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Having A Hard Time Coping

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I will apologize up front, this may be a bit long...

I am new to the message boards and working to find a support group. I am a 35 year old married female and mother to an 18 month old little girl. I spent my entire pregnancy watching my mother deteriorate and eventually pass away when my daughter was 7.5 months old. I have spent the last several years very angry with my mom. She had breast cancer, a very large mass, for 3 years before she went to the doctor. She felt she could heal herself. She went through chemo, a mastectomy, and radiation. About 18 months later, the cancer reappeared in her lungs, liver, bones and eventual brain. Her death was horrible! I watched someone full of life, more full of life than most of us, deteriorate to nothing. She became horribly nasty and rude, she said a lot of hurtful things to all of us, especially me as she was dying. There are things she said that are still tearing me apart...ie, "your are not a good mother, you expect too much from your daughter, and you are too hard on her". When I was breastfeeding she told me "I just wasn't cut out for it", days before she died, she told the doctor that I wanted her dead and the list goes on and on. My mother was a very manipulative, controling, opinionated woman who expected me to be perfect. Each day I struggle with it and each day I struggle with my emotions, somthing I wasn't really ever to explore growing up. If I cried, I was told to basically turn it off.

At this juncture, my mom has been gone just over 10 months. I was angry for the first 2 months and was suffering from post partum depression. I still find little things anger me to the point where I become nasty to my husband. I am not a mean person, I just don't have a means to vent and I don't feel I have anyone that understands how I feel. I am so empty inside. The pain is so unbearable. And to top it off my father is already engaged! My parent were together 39 years!

Anyone know or have some suggestions on how to cope, what to read etc?

I have no support from family, even my own father is little support, and each day is a bit of a struggle. We are raising our daugther alone. I have no aunts, sisters, grandparent or parents to go to. Most of my friends have built in babysitters or family to help with questions...we are on our own. I am a bit resentful, but moreover ANGRY she left us!

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Rochelle ((((((Hugs))))) for you.

I'm so sorry about the death and loss of your Mom. Losing someone this way is horrendous.

I'm totally guessing, but I think it is entirely possible that some of the nastiness you experienced coming from her the last months of her life may have been coming from her own fears, her pain and her own anger (perhaps with herself) and her disease itself, rather from anything you were doing or not doing.

I'm glad in a way that you can see that she was the type of person she was. If she expected perfection from you... I can only imagine the havoc that can cause trying to grow up as a human. I can also imagine/guess that if she expected that from you, she doubly expected it from herself. She must have been mighty tough on herself and you. That alone is something I would think would be traumatic enough to require healing within you.

I am also thinking it may provoke some ambivalent & confusing feelings as far as the loss of her goes. She said some rather awful things to you. If it had happened to me, I think I would have to heal that inside too.. in time. I would need to express some feelings about those things for sure.

Each day I struggle with it and each day I struggle with my emotions, somthing I wasn't really ever to explore growing up. If I cried, I was told to basically turn it off.

I can understand how difficult it must be for you to express your emotions because of this. However.. expressing emotions.. is kinda required for health in mind, body and soul.

I really find that the harder I fight my emotions.. the worse I feel. I find I do indeed feel better after allowing myself to feel the pain, anger, disappointment etc and let the tears roll when they come.

I used to think that I was losing control by doing that. But I have learned by expressing my emotions I actually feel much more in control and I feel better about me and my life.

I have learned expression of feelings is just part of processing & walking our life journey & our various grief journeys too. Part of just simply what makes us human.

It also helps me behave more humanly to those that I love dearly. If I don't take the time for me to feel the pain or anger or whathaveyou.. and express it either in tears, work, exercise, writing, listening to music, screaming in the car by myself, talking to others etc... things can easily build up and I become overwhelmed. And unfortunately.. that can then lead me to take things out on those around me.

So, if I could offer any quick suggestion it would be to express yourself away Rochelle! Be creative... whatever works for you.. a walk.. a run.. an aerobics or pilates DVD, writing, singing..reading, watching a movie, talking to your husband or a friend, etc whatever helps you express your feelings.. do it.

You have been through quite a bit in a short time. So much that anyone would feel as you do. You could need some extra help processing all of this.. and that's ok. Of course only you can tell that for sure yourself. But truly if you feel you need it.. by all means.. reach out for it.

Your Dr. could be a good resource. After all, he/she helped you with the post-partum, so maybe they could also guide you with this as well. There are individual counsellors or groups that meet for the bereaved. They may know what is available in your area. But talking to your Dr. about all of this could allow you to find a haven for you to express your feelings to others who will listen and understand.

But take your time, talk to your husband and see how you feel.

Of course we are here for you too. But I know sometimes it might take more than just us. (However great a group we are.. if I do say so myself! :) )

Just FYI on the parenting advice; I myself took advantage of a Parenting Class that was held at our Community Adult School that met in the evenings. It was a godsend for advice and led to more parenting resources. It really helped us tremendously. And I actually went when our son was about 18 months old. So you two might look into that for yourselves. I can tell you are so concerned that you do well for your lil one. That desire alone is very special and warms my heart. I bet you two do just fine. :)

Also just because your Dad or perhaps other family members seem to be moving on.. doesn't mean that you aren't progressing yourself. We all grieve differently. Each relationship is different so each grief will be different. Even if two people are grieving the same person.. the grief will be different. I found it is best if I don't compare my grief process or healing with others' grieving processes. Everyone has their own pace. And your own is just right.

It is hard.. but I have learned to just accept myself wherever I am at in this.

I'm very glad you found us here but so sorry you had to.

Keep us posted on how you are feeling.


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