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I knew someone with hyperacusis, which is the clinical term for extreme sound sensitivity.  He had to go around wearing noise-canceling headphones all the time and would shush people who tried to talk to him, saying "You're too loud!"

James, I hope those resources prove to be helpful!

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Don't try to eat the elephant in just one sitting, my friend. If you try to do that, you will choke. Go at it one small bite at a time, and take no more than you can digest right now. As we've said re

Well, she may not have known how.  I don't recall the manner of her passing (sorry), but I do know that it takes a lot of energy for the person who is dying to communicate verbally.  Even if she had w

This is so important.  I spent years in therapy having this drilled into me and for good reason.  Self talk can be very destructive.  I know because I’ve been there and have to guard against it often.

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Thanks. I knew there was a name for it, but didn't know what it was. I think it's gotten worse, just because of my loss and the stress of everything. All of my mental issues have free reign to run riot. Annette was able to calm me down and control them. I don't have that anymore. In my case, regular headphones playing tunes is just fine- although they get uncomfortable for long periods. I used to hate using them at all, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to stay sane. I sometimes think I could be going insane, honestly. I talk to myself, but I'm talking to Annette, so someone would think I'm nuts. 

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Actually, looking online, I would have Misophonia. Hyperacusis sounds really bad, like loud sounds actually cause physical pain. No, that's not it- thankfully. I appreciate it, Kieron. It's good to know what I have to better deal with it. The more you know.... 

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Yes, it does cause physical pain, and glad it was helpful to narrow down what you're dealing with. 🙂 Sometimes naming the issue is enough to help us feel better about it, or feel like we have more control or agency over the situation.

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I've got enough mental illness where everybody gets a turn. Lately, I've been having terrible thoughts that somehow Annette was still alive when they cremated her. I mean, they check to make sure they're really dead before they cremate right? She had a partial denture that they didn't take out and so I found it with her ashes. I know it was her, but I just haven't dealt with it properly. I keep thinking that maybe she's still somewhere in Tulsa... That feeling has faded for the most part as the months have dragged by... but it still pops up once in a while.

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Yes they check for life, before they even send to the crematory and then they double check.  They should have removed the partial, I got my husband's dentures back but I didn't keep him as he never liked having to wear them.

Your feelings about maybe they're still here are very common, it takes the longest time to fully realize they're gone because it's just so abhorrent to us.  :(

 

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And now I find myself being overprotective of my Mom, the same way I feel like I smothered Annette. My mom mentioned she felt like she might be getting a cold, and I started freaking out. I've been bugging her about her symptoms and she's getting annoyed with me. All I'm trying to do is be concerned and trying to advise her to take vitamins and maybe take a nap if she needs it, and she's not having it. She's very stubborn as well, and is not used to be anyone being concerned for her health, I guess. So, I feel like a jerk for just wanting her to not get sick. I can't win. 

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I wish you wouldn’t be so down on yourself when your trying to help.  All we can do is try.  Give yourself credit for caring.  That is a good thing.  💖

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2 hours ago, nashreed said:

She's very stubborn as well, and is not used to be anyone being concerned for her health, I guess. So, I feel like a jerk for just wanting her to not get sick. I can't win. 

I'm not sure of your Mother's age, but I am 79 and have some health issues, live alone, etc.  My daughter and I often get into it because she wants to make sure I am taking care of myself.  I am constantly telling her, please don't try to help unless I ask for the help.  Being stubborn is probably inbred in us "Mothers" and really is a good thing.  Just know you are a good son to notice she might need help.  Just thought I'd share my "old grouchy lady" opinion.  Please take it in a caring way.  Dee

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She's 84. She is very independent still and is in pretty good shape except for her back that acts up every so often and she is hard of hearing, and so she can't understand me half the time.

The thing is, she still does EVERYTHING for my brother- makes his food, picks up after him... It's a weird relationship, more like a husband thing (eww) and I wasn't here for the better part of 30 years, so now I'm navigating this weird dynamic with my over-protectiveness and his general indifference and selfishness. Ack.

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It's been almost 9 months now, and I still have a hard time ...not trying to get over Annette, but getting over the guilt. So many things that I didn't do...and I know that it doesn't matter anymore, but it matters to me. If guilt is the only connection I have to her, I still want that connection. What she said, what she thought...it still matters to me. What made her her means everything to me still. When she was hallucinating, she made me promise that she wasn't losing her mind, because she was scared of that. She had actually had a mild stroke when she was brought out of sedation too early when they botched her amputation. I promised her that, and I still want her to know that she never did lose her mind- it was just the medication. 

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Try practicing giving yourself words of affirmation every day, over time it can help.  Tell yourself the positive things you did for her, the things she loved about you, your good things, strengths.  It's important to not only focus on negatives about ourselves but positives as well...we all possess some of both!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was woken up last night by the profound realization of what my life is now- a waiting room.

When Annette would be admitted to the hospital or when she had a doctors appointment, I waited patiently until she was done or I was allowed to see her. This is what I'm doing now, waiting until I'm allowed to see her. I am perfectly fine with that. Good things can happen while waiting, but I am waiting. My heart is with her already- there is absolutely no one else. I am happy to wait until I am called to see her. It is my pleasure. 

I've also been greatly moved by this recent Country song by Carly Pearce called "Show Me Around"

 
 
 
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Lyrics

I heard you got a brand new place
Feels like at least a million miles away
I hope I get to meet you there someday
And we'll pick back up like no time passed
Yeah, I pray it happens like that
I bet you're up there right now makin' plans and writin' out
All your favorite places that you just can't wait to take us
And we'll get to spend forever talkin' 'bout whatever
When I get there, promise you'll track me down
And show me around
I heard that there's no growing old
And now you only walk down streets of gold
I've only read about what you've seen, what you know
And I'm still here missin' you
Oh, I wonder what you're gettin' into
I bet you're up there right now makin' plans and writin' out
All your favorite places that you just can't wait to take us
And we'll get to spend forever talkin' 'bout whatever
When I get there, promise you'll track me down
And show me around
I hate how much that losin' you hurts (how much that losin' you hurts)
I hope you know you left your mark on this world
And I swear that I'd give anything on this Earth
To see your face
But for now, I'll wait
I bet you're up there right now makin' plans and writin' out
All your favorite places that you just can't wait to take us
And we'll get to spend forever talkin' 'bout whatever
When I get there, promise you'll track me down
And show me around
And show me around
I heard you got a brand new place
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