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MartyT

Whose Forum Is This, Anyway?

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Gwen, please do not worry about this. I don't think it was or is a big deal-I really don't. You are not being crucified-or going to be. I believe that you are a good-hearted person and have shown great depth of caring and compassion to people on this site-you are definitely an asset here. I wrote to Marty to figure out how to handle it, because I was hurt by being questioned about my posting. I didn't immediately put it on the forum and/or identify you because I didn't want to hurt you. I believe we are all in a fragile state due to grieving. I was worried that maybe people didn't want me around, and that would make me feel badly if it were true-but it's not true. Marty provided good information about what is meant here by the words "significant other" and reiterated what is written in the Guidelines about posting wherever one feels comfortable.

I appreciate your response-that you were not challenging me or implying that I should leave. I think it might be best to consider it a misunderstanding and move on, ok? -Laura

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Thanks to Mitch for helping me put up one of my favorite pictures ( It is my wallpaper on my computer) of my sweet Rose Anne. 

As to misunderstandings, I have had it happen on this forum as well. We are all fragile broken-hearted creatures. I am sure I have unintentionally offended people here because of my personal views and I don't always agree with even single post. But grace goes both ways.  I need to give grace to others so they can in turn give me grace. I am definitely not perfect.  So lets all give each other a group hug and move forward.  Take what you like and leave the rest.  This is just a tiny blip on our grief journeys through the rest of our life.  Shalom - George 

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

And I'm sorry this is all aired here because I can't help but feel how a "guest" might feel coming here and seeing discord when they're looking for comfort, encouragement, understanding...a safe place to be.

I agree with Kay on this. It is kind of awkward when private messages become a part of a public discussion.  As a member here (hopefully in good standing), I certainly would hope that my PM's stayed private. Is that a valid point?

------------------------------------

George, you're very welcome on the photo. My pleasure. As you stated, we are all fragile/broken creatures and sometimes things get misunderstood. For the record, Gwen is a friend and I know she was in no way suggesting Laura should leave. Just a misunderstanding. Sometimes the written word is in the "eye of the beholder".

 

 

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George, I LOVE that picture, wow, you guys had some sweet looking wives!  

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Laura,I introduced my sick and dying Dog in this forum and got nothing but Support...Most people here are all animal lovers..We all have our buttons ,but what has been pointed out by Marg and Kay, this is all Grief related,and Grief  sure isn't a cookie cutter ,one size does not fit all.....People usually cool their heels within a day......

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I agree-I don't think it's a big deal-or a new one...we should move on. I think this is a wonderful group and I am relieved that no one wants me gone from it because it has been of great comfort to me.

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There are so many different forums and choices on this site.  I am a "black and white" analytical type person.  The forum set up for those grieving the loss of spouse is the most active out of them all, and people come  to this website for interaction.  I have found myself wandering off to the other forums, those set up for posters who are not so fresh in their grief. A lot of people who post want a response; some just want to vent and be heard.  I know myself that I do not read posts in any of the forums that are not something I am dealing with.  Right now my focus is simply the grief I am handling in regards to the loss of my husband.  I have lost a pet, my mom and my father and my very best childhood friend.  In my honest opinion, none of them can even touch what I have felt losing Mark.  I am sure that somewhere in this world of grief I am dealing with, they are all in there.  When you are hurting, you want to be around others who are hurting like you are.  We are not supposed to compare our loss against anyone else's, but it does happen.  There are also people who post who are "stuck" and don't want to move on, and can at times drag down a topic.  I look back and read so many older posts, and so many of the people have moved on.  I'm not sure what I am really trying to say.  These forums are here to help, but not cure.  There is nothing that is going to make the hurt go away.  Sometimes getting away from others who are hurting allows you to see how far you have come.  Grief is a truly personal thing, an emotional thing. 

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One thing about grief is fear.  I was afraid to read anything else on any other part of this forum.  Well guess what?  I did read other parts of this whole forum that might pertain to me.  I saw people from this forum I felt I had dug myself into and was not uncomfortable at all.  There are other people, new people, on other parts of this whole forum.  I did not feel compatible with loss of father or mother, though I have lost my father and if my mother does not outlive the whole family, I might have to go to that one.  But, I saw people grieving on other branches of the grief forums.  

You lose your spouse, you automatically head toward that branch of the forum, but there are other branches that deal with loss of spouse in them also.  We go where we feel most comfortable and we are all here to talk about our grief, sometimes things in our life that might show we have stepped off the grief path for a few seconds, and there are other poor suffering souls on other branches that ask for help too.  If you feel something you say might show you have insight into their problem, or if like me, you just want them to know you have empathy with them.  I feel like my hole I have dug is not so deep this morning but I am keeping my shovel close at hand.  My heart is with you all and I want peace for us all, if even for a few minutes.  Now, if there really were a geriatric branch, I am not sure I would go, after all, I am still 17.

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On May 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM, Marg M said:

there are other poor suffering souls on other branches that ask for help too.  If you feel something you say might show you have insight into their problem, or if like me, you just want them to know you have empathy with them.  I feel like my hole I have dug is not so deep this morning but I am keeping my shovel close at hand.  My heart is with you all and I want peace for us all, if even for a few minutes.

Marg, this is one of the things I love about you--I see you all over the place, reaching out a hand to help others. You and Kay and a few others. It has inspired me to try to do the same and help anyone that I can. I believe that it is absolutely the thing to do. For example, I have not lost a pet in a long time, but I love my Lena so so much, the idea of someone losing their pet pulls at my heartstrings and I want to reach out to that person. Monday, I talked to THREE kids on the reservation who had lost a pet in the last few days and I felt terrible! Even though we have different losses and situations, there is a commonality that I find hard to ignore.

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One of the cruel cards that life frequently deals out to women is that they are not welcome alone. Married people seem to primarily socialize with other couples (unless it's a family event, of course). It doesn't seem to be a problem to have stray men at a social gathering, but single women are generally excluded, whether they have always been single, or are divorced or widowed. Sure, in the beginning (after your divorce or spouse dying), your old friends may still invite you to go here and there, but over time the invitations dry up for many women, and they find themselves alone at the times when most people get together. Since I realized rather early on that I had inadvertently married Peter Pan, I left him before having children and I never remarried. So this has been my situation for most of my adult life. But over time, I have seen a heap of other women fall into the same boat, even the same women who were doing the excluding before.

I was certainly not a "couple" with my dad, but I found that this situation changed when my dad moved to town. People (especially women) were much friendlier to me than they were before, and my dad and I were invited here and there, and were included in get-togethers. Now that is over, and I am back to being alone. I've done this before and it's rough. What do you do if you have no family and no spouse/partner/significant other on holidays? Hope someone feels sorry for you and invites you? Invite someone else to do something-and brace yourself for the likely rejection? Accept that you are now supposed to be out feeding the homeless or doing something worthwhile on holidays? Or just do something radical? One year ages ago I went hiking in the mountains alone on Thanksgiving rather than stay home alone. I missed a turn and ran out of time before I figured it out. It got dark and I spent the night alone on the mountain. Fortunately we were having a bit of a warm snap, so I did not get frostbite and lose any digits at 9,000 feet. I also didn't fall in the dark, get mauled by a bear or anything else. My "safety person" wasn't worried when she called to check on me and I never called back. No one was out looking for me. No one missed me. I rescued myself early the next morning.

When my dad was alive, I always had a companion for anything I had in mind unless it was hiking or camping or something that his Parkinson's would prohibit. Meals-out or at home- he was there. Movies, concerts, shopping, go for a drive, go to a festival, go on a trip or a cruise, anything I wanted to do, he was game. And now I've lost that. And my safety net is gone. I am alone with a cat. If you lose your parent and go home to your spouse and children, it's a lot different than losing the only person you really have...

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You are right about the single woman and invites Laura. I've seen that before but sometimes if people want to set someone up, then the invite seems shallow.

 

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Laura,

I am sorry that you feel so alone. Many of us here are experiencing the same thing, that loss of the person you most depended on despite having grown children. They usually have their own lives or are not interested in participating in some of the activities we like to do. Ron & I enjoyed arts & craft shows. My son could care less about them. He doesn't like going out to dinner. Sometimes I wonder where he got his genes.  lol  Because we were loners, I have no friends to accompany me. My grandson lives here with me so I am covered if an emergency arises, but we rarely communicate. He NEVER leaves the house except to visit his dad.

I do not like "alone", but have adapted to it. Holidays are just like any other day to me except that my son usually comes over on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even those days hold no special joy anymore. We were never part of any social functions, but I can imagine that it hurts to remain uninvited.

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Thank you Karen, that is very sweet! I used to live in Tucson and had friends there. My mother died in 2005 and I graduated from grad school just a few weeks before. I was eager to get out of the big, hot city with all its pollution and crime, and so moved to Sedona. The first year I was learning my new career, was terrified of losing my job, and the small town gossip made me nervous. So I took up the violin, even tho I had  minimal lessons. I'd go to the library and check out armloads of songbooks and play them all one after another. I got to be good at sight reading, although not good at the violin, but it kept my mind off worrying after work so I could relax and sleep.

Then in 2006 I coaxed my dad out to AZ from PA, and everything was good. Neither of us really had any friends, so it was pretty easy to just fall into doing everything together. I tried to get him to do stuff with people from the Senior Center and the Elks Club, but he wouldn't go unless I went with him. And the more time I spent with him, the less time I had to develop relationships with other people. I play in three musical groups and so I know some people, but we don't really spend time together-people just go hoe to their families after rehearsals, and none of them live in the same town I do-all of them live at least a half an hour away...

So, what did you do to adapt to being alone?

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Laura, I am never alone.  But, I will be alone the rest of my life.  You can be in a crowd and still be alone.  My sister and my mom were both loners.  My sister loves to go out to a restaurant and eat by herself.  My mom was a hermit before she got Alzheimer's.  I have lots of friends, but I am not ready to socialize.  So, I am alone.  My high school friends (the ones still alive) and I have kept in touch all these years.  The hospitals where I worked, we (coworkers) have stayed in touch.  We might not see or hear from each other for months, but we can always pick up where we left off.  I know you have friends from your schools you attended.  I think our "problem" is that it is really not a problem, we just do not really want to be around people much yet.  I wanted the apartment with people all around me, on top floors above me, behind me, besides me, and then it hit me "you are going to have to socialize or you will be the old woman in apartment 110 who is old and weird.  That gave me anxiety.  I chose that and I am not sure I am ready for it.  But, I don't want to stay here either. The "aloneness" here is deafening.  I hated coming back to this house so much I just wanted to run off to my seedy motel in the middle of Texas and park behind it.  That is my daydream.  If you want company, I think you can find it.  I just think most of us, well we just are not ready yet.

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You are probably right.

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19 minutes ago, Marg M said:

You can I think our "problem" is that it is really not a problem, we just do not really want to be around people much yet.  If you want company, I think you can find it.  I just think most of us, well we just are not ready yet.

I feel that is very true.  I find most people exhausting or I'm just not I sync with the life most people are living.  The times I do socialize, it is so much briefer than it was before.  I don't like the isolation, but I find many people over stimulating.  

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That's an interesting comment. I really enjoy the company of my cat, and my dad was not really much more demanding than Lena. But he was so important to me-more and more so over the years. He became so much a part of the structure of my life that he actually became part of me-and that was ripped out. I miss his constancy, like a landscape. If you live near the ocean or a mountain, it is always there, night or day. There is a mountain near where I live-just north-if it were gone tomorrow when I got up I can't imagine the devastation. I'm not sure I could stay here and ever recover.

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Laura,

Maybe I should have said that I am resigned to being alone instead of adapting to it. I am still searching for a church where I feel comfortable. This is a chore as I'm not really religious, but thought it might be a good place to seek friendship. I don't go around the nearest Senior Center because my BIL literally hangs out there. He & I don't see eye to eye. I can no longer afford the activities of the Solo Seniors group I joined and as Gwen said, feel somewhat out of sync with them. I am the only one who wears boots and jeans and drives a big truck.  lol   I am about 40 years too old for the "bar scene". Just not sure where one goes to make "friends" and I use that term loosely as I know it takes a lot of time to develop a true friendship.

As you do with Lena, I enjoy the company of my dog. She's just not much for conversation.

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Billy and I only "hung out" together and with family.  After the initial first part of our marriage, all of our friends, and us, were busy with family things.  He coached all the YMCA ballgames of any sort (before soccer), but he would have adapted to that.  Still, we never visited in each other's homes.  We were really loners.  I had my work friends, he had his work friends, we would talk when we met up accidentally somewhere, but we never made plans.  Then it was all the kids outside activities.  I'm afraid, for 54 years we never went out on "dates" with other couples.  My sister had her high school games, basketball, majorette, beauty pageants, then the college productions she acted in.  (I am nearly nine years older than her). We went fishing a lot and we took walks later on, but we were never bored.  I am afraid those 54 years passed by way too fast.  "It was only yesterday."  Still, we managed to hold on to the friends we had made over the years.  I would imagine you all have done the same.  Church is a good place to go, but I think most of us are in the same boat, we are just not ready to be buddy-buddy with anyone (although I am close to my "girls").  We talk, but two of them are coming to get me to go to the next set-down dinner we/they have started.  Am I happy?  Nope, not ready to pull up a chair anywhere.  But I have to eventually, I guess.  

Still, when I was a little girl I can remember people sitting around on the front porch, people of the neighborhood, distant relatives my grandmother and aunts would take the lone grandchild to visit all relatives.  We went to cemetery workings (cleaning family plots and planting flowers).  In fact, on my way to de house yesterday I happened to go a different road and came upon the cemetery some of my relatives rest in.  I don't remember being there before.  I found my great grandmother and great grandfather's grave.  A man that was working on the church told me where they were and told me they were having a cemetery working this Saturday.  I won't be in that part of the country then, but that would have been nice to attend.  That was another thing.  On both sides of my parents family, we had reunions 2-3 times a year, so that took up some of my married time too.

They say you can't go home again.  Maybe not, some hate that statement, but I am going to try to go home again.  It was Billy's home too.  He won't be there in body, but I hope I can conjure up his spirit by then.  

And, I guess this does not go along with the heading "whose forum is this" because I just took over the whole thing.  Anyhow, I think there are friends out there, we just have to be ready to accept them. 

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All my life I was never one to have a lot of friends.  My mom worked afternoon shift, so my school years were tied to helping take care of my brother and my dad.  There weren't any extra curricular activities.  I had one true best friend, who was three years older than I was.  We were more like sisters.  I always was included in things she did with her friends (within reason...after all I WAS younger).  There were times in my life when she was more like a mom than my friend. Her family was more loving towards me than my own.  Anyway, I've never been someone who liked having a lot of friends.  I have many close friendships from work, but not "let's get together" type of relationships.  Mark's family is HUGE.  There were 9 brothers and sisters, spouses and children.  Any get together can grow to 50 - 70 people.  I would never deny him the chance to spend time with them, but were times when I didn't want to go.  Mark and I did not socialize with outsiders.  We had our own friends we would do things with...but we mostly just wanted to be just us.  Now that he is gone, I really am not good at socializing. It is tiring.  I love having my best friend come over on the weekends, but when she goes, I am so tired. And family gatherings are very overwhelming.  Too much noise (all those young children) and not really fitting into conversations...kinda like the third wheel. I know they want to include me, but frankly, I most times prefer not.  It just makes me miss Mark more to be around his family, but not really being a part of his family.  My dogs are my company.  I have a great work life...love my job and the people who are around me.  My mind has so many things it wants to sort through and I can't do that and socialize.  Being at home keeps me close to Mark.

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8 minutes ago, Froggie4635 said:

 My mind has so many things it wants to sort through and I can't do that and socialize.

And, that is what I think we are all feeling right now.  Maybe later, if the years allow us later.  We are just not ready.  I am going to have to be literally taken to some things.  I will go, but I don't have to like it.  But, I can put on my friendly disposition to be with them.  I think I can anyhow.

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2 hours ago, Marg M said:

And, I guess this does not go along with the heading "whose forum is this" because I just took over the whole thing.  Anyhow, I think there are friends out there, we just have to be ready to accept them. 

Marg, I don't thing you've taken over the topic or that you're out of place...it seems to me that we're talking about the commonality we share in our loss of a significant person, regardless who that is. Having that person gone rips an enormous hole in the fabric of our lives and the relationships in our lives. It changes everything when you have a huge loss, including-if not especially-how you fit into the social and familial framework around you.

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I've only posted in this forum a handful of times, and it was always about my dad dealing with my mom. I do read it all the time, though. I'll continue to just read and not post.

Honestly, I think the reason why those of us who feel compelled to at least read or sometimes post here when we haven't lost a spouse is that we've lost the most important people in our lives. I lost my mom, who was my very best friend in the world and the person I love the most, and I lost her a good 20 years before I should have, if not more. The people who post in the parent section mostly fall into two categories: those of us who are really young and don't have our own families and people who were basically caretakers for their parents. I've read that my generation is closer with our parents than past generations because we tend to move back in after college (which I did for a few years) and we're postponing families if we have them at all. So it would make sense for a 20 something to consider their mom or dad the most important person in their life. That being said, if you're a caretaker or an older person who didn't end up becoming a parent, it would make sense that you'd be closer to your parents than usual for the same reasons as millennials: You've lived with them in adult life or you don't have your own family. With some people, their sibling is their favorite person because they've been playmates and confidants forever. You lose a part of your soul when a close sibling goes.

This forum resonates with us because we've lost our person. When your loved one who holds the biggest piece of your heart goes, a HUGE part of you goes with them. Your life is completely changed. Lots of people aren't all that close with parents or siblings, so when one of them dies, it isn't an earth-shattering thing. If they mean the world to you, though, it's a lot different.

I don't think I'm as sad about my mom dying as anyone would be about losing their spouse or their child, but it's the worst loss I could personally go through. The other non-spouse grievers are probably the same way, I'd imagine.

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My daughter and my son have been in and out of our house for all their life.  Billy apologized to Scott for always doing everything for him.  He was not being sarcastic at all, this is the way we did things.  Our kids will be our kids until we both are gone, and beyond that even if there is a bridge to let them know we have them in our heart.  We both did everything for our middle aged children.  Sometimes it got confining, especially when it made our "way of life" be lost.  They did not want us to travel the road as RVers, they wanted us to stay close.  Not really selfish on their part, they just wanted us around.  I looked at other RV travelers and one mom and dad thought it was funny because they "escaped" from their grown kids. They thought it funny because their grown kids had no idea where they were.  All the time my daughter was saying "family does not leave family."  I saw family friends and their kids left and went miles and miles away and made productive lives.  One of my daughter's friends lived on the Atlantic coast.  The mom and dad are mine and Billy's age now and the father beat prostate cancer (a very hard fight for him) but age and the chemo left him with severe dementia.  My friend needs the help of her grown children now, but they are no where close.  When Billy got sick, those 5-6 weeks, my children moved in.  We do/did have some trouble with their significant others, but we tamed our feelings about them because our children, no longer children, were here to help.  I resented some of the help, but the thing about it was, I could not show that because they gave up their lives at that time to take care of their dad.  In the same way, I am going to have to put it in writing my wishes to be put in a nursing home and/or assisted living because my daughter is determined to take care of me.  I see my mom at near 95 sucking the life out of my sister.  I will not do that, and my daughter gets her feelings hurt because of that.  She wants to take care of me.  I hope that I won't have to be "taken care of."  But, Billy and I raised two unselfish middle aged children that might sometimes live off us, but never forsake us, so maybe it is a win/win situation.  I used to think that we just never taught our little birds to fly.  I fight against it sometimes, but now that Billy is gone I won't fight it anymore.  But, I  will not do as my mom has done and make either "child" pay for my care with their life, time, or money.  That is all I can do for them now.  

Your a good daughter.  You love your mom very much.  No one can find fault in that.  I am sure everyone welcomes you to this forum.  If it helps you, you know you can stay and write your feelings.  Most all of us are parents also.  

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You're a wonderful mom. The fact that your kids are so kind and caring shows the job you and your husband did as parents. It's also thoughtful of you to want to spare your daughter from having to become a caretaker. Even if you're able to do that, she sounds like she loves you a lot and will still find a way to be with you all the time. If my mom got to old age and was around, I'd do my best. I remember I always figured my dad would go first; we all did. My mom's mom moved into a garage apartment in my aunt's family's house when she was in her early 70s. (Grandpa died when they were in their early 50s.... esophageal cancer) She helped them buy the house, so it made sense. I always thought it would be nice to have mom live with me if she ended up being widowed. Now, maybe I'll have to try to help out my dad that way. I don't like the idea of him being all alone once my teenaged sister moves out.

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