Window Posted September 14, 2010 Report Share Posted September 14, 2010 *like it's okay to grieve. Sorry, I can't figure out how to edit the thread title shorter, haha. Sorry to type so much, but I feel like writing up pretty much everything at once will make me feel better. I'm a female college student (19) and over the course of my life I've lost a grandmother, a great-grandmother, an estranged grandfather, an uncle, two great-uncles (one of which was like a grandfather to me), a great-aunt, a friend, a cousin, and a father, most of those being since 2005- the only ones this past year were the grandfather and great-aunt and the only one besides those after 2005 was the friend, and the one I've had the most trouble with is my father. The hardest year of my life was 2005. I was still in middle school and in 2004 we'd moved to another county and a very different way of life (from the suburbs of the big city to out in the country). I had no close friends, and a lot of the other people at the school rejected me (it took until midway through high school for me to make any real, long-lasting friendships). Late 2004 and early 2005 my great-grandmother was dying, and in January of 2005 she passed away. In March my little sister and I were out with my father and he had a sudden and unexpected heart attack and died later that day. While he was in the hospital I kept thinking that God wouldn't do this to us, especially to my mother, who had had a very close relationship with my great-grandmother, and I remember the car ride to the hospital huddled and terrified crying with my little sister, when a stranger had been kind enough to drive her and me there. About a month later a local doctor basically misdiagnosed me with lymphoma, and I remember imagining myself just as dead as my father was. I don't mean this in a suicidal way or that I'd given up on life! I just remember the terribly sad and bleak and cold feeling of everyone worrying about me and my mother desperately trying to put up a good front despite her fear and grief and just drifting through a few days before I found out I'd only had mono. It was a relief too tremendous for words, but it had just been another trauma on top of what we were already going through. Midway through the year my great-uncle, a recent addition to the family through marriage who had cancer, died. Towards the end of the summer, my cousin died, and for a while (really, to this day) the entire family suffered terribly. My mother and sister were suffering as much as I was, and while we supported each other, we were all still grieving tremendously. As the year went on we lost some familial support due to the shattering effect of my cousin's death. He was much younger than my father and a lot of the family's time was spent helping his parents. This was understandable, but I felt I had no one to turn to. Because of my having recently moved, very, very few people knew of my loss. Nobody from the school attended my father's funeral. I was out for a week, and the secretaries apparently forgot my mother's informing them of what had happened and we received a phone call asking if I was sick. A few weeks prior a popular boy's father had died in a car accident, and it had seemed the entire school was brought to a standstill. Many people talked sadly about what happened, and many people attended his father's funeral. When I returned, the few people who noticed me asked if I "felt better" after being out ill for a week, and in one case a boy asked me if my father was feeling any better. Eventually, a few of my teachers raised some money for me, and while it was an incredibly moving and kind gesture, people got the impression that we were poor (my father had made sure that we wouldn't be) and the total amount covered only one or two week's worth of groceries. All of this happened back when I was 14, and I don't think I've ever fully recovered. During that year I became terrified almost every time the phone rang, and grew to expect the worst in many situations. I'm not as bad about that anymore, but I still lost a lot of faith in my new community and in people in general. To this day I put on a show of optimism, but deep down I feel embittered and cynical and always assume the absolute worst if there is an accident or if I get news of a situation that could have ended terribly. I hide a lot of my grieving and worrying as not to burden the people around me, but I have so many unresolved issues and painful memories that I feel haven't really healed or been taken care of. I feel like I never got to be a teenager and spent most of my middle and high school careers trying to hang on rather than live. I've had issues with loss and depression since I was 10 or so, and I feel like I never really got to be a child, either. I don't cry at triggers (most of the time I don't react at all), but inward they're excruciating. Just typing the phrase "I love you, daddy" can start me sobbing, but I'm only allowing myself to cry because there's nobody else in my dorm room. This contradicts my outward self, though. Very few people are even aware I've lost anyone, and I'm known much more as someone to turn to than someone who needs assistance. I like this view of myself- people telling me I'm wise or helpful or strong or dependable or what have you, even though I'm also told I'm cold and clinical and humorless. How much either of them have to do with my losses, I'm not sure. It's not that I'm humorless, it's just that I'm quiet and I don't get excited and I laugh at things other people don't. A critic described one of my favorite movies as "funny and flashy, but... you know you've been laughing because it truly hurts." That's how I feel about life sometimes. I want to live it to the fullest, but sometimes the weight is tremendous. I've dealt with what I have because I've had to, but I feel that that's inadequate. I'm tired of repressing my sadness and day-to-day trials in favor of pretending that nothing is wrong. Again, sorry that this is so long! I'm just glad that I decided to come to a place that seems like it will help me and will allow me to help others. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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