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Hello everyone,

To those seeing this who are grieving, who are lost, who need comfort - I send love and light. Most people, like myself, find this place during hard times and that’s ok, because it means we are not alone.

My mother passed away over a month ago and her death has devastated me like nothing before. I’m shattered, lost and not myself. My heart and soul are broken and the person I was when she was alive is not who I see and feel now. Everything is different and the pain, the numbness, the lack of connection, hope, clarity, peace and all is the by far, the worst experience of my life.

In particular, it’s affecting my relationship, with a person I thought was absolutely “The One.”  We haven’t been together long, but had a long friendship pre-relationship and the quality of our connection if unspeakably deep and true. When Mom was alive, she and I were unstoppable. We were inseparable. It was so right. Now, I don’t feel any love, any connection, any thing. I want to be alone and I don’t want to have to care of anyone. The pressure of having to take care of her and be a decent human being is hurting me further. I hate myself for letting her down and for not being able to give her what she deserves. I’m not being mean, or harmful, just sad, just distant and not present. God knows, she deserves better than what I can give now and better than who I am now. And in truth, I am not the same and will never be the same.

Before I ask what I came here to ask, a bit about my Mom and I and why this loss hurts so much so. Mom raised me. I never met my father. She never brought me around me, ever. I have no siblings. We were quite poor and she suffered from massive anxiety issues. As a child, I knew I had to stop up and take care of her. I did that. I became an adult way too soon. When I was 12, Mom started having heart and lung problems. In a nutshell, I spent my twenties and thirties taking care of her. You’re talking a million days in the hospital, so much work at her place, you can’t imagine. I was a caregiver and that turned me into a perpetual giver. I take care of people and have never had anyone to take care of me. Mom gave all she could, but she couldn’t take care of me like she wished. Needless to say, I have trouble with letting people in. But I am infinitely kind and loving. I try damn hard to be a good soul.

I feel so far away from my partner now. I love her. But I want to be alone and feel that I’d heal better and find peace better if I were alone, without the responsibility of loving and living with my partner.

What are your experiences with this? What do you all think I should do? Any signs I should look out for?

Thank you all. Wishing you love, peace, presence, good energy and all your hopes and dreams.

Love from NYC

HeartbrokenJ

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I am very sorry for your loss.  You are going through loss of your mother but also loss of family history as she was it, no father, no siblings in your life.  That is pretty enormous.

You are writing from the other side of the coin, so to speak, from what we usually see here...most of the posts in this thread are from the heartbroken one that got dumped by a griever.  I was one of those, my fiance of a year broke up with me when his mom was dying...it's common for a certain segment of grievers to feel this way, every energy and effort they can muster is going into their grief and they have nothing left with which to give, they can't handle any pressure and a relationship signifies pressure to them, so they often cut the person loose.  I don't know if they ever regret it.  It might help you to explain to her how you're feeling, that you feel you need some space to grieve, but remember, this isn't fair to her to be left in limbo, with no relationship yet not free to heal and find another relationship.  Before doing anything, make sure you're absolutely certain it's what you want because it can have lasting consequences.  You've been on your own much of your life, how would you feel if you also lost the only one that cares for you?  

I think it'd be very very worthwhile to see a professional grief counselor, run, don't walk, to your appointment!  

Do you know why you feel alone, is it your partner pulling away or not knowing how to help you through this or do you think it is you pulling away?

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Hi Kay,

Thank you so much for your words and care. Bless you and I send you great blessings.

I've spoken to her and shared everything. I'm open, gentle and loving with her. I've let her know that I am not myself and may not ever be again that person she fell in love with. And furthermore, all our dreams and goals are now different. I've also told her to put herself first. That it's OK to walk away or make changes. I can empathize with where she is and it's painful, it's incredibly hard. Her first and no hard feelings is how I feel and what I express to her. I love her so much I want to see her living.

I'd hate to lose her. She's 1 in 1,000,000,000. But I don't/can't love her or anything or anyone like I once did.

I am speaking to a professional. They told me more relationships end due to significant family/friend deaths than due to infidelity. Talking to this professional has been helpful.

I am pulling away. Not her. This isn't her fault. It's not mine either. I just am not myself and feel like I need a ton of time and space to adjust and find the new me, my new life. All my deepest feelings are different. Everything is different since Mom died. It's profound. Nothing seems real right now. The life and person that I had and was before seems like a myth that never happened. There's a new life and new me I have to create and move into. As much as I don't want to, I know I have to. In my bones I feel it would be more beneficial to do so alone, but I just don't know.

Has anyone out there been in my shoes? Has anyone had a similar experience? And what happened?

Thank you, Kay and all. Sending love and life . . . .

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1 hour ago, heartbrokenj said:

I am speaking to a professional. They told me more relationships end due to significant family/friend deaths than due to infidelity. Talking to this professional has been helpful.

I am pulling away. Not her. This isn't her fault. It's not mine either. I just am not myself and feel like I need a ton of time and space to adjust and find the new me, my new life. All my deepest feelings are different. Everything is different since Mom died. It's profound. Nothing seems real right now. The life and person that I had and was before seems like a myth that never happened. There's a new life and new me I have to create and move into. As much as I don't want to, I know I have to. In my bones I feel it would be more beneficial to do so alone, but I just don't know.

Has anyone out there been in my shoes? Has anyone had a similar experience? And what happened?

Thank you, Kay and all. Sending love and life . . . .

Yep, been there. It's good that you're speaking to a professional, and that you're aware of how you feel. It's a start. It sounds like you've talked to her about how you feel? If not, you may want to and you can mutually decide what's best for you both, or how to end your relationship together.

My grandfather and I were best friends, he and my grandmother basically raised us because my parents worked multiple jobs and weren't home much. He died in 2010 of liver failure and cancer. It affected me in an odd way because I was 19 and had never lost anyone before, so I didn't really understand what was happening. My boyfriend was supportive, and while I behaved kind of strangely for a while and was really sad, I didn't break up with him. Part of it was also that I was expecting his death, as his liver was failing and he was in hospice for a few months.

9 months later, my best friend killed himself and it sent me spiraling. I dropped out of school and stopped going to work, for weeks. I laid in bed for days at a time replaying our last conversations and wondering if I wasn't a good friend to him. Time just stopped, reality stopped and I didn't want to go back into the world. I was not right in the head for months. My boyfriend Joe understood, for a while, but my behavior went on for months. I was cruel to him and emotionally abandoned him and our relationship. I stopped caring about everything. Joe should've left me, but he didn't. He gave me an ultimatum after about 4 months of my constant crying, laying in bed, angry outbursts and neglecting myself. He told me he was going to leave if I didn't seek professional help. At the time, I resented him for it because I was so obsessed with my own feelings that I didn't care about how my behavior made him feel. I was angry with him for being unable to understand how I felt, but my anger was misdirected because deep down I was just angry at myself, confused and inexplicably sad. He was right to leave, but I agreed to see a counselor. We eventually worked it out once I started taking therapy seriously, but it damaged our relationship. We ended things two years later for unrelated reasons, but I do feel that this situation played a part in how we ended.

While I wasn't fully aware of how I was behaving at times, Joe made it clear that my behavior was hurting him, and that he hated seeing me like that. Part of me wanted to care and be better, I just couldn't help the loneliness, carelessness and emptiness I felt.

If you feel that being alone is what's best for you, you need to tell her. Don't leave her waiting in the wings, giving her hope or confusing her with sweet nothings. My ex-boyfriend Tim did that to me after his dad died in 2015, and it was devastating. He told me he just needed some time to sit with his loss, and that he didn't want to break up. A few days turned into months of radio silence from him, and him begging me to reconcile once I had finally started to accept that our relationship was over and move forward. He is emotionally unavailable but used it as an excuse to treat me poorly; You seem to be emotionally unavailable as well, but you aren't trying to hurt her and are aware of it, which is a great thing.

The difference here is that you didn't wait to seek therapy, and you're aware of how you feel and how it's affecting her and your relationship. Instead of being cruel and just dumping her, you're actually trying to spare her pain and keep the relationship. But if it's at the expense of yourself, you need to have a discussion with her about it.

Remember, you need to do what you feel is best for you. But, I'd caution against making rash, emotionally-fueled decisions. Do talk to her and your therapist before deciding what to do. It doesn't make you a bad person for breaking up with her, it just means you need time to figure things out and that time is best spent alone because you're going through a major, life-altering transition. Life isn't linear and things change at the drop of a hat, and sometimes, so do people.

Things get better. The grief will just change, it won't go away. Think of it like an over-stuffed suitcase. At first, it's unmanageable, cumbersome and you're struggling to carry it. Eventually, it becomes a regular suitcase as you get used to the weight. Then it becomes a more manageable "carry-on" suitcase, then a backpack, and eventually a card you carry in your back pocket. You know it'll always be there, and sometimes you feel it more than others, but it doesn't weigh you down like it once did.

-- Rae :)

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5 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

The difference here is that you didn't wait to seek therapy, and you're aware of how you feel and how it's affecting her and your relationship.

Rae is right.  Your self-awareness and insight will carry you a long way in this.  I haven't been through such a life change as this one but I do recognize when someone seems to be able to "check-in" with themselves.

 

5 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

Think of it like an over-stuffed suitcase.

Fantastic analogy, Rae.  👍

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19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

If you feel that being alone is what's best for you, you need to tell her. Don't leave her waiting in the wings, giving her hope or confusing her with sweet nothings.

I agree.  Also be careful not to give mixed messages.  After Jim and I broke up, we had no contact for months and when we resumed contact (after his mom had died), he was all over the place and gave me mixed messages.  It was very confusing and it hurt me to no end.  I finally realized he did not know his own mind and I learned not to attach any meaning to anything he said, I protected myself.  All these years later we are friends but never did go back to a "relationship".

19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

Remember, you need to do what you feel is best for you. But, I'd caution against making rash, emotionally-fueled decisions. Do talk to her and your therapist before deciding what to do.

 

19 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

Things get better. The grief will just change, it won't go away.

Key to remember!  It's been almost 14 years since my husband died...it took me probably three years to process his death, longer to find purpose, much longer yet to build a life I could live.  I didn't push people away when he died, but they all left anyway.  I ended up making a new set of friends but that takes time, much of it.

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Hello everyone,

Thank you, Rae, Kay and Kieron! Thank you very much.

Rae - I'm sorry for your losses. Hope your pain has lessened and hope your days are full of love, meaning and peace. You are wise beyond your years and indeed, I understand what you're saying. I need help and am getting it. I will never be the same and my life will never be the same. Mom had the deepest affect on me. But yet, I'm trying my best. I'm being transparent, patient and loving with my partner. I'm encouraging her to be put herself first but I'm not rushing or forcing anything, even as I feel as though I should be alone, even as though my heart is broken and I can't love her or anyone or anything like I once did.

Kieron - "check-in" is great. The truth comes out, always. I'm doing my best to be truthful with her and myself and expressing and living the truth with gentleness, understanding and love.

Kay - I'm sorry for your losses and pains. I've been anticipating my Mom's death since I was a kid. For decades. Through the countless hospitalizations, through many horrible illnesses, through the loneliest of hours, I've prepared for when she wouldn't be here. And I thought I was ready. Boy, was I wrong. This has changed everything. It's so hard doing anything these days and what you say about friends is hard to hear. See, I love my friends, but I just don't feel close to them or close to anyone or anything anymore. I feel like I have to make a new life, a new soul and it may need to happen alone, or close to alone, but on my terms.

This is all so painful. I don't want to hurt my girlfriend. I don't want to hurt myself. And making decisions with a broken heart, living the day with a broken heart is painful.

Thank you all. Sending love and good energy. 

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I would just caution you not to do anything permanent unless/until you've had ample grief counseling.  Make sure to let your counselor know everything you're feeling/thinking.  I would hate for you to throw away what could be the best relationship of your life, outside your mother, and then regret it and be alone.  You are feeling you need to be alone right now, and maybe you do need that space...that is something your GF can grant you...or not.  And if she can't give that to you, you may have to take it anyway.  I know when my fiance was going through it with his mom, I would have been willing to give him that space but he broke up with me before we could talk about it.  I would say it took him a good year at least to process his mother's death but it's not something you're ever "over".  I have learned to live with grief, I call it coexisting with my grief.  I can smile, function, (not at first though, I've had ample years to adjust) but always, always, I am missing my husband and he is on my mind each and every day.  I adjusted easier to my mom's death because our situation was different from yours...my mom had stage 4 Dementia, was in her 90s, it was time for her release...that doesn't mean I don't miss her though, there's times I really wish I could see or talk to her.  That is what I have to live with.  But now I live alone and would give anything to have my husband here with me.  It's hard going through life alone.

I wish you the best no matter what you decide or how your proceed. 

On 4/6/2019 at 9:17 AM, Rae1991 said:

But, I'd caution against making rash, emotionally-fueled decisions. Do talk to her and your therapist before deciding what to do.

This is my advice also.

On 4/6/2019 at 8:04 AM, heartbrokenj said:

I am pulling away. Not her. This isn't her fault. It's not mine either.

No it's not anyone's "fault", it's grief.  None of us asked to have our lives pulled out from under us.

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Heartbrokenj, my sincerest condolences.  It means a lot that you're able to share your genuine thoughts and feelings after such a tragedy.  I'm very sorry for the pain and heartache you're experiencing from the loss of your mother.  It's unimaginable to me.  The fact that you're looking to receive help for yourself while still being able to communicate with and give thought to your partner says a lot about you.  Having been on the other side of the equation, you seem to be going about it the right way in regards to your relationship.  I know it doesn't make it easier for you or your partner and it doesn't lessen any of the pain, but maybe that extra bit of understanding and self-awareness you are carrying will help you both at some later point in time.

I wish you well on your future journey.

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Hello everyone,

 

Kay & Vandal and all - thank you! I send love and regards to you and yours. Your words and the fact that you speak with care, wisdom and experience genuinely helps.

I always thought the hardest moments of my life were always going to be the lonely hours in the hospital, the hours I'd worry about mom, the many months of oxygen tubes, medical scares, ER visits and the exhaustion of being a caregiver. I never thought that the grief of Mom's loss would be utterly crippling. It's so much deeper than any words could describe.

I need help and I'm going to pursue it. As far as my partner, I'm going to be honest gentle and loving. Her first and if all this hurts, I'm so sorry. I'm just not myself and I don't want to bring you down. We can be loving and warm and see where it all goes. I want to run, I want to close the doors and I feel like I may just need lots of space and time, but I won't be mean or cold about it.

I hope and pray that Mom hears me and takes care of my partner, myself and all of us. I believed I'd see more signs from her, but not yet. I haven't felt her presence and warmth and that hurts.

I love you all and thank you. Good energy, good fortune, love, life and light to you all. Thank you.

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I pray you get through this intact and wish comfort and love for you...I hope you will keep us updated to your progress and I'm glad you will be getting some help.

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