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Trying to Stop the Bleeding of a Broken Heart


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Hello to everyone, and thanks in advance to you who take the time to read through all of this.
I want to tell you about some things that I feel have taken at least 10 years off me, and in all candor am trying desperately to stop the bleeding so it doesn’t increase.  

Earlier today I went to my son’s room to say hello.  He was on the phone so I texted him to come see me when he has time and we can go get lunch or something.  

Later he told me he was on the phone with my father-in-law. Someone he doesn’t have much of a relationship with, talks to him a few times a year.  
He said my father-in-law asked about me, and when my son said “He’s fine he was going to come in here but thought I was talking to one of my friends.” that my father-in-law said, “Oh okay.  Well you can just tell him you were talking to one of your friends, I’ll probably reach out to him later” (which we all know won’t happen).  

When my son told me this, he could sense I got a little quite.  Who wouldn’t? It’s just so bizarre to me how cruel my family has been to me for no reason whatsoever.  I get so confused and the only thing I know to do, is keep my dignity, and focus on being the best person I can possibly be.  This is not lip service, but instead the ONLY way I know to cope with it.  

“I’m sorry.” My son said.  He knows that ALL I do, is work, and sit in my room and pray. 

Those two items make up the vast majority of my waking hours. I don’t know what else to do.  All I know is I had a great family life (the best I feel anyone could ever ask for), my wife dies, I try to be supportive of my family during this time, and they shun me. I don’t see how being loving and caring to someone gives them reason to shun you, but there is absolutely no other reason. That is what is so vexing.  Trust me,
I am the most accountable person you will find and have spent my adult life seeking ways to improve myself and relationships, as that is the ONLY thing i have ever cared about.  Now it’s all gone.  

Anyway, my son then said “Dad, I think you need to see a therapist.”  I looked and said, “but why?“

I explained that, to me a therapist is for trying to work and overcome some flaw you have.  Once again, my life consists of working, praying, and being there for anyone in my family who needs me.  That’s it. 

We went on to explain that he sees how much a I’ve been wronged, and he himself said “I just don’t see how someone can deal with all this.”

So here is my question.   If I see a therapist, all that will happen is I explain the facts.  The facts are that anyone who has experienced what I  have would be devasted.   Once I tell the extremely gory details of the sheer madness and misfortune I’ve been subjected to, the only thing I can see a therapist saying is: “Wow. That really sucks. I’m so sorry.”   

My son realizes this and agrees.  He is extremely blunt with me  and would tell me if there is a flaw he thinks I should work on. Instead, told me point blank he is just worried because I have been so wronged by my family for no justified reason in the world, he thinks there might be benefit in telling a professional.    He is actually suggesting I see someone that get assist me physically as he sees the physical toll it’s taking on me.   

My questions:
1.  I don’t want to burden my doctor with my problems, however this sheer heartbreak is taking a physical toll on me.  What sort of help should I seek for this?
2. Am I wrong in thinking I should expect nothing from a mental health professional other than telling my story, and then they simply agree that I have been extremely unlucky?  I told my son, part of me wishes I had actually done something bad to deserve this, as even though I would feel shame, I would be able to rationalize this.  

I want to ensure I am clear here. I have nothing against mental health professionals.  I just don’t know what benefit I could receive (aside from talking about it and perhaps there is a benefit to that?). It’s definitely out of my character because never in my life have a played the victim or blamed anything for anything that has happened to me.  I lived the absolute best life possible until my wife passed.  I was close to her just like I was close to the rest of my family. Very, very close.  She dies, and after a few months they one by one begin to shun me with no explanation.   All of them save for my son.  I am unsure if anyone can truly understand the despair tied to this until it happens.  It is beyond surreal to me. 
I can also try and explain, I’ve really not even scratched the surface as to some of the extreme bad luck if experienced. I almost don’t like talking about it as I feel like damaged goods, or perhaps a real life jinx.  

At first I wanted to talk to someone just to ask: “Am I going crazy, or would anyone be wrecked for life after being subject to this” but since then I realized I am not crazy and yes - this is beyond torturous and cruel.   

Here is my thinking.   
I AGREE I need to “talk to someone.”  My son is not that person as it’s killing him seeing what’s happening to me.   This is fine - he is just not that mature yet to take on problems like this.  Simply his concern means everything to me. 
I don’t *think* a therapist would be of much help…but still, something needs to give here, as I agree it’s taking it’s toll.  I need to stop the bleeding. 

In these instances what I have always done my entire life? I turn to God. I do believe that if you have a relationship with God, he is apt punish you for being immoral, and award you for being righteous. I have found this to be so true I have lived by this minder for decades now.  
I suddenly have found myself way on the other side of the deficit, and I am confused by it.  However, as noted I have kept my faith and continued to focus immensely on being as righteous as I can be.  
I know that might be taken wrong, but it is true.  

I figure there is a reason for this, and if it turns out to be some kind of “test” I truly want to pass it.  This is the only way I know to pass it.  

As for talking to someone I am thinking my best bet is to talk to a religious leader with my church.  (I am Roman Catholic, BTW.). I feel by speaking to someone in my Church can help me understand what I might have done to deserve this, and assuming it is simply my bad luck, what God would expect from me.  I don’t know if a therapist can lead me spiritually, and that is what I turn to in these times. 

Aplogiess for the long rant.  I am just so heartbroken and (mainly confused) I don’t know what to do.  I think rotting away from heartbreak is not what is not my wife and/or God would want.  

Seeing my son this upset at things, I have a sneaky feeling some in my family might start reaching out…and i won’t lie to myself, I don’t see how this can be patched up.  I can honestly say any feelings of love I had for them (which is immense) seems gone now.  However, I refuse to let this affect the way I will treat them should they do, but the damage is done…and it’s unreverable.  Still I am there for any of them with anything I can ever do In my powe to help them. But my heart is truly, truly broken.  

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8 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

My questions:
1.  I don’t want to burden my doctor with my problems, however this sheer heartbreak is taking a physical toll on me.  What sort of help should I seek for this?
2. Am I wrong in thinking I should expect nothing from a mental health professional other than telling my story, and then they simply agree that I have been extremely unlucky?

My friend, you say you don't want to burden your doctor with your problems, even though you recognize that "this sheer heartbreak is taking a physical toll" on you. If your doctor considers sharing your problems with him to be a burden, perhaps you need to find a different doctor.

As for what you can expect from a mental health professional, there are many articles online that can answer that question for you. See, for example, 10 Sure Signs You Need to See A Therapist (And How to Find The Right One.

I also invite you to read this, in hopes that it will speak to you in a helpful way. Note the additional readings listed at the base: Finding Grief Support That Is Right For You ❤️

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There’s so much said in your post, so I’m going to response to each point separately. It may also be a long post.

8 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

I explained that, to me a therapist is for trying to work and overcome some flaw you have.

9 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

I don’t *think* a therapist would be of much help…but still, something needs to give here, as I agree it’s taking it’s toll

As one who has gone through a lot of therapy for some major events, let me assure you it’s NOT just for overcoming some flaw.
There are many different types of therapists or psychologists. I started seeing one who specialized in grief and loss, and saw her for a year after my husband’s death. Now I see a different one who specializes in trauma and grief, and uses a beneficial technique called EMDR, something I done before with great results.
Something I’ve learned about grief is sometimes we need different kinds of help or therapy, especially if it involves trauma. Trauma is anything that overwhelms one’s ability to cope. It’s an event that one experiences that is too much, too fast. Death fits this criteria, and if not dealt with may turn into complicated grief. I would suggest searching for a therapist who specializes in grief and loss. And if the first one isn’t a fit, find another. Being able to develop a therapeutic relationship with your therapist is key to one’s success in therapy.

8 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

So here is my question.   If I see a therapist, all that will happen is I explain the facts.  The facts are that anyone who has experienced what I  have would be devasted.   Once I tell the extremely gory details of the sheer madness and misfortune I’ve been subjected to, the only thing I can see a therapist saying is: “Wow. That really sucks. I’m so sorry.”

Therapy is more than just explaining the facts. We all have facts around our loss, and we all have experiences that have devastated us. It more about facing and processing the emotions around one’s loss, along with many other aspects. A therapist may say, “Wow, you’ve been through a lot, I’m so sorry,” as that’s pretty common, but if that’s said without any tangible ways to help you process your grief and accompanying emotions, then find another.

8 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

All I know is I had a great family life (the best I feel anyone could ever ask for), my wife dies, I try to be supportive of my family during this time, and they shun me.

Therapists use all kinds of approaches to support their clients, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, EMDR, solution-focused therapy, internal family systems etc. Given you family situation, a skilled therapist may help sort out what is behind the family dynamics since your wife’s death. It may not fix things, but it might help you gain a different perspective around it.

9 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

As for talking to someone I am thinking my best bet is to talk to a religious leader with my church.  (I am Roman Catholic, BTW.). I feel by speaking to someone in my Church can help me understand what I might have done to deserve this, and assuming it is simply my bad luck, what God would expect from me.  I don’t know if a therapist can lead me spiritually, and that is what I turn to in these times.

If you are a person of faith, talking to someone from your church can be a great support. Just keep in mind they are not professionally trained in grief and loss, and the complexities that may accompany a loss. They can, however be of great help to guide you in your faith and spiritual life. Loss is a part of life, and it sucks. I don’t believe life events happen because we ‘deserve’ them. And is it really bad luck? Life happens, and that includes hard, challenging times. No one is jinxed, no one is flawed, no one has done anything to be deserving of loss, or any type of trauma, but it happens.

9 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

I don’t want to burden my doctor with my problems, however this sheer heartbreak is taking a physical toll on me.  What sort of help should I seek for this?

Yes, see your doctor. I can relate to how loss can affect one physically. Self care is a priority when doing grief work, to me, going to your doctor is part of that equation. “What help should you seek?” Well, start with a physical to get a baseline and go from there. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had multiple family members literally tell me that I killed my husband. I am certain that I am not covid. I was mortified by my families total lack of care for me. All they do is ghost me or complain about me not working. I have no one not even a child who cares one bit for me. All I have is family pet and no help whatsoever. I have to drag myself out of this mess.

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That's rough, Sheemie. I know what all of that is like. I was never able to have children with Annette (she had been through menopause before we even met- Diabetes). My family (I feel) think I'm just lazy for not working since moving back here. I make enough with Disability to pay my bills (barely), but I can't contribute financially to the household- but I've taken on all the housework and grocery shopping and trash, etc., leaving my brother to just work and be lazy when he's not at work. For people with their own mental illnesses, they (my mother and brother) are completely devoid of empathy and understanding about my situation. They put up with me because I'm family, but there's always a passive-aggressive "dig" muttered or implied. I'm not even able to have a pet (not that I could afford one). 

Annette's sister does not blame me for Annette passing- but I blame myself. As her caregiver, I should have done better. I can't forgive myself so easily. 

Holiday weekends are the absolute worst. You feel you should be out with family having a great time. Sure. It's so lonely. I hope you can make it through this weekend and find some solace that there's some people here who care, Sheemie. 

 

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45 minutes ago, nashreed said:

That's rough, Sheemie. I know what all of that is like. I was never able to have children with Annette (she had been through menopause before we even met- Diabetes). My family (I feel) think I'm just lazy for not working since moving back here. I make enough with Disability to pay my bills (barely), but I can't contribute financially to the household- but I've taken on all the housework and grocery shopping and trash, etc., leaving my brother to just work and be lazy when he's not at work. For people with their own mental illnesses, they (my mother and brother) are completely devoid of empathy and understanding about my situation. They put up with me because I'm family, but there's always a passive-aggressive "dig" muttered or implied. I'm not even able to have a pet (not that I could afford one). 

Annette's sister does not blame me for Annette passing- but I blame myself. As her caregiver, I should have done better. I can't forgive myself so easily. 

Holiday weekends are the absolute worst. You feel you should be out with family having a great time. Sure. It's so lonely. I hope you can make it through this weekend and find some solace that there's some people here who care, Sheemie. 

 

Thanks for that

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I do know...my husband's family hasn't been around since he died, one brother tried to get a coin collection that was long gone before he died (demanding from prison!) the rest just disappeared, his dad didn't call until a year later and then badmouthing George.  I reminded him how good George was to him and told him not to call unless he had something nice to say...he never called again. (His dad was alcoholic).  My family said all the wrong things.  My kids were there at first but have since disappeared.

It's another lonely holiday.  The Cedar Creek fire nearby the winds are blowing SW which is NOT what we want as that is towards us!  Very scary and no where to go, and my laptop died.

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I so miss having  connections to my past life.  I’m not mistreated much, just never hearing from hiis brother or my cousin much.    I don’t know what I’d n to say as it is..  it has been a long time on that topic after 8 years for outsiders.  I doubt I’d bring it up to someone unless there was some reason.  There are times I would just like to say i I miss him and get some caring.  The fact I don’t come to mind in general is what hurts.  A woman I don’t even consider close and I have a short Zoom call every week.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sad_Widower,

I can see why you are so upset with your family, after you've given them so much.  From my experiences during the worst tragedies of my life, I think people tend to shy away from others in the others' time of need. The more religious the person was, the less likely they were to bother with me.

If you break down the word therapist you have - the rapist.  My late husband pointed that out to me.  At one time I did have a therapist I thought was a good one when I was experiencing a previous loss.  Trouble was at one point she thought I was coming on to her husband. For crying out loud, I had just lost my boyfriend to cancer.  Her husband was acting like a brother to me and I was grateful to have a brother.  She "knew" she was right.  She ended the therapy sessions.  She betrayed me.

Doctors in general aren't any better.  Most of them are not schooled in positive bedside manner.  If you want to talk, I'm willing to listen.  Is there a private message component to this site?

Take care, dear heart.  You are a good soul.  Know that.

 

 

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Yes, amen to all of this.

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