but as if I just saw her smiling yesterday and hearing her beautiful voice, one I will only hear in the few videos I have of her.

Soon is going to be my first new year's without her. And the only present I've been wishing for is the one that I didn't get.

 

I don't know how to go on. What do I do now.

 

Thank you for taking the time and reading through my story. I know it's one like many others, so I appreciate you listening to mine. Thank you.

 

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1 hour ago, Quiksand said:

Talking to people about it doesn't help either. Not anymore. I mean nothing changes, so the reality catches up again. Panic attacks are happening more often, but I try to deal with them by myself. People wouldn't understand.

 

1 hour ago, Quiksand said:

I really needed to let it all out. This accumulated pain. It will gather again. But for the time being, my mind is a bit more at ease.

I am so sorry for your pain, my friend. I don't know how you found your way to this forum, but it's good to know that you took a chance to see if it would help ~ if only a tiny bit and if only for a little while. You see, we're all in the same "boat" here, coping with losses of our own ~ and one thing we know for sure is that telling our stories helps ~ especially if we share those stories with others who are grieving too. You don't have to explain your pain to us ~ we know the pain of loss because we are living in it, too.

Your statement that, having met your need to let it all out, your mind is a bit more at ease, is telling. You may not believe it now, but I can promise you that talking to people DOES help, as long as the people you're talking to know something about grief. Seeing a qualified grief counselor or therapist can be life-changing, because doing so will help you to find ways to carry your grief and eventually learn how to survive it. If you're not ready to do that, then let us celebrate the fact that you did manage to find your way here to us. We welcome you with open arms and caring hearts ~ and we are so sorry for the reasons that brought you here. 

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The pain of losing your mother comes through clearly.  I am sorry for your loss.  I am one who believes in journaling (writing down my thoughts) and seeking good grief counseling when needed.  People who come here know the pain of loss.  No one gives advice or tries to 'fix' us.  We really are not broken.  We are grieving.  It is important that we are heard and this place does hear what we are saying. 

Anne 

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6 hours ago, Quiksand said:

I can't count how many attempts I took at writing down whatever's going on in my storming head. Even now I'm not certain at what I'm going to say. What's even the point. It's not going to get better anyway. Just duller.


I'm 25, guy. Two weeks ago my mother passed away. After a one year long battle against pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed it at stage 4 when I was abroad trying to make a living. I left everything and came back to be by her side throughout the treatment, while other relatives helped during the surgery. Everything was in vain. My life is empty and pointless.

(There was whole story here, but on a sober mind, I figured it was too overwhelming.)

The whole year was a struggle that slowly turned hopeless. The last days were unbearably agonising.

When she passed away, there was no relief. There were no tears. All the tears were spilled in the months before. There was just a dull feeling of heartache. And darkness.

...What life though. My life ended with my mother's last heartbeat. Now there's a different, new life. A life without her, and it feels like I need to learn to walk and talk and live again.

But no one around me seemed to understand that, so I was borderline forced to put up a facade of normality and smiles and courage to get them off my case and show them that I'm handling it all fine, like a true champ.

Inside it's just darkness. A darkness that's slowly consuming me. A dull, sharp pain. Anger. Disappointment. Despair. Hatred. All mixed up in one shattered heart. Leaking all over my very being.
Some days are more bearable than others, I still have to pretend that I'm holding up. But the wall of denial I put up is crumbling. Pushing back memories and distracting myself with nonsense will eventually stop working. I stopped drinking, so there's no more sedating either. So how am I supposed to handle this all.

Talking to people about it doesn't help either. Not anymore. I mean nothing changes, so the reality catches up again. Panic attacks are happening more often, but I try to deal with them by myself. People wouldn't understand.

It's the third week without my mother. It feels like years have passed, but as if I just saw her smiling yesterday and hearing her beautiful voice, one I will only hear in the few videos I have of her.

Soon is going to be my first new year's without her. And the only present I've been wishing for is the one that I didn't get.

 

I don't know how to go on. What do I do now.

 

Thank you for taking the time and reading through my story. I know it's one like many others, so I appreciate you listening to mine. Thank you.

 

Quicksand,

You are right that most of the outside world doesn't understand.  Your description of events is similar to many of us here who are traveling this grief journey.  I have found a safe and solace place her to share my thoughts that seemed so utterly hopeless, and yet there is somehow some relief in sharing them here.  The people in this group are a caring, and listening bunch of folks,  that have helped me and countless others simply by listening, sharing, and caring.

As MartyT, mentioned, a grief counselor has been trained in this special type of counseling.  There are many tools to helps us when  we are ready.

Thankfully you have found this special sincere group that will listen.

Welcome to a place were none of us wanted to be but have come and stayed to learn, listen, and help each other.  - Shalom

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What you write is classic grief, we've been there, we've felt what you feel.  It helps to know there are those who understand, who "get it".  People who haven't been through it can't know what they haven't experienced and they tend to want to "fix" things but they can't.  There is no rushing this, no denying it, no avoiding it, only one way through grief, and that's straight through it, pain and all.  What you seem to be crying out for is to be able to have time to process it, and it does take time, not a week, not three week, but more like years, and that's okay, it takes what it takes and it's different for everyone.  

A grief counselor would be a good place to start, not all are trained in grief, look for one with a degree in Thanatology, they've had the education and training to understand and help us.  There are countless books and articles as well.  Drinking doesn't help, it does help to take care of yourself, we have enough trouble with grief fog without adding to it.

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/10/seeing-specialist-in-grief-counseling.html 

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2010/04/finding-grief-support-that-is-right-for.html 

List of books:

 

I wrote the following of what I found helpful over my 12 years journey of loss of my husband.  I do understand parental loss, I lost my dad when I was 29 and my mom three years ago.  Fundamental relationships such as this are very hard to adjust to.
 

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

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

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

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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Even though I don't know you, I am so sorry for your loss. I can tell you deeply loved your mother, and it is going to take a while for you to mourn her passing...and that is perfectly okay. In fact, it is normal. Even if you mourn for years, that's okay too. It is the way God designed us to help deal with tragic loss. Just because your mother's body died, her spirit lives on, forever. And so does yours. So continue to talk to her. Tell her how much you miss her. Tell her how much you love her. Remind her of funny events from the past. It's okay to re-live them with her. That is all normal and cathartic. It will help you begin to deal with her passing.

Over time, you may find it helpful to talk to a pastor or a counselor. They are really good about allowing you to grieve because they know you need to do it. You'll know when you are ready to talk to someone. You just will.

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Dear Quiksand,

I'm so sorry for your loss.  We are all here because we are going through the same feelings.  Some of us further along the hellish path of grief.  I am almost one year into grief and some of the time I feel exactly like you do.  Same exact emotions.  I was also very close to my mother and even though I'm older than you, I feel lost without her.  Its like I don't have a place in the world.  I feel displaced.  For 20 yrs I went back and forth to my mothers house while living in another country.  Now I'm back in the country I chose but was not born in or grow up in, I don't know who I am anymore.  My roots are gone.  Its like my legs have been cut off and even though I can still get around its much harder.  Everything is harder. One year on I am still talking to my mother daily.  Telling her of the difficulties and asking her will I get through this mom?  Who is going to help me now?  I have no one.  I'm lost in the world.  I self medicate watching tv, endless films and series, thats my comfort drug.  I don't talk about it to anyone because as the others have said, unless someone has experienced it, they have no idea.  The line I hate the most is, "your mom would want you to be happy".  Every time I hear that from a well meaning person I shut down in anger.  None of us want the pain of grief.  We can't switch it off and decide, lets be happy!  

So I say to you what you feel is normal.  It feels like you are going mad I know.  Losing a mother is life changing not just because of the mothers bond but our identity.  I understand everything feels meaningless, believe me I know.  Now one year on even though I'm still deeply depressed and don't know if I'll get through it, I've started to make plans.  Not plans but steps to rebuild myself.  It feels like rebuilding myself.  Putting myself back together, slowly, one brick at a time.  I had my first Christmas without my mother and completely alone.  I thought it was going to be utter hell but in fact it wasn't worse than the 300 plus other days I've had.  At least I didn't have to endure others.  I could do absolutely nothing or anything.  No one called me.  I was a bit disappointed that those close to me didn't bother but at least I didn't have to pretend.  Or worse still listen to "your mom would want you to be happy"!

I am very sorry for your loss.  Please know for the first 2 months its pure raw shock what you're dealing with.  As time goes on a different grief with different colours and layers sets in until it changes to something else.  I'm not at the something else yet.  It does help writing how you feel down.  Here or in a journal.  At least here, we are all going through the same and we understand.

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Here it's like journaling with a response.  Plus there's all those blogs/articles available to help us and Marty's guiding insight.

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Thank you all so much for the kind words. The past days have been a bit hazy, so I wasn't in a condition to reply. I will look into all your advices. Maybe I will visit a counsellor after the new year.

One of my biggest problems now is how my relatives borderline guilt trip me for having spent a month at home without "achieving" anything. One of them keeps repeating how he's upset that I haven't gone back to the university right after my mother passed away, another one insists I should've gotten a job, and just in general they keep pestering me about doing something productive. Not in an inspiring way, but in a rather patronising way.

I'm being made to feel bad about grieving the way I am. Whatever strength I'm trying to recover in my idle state, is destroyed by words like these. And it's not like I can just nod in agreement and they'll let me be. They judge me for a lack of action.

But not a single person has properly tried to get me out of the house recently or suggested we go take a walk or drive or invited me somewhere. Barely anyone calls me anymore to ask how I'm doing. Only WHAT I'm doing and why I'm not doing anything proper. It's excruciating.

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Dear Quiksand,

I have been wondering how you are and I'm glad to see you are back here.  

Coming from a difficult family background myself I can really relate to the pain of being told what to do.  You are an adult.  Make decisions when you are ready.  Don't allow them to make you feel worse.  You are doing the best you can.  It has been a very short time since your mother passed.  Its so painful to add all that on top of the shock and grief of losing your mother.  You've been through enough.  Take one day at a time.  I lived liked that for months.  The only thing I did was pack up my mothers belongings 2 months later.  Fortunately I don't have to see my family.  Unfortunately they control my mothers estate and have dragged it out to suit themselves which only adds to my pain.  My mother gave them the power so they would protect and look after me, instead they go at their own pace which is doing nothing.  Just try to look after your emotional health for now.  If that means doing nothing for now, do that.  if it means seeking a support group or a grief councillor, do that.  Its all up to you.  Its a very difficult time and I think the devastating and life changing loss you've suffered makes it hard to make decisions.  Trust that when you are ready you will make decisions.

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Sometimes we have to tell people explicitly what we need from them...or don't need from them.  When you're grieving any little thing seems like too much, even having to educate them about grief.  How I wish our society understood about grief!  Maybe you could print this out for them:
http://www.griefhealing.com/column-helping-another-in-grief.htm

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Happy new year to all of you. Thank you for the kind advice, mathilde and kayc. I've had a few strong conversations with a few people and they got upset with me and decided to just stop asking, which, I guess, is better than asking the wrong questions. Kayc, the list you sent seems so... right. Most of these things are exactly what I need, and what I don't get... I'm starting to become afraid that as time passes and the... passing of my mother is left more and more in the past, people around me will stop taking it and me so seriously. I mean, barely a month passed, and I already feel uncomfortable just from the thought of mentioning it in any conversation I have with a relative or informed acquaintance. I feel like they'd internally roll their eyes like "Oh, not this again", and it hurts.

I'm still in major denial about it. Trying to push away each and any thought and memory of the past year and the last few months. Drowning days after days in TVs and films and anything distracting. I decided to put some of her stuff in storage today, and immediately felt like I'm going to collapse. At some point called out for her, even though I was super aware it was silly.

Meanwhile, time is fleeting... and I feel that soon people around me will stop understanding my apathy altogether and will just shut me out as a hermit of sorts. I thought after my mother's passing the stress would ease, but I'm just as stressed as I used to be...

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Sometimes we don't get what we need from family/friends that haven't been through it, but we can go to grief support groups and get it there.  There you find others who are going through the same thing.

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Dear Quiksand,

You are just as stressed as you were because its only been a very short time.  Also it doesn't just dissipate that quickly.  It can take months.  You went through a lot and at the end of it, you lost your mother.

I find I still relive the year leading up to my mom dying.  Everything that happened within the family regarding her care.  My moms family treated me horribly and I still relive it as it went on for months.  Even when My mother went into hospital, I was treated like I was nothing because I didn't do what they wanted.  Its one year on now and its still hard when I look back at everything that happened leading up to my moms death.  After, Packing up my mothers things in her house was very hard and very painful as I went back and forth to the charity shop with her belongings.  Don't minimise how painful it is.  I spoke to her a lot out loud while I was there.  It was a source of comfort as well as being difficult.

As time goes on, its true family and friends will not ask you how you are?  How you are coping emotionally?  I found it both hurtful and yet a relief to not have to lie or pretend that its easier now.  It isn't.  I know that grief evolves and changes but I don't think the sadness of loss goes away.  Look after yourself.

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I feel your pain, quicksand. I lost my mother August 2016 & I still cry all the time. She was my best friend & sounding board. The man I was seeing came to help me pack her things then dumped me shortly thereafter. My sister kept money my mom left & my other sister supported that. So, I feel all alone in a hostile world. I have a hard time every day. I wish I could offer you some positive advice or soothe your pain but I’m right there with you. It’s like I’m in a living hell. Friends don’t understand so I’ve isolated myself as well. I can’t wait to join her & be free from this misery. 

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@1AG I'm sorry for your loss, I lost my mom August 2014.  

On 1/3/2018 at 8:19 AM, mathilde said:

I know that grief evolves and changes but I don't think the sadness of loss goes away.

mathilde is so right.  We learn to carry our grief inside of us and it does get more manageable eventually but it's still hard and the missing them continues.  Having someone break up with you and others betray you sure doesn't help.  :(

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Dear 1AG,

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I feel the same as you do and its been a year for me.  I have a painful family situation regarding finances also so I know you feel.  I'm estranged from them now.  I just wait for my mothers estate to be finalised so I can be free of all of them.  I'm painfully aware though there is no one now.  I'm on my own now.  I too was very close to my mother so I know it doesn't just wear off.  Loss is there forever.  I hope that at some point we learn how to adjust to who we are now.

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I want to add that my mom left everything to my brother, us five girls got nothing.  We weren't estranged from her, we were there for her, but she valued boys more than girls, and even though my grandparents left equally to her and her siblings, this was her choice.  I've had to move past that and not hold it against my brother and forgive my mom.  She wasn't sound in her mind, never was, but I determined not to let it come between my siblings and I, and fortunately, my sisters feel the same as I do.  It would have been nice to have had some little remembrance of her, but that wasn't to be.  Yesterday I heard someone say they lost everything in a burglary/fire.  He said all of it (the stuff) was in his mind/heart so even though it was physically taken, he could still remember the things that were sentimental that were taken from him.  I thought that is a good way to look at it.  No one (except dementia or brain trauma) can take those things from our memories.  And I guess if we have dementia or brain trauma, our sentimental "things" are the least of our worries!

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Knowing that I'm understood and people can relate to me helps stay afloat, so once again I thank you all for sharing your stories and easing my pain. I really wish I could reply to each of you personally, but I feel like I still lack the mental capacity to do so. Even writing this post took some collecting myself...

It's been a month now. No one called me to check on me. I wanted to visit her grave, but couldn't get myself to do it. Besides, the cemetery is fairly far away and I don't have a car, public transportation is difficult to reach it, and no one offers to drive me. "Ask us if you need something" was the last I've heard from some people, as if they don't know that I won't ask since I don't want to be a bother.

A close relative called me today for the first time in weeks. His first inquiry? "You do remember that "X" has a birthday today, right? Alright was just making sure."

I felt crushed. No one, no one around me cares. Other close relatives haven't called in 2 weeks, cause apparently they're on vacations abroad having a good time. I wasn't informed, let alone invited. Everyone's living their life, having a good time.

A friend told me I need to set a goal and move towards it. I had to agree for the n'th time, without bothering to explain that I need to rest first and recover before I'm capable of doing anything. Countless times have I tried to start some art projects or do something creative, and I can't.

The dominant feeling right now is disappointment and absolute exhaustion. If I had that choice, I would've left long ago. Left them all behind. They've done nothing but add to the feeling of loneliness and coldness that's been crushing me since my mother was gone. I'll scrape together some money and give a professional a shot, cause my very own relatives can't do the basic supportive things.

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Quiksand,

Everything you are describing is pretty much par for the course, it's what I experienced early on in my grief journey, except I did hear from my sisters.  One of them was always trying to tell me what I should do, how I should run my life ("You should quit your job and move to Portland!").  I finally told her, "Tell you what, Polly, when you lose your husband, I'll tell YOU what to do!"  She got the picture and didn't call for several months.  She got over it.  My husband's family, they disappeared once they saw I wasn't handing over my few assets to them.  I offered to share the hospital bills if they wanted something to remember him by.  It's amazing how we learn to stand up for ourselves when we need to...it has a way of filtering out the toxins as well.

I'm sorry everyone is leaving you alone.  So did all of our friends.  I made a new friend, one I could talk to, do things with.  That was great until she moved away a few years ago.  It's slow making new friends, but I keep at it, I know I need them.

You are right, this is the time to be patient and understanding of yourself.  People don't understand that grief can seem paralyzing!  I still don't feel the same interest in hobbies I'd previously enjoyed and it's been twelve years!  It feels similar to depression but there's no cure-all, no way through it but to go straight through this, pain and all.  

I'm glad you're considering a professional grief counselor, best money spent.  At least someone who won't steer you wrong.  Someone trained in grief so they know what you're going through.  Keep coming here, it helps to share even if you don't realize it at the time.  We all get it.

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The psychotherapist failed me. I'm so full of bitterness and disappointment. It started off well, he let me talk and tried to give guidelines, but then he began to repeat how he's professional, and how his services are expensive for a reason, and how I need to go to him a lot cause lots of work needs to be done and he's such a professional, and how he was doing me a favour working on a holiday, despite making it clear yesterday that he was absolutely fine with helping me out on a holiday, and how his services are expensive cause they're professional again, all that several times, like a broken record. By the end I felt so uneasy and ashamed and just wanted to give him his money and leave. And that's supposed to be among the best psychotherapists in town. Never again. I guess now I'm only left with myself and you all, the only ones who seem to truly know what's going on inside someone in the position that we've all unfortunately been put in...

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Quiksand - I would tell that therapist how you feel. If you don't get a satisfactory response (apology or acknowledgement) I would use Yelp to warn people about his remarks, if that is an option. 

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I'm so sorry to learn of your bad experience with your therapist ~ especially since he's supposedly "among the best psychotherapists in town." I hope you will pay attention to your own gut-feelings and know that this is NOT how it's supposed to be! You're supposed to feel safe and comfortable in the presence of your therapist, and not at all the way you've described. And when it doesn't feel like a good fit, I hope you don't decide that this psychotherapist represents everyone in the field. Also, be aware that not all therapists are qualified, educated and trained in offering grief support ~ which is a specialty just like any other, with its own body of research, education and training in evidence-based approaches that are appropriate to the person in need. See, for example, Seeing a Specialist in Grief Counseling: Does It Matter? and Finding Grief Support That Is Right for You  

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Dear Quiksand,

I so relate to both of your last posts and have experienced pretty much the same on a family level and with therapy.

I am further along the line than you.  Its almost a year for me after my mother passed.  I want to share with you that what you are feeling is all completely normal I have now realised one year on.  It feels like you are going mad sometimes.  I'm an artist.  I didn't work the whole of last year.  I knew it was the only thing that would save me but I couldn't do it.  I felt paralysed and alone.  Reliving daily all that happened leading up to my mothers death.  Then reliving what happened after with the family.  I felt in such a place of darkness angry at pretty much everyone.  Everyone just got on with their lives and because I live in a different country, even the people I'm very close to abandoned me.  It was hell.  Hell for a year. I knew I needed help.  Eventually after 10 months I picked a name of a psychotherapist and went.  At first I thought I just need to talk.  I need to get it out because its all just stuck in my body.  The therapist seemed ok-ish.  2nd time I hated him with all his "advice" when he didn't know me.  3rd time I thought I'm definetly quitting.  This is like throwing money away.  So far I've been 5 times.  I don't know that I like him?  I know there have been some insights that are helpful.  I felt calmer after the last session.  I'm continuing for now.  Yours may not be the right person for you.  Please try someone else.  Try a group?

I also wanted to tell you that secretly the past few months I have been dreaming of a project.  Not discussing it, not telling anyone but thinking....then finally researching, then planting seeds...  I'm telling you this because as an artist not working for a year is soul destroying and yet I had no energy, no confidence, no strength to rebuild.  I couldn't do anything because I felt paralysed.  Now I am taking steps to manifest the project.  There have already been setbacks but I feel alive inside again for the first time in a year at the possibility.

I tell you all this because I know the pain you are in.  I felt no one cares.  I'm completely alone.  The closest people in my life vanished.  My longest relationship of 30 yrs just ended our friendship when I told her she had not been there for me. Did not call me when my mother died.   I know what it feels like to be so alone.  To be honest I'm still alone.  I'm sharing with you my story because it has taken me one year to take steps in rebuilding my life.  Every day I still talk out loud to my mother and wish I could have a conversation with her and tell her what has gone on.  I am still sad as hell and lonely.  I'm still alone.  I am rebuilding though.  The seeds are in the earth and I'm watering them.  You will come through this.  It takes time.  Thinking of you and very much have faith you will make it.  It takes time.

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I hope you really listen to what Marty is saying to you.  It's important to get a professional GRIEF Counselor, not just any counselor or therapist there is.  The person should have a degree in Thanatology, not everyone is trained in grief!  And it truly does NOT sound like a good fit, especially if the person is so full of themselves they have no room to hear YOU.  I hope you'll do some further looking for someone qualified and capable.  And maybe check out what others have to say about them.

Don't give up!  And remember that we are still here for you.  There are a LOT of resources here, I don't know if you've checked them out, Marty's blog, all of the articles, videos, check out "Tools for Healing" section.  Many get stuck in the "loss of spouse" section, not realizing there is so much more than that available here.  

I'm sorry for your disappointment, but he's just one, and there are many more, even some who counsel over the phone if you live in an area where there isn't much to choose from.  I wish I'd known that when George died because I live in the country.

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