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Hi everyone, hope you are all fairing well, and staying healthy!! The topic I selected to title with "Guilt", not survivors guilt, although I did do battle with that one. No the guilt I am speaking of comes from being told that in order to honor My Lovely Wife and Partner Nancy, whom I Love with every fiber of my being, that to live my life to the fullest, that anything else would be a dishonor, we"ll to put it strongly, I disagree, and the reason being is prior to Nancy leaving Dec 3rd 2018, the day time stopped for me, can honestly tell you that I feel are living on borrowed time, but that's another story, but getting back to prior to her leaving, I was living a very diseased life, and yet she still mentally supported me, I was both drinking and drugging, and not marijuana, I graduated from that to the harder stuff, I was still functioning okay, going to work and paying the bills, but come payday I was always making sure to fit it into our budget, Nancy was getting her social security, but as we all know that's not very much so my job pretty much took care of us, I would get upset that bills had to be paid taking away from my needs, a lot of times blaming her for not bringing in too much, I would make her feel guilty, sometimes making her cry, she was doing the best she could, but I didn't always see it that way, so a lot of times because of my needs, we would sometimes have nothing left after me, and the bills were paid, I would convince myself that because I worked hard, I deserved it, putting my addiction first, and yet she continued to love and support me, always telling me how great I was, she deserved better, she deserved the world, only realizing this after it was too late, we always had the necessities, and never went without, but that was pretty much it, always surviving hand to mouth, it could have been better, much better. So jump to now, clean and sober since Oct 16th 2019, since then I have purchased a Niche for a companion urn, all paid for, put together a memorial book in her honor to give to her family and friends, paid for a Rabbi to give Kaddish and held a service in her honor, and are now putting together a DVD to showcase her Art, with music and a bio, and will complete my conversion to Judaism this July 1st, all these things I've accomplished being sober, and I know they mean well, my doctor's and friends are suggesting that then it will be my turn to focus on me, well the thing is focusing on Nancy is my only purpose, I am not now going to even try to live a better life, this is something I should have done when she was here, I can not and will not focus on myself, it's too late for that, and it's not deserving in any way or form, I will continue to maintain sobriety, but that is all, focusing on my self was my issue in the first place, Nancy deserved better than a bum like me!! I am counting the days and pleading with God to please come and take me to her, we were together physically for 24 years, and if I cannot be with her here, then I will have to go to her there, waiting to go HOME!!   Sorry for the long story, it's just I have no one to speak to here about these feelings, appreciate this forum, and appreciate you all, Bye for now

 

 

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I am glad you are taking care of yourself, in spite of these feelings, as we need everything we can muster to get through this, just when we least feel like it.

I would encourage you to try to deal with the guilt you feel as it serves no one, but that is your choice.  Have you tried a grief counselor?  Guilt is common in grief.

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On 4/18/2021 at 9:38 PM, JimJim said:

Hi everyone, hope you are all fairing well, and staying healthy!! The topic I selected to title with "Guilt", not survivors guilt, although I did do battle with that one. No the guilt I am speaking of comes from being told that in order to honor My Lovely Wife and Partner Nancy, whom I Love with every fiber of my being, that to live my life to the fullest, that anything else would be a dishonor, we"ll to put it strongly, I disagree, and the reason being is prior to Nancy leaving Dec 3rd 2018, the day time stopped for me, can honestly tell you that I feel are living on borrowed time, but that's another story, but getting back to prior to her leaving, I was living a very diseased life, and yet she still mentally supported me, I was both drinking and drugging, and not marijuana, I graduated from that to the harder stuff, I was still functioning okay, going to work and paying the bills, but come payday I was always making sure to fit it into our budget, Nancy was getting her social security, but as we all know that's not very much so my job pretty much took care of us, I would get upset that bills had to be paid taking away from my needs, a lot of times blaming her for not bringing in too much, I would make her feel guilty, sometimes making her cry, she was doing the best she could, but I didn't always see it that way, so a lot of times because of my needs, we would sometimes have nothing left after me, and the bills were paid, I would convince myself that because I worked hard, I deserved it, putting my addiction first, and yet she continued to love and support me, always telling me how great I was, she deserved better, she deserved the world, only realizing this after it was too late, we always had the necessities, and never went without, but that was pretty much it, always surviving hand to mouth, it could have been better, much better. So jump to now, clean and sober since Oct 16th 2019, since then I have purchased a Niche for a companion urn, all paid for, put together a memorial book in her honor to give to her family and friends, paid for a Rabbi to give Kaddish and held a service in her honor, and are now putting together a DVD to showcase her Art, with music and a bio, and will complete my conversion to Judaism this July 1st, all these things I've accomplished being sober, and I know they mean well, my doctor's and friends are suggesting that then it will be my turn to focus on me, well the thing is focusing on Nancy is my only purpose, I am not now going to even try to live a better life, this is something I should have done when she was here, I can not and will not focus on myself, it's too late for that, and it's not deserving in any way or form, I will continue to maintain sobriety, but that is all, focusing on my self was my issue in the first place, Nancy deserved better than a bum like me!! I am counting the days and pleading with God to please come and take me to her, we were together physically for 24 years, and if I cannot be with her here, then I will have to go to her there, waiting to go HOME!!   Sorry for the long story, it's just I have no one to speak to here about these feelings, appreciate this forum, and appreciate you all, Bye for now

 

 

Wow.... I have some similar feelings about my partner who passed. He would do anything for me and sometimes I took advantage of that.and I didn’t always show him the love he deserved to be shown back. It kills me everyday. We had our issues and at moments I would distance and step back bc that’s how I felt at the time and it even hurt me then because all he ever wanted as me. And I never fully turned my back on him but at moments I wasn’t as comforting or there for him as i could have been. I miss him so much and my world has been turned upside down. I’m 28. He was 29. He turned to drugs and I had no idea and wound up overdosing. He wasn’t even a addict. He was in the army getting ready to move and I knew he was depressed but I never thought he’d engage in that. To numb his pain. It makes me so mad. We talked all morning n were in a Great place and he still chose to do that. It hurts. I can’t help but reflect on everything and hate myself for not being there more thinking maybe if I was hed still be here. 

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2 hours ago, DeeP said:

I can’t help but reflect on everything and hate myself for not being there more thinking maybe if I was hed still be here. 

This is so common.  It’s so easy to look back and kick ourselves.  We have to remember that interacting in any relationship has ups snd downs.  We don’t live thinking the other person will die after any encounter.  I can find many times I could have handled things better just from lack of maturity, life knowledge, being in a bad mood, stressed by something else, etc.  The list is long.  Point being that you were reacting to what was happening at the time you knew was wrong (drugs), but you didn’t know he would die.  I would have been furious.  But that didn’t cause his death, his choice did and I’m sure he didn’t expect that outcome either.  He was looking to ease his own pain for a bit.  I’m not excusing drug use, but I understand it.  
 

you have every right to that anger you felt.  Please don’t let that derail you from the love you both had.  It was a mistake.  Yes, a big one, but not intentional from what I have read you say.  Your grief is heavy enough with  his loss without adding that guilt of, what I feel, is a normal reaction.  It’s so easy to say 'if I’d known'.  Life doesn’t work that way very often.  My Steve displayed behaviors common in end stage changes from his cancer.  I was no expert.  I got frustrated and angry too.  Now I know it was beyond his control and my anger was a natural reaction of watching day after day.  I was losing him and really angry at the world.  You can’t erase the anger, but you will find you can redirect it so you don’t carry it as a punishment, for lack of a better word.  
 

I truly wish you relief that only time can give.  You want to sleep snd skip the gym you wrote.  Then do that.  This is your journey snd you call the shots on what you need.  If others bother you with their opinions, tell them you don’t want them.  It’s hard, but you have to take care of yourself and draw boundaries too.  You come first as this is your loss.  

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5 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

you have every right to that anger you felt.  Please don’t let that derail you from the love you both had.  It was a mistake.  Yes, a big one, but not intentional from what I have read you say.  Your grief is heavy enough with  his loss without adding that guilt of, what I feel, is a normal reaction.  It’s so easy to say 'if I’d known'.  Life doesn’t work that way very often

I know he never meant for that to happen. He pressed his luck a lot though. & He knew he also had a heart issue. He drank a lot and I knew that but the coke just completely shocked me. I was very disappointed in him when I found out. And unfortunately I found out when he passed. Between that and him passing I was disappointed, shocked, angry and hurt all in one. I know he’s up there above and he knows I’m upset with his choice. He battled a lot of demons and I know I kept him very in check. But I wanted him to do that for himself as well when I wasn’t there. He put a lot of his happiness in my hands. 
 

that’s when I had to distance a little bc it became a lot and overwhelming for me. But I never fully left, I just didn’t show as much love as I used to. He meant well, he was a amazing person who just self sabotaged too easily. Your so Right though. We get irritated in moments and yes we never expect that person to be gone. But unfortunately when it happens it’s literally a life changing experience im sad any of us have to ever go through. Losing your best friend, your go to person... it’s terrible. I’m sad he’s not here & missing out on things. I’m sad I’m alone. I’m grieving for myself but also his life because it was cut so short but a dumb choice he made. 😔 

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20 hours ago, DeeP said:

hate myself for not being there more thinking maybe if I was hed still be here. 

I am so sorry.  I want you to know that no matter what, we are NOT responsible for their choices of how to deal with things.  That's on them.  That said, we ALL think the shoulda/wouldas in early grief.  We're looking for some different possible outcome, but there is none but what took place and that's what we're left with to deal with, the harsh reality.  What would you tell a friend going through this?  Tell that to yourself.  it's amazing how we can be kinder to others than we are to ourselves.  But now that they're gone we must be our own best friend, our advocate, our caretaker, our solace.  I know it's not the same as when they were here, nothing is, but I've learned to be my person to myself, does that make any sense?  It didn't happen overnight, it took me years of learning, mistakes, figuring out.  

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11 hours ago, DeeP said:

He meant well, he was a amazing person who just self sabotaged too easily.

People are complex.  As with my husband who chose to do meth, unbeknownst to me...he also had heart issues we weren't aware of (meth doesn't help, it thins the lining of the heart), we thought his problems were diabetes, that didn't help either, it contributed.  Fortunately he came clean to me three weeks before he died, but for the entire year after he died, I kept figuring out lies he'd told me to camouflage the $ he'd spent from our household...basically robbing ME and I didn't know it, like telling me he'd ruined the engine on my truck trying to haul another one too heavy.  He gave it away.  I realized later he'd really sold it for drugs.  That was MY truck!  Better than any I've had since.  I earned it before we married!  That's just one example.

I had to come to terms with who I thought he was, and who all he was.  I learned to accept the WHOLE of the man, not just the part.  He had parts to him I hadn't been aware of, but he also was this wonderful man who adored me and would have done anything for me.  Drugs does this to people, promising them wonderful but wrecking them inside, physically and morally.  I am very thankful he did confess to me and got help...he was doing his rehab when he had a heart attack, two days later he had another heart attack that killed him.

Yes he made a dumb choice, his supervisor got him on it so he could get more work out of him.  I'm angry about that as George was already a hard worker and they broke his weight restrictions and basically used him as a slave machine which resulted in his death.  He got $11 hour and had to commute 150 miles/day AND gave his boss rides to work so he wouldn't have to get his wife & baby up to take him, yet neither he nor the company sent card or flowers when he died!  No company representative to his funeral.  They even stole his tools valued over $2,000, this was 16 years ago, that was a lot of $ for then.  But he could have quit the job rather than let them kill him.  He could have made a different choice.  I realize his intentions were good, he wanted to provide me health insurance, he was raised to be a hard worker, thought a man wasn't a man if he didn't work.  In the end, he wouldn't have been able to work anyway, had he lived he would have had to go on disability, he could not continue with his damaged heart.  And I would have been fine, so long as I had HIM.

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

But now that they're gone we must be our own best friend, our advocate, our caretaker, our solace.  I know it's not the same as when they were here, nothing is, but I've learned to be my person to myself, does that make any sense?  It didn't happen overnight, it took me years of learning, mistakes, figuring out.  

Wow..... so I feel this 100% but I also hate it. He was my biggest fan. He’d do anything for me. He made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.he was my best friend to vent to, he’d listen and he was my go to & I got used to that I hate to say it but I did. Now it’s all taken from me. Now it’s like I have to give all that to myself and it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do. He made me feel so loved and now I lost that. I lost him. I lost my comfort. I’m not only uncomfortable I also don’t really know how to pour all that love into myself especially when I don’t even have the urge to be alive like I just want to be with him. Back to my safe haven. 
 

He battled not loving himself first and I thought I was semi loving of myself but his death just highlighted that I never actually did. That validation he always gave me is what helped keep me ok. Now I have nothing but myself to rely on. And i know that sounds maybe a little selfish but I don’t mean it that way it’s just hard for me to give myself love . Be my own best friend. Hug myself idk... really I hate myself for not doing more or giving him more love or working things out sooner. 💔😭 ugh 

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

People are complex.  As with my husband who chose to do meth, unbeknownst to me...he also had heart issues we weren't aware of (meth doesn't help, it thins the lining of the heart), we thought his problems were diabetes, that didn't help either, it contributed.  Fortunately he came clean to me three weeks before he died, but for the entire year after he died, I kept figuring out lies he'd told me to camouflage the $ he'd spent from our household...basically robbing ME and I didn't know it, like telling me he'd ruined the engine on my truck trying to haul another one too heavy.  He gave it away.  I realized later he'd really sold it for drugs.  That was MY truck!  Better than any I've had since.  I earned it before we married!  That's just one example.

I had to come to terms with who I thought he was, and who all he was.  I learned to accept the WHOLE of the man, not just the part.  He had parts to him I hadn't been aware of, but he also was this wonderful man who adored me and would have done anything for me.  Drugs does this to people, promising them wonderful but wrecking them inside, physically and morally.  I am very thankful he did confess to me and got help...he was doing his rehab when he had a heart attack, two days later he had another heart attack that killed him.

Yes he made a dumb choice, his supervisor got him on it so he could get more work out of him.  I'm angry about that as George was already a hard worker and they broke his weight restrictions and basically used him as a slave machine which resulted in his death.  He got $11 hour and had to commute 150 miles/day AND gave his boss rides to work so he wouldn't have to get his wife & baby up to take him, yet neither he nor the company sent card or flowers when he died!  No company representative to his funeral.  They even stole his tools valued over $2,000, this was 16 years ago, that was a lot of $ for then.  But he could have quit the job rather than let them kill him.  He could have made a different choice.  I realize his intentions were good, he wanted to provide me health insurance, he was raised to be a hard worker, thought a man wasn't a man if he didn't work.  In the end, he wouldn't have been able to work anyway, had he lived he would have had to go on disability, he could not continue with his damaged heart.  And I would have been fine, so long as I had HIM.

Wow; your story is very deep and similar; ugh I understand those feelings. I have been in therapy and my therapist tells me not to glorify him and make put guilt on myself and remember why I stepped back from him in the first place. Not bc I didn’t love him but bc of his behavior & reckless childish ways at times. Again Drugs was the last thing I’d expect out of him bc I held him higher than that. Saw more in him. But I never stopped loving him. He didn’t even know love or feelings until he met me. But he was also a bit love thirsty and it became overwhelming for me at times. We had our issues. But I knew he was really trying and I always saw the light in him which is why I never fully left. And we just got back into a great space just for him to do coke and then it just really messes me up bc the person he was with cared more about themselves then his life. I will never ever be able to be ok or accept that. He would still be here today if they were a real human being and called 911 immediately. But no.. some people out there especially with drugs only care about themselves and not getting caught. It’s disgusting. And he was also in the army! He was about to move he had 5 days left in the state. That alone was hard for me to deal with but we were going to make it work. And I knew he was depressed about leaving me and everything but still never expected him to partake in that. N he never thought that would be his last day. I hurt for him more than myself. Iv always and then when I tried to do Right by me and step back I still didn’t feel good about it. 
 

 

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I'd add to what your therapist said, remember his good qualities AND accept that he had weak spots as well, but keep it in balance, neither saint-ing him nor vilifying him, and definitely not vilifying yourself!  Remember, everything occurs in a sequence so that what we do/feel/respond is with reason.  Understand yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  Be patient with yourself.  Be your own best friend.

Also, you credit HIM for any good in you, give YOURSELF credit for that!  YOU made in through law school, and remember it was neither easy nor without merit!  Most people who go through law school flunk the bar exams when they first take them, often having to try again and again so they deserve credit for finally passing, let alone if they passed the first time!  You are obviously no dummy!  Maybe he brought out good in you and helped you to SEE your good, but that good was still there, all the time, waiting for YOU to recognize it!  That has not disappeared because he is gone, it is still there.  YOU are a wonderful person, it took him to point it out and for that you can be forever grateful.  We were a team for a reason!  None of us think it'll be their last day.  Take with you all of the good, neither blaming nor justifying what they've done.  :wub:  You WILL make it through this, even if you don't feel like it (and believe me, there's times we all feel that way) and even if you can't see it now.  How can we see anything on down the road, we see now, and we can do today, so just keep doing the today we are in, we're all getting through this together!

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

But now that they're gone we must be our own best friend, our advocate, our caretaker, our solace.  I know it's not the same as when they were here, nothing is, but I've learned to be my person to myself, does that make any sense?  It didn't happen overnight, it took me years of learning, mistakes, figuring out. 

I’m going into 7 years.  I did well for so long because I had to, but it’s falling apart now.  The opposite of what you have done.  I can get tasks done mostly being farmed out.  But caretaker, solace and 'my person'?   I’m totally lost there.  Much is to combination of large physical problems, loss of activities I did, the pandemic and isolation all these create.  It’s also the mental fallout of so many years of constant change and.knowing that will never change and I have to do it myself.  I feel I was stronger in the first few years.  I know if I were physically not as handicapped it would make an immense difference.  I feel trapped in this house snd body.  I feel like I’m losing my mind most of the time, that I can’t  do this another day.  I’m worn out as the years pass.  I need him so much.  He was the motivation to always keep going.  He’d be 70 now and slower, but in my heart, it’s that connection test is the power.  I’m tired of not mattering to a special someone.  
 

today I’m battling Sears about my DW again.  I’m in horrid pain from so much walking I did yesterday.  For once, I’d like someone else to argue with them about how a plumber already checked this and said it was the DW.   I’m tired of my stomach in knots all the time fighting battles.  I did the research and got the invoice from the plumber saying it’s the machine.  Steve was much better at this from his managerial position skills.  I’m a tired and frustrated woman whose emotions are easily triggered now.   Not a good vantage position for this.  Add in I haven’t been able to get this solved since November and I feel like a failure.  I’ve lost my fight that he admired and I liked in myself.  This doesn’t begin to cover the craziness with the med issues I get told so much I have to do.  Like I can jump up and do all kinds of tests like it’s nothing.  
 

today I just want to curl up and disappear.  
 

 

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5 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I’m going into 7 years.  I did well for so long because I had to, but it’s falling apart now.  The opposite of what you have done.  I can get tasks done mostly being farmed out.  But caretaker, solace and 'my person'?   I’m totally lost there.  Much is to combination of large physical problems, loss of activities I did, the pandemic and isolation all these create.  It’s also the mental fallout of so many years of constant change and.knowing that will never change and I have to do it myself.  I feel I was stronger in the first few years.  I know if I were physically not as handicapped it would make an immense difference.  I feel trapped in this house snd body.  I feel like I’m losing my mind most of the time, that I can’t  do this another day.  I’m worn out as the years pass.  I need him so much.  He was the motivation to always keep going.  He’d be 70 now and slower, but in my heart, it’s that connection test is the power.  I’m tired of not mattering to a special someone.  
 

today I’m battling Sears about my DW again.  I’m in horrid pain from so much walking I did yesterday.  For once, I’d like someone else to argue with them about how a plumber already checked this and said it was the DW.   I’m tired of my stomach in knots all the time fighting battles.  I did the research and got the invoice from the plumber saying it’s the machine.  Steve was much better at this from his managerial position skills.  I’m a tired and frustrated woman whose emotions are easily triggered now.   Not a good vantage position for this.  Add in I haven’t been able to get this solved since November and I feel like a failure.  I’ve lost my fight that he admired and I liked in myself.  This doesn’t begin to cover the craziness with the med issues I get told so much I have to do.  Like I can jump up and do all kinds of tests like it’s nothing.  
 

today I just want to curl up and disappear.  
 

 

Gwen 😔 reading that I felt every word from you. It’s like I can feel your energy and the frustration. I am literally sending you my love and hugs. I wish I could give you a real one. I’m sorry to hear your going through this. I see you on my post and others post and you really are a beautiful person with a good heart. I don’t even know you but I can sense that just by things you say. I know am not the same but let me just tell you . Your beautiful. Courageous. And  He’s with you always. Altho he cannot help you in these areas, and believe me I know it’s frustrating bc I also do a lot myself and don’t really have much help. My bf would always offer to help and soemtimes I’d still tell him no bc I “ got it always “. The independent woman in me now wishing he was still here to help bc I’m left to do a lot on my own. 
 

They don’t make men like they did him anymore. 😔 and especially at my age the way this world is.. it’s just sad. But anyways be proud of yourself. I’m proud of you. ❤️ 

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I’m so very touched, DeeP.  Thank you for that.  We both had men that fit us perfectly and then taken away.   Both independent but wanting that sharing.  I’d love to hug you too for how harshly you were blindsided.  I admire your honestly speaking of your feelings here.  You made a big change in what was another crappy day and that was a very caring thing to do.  Much love to you.  ❤️

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54 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

I’m so very touched, DeeP.  Thank you for that.  We both had men that fit us perfectly and then taken away.   Both independent but wanting that sharing.  I’d love to hug you too for how harshly you were blindsided.  I admire your honestly speaking of your feelings here.  You made a big change in what was another crappy day and that was a very caring thing to do.  Much love to you.  ❤️

Awww I’m glad I was able to help you and hopefully make you smile :). You said harshly blindsided and that is probably the best description of what happened to me. It’s the worst. You just never expect it. Literally within just a few hours my whole life changed. Thank you for allowing me to vent. It’s definitely not easy. I’m trying to find ways to grieve in healthy ways rather than remain negative. I’m fighting it internally. But thank you for being you. ❤️ Means more to me than you know. 

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16 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Much is to combination of large physical problems, loss of activities I did, the pandemic and isolation all these create.

Absolutely!  All of the above.  And I'm getting hit with that too with the loss of my hands and social isolation.  Kodie keeps me sane.

But you ARE your own caretaker.  You may not be able to do what you want/need to do, but you are doing your best to take care of yourself and your place, even when it means farming it out, I have to do the same, I can't get on the roof or do yardwork anymore!

16 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

For once, I’d like someone else to argue with them

Yep!  And that's another thing we miss, there is only just us, no one ever to spell us.  I hope you get somewhere with Sears eventually!  Have you taken to Yelp yet?  Maybe that will get some results!

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The Sears thing is a clusterf*ck.  I’m going to make some calls today.  To them wanting a supervisor and the plumber that OK'd my system and try and find out why I wasn’t ever told I needed some things the repairman just brought up.  Decades of dishwashers and never these ‘air gap' and water pressure problems.  I’m not one for ranting on websites, I go to the source.  What I felt was comical was when I was on the phone with their rep yesterday, she offered me a large discount for more services from Sears for the inconvenience.  I told her I had no intention of dealing with them ever again after this.  
 

yeah, I’m my own caregiver now.  It’s so hard without at least friends I can easily count on.  Steve being one.  Where did everyone go is my big question.  I don’t like that I lost him, but my whole support system collapsed of personal connections.  It is freaky.  The odds unreal.  My connections now are so hit and miss.  Only one cousin close enough I feel comfortable calling at any time.  And it hasn’t been from lack of trying.  I’ve met people but it’s not becoming tight.  Maybe it’s on me too. But I sense they wouldn’t want to invest in a relationship that didn’t have the foundation of many good times to take on my grief as part of it as it is so huge again right now.  I know your sisters aren’t perfect, but I can’t help butt wish I had some.  

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Gwen, just because they're family, doesn't mean they fill a need, a void. 

I have a brother who is so much like the "old me"- cold, distant. Never showing concern for how I am feeling emotionally. We were closer when texting and calling 1,300 miles away. In person, he has such annoying habits, and is surly and hard to read. A person I can't relate to, or maybe I do- and its the person I used to be that I don't want to be anymore.

Worst of all, he refuses to get the vaccine. All politics aside (he's a Democrat, supposedly), he has his own stupid reasons for not getting it. I just can't respect him for that. And he's one of these jerks who won't cover their nose when wearing a mask. I don't like being in public with him. What do I do? He's family. 

I used to be a loner in high school, before I met Annette. I was happy (or at least content) that way. It was the way it was, and it was fine. I was okay being by myself. Now I have this stupid, nagging need for people, and I hate being alone a lot of the time-- but I don't have a choice. I drive aimlessly alone, nowhere to go, nothing to do.... I'm slowly dying, but it's taking too long. 

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The only sister I hear from is Peggy, the one that wants to put me in charge of her estate (not inherit anything though) AND her dementia.  Yay, I am barely surviving myself!  Sure enough, she slipped trying to get out of bed in the middle of the nigh on her trip, the hotel had to send four big guys to get her up!  She's getting big so it's not something just one can do.  At least she didn't hurt anything except some bruising.  It terrifies me being in charge of her with no support.  This is what they make assisted living for, but she wants to be independent, yet she isn't.  Today I'm taking her out...

16 hours ago, nashreed said:

I'm slowly dying, but it's taking too long. 

I understand...:(

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Kay, this post really gave me a PTSD flashback, as Annette fell several times in the last couple of years, and we had to have several EMT's get her up. It was so stressful.

I really, really hope you can stand up for yourself and refuse to do this. You would be an unpaid caregiver?? That's insane. The nerve of people. 

I would have done anything for Annette, but I know that she didn't want to be in assisted living. She was supposed to be in a aftercare rehab when she passed. If she had been there, maybe there would have been a different outcome. But she didn't want to be away from me. She would have been miserable there. She hated the food. So I tried to take care of her the best I could. She had so much trust in me and I failed her. 

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

It terrifies me being in charge of her with no support. 

Do you feel you have any option in this, Kay?  I don’t mean to pry, but that is a huge responsibility and I know we feel pulled not wanting to be viewed as uncaring, but I know you struggle with so much on your own.  Is it possible that if you declined she would have to go someplace equipped to handle this?  It sounds cold, I know.

4 hours ago, nashreed said:

I tried to take care of her the best I could. She had so much trust in me and I failed her. 

You don’t know that.  You never will.  Having been in a rehab, which is like assisted living, I did not experience, what I felt was better care.  They would call for X-rays or send people back to the hospital just like you could.  You have outlined how serious her medical conditions were.  That nature had essentially won and it was the nightmare of having to watch it play out.   I was in that with Steve and he was in a facility.  They couldn’t stop or change the outcome.  I so hope for the day you can free yourself of the guilt you carry.  I did for a long time too and was relieved when I got to at least drop that harmful emotion from my mix.  There is no good outcome to continually beating ourselves up for something that can’t be changed.  I haven’t read one story here that anyone did anything obviously wrong caring for their person.  Everyone did the best they could like you honoring her wish to stay home and doing all you did to make that as best it could be.

 

22 hours ago, nashreed said:

I'm slowly dying, but it's taking too long. 

I’m another in total agreement with that feeling.

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10 hours ago, nashreed said:

She had so much trust in me and I failed her. 

This thought occurred to me.  Knowing Annette, if you asked her how she felt about what you did for her til she left, what would she tell you?  Would she have any criticism to fuel this guilt?  

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15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

That nature had essentially won and it was the nightmare of having to watch it play out.

this is exactly right.  I hadn't thought of it in this way but it's essentially what happened for us.

James, I read the words you use to describe her, and yourself, and understand where you are coming from and have said similar things to myself or others.  With time, I came to see more nuance in the situations that seemed so clear-cut, but it's a path each of us has to take on our own, I suppose.

 

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No one can take care of a dementia care patient alone in the latter stages, seriously, it takes more than one person to handle them, shifts so you can sleep, etc.  That is why they have dementia care facilities.  Yes, she's presuming a lot.  She has never accepted responsibility for herself, has never taken care of herself, her husband did everything for her and she let him.  all her life she has eaten what she wanted, sat, never gotten any exercise, now it's too far in for her to make any real difference in herself physically, although her allowing herself to gain this much weight this quickly has made it harder to help her.  She wants me to take her to the coast to meet up with the rest of my sisters, niece, daughter, but they all want me to haul her and her stuff and with bed rail and walker, food, luggage, people, there is not room enough in my car.  I'm irritated that my other sister won't consider driving out of her way to stop and get some of it so we can make it!  I can't fold her bed rail up as my hands aren't strong enough to press in the buttons (release), neither can she.  I'm thinking it's a "no go."  The person I'd arranged to take care of Kodie is my neighbor friend...I just found out she has breast and lymph node cancer and does not wish to get chemo.  She may not even be here then.  I'm reeling from learning this last night.

James, I truly believe you gave your all to Annette and she appreciated it.  I seriously doubt she thought you failed her.  If anything, life failed her when it handed out such unfairness.  But even with all she had to deal with, she was so blessed to have YOU in her life!  The blessing was both of yours.

Gwen, I not only don't feel I'm up to taking care of my sister, I don't for the life of me feel up to cleaning out her place and handling her estate, I am BARELY holding it together taking care of myself and my own place!  

Someone I know has the same thing going on in her mouth, throat/tongue, hers has gone on longer than 14 months.  She's been to doctors, ear/nose/throat specialists, etc., NO ONE knows what's wrong with her!  They've given her no treatment/options, they suspect Rxs, but the only thing we find in common are inhalers...I haven't used mine in over a month and yet still this continues.  She is also Diabetic, T1, I'm T2.  She can't be without her inhaler whereas I'm doing fine without mine (so far), but she hasn't been able to afford hers for a while, it's $400/month (a different kind).  I still suspect allergies plays into this and want to get another scratch test.  I'm not keen about a throat specialist after learning her experience.

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8 hours ago, kayc said:

Gwen, I not only don't feel I'm up to taking care of my sister, I don't for the life of me feel up to cleaning out her place and handling her estate, I am BARELY holding it together taking care of myself and my own place!  

I hear you on this.  It sounds like it’s expected and that’s not fair.  I would not be able or willing to do it.  Maybe in some other reality.  The fact you have other sisters would annoy me about the situation.   It seems in families there can shirking or taking advantage of one of their strength.  This trip isn’t going to be pleasurable, so what is the point?   It sounds like much too much work for a less than enjoyable outcome.  
 

 I saw this happen when Steve’s dad died.  His sister was useless regarding money snd his elder brother, who I felt should have handled things, let it fall on Steve. Took him months to settle the estate and legally he could have kept any leftover assets but he split them equally.  It was then he came to the revelation that each would have to further fend for themselves unless it were of such magnitude he’d need to step in.  When his sister died, his brother had to step in because Steve was gone.  I stayed out of it. 
 

As with your throat, I’ve developed digestive problems.  Bad ones and am torn on what to do.  They want an endoscopy, but my back is a major issue.  And as always, I’d have to scramble to find help that would have been so easy were  Steve here.  It’s overwhelming.  We just get worn out with how doctors think we can easily run around and do these things.  I’m just trying to figure out if I can handle a shower this evening.  What I’m going to do about dinner.   
 

then it’s sitting thru another lonely evening.  What an existence.  It certainly isn’t s life.

 

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