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

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Yeah, it just got over, it was good

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Yes. My dad died 14 months ago unexpectedly, and it has been terrible grief. He was my best friend and mentor. What I found shocking is the way that people would change and react. After I told my closest friend, she stopped calling then told me she didn't feel like seeing me. Then she was gone. We saw each other every week and talked everyday for 15 years, then she vanished. I have learned to let go of her. She declined to be there for me the way I was there for her when her father died. She acknowledges that is true. The loss that I didn't expect and can't find a way to let go of is my beautiful little brother. He was the joy of my life and my mother's life, the darling baby of the family. Happy, kind, appreciative of the love and devotion poured on him by his family. The story is long and ugly as he moved from one betrayal to the next, did things I didn't think him capable of. His wife was much worse, but I already had experienced her temper. I had no idea that other people also experience the systematic unraveling of death. Take out one essential person and whole lives collapse.

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gal,

Yes it is truly amazing how people can surprise you with their responses to our grief. Sometimes we have a relationship in which we are the giver and everything is going well until the time we need to be the taker and discover the other person is not a giver. Some people truly don't know how to respond and run from our loss and thus are not there for us in our time of need. Sometimes the "friendship" can be salvaged on a limited basis, in that we recognize that they are not someone we can count on, but it usually just is not the same and often we decide not to continue with it.

Then there are others that surprise us by being there for us when we did not expect it. I gained one such friendship in my husband's death by an acquaintance that really showed up for me. Today we are fast friends.

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend and your brother in the death of your father. It's amazing but not uncommon.

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Arlene,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. And I'm sorry your sister is such a bad support--one of the hardest parts of my grieving process is finding out that a) there are many people who I thought I could count on who I can't and B) there are people who I thought I could count on who've actually made it worse. That is really a horrible thing to learn.

Although I know this is different for everyone, I second KayC recommendation to take baby steps in trying to establish some real-life social network or supports. I'm a sociologist by profession, and sociologists have written books and books on how meaningful, real-life social supports and networks can improve all sorts of outcomes--but especially health (physical and mental).

Taking my sociologist hat off and putting my introverted-person-grieving cap back on, it can be incredibly hard to meet people and feel comfortable. It takes a lot of time. One thing I do is give myself rewards after I do something social. I joined a softball league this summer, and after each game I would go buy something nice to eat at a restaurant. After a while, I enjoyed the league and the people and it was a reward in itself.

Just an idea. I hope you take care of yourself.

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Guest babylady

donovanl -- thanks for your kind words. i went to the dentist today and asked his wife who works there if she'd like to have lunch with me. she said "yes" and gave me her phone #. we talked about different places to eat.

arlene

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Good for you, Arlene! I hope you have a nice visit.

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Sadly, in today's society, people seem to be focused on their own lives and don't have time for others. Also, if you've never lost someone who was an integral part of your life, you can't understand what it's like. People expect you to grieve for a little while and then just magically go back to normal after the funeral. What we noticed when my sister passed is that people rallied around my mom at first, but then slowly tapered off. Thankfully she has a lot of Facebook groups for grieving parents, so she has a group of friends around her who are going through the same experience, so they can relate to each other.

I've found that it's a really good thing to have someone who's been there to talk about your grief with, as it can be uncomfortable for someone who hasn't lost someone to listen when we need to vent on them. Personally I don't like to talk to too many people about my grief because I'm a happy person and I don't like for people to see me crying in my RC. I talk about the loved ones I've lost, but usually it's telling funny or cool stories about them. I know my Meemaw who I lost five months ago would kick my butt if I spent too much time crying in my RC for her, but it happens a lot more than I would like it to. I have a favorite teddy bear I cry on, and she's the only one I like to see me cry.

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Sometimes the one who passed couldn't begin to anticipate what it'd be like for us afterwards, I think they'd understand if they knew.

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Well thankfully she didn't say anything really annoying like, "Now I don't want you crying for me" or any cr*p like that. She's lost loved ones too and she knew it would hurt, but she also wanted to know I'd be okay. I'm trying, nnot sure how well I'm doing. Well I haven't done anything stupid, and the worst thing I've done is cry all over my bear as I play the piano, so I guess I'll survive. I know from all the other losses I've had that it gets worse before it gets better, and it's about to hit the six month mark. Oh brother, I'm waiting for it to really hit hard. Sorry for the massive thread hijack.

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Six months is a hard time...reality sets in, everyone's gone home, and you're left to deal with it...a good time to get help dealing with your loss.

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Sadly, in today's society, people seem to be focused on their own lives and don't have time for others.

That may be part of it, but people have always been focused on their own lives; that's human nature. I think the main diff in more modern times is that we are getting worse and worse at dealing with death, esp when someone we know/care about loses someone (ie someone we're not nearly as close to, if at all), and I think that is because we've gotten so obsessed with being or looking more youthful and gotten a lot better at living longer, so death has become a much less familiar part of our lives, esp when someone dies at a younger age than expected. I think that plus our society's bizarre and ridiculous trend of becoming hypersensitive to every little thing and avoiding anything that's unpleasant is what's doing it (since death is obviously by far the most unpleasant thing of all).

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Yes I just want to tell everyone how I am doing,as last night I broke down into tears,also this tablet is difficult to writ,as my laptop broke down,sorry about this, yes my family does not help me,or anything when I need them most! My best friend does check on me to see if I am OK, my boy too.I have a boyfriend,by he is kind of selfish, a times. Friends and family can,t always understand me, how close I was to her, we were so very close,did not even have talk, I took care of her, stand by her in her illness, I too, have to be careful , or something bad will happen to me! Once again, I am still learning, this tablet so bare with me,God bless you all, hopefully there will be peace for me! PS the most I am having is the sleeping problem.AmenXXX

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I'm sorry people aren't there for you, they aren't for me either. I recently had surgery and my family, friends, church left me alone to fend for myself, it was very disheartening, esp. since my heart stopped and they had to give a thrust to the chest to get it going again and I kept stopping breathing over and over again for hours, I felt so alone. It was Anne from this grief site that called me during recovery, not my kids.

Selfishness showing up this soon in a BF is not a good sign. Don't sell yourself short. Hold out for someone who truly cares for you.

It's true that others may not understand how close you were to her, but they can still be sensitive and caring. I hope you make it through the sleeping problem, maybe consider seeing a doctor about it?

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When I was 2 years old, my father passed away. About 10 years ago, my mom said something to me that I'll never forget.

The part about grieving no one thinks about is what happens *after* you stop paying attention to the person grieving. What happens 2 months in? 6 months in? I remember my mom telling me how lonely she felt after the dust had settled and people thought they didn't have to check-in on her anymore.

One thing I've noticed as I'm currently going to therapy for my "delayed grief reaction" (thanks, Marty, for the term!) is I'm separating from my old friends more and more. Frankly, I don't want to talk to them. I make excuses like I'm busy, don't call them, I'm slow to respond to their texts, etc.

The only thing that fulfills me somewhat is meeting new people who deeply understand my grief and pain -- people in my improv class and ManKind Project groups.

If you haven't already, I'd look into therapy, group counseling, church...SOMETHNG where you connect with people at a more deep, authentic level.

Best of luck,

-David

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Yes, David, thank you! Very insightful!

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Yes thank you for taking the time to answer, it is a selfish world we live in, MOM taught me to be kind, she had consideration for other people. My best friend once said to me if my family do not start treating me better I will be gone like her! So once again thank you, God bless.

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I apologize for such a late response on this and the same goes for if I repeat what someone has posted as I haven't read through all of the replies yet but I'm happy Im not the only one feeling this way! My dad died in September to cancer and this is the first death Ive experienced and I feel like once people found out, they ran for the hills. Even four days after he died they quit talking to me.

I had been talking to my roommate about it and she said its because they are around of our emotions. That is also what my grief therapist said but I dont feel like thats an excuse. I dont need to talk to my friends and stuff about my dads passing or all the horrible details as I do that with my mom but it would be fantastic to just have a friend! I just want to talk to someone, about anything! And I too sometimes feel like I get ignored, especially when I reach out.

I definitely have to agree, people are strange.

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It's funny you should post last night as just then I was thinking about you and wondering how you're doing as I hadn't heard from you in a while. I know you've been busy with school, I hope you get somewhat of a break during Spring break...my son used to have "projects" to do then so didn't get much of a break but I always hoped it was at least a little more laid back or he could catch up on sleep then.

It's funny also that you mention "friends" because I've been feeling the same way, just this morning. I used to have so many friends but when I went through loss of spouse due to divorce or death, I lost my friends. Small towns can be strange. The few friends I've had the last ten years have moved away, and I'm really needing new friends, but I too, find people so strange. Perhaps it's where I live, I don't know. It used to be easier to make friends in my old church and also at old jobs but now that I'm retired, I'm finding that forming friendships is really slow go. I've had friends I could talk to about anything and they are more valuable than gold. I value the friendships I've made on line here, but sometimes I wish we were close by and could sit and sip coffee in our robe and slippers. :)

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Well thanks for the thoughts! :) Im actually about to post and Im going to need some advice as I feel like its definitely something you can relate to. And I am on break right now and Im loving it. I do have a lot of things I feel like I should do so I can get ahead and stay on top but I havent, hee hee. The schooling is more of me being busy with studying rather than actual work so its really hard but then its not if it makes sense. Ive been taking naps though so thats good! I average about 5 hours of sleep a night at school though lol

And thats how I feel too! I talk to my roommates at school and I have school friends so I dont feel alone per se but its more of a "we are always together lets at least be friends" thing. And Im not sure if its your town because I feel the same way. I have one friend here at home that I talk to about my dad and such but only when Im in town, its not a call up and chat you know?

Friends are a lot harder for me too because death opened my eyes to people who matter and who dont and I wouldnt say im less friendly but Im more hermit like now so I dont reach out to new people. My best friend is in the marines and in Japan so I can confide in her but only to an extent lol and I have to agree! I was just replying to an email and It was so nice but I want to hang out in person too! No one else understands haha

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Funny we were just talking about this...yesterday my friend that moved to Alaska called, she's moving back next month, but not to my town, but to one 50 miles away. At least we can still get together! She was the only one who visited me when I had my surgery (other than my kids at holiday). I look forward to us being able to get together again.

We have to be careful not to over isolate ourselves...I've done that but I'm making a concerted effort not to now. Still, trying to make new friends is hard, it takes a lot of time and effort and although it usually evolves naturally, when we are isolating ourselves, it requires we make concerted effort to friend someone. When I was working full time I really didn't have time for building friendships. Now I have the time but don't know where to start, I guess just getting out and being with people, a little at a time. Show interest in others, calls them. Invite them over or out to do something...that is the hard part for me because I've been rejected a lot in recent years, it makes me want to crawl into myself. But I did go to lunch with someone I'm becoming friends with yesterday. I know different people have different ideas of what a friend is, different expectation. What I think of as a good "best bud" is someone i can talk to about anything with, someone I can hang out with, someone I can come over and it doesn't matter if I put my makeup on first. Someone I can go do things with. When I was younger it might include someone who shows up on moving day. :) Now that I'm older I've chucked that one because some people aren't ABLE to help someone move!

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