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My heart is literally breaking as I write this. I need assistance and/or recommendations on how to assist/help someone who has lost their spouse. I had a previous relationship with a gentleman whose spouse was chronically ill with several health conditions. She became ill in October and passed away in late October from complications of Covid 19. I lost contact with him a couple of days before his wife passed away but had been supporting him the best I could during her long hospitalization. I had been and continue to be very worried about him. He does not have a good support network and prefers "to be left alone". He re-contacted me about 2 weeks after his wife passed away to tell me what had happened. I have never dealt with something of this magnitude with someone that has suffered such a tragic loss. He told me how lonely he was and how much pain he was in. Of course since I have a caring nature and felt terrible for him and reached out and tried to help to the best of my ability. We became close and supported each other through quite a few critical life moments during the next month. He supported me as well the best he could. I have had no expectations and have learned that being his friend at best is what he really needs right now. So I proceeded to text and check up on him - make sure he is eating doing okay etc. He seemed receptive initially. I continued to reiterate that I am here for him as friend and will do anything that I can do even though grieving is a very private journey. We had also discussed I wish I could make it all better for him but I cannot since this is process that he needs to work through. His behaviors became erratic at times: last minute cancellation or plans, preferring to "be left alone", "No one can help", becoming more distant, not responding to texts like previously, anxious when out in public with him, telling the whole world to go to hell etc. He has multiple stressors on top of the loss of his spouse including work issues and several family problems. He had been working at home for the most part but trying to get back into the real world by starting to go back to the office a little bit. We have had a solid relationship and I considered him to be a close friend at least. Roughly 5 five weeks ago now I received a startling text message from him while at work. I was very concerned due to the nature of the text message so I stopped by his home on the way home from work. I was met with a great deal of anger and resentment. He did not want to speak to me or talk about anything but simply wanted "to be left alone in peace and quiet". I was informed he has pressure from all sides and he didn't need this additional stress right now. I was told I am adding to his stress and that he needs to "do this alone to try and find some normalcy again". He would not even let me in his home past the front door and was very angry when he answered the door. I tried to explain that I was just making sure he was okay and trying to seek understanding. The day before I had seen him for a brief period of time and he had dismissed me from his presence. I had offered on this day that I could go away for awhile if he preferred since everything I tried to do didn't ever seem right. He had reassured me I was doing fine and not being offensive or pushy. The response I got was that everyone feels that I should be normal but I am not normal. He was even angry about a grief counselor from his work who tried to contact him on this day. He was so cold, distant, and emotionally detached. I asked him to please help me to understand. No response. Most of what I tried to convey to him was met with no response or glaring at me like he hated me. I told him how much this hurt since I do care a great deal about him and he responded "well now you know how I feel only mine is much worse". During the half hour I was at his home he finally stated he wanted to be left alone then stated "Can we talk about this at another time?". I left completely heartbroken. We have not spoken since that night going on 5 weeks ago now. I feel shattered like I have really done something wrong here. To protect my heart I have had to back away since I am not to blame for his tragic loss. I can't bring myself to contact him again after being treated so poorly. I am now struggling and will continue to struggle not knowing if he is doing okay or not but at the same time I cannot insist he receive the help I am trying to provide. This has been one of the most difficult ordeals I have ever encountered. I would truly appreciate and suggestions/recommendations anyone may have. May God bless you all in your healing and may you find comfort and peace. 

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Hello, I am sorry that your friend has turned cold and distant like this, but I want to assure you that you haven't done a thing wrong.  Unfortunately, some men are like this in their grief, preferring to go it alone, even cutting themselves off, seeking "normalcy" by denying that help or support is wanted or needed.  Reading between the lines, I wonder if his cold, angry reception when you stopped by after work is rooted in his own embarrassment at having reached out in the way he did.  Perhaps the pressure caused a "leak" that he was later ashamed of and was covering up with bluffing.  Perhaps he was ashamed at reaching out at all, or embarrassed at what he had texted and wished he hadn't done it.

Your decision to back off and not initiate contact is understandable.  Who wants to be treated that way?  At the same time, I understand the wondering if he is OK.  You are right, you cannot make him be receptive to help.  The old saying about leading a horse to water is a truism.  I don't know what more you can do at this time.  Hopefully he will get help before he explodes.  That kind of "pressure cooker" scenario is unhealthy and tends to get messy.  ☹️

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I’m certainly no expert, and I think Kieron's observations (coming from a male perspective) are illuminating.  I’ve never been in your situation, but I think back on advice columns and grief books I have ready.  I also draw from my own experience losing my husband.  I know in the first couple of months I felt smothered by people trying to help me.  The bereaved's mind is overwhelmed with the reality of the loss no matter how much they prepared.  I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was.  I used what energy I had to call our social circle.  I just needed to let them know and cry.  With the best of intentions they began calling a lot, wanting to take me out or bring food in and wanting to visit.  I felt like I was being smothered.  I was so devastated I didn’t want to or could deal with them.  I finally told people I appreciated their caring, but I would call them if I needed anything.  I only talked with my counselors and a couple of close people.  I was in shock so I needed to focus on legal tasks while I was numb between outbursts that tore me apart inside.  It was months before I could start reaching out to people.  It wasn’t that I wanted to be alone in the normal sense as I was more alone than I’d ever been losing him.  I wanted to be alone and not try and explain something I couldn’t.  That was.....if it hasn’t happened to you, you will never get it and the support needed was from others that did.  I had his sister who was a widow for a year and she was my lifeline til she died also.  Then I found this place to be with others who understood a new language that comes with grief.  

I know it’s hard for you to see your friend suffer and it is because you care you want to help.  He has told you what he needs right now.  It’s hard to understand his different reactions.  You need to try and understand he is in such pain that he is trying to navigate his own emotions, much less yours or others.  Give him time.  He knows you are there.  Don’t push so he has to hurt you more which I’m sure he does not want to do.  That will only make him feel worse later.  I had to get quite harsh with a couple of people I wish I hadn’t to.  But they didn’t respect my wishes.  That is the most caring gift you can give.  Just my opinion.

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Bless you for sharing your experience and thoughts with me. This makes sense now as you have so eloquently described the devastating loss and the need to be alone since it is so indescribable in nature. He has stated that no one can help with this. He has exhibited so much emotional lability it is very difficult to know what to say or do at times. My presence had to be making him feel pressured or that he needed to live up to some set of expectation(s). I was only trying to be supportive. We did not leave things on good terms the last time I seen him about 5 weeks ago now. He was very hostile towards me. Thoughts about reaching out to him after a couple of more weeks or longer timeframe? I am hesitant to do so but do want him to know I will be in the distance if he needs me. I would like to clear the air with him instead of leaving things like this but don’t know how receptive he will be if at all. He hurt me quite deeply with our last discussion which turned out to be a confrontation. It did not seem to bother him that he had hurt me after being made aware he did. I certainly appreciate your thoughts and wish you the best. 

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When this man and you reconnect, as friends normally do and when he is ready, I feel you will be able to express your hurt feelings as communication slowly restores naturally.  You just don’t know when this will happen so that is what is going to be hard for you to wait for.  He is important to you and I’m guessing you are to him too.  He is in a life altering event that will be with him forever. As we say here....forever changed.

you listed him as loss of a boyfriend.  If there was a romantic tie, he may be struggling with feelings of guilt as well.  I only say this as it may be an added struggle for him.  You don’t owe any info further on that, just a thought  I had.  

If you feel you must reach out, perhaps something very brief with absolutely no indication a reply is expected.  You’ll have reached out, he will know it and it’s no pressure. I don’t know what the best wording would be.  Just a 'thinking of you' maybe.  No pressure, doesn’t require a response.  Because of his recent reactions, and to respect them, just reach out once.  I know that will be hard.  Your hurt feelings are hard to live with, but this isn’t the time to put them out there above the loss of his wife.    All you can do is trust he will reach out when he is ready.  It make take a long time.  Maybe not.  I truly understand wanting to help, but I also know how it can backfire. 

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My dear, I'm so sorry this is happening to you, but I hope you will take to heart the wise advice you've received from those who've responded to your post. I encourage you to read the posts in our Loss of A Love Relationship forum, which may help you to see that you are neither alone in, nor responsible for, this man's reactions to your kind and sincere efforts to "be there" for him. Grief can turn one's entire life upside down, and from what you've described, that is what's happened to this man. To expect him to behave in a rational, predictable way ~ much less in a way that is kind and considerate and sensitive to YOUR feelings ~ is not realistic. The best thing you can do is to respect what he has asked of you, and let go of your need to "clear the air." He already knows you are willing to be there for him, and you don't have to remind him of that again. I know this is hard for you, because your motives are pure and you're only trying to help. Still, you might ask yourself whose need you are meeting by reaching out to him one more time. 

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I am so sorry for your friend's loss and all he's going through and also what you must be feeling with being shut out when your motives are altruistic and caring.  You are right in that you have to think first of your own health and he his.  Try not to personalize what he's dished out, it has nothing to do with you personally and everything to do with his grief and all he's going through.  He honestly can't see beyond that.  It could be someday he'll be in a better place to reach out to you but it would have to be in his time/way.  Right now the best thing to do is to respect his wishes for space.

We grieve differently, men and women, but also different personalities/backgrounds.  
You've gotten some good responses here.

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/10/how-we-mourn-understanding-our.html
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-help-someone-who-i_b_6331568

Although this talks about how to help another in grief, it's beyond that right now I'm afraid, the best "help" you can give is respecting his wishes.

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First I would like to say bless each of you who took the time to assist me in trying to gain some understanding of my friend’s grief and behaviors. I have been so lost and hurt I haven’t known where to turn or what to do. You are correct if you have not been through losing a spouse yourself you have no idea of what it is like to endure. I have lost a parent but this does not even begin to compare to the depth of the pain and grief with the loss of a spouse. I have been floundering unsure what to do if anything at all. Thank you for pointing out that his grief does not include my feelings since he is struggling with his tragic loss. After our confrontation 5 weeks ago we have had no contact. I being human said some things to him that I wished I had not. I never intended to make this all about me but in a way I did since I didn’t understand where he was coming from or why he was behaving so erratically. Yes I have feelings too and Yes it did hurt. I value him as being a significant part of my life but now have mindfulness this is not what he wants right now. My thought process of recontacting him would be to simply apologize and say I am sorry. 
I fear that he will never speak to me again which I realize time will only tell. Thoughts about apologizing to him? Inappropriate or not? Yes I am vested in this relationship even if he is unable to be at this time. My other option is to completely stay no contact with him and see with time if he reaches out or not. I feel strongly I need to apologize after reading the postings presented here. Thank you for your wisdom and God bless each of you. You have helped me beyond measure. 

 

 

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I’d be careful about apologizing.  I know you want to but you will again be putting him in a place to have to take on your feelings.  The point is to let your caring put his needs first.  It’s not easy.  Just think about it.  You have and can again later.  He really needs his space.   

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2 hours ago, Brokenin2 said:

I feel strongly I need to apologize after reading the postings presented here.

I say again, ask yourself: Whose needs are you meeting here? To whom does the need to apologize belong? As Gwen says, while it may make you feel better about yourself, apologizing to him "will again be putting him in a place to have to take on your feelings." You're operating from a place of "how can I make this right again between the two of us?" I understand how difficult and painful this must be for you, because clearly you are a compassionate and caring person, and you truly do want to support him in his grief and behave in a way that is consistent with your own values and beliefs. But the reality is that he is coming from a place of profound sorrow and hasn't got a clue about what he is wanting, needing or feeling, much less any motivation or the energy to do whatever he can to make things right with you.

Remember what you shared with us earlier:

 

On 1/8/2021 at 6:50 PM, Brokenin2 said:

I was met with a great deal of anger and resentment. He did not want to speak to me or talk about anything but simply wanted "to be left alone in peace and quiet". I was informed he has pressure from all sides and he didn't need this additional stress right now. I was told I am adding to his stress and that he needs to "do this alone to try and find some normalcy again". He would not even let me in his home past the front door and was very angry when he answered the door.

I encourage you to give this man whatever time he needs to come to terms with this loss. If he wants and needs your help and support in doing that, do your best to wait until he asks for it, and let the request come from him. 

In the meantime, know that we understand how hard this must be for YOU, and we are here to support YOU as you cope with your own feelings and reactions to this difficult and challenging situation. ❤️

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Once again this makes sense and I will not plan to recontact him but will maintain my no contact with him. Thank you for your understanding and supporting how very difficult this really is and has been for me. He has requested through a 3rd party that I do a favor for him earlier this week. Unfortunately I cannot grant the favor since it puts my career in jeopardy and is not the ethical or right thing to do. He was aware of this previously so it is not new information to him. He has seemed to reach out at times when I can provide a service for him previously: different favors for him. They are not typical favors you would ask someone to do especially since they are unethical in nature. Instead of texting and or calling me and asking me to do the favor he went behind my back and had a service professional call me. So he asked for help indirectly but not for appropriate things. This has been excruciating. I have a lot to learn about grief and loss. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom. God bless! 

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Thank you for your response. This has definitely been on my mind since he has been able to make himself available when he needed a favor of some sort. Otherwise i have been given several excuses and feel like I have been lied to and manipulated. I have really felt a lot of animosity from him towards me since I could not grant some of his favor requests. The day after I told him I could not grant a favor he requested for his mother he had a meltdown with me and we had a confrontation. I was and am still stunned regarding the way in which he reacted when I stopped by his home. I had been there several times previously. His attitude towards me was one of emotional dissonance and almost of pure hatred. I have been grasping to pick up the pieces ever since. Who goes behind someone’s back and does something that he knew was wrong and unethical? He has exhibited several sneaky underhanded behaviors that don’t make any sense since he also has a good job and also has another company that he owns in addition to his primary job. I have rarely heard him speak of his deceased wife or even want to talk about her. I have seen no emotional response from him regarding her death. He has just voiced different things about being sad, having a bad day or crying all day. Something has been really off with his grieving process. I am not trying to be disrespectful regarding his loss. Thank you again for your eye opening responses. God bless!

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IMO the best you can do is respect his wishes, while respecting yourself!  I went through something with a 45 year friendship someone tossed aside because they are prideful and it was all about THEM when I was at my most fragile state, grieving and refusing to let him run ramshod over me.  I tried to be the bigger person 1 1/2 years later to "get past it" and nope, he was horrible to me.  I'm done, I tried but I will not grovel as he wants, esp when he refuses to see another perspective and I was there for him when HE was grieving!  We can't control their response nor can we always preserve the long time friendship.  If the time ever comes, only you can decide if it's worthwhile to you...if he's asking you to do something unethical, I'd think not, but again, up to you to decide.  Maybe more no contact period will help you come to some clarity with it.  I think Gwen gave some sound advice as did Marty. ;)

 

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

IMO the best you can do is respect his wishes, while respecting yourself!  I went through something with a 45 year friendship someone tossed aside because they are prideful and it was all about THEM when I was at my most fragile state, grieving and refusing to let him run ramshod over me.  I tried to be the bigger person 1 1/2 years later to "get past it" and nope, he was horrible to me.  I'm done, I tried but I will not grovel as he wants, esp when he refuses to see another perspective and I was there for him when HE was grieving!  We can't control their response nor can we always preserve the long time friendship.  If the time ever comes, only you can decide if it's worthwhile to you...if he's asking you to do something unethical, I'd think not, but again, up to you to decide.  Maybe more no contact period will help you come to some clarity with it.  I think Gwen gave some sound advice as did Marty. ;)

 

I am so very thankful for all of the responses. I have actually felt like I have been losing my mind with him. We had been close then I was kicked to the curb. I am finding some clarity with the no contact period. I am not liking what I see when I reflect on our so called relationship. I know when I lost my mother it was unbelievably the absolute worst experience I have endured in my life. I found myself in the middle of a tornado completely numb and unable to function. I certainly was not thinking of how I could scam or con someone to do things for me that are not ethical or warranted. I had thought I was a good judge of character but unfortunately I think I completely missed the mark on this guy. I put my heart and soul into trying to comfort and assist him - it is going to sting for quite some time to come. I remember saying an ill comment to one of my mom’s sisters at her funeral who was only trying to support me. Later in time I went back to her and apologized for my inappropriate response to her. I can live with the fact that he needs time and space. However I cannot live with how the message was delivered with such cruelty. Even after consideration of his grief stricken state no one ever has the right to speak to someone like he chose to do and act like he did. I would hope that given time he would realize the inappropriateness of how our conversation went that evening. I felt like I had crashed into a brick wall. Then for him to request yet another favor indirectly through a third party after treating me so poorly is unbelievable. Especially after being made aware of I would never grant a favor like this again since it was not the right thing to do. I will continue to try and see the best in people I refuse to let him rob me of my caring heart and nature. He has left me with many hard life lessons. God bless! 

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10 hours ago, Brokenin2 said:

Then for him to request yet another favor indirectly through a third party after treating me so poorly is unbelievable. Especially after being made aware of I would never grant a favor like this again since it was not the right thing to do.

I sure am sorry to read this, and can relate.  I've come to believe that when we are close to someone, for any reason be it parent, child, spouse, friend, or whatever, there really is a bond on a number of levels.  It's our essential nature as humans (although you'd never guess, given all the cruelty in the world that's glorified in the news and media and movies).  When there is a rupture of any kind (betrayal, falling-out, death) it has a physical effect as well as emotional.  I think there's an article around here somewhere about the physical effect that the death of a loved one has on our physical heart as well as our emotional heart.  There are some spiritual traditions that say we have the physical beating heart but also the emotional one, which is why we feel a hole in the heart in response to any loss.  I remember vividly expecting to find a hole in my chest in the days and weeks after my own loss.

As for his inappropriate request quoted just above, I looked back at my initial response to your post, and I still think there's something else going on, besides being out of his mind with grief.  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, don't blame yourself for misjudging his character.  We all get "taken in" from time to time.  For example, I tend to see the best in people and therefore it's not good for me to work with or be around users/addicts, because their lies and coverups are too-easily believed, but this awareness came at a cost.  You learn.  🤷‍♂️

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13 hours ago, Brokenin2 said:

We had been close then I was kicked to the curb. I am finding some clarity with the no contact period. I am not liking what I see when I reflect on our so called relationship.

I experienced that too when my "friend" of 45 years and I had a falling out when I was facing my dog's death sentence (cancer).  He actually yelled at me, was controlling in trying to tell me how to handle it, I did not do that when his dog went through it.  He's always been arrogant and I've overlooked it for 45 years, but I could not at that time, I was emotionally fragile and he seemed toxic so that was that.  I tried to get past it 1 1/2 years later when my BIL died and I let him know, he hammered me and hammered me over and over, wanted to grovel, hell no, not happening!  Clarity DOES come as we're away from it!

Sometimes we persevere in relationships when we're in it emotionally, overlooking things we normally would not...there comes a time to stop and re-read the red flags for what they are!

13 hours ago, Brokenin2 said:

I can live with the fact that he needs time and space. However I cannot live with how the message was delivered with such cruelty. Even after consideration of his grief stricken state no one ever has the right to speak to someone like he chose to do and act like he did.

I totally relate to this but in my case, he never did look at anything from my perspective, harsh and extremely judgmental.  Not someone I want to be friends with when it comes down to it!

I will not accept anyone's bullying me, yelling at me, and he will not accept someone (me) hanging up when he was doing just that, esp. in my grief stricken state when I had nothing left in me for anyone else, for crying out loud, I'd just been given my soulmate in a dog's death sentence!

Sometimes I think the best thing we can do is learn from the experience, pay attention to red flags.  If he ever wants to look at what caused it and apologize, I will consider getting past it but I already know, from who he is, that will not happen.  And I'd have to really consider it as I never want to invite more of the same into my life!  We can forgive, that does not always mean we have to open the door for someone to "do it again!"

3 hours ago, Kieron said:

I think there's an article around here somewhere about the physical effect that the death of a loved one has on our physical heart as well as our emotional heart. 

Here's a couple of articles you may be referring to?
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/03/physical-reactions-to-loss.html
https://whatsyourgrief.com/physical-grief-symptoms/

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FI have to agree with Kieron and Kay.  As much as it pains us, and sometimes has to happen with good closure, we have to end things for our own protection.  There is a high risk giving repeated situations one more try.  The 'fool me once' adage.  I’m all for giving people a 2nd chance, but patterns are patterns if they exist.  Tho always, your choice and good you ar seeing things with more clarity by taking time away.

Those we come to care deeply about do create a bigger emotional response.  It’s not like brushing off an acquaintance you haven’t invested so much of yourself in.  I’ve had to do both.  Some people I miss deeply to this day but we don’t fit anymore.  Never will.  To make it worse, loosing the ones we are tightly bound to and complete us is so unfair.  

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15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

we have to end things for our own protection.

My little sister Julie has Covid.  My BIL took her phone away and isn't answering their phones, so no updates.  I called my other sister that lives near her to see if SHE knew anything.  She said Dana gave it to her or she must have done something stupid!  I tried to interject that she could have gotten it from one of their employees (she runs the office and they come there in the morning) but I never got to tell her that because she started screaming at me!  On and on and on and on!  WAY over the top!  She was unhinged on me.  I started crying and told her it was way overboard for the "offense" and that I know she's upset, she's my little sister too, we're all upset!  But she didn't care, on and on she kept yelling at me, and I finally said something like, "This is going nowhere..." and hung up.  It's like all her fury was unleashed on me but enough is enough!  I know she has my mom's anger and pride issues but this is her way of dealing with people.  Her husband spends a lot of time in his bedroom.  We always have to walk on eggshells around her.  You'd think she could factor in where we're all coming from right now but no.  I just cried last night.  It's not a "friend" I can cut off from, it's my sister.  I decided I'll take a good long space from her and wait for her to contact me...if she ever does.  If I don't wait for HER to make the move, she'll just go off again.  And may anyway.  All I know is, I can't let someone bully me and berate me.  It's one thing to hear them out to give them a chance to diffuse their anger, but this was extremely personal and no end in sight!  If I wanted that treatment I could have stayed married with my kids' dad!  Nope, I have to value myself more than that.  I love and care about Polly but I can't subject myself to more of this.  She definitely needs help, but will not ever get it because like Rainer, it's always "everyone else and she feels justified in her attacks."

 

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Wow.  I’ve had a person go off on me that was way overdone.  The guy had celiac disease and ate some cookie dough ice cream (using the detail to show how small this was) an got furious at the company!  I was like....duh, how could you miss that and how can you blame them?  I had to ask him to leave as he was swearing and starting to scare me with his anger.  He used to do odd jobs for me, but never called him again. 

Has to be really tough if it’s relation.  I’m not close to my sister so it’s not an issue.  I’ve butted heads with my cousin, but nothing serious. Latest was a political email from an old friend that was off the rails.  

We have to set boundaries. Too many people can think we are handy targets for their issues.  Extreme or illogical anger truly scares me.  I’ve always known that.  Watching the news since last Wednesday I’ve been having deep depression hit me and I said to  myself....egads Gwen!  Look at what you are exposing yourself to night after night.  It’s either that or covid stats.  No wonder your sinking inside when you sit down to this stuff.  It’s tough because there isn’t another way to find out about other things happening.  I feel cut off enough without restricting even more ways to stay informed.  Haven’t figured this one out.

 

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I am so sorry that you are having to endure this type of inappropriate behavior. Like people say we can choose our friends but not our family. With that being said I can relate to having a toxic family member. It is not like you can return them and get something better more reasonable. I had a very toxic abusive mother who I struggled with a good portion of my life. After praying to no end, attending a church retreat, multiple discussions with my pastor and friends I was finally able to let the abuse ago. Boundaries were set up that I strictly abided by with her at all times. I learned to tell my mother No I will not accept what or how you are speaking to me! If on the phone I would simply state that the conversation was done since she was not being appropriate and we could talk later at another time  when she was in a better state of mind. No we cannot divorce our family but we don’t need to enable or allow abusive ill behaviors either. I found it very helpful to distance her. I apologized to everyone around me for her ill behaviors.  It may be helpful for you to establish boundaries with your family as well. Tell your family member You are not having a conversation with them until they can behave in an appropriate respectful manner. Then walk away or hang up the phone. Do not allow them to keep yelling at you! They probably have acted this way for so long they think it is okay to treat you in such a manner. Please send a clear message to your family member that you will no longer allow anyone to treat you so poorly. Start setting your boundaries and watch how the behavior starts to change. Even if their behavior doesn’t change you will gain your peace of mind back. I wish you the absolute best. God bless!
 

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18 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Has to be really tough if it’s relation.

My sister called me yesterday, I was scared to answer but did.  She acted like nothing happened, all chipper and upbeat!  I thought, "Is she Bipolar or something?"  I know she has off the charts anger issues, but wow!  I feel like I was just there at the wrong time and caught it.

18 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Latest was a political email from an old friend that was off the rails.

I get those all the time on FB, as long as they don't post on my wall, I'm cool, I can ignore them, but my cousin used to post them to my wall all the time and I did NOT appreciate his lack of respect for me and our differences.  I'd told him not to, still did it, so I blocked him...his sister blocked him too, same day!  I'm a firm believer that we do NOT need to accept everything that comes our way and some people are toxic in their behavior.  I love Dr. Phil: "You have to teach people how to treat people!"  Some people seem incapable of learning though, so have to cut them.  I saw that with my mom, didn't cut her but did set boundaries and let her own the consequences.  Once she didn't speak to me for a year because I wouldn't let her interfere in my child rearing, her choice!  It was a peaceful year.  ;)

 I hear you on the news, Gwen, same with Inside Edition's coverage, if I've had enough, I fast forward past it.  Always record not watch so I can do that.  Have to protect my mental health!

 

13 hours ago, Brokenin2 said:

Tell your family member You are not having a conversation with them until they can behave in an appropriate respectful manner. Then walk away or hang up the phone.

That is basically what I did night before last.  But first I tried letting her get it out, she was beyond reason, trying to diffuse it, but she never ran out.  I don't want to cut her off, I love her and I know she loves me, just she doesn't always act like it.  She's out of control.  I've decided not to talk to her, just listen.  Yes that means we won't have a two way conversation ever, but it's how it is.  My other sister went through it with her too, earlier in the day.  She makes excuses for her, says she's under a lot of stress.  I told her, no excuse!  We ALL are!  YOU lost your husband 3 1/2 months ago, and are disabled, you don't have stress?!  She needs help but won't get it.

Believe me, I know all about setting boundaries, having grown up with an abusive controlling mother.  But I also realize she's at her worst right now and I could lose her any time, so trying to find that balance.  I will NOT allow someone to abuse me verbally or otherwise!

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