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I Think I'm Going Crazy


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I lost my wonderful husband on March 24 2009 and my beloved Mother on April 22, 2009. And, I am having a horrible time. My daughter left her husband and filed for divorce less than 2 months after the loss of my mother (He told her she and I needed to "get over it!") and she moved in with me. My step son, who had no contace with his father, to speak of, for 2 years prior to his death and who had told us his was the real family and he wanted nothing to do with us, decided to fight the Estate and wanted to take our home and everything that was his fathers from me. He has refused to allow me to have even Facebook contact with his children, as further punishment for not getting his way. From the beginning I found it difficult to goout alone and now can hardly step outside of my doortogo into the yard. Ijust want to sit in the house, alone and play games on the computer, (this to keep from thinking.) Lately, I have started to cry, for the first time since both losses.

I miss my husband so very much and at a complete loss without him. So empty and alone

way. From the beginning, I have had a hard time going out into the public. My husband and I did everything together, went everywhere together. I can hardly step outside into the yard, just sit at the computer playing games as an escape. Just recently have I begun to cry, and the least thing can set me off. I talk to my husband a lot, and pray.

I have no family nearby, except for my daughter, and have cut myself off from friends. Though only a couple have attempted to stay in touch at all. (Which I understand is common.) I used to read a lot, but cannot concentrate enough to do so these days. I also did a lot of needlework, but do not like where my mind wanders when I attempt to do any now. I have no trouble sleeping, for that is all I do when not on the computer. This I also realize is an escape. I used to be so organized and my house was so clean and neat. Now it is piled up with magazines, papers, stuff everywhere. I feel so overwhelmed that it is hard to do anything, so I do nothing, or just enought to get by. I am so sad and miserable that I don't want to be around anyone because I don't want them to feel my pain and to bring them "down." Making decisions is so very difficult. I feel like I am going out of my mind. I am on medications and whithout them, I don't know that I would be alive. Some days I wish I wasn't, that I could be with my husband and mother. But, I haven't contempated taking my own life, I don't want to leave my only child with all of the problems of dealing with cleaning out the house going through everything, having to deal with her step-brother.

I know what I need to do, but cannot make myself do anything. I've called local schools to try to volunteer to read to third graders. Nobody returns my calls. The library doesn't take volunters, due to liability issues.

Is there anybody out there who has experienced any of this that I am describing?

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Welcome to our grieving and healing site. Your circumstances sound extraordinarily difficult. The loss of your husband and mother over a year ago had to be devastating, but there is something odd. Only now are you crying for the first time? It seems that you have somehow delayed your grief. To the best of my understanding, that crying is part of what helps you heal. I would welcome the crying.

The legal wrangle over the estate is unfortunate; this compounds grief by piling on other worrisome business.

You say you sit at the computer and play games much of the time. I understand that. I did online chess for about 4 hours a day in the first months of my grief. We have to apply our minds to something. So I have a suggestion. Redirect some of that energy to this site if you can. I spend more than an hour a day here, and sometimes much more than that. When you throw out your story and ask for help, you will get this entire collective of grieving souls working on your issues. We are like a brain trust, between us our IQ is phenomenal, and we have a professional grief counselor, Marty, who helps us get it right. So please, redirect some of your energy here; we can and do help. If you can't get your mind around something, maybe we can.

The caring here also runs deep. People here will reach out to keep you afloat; they did me.

The issue about not getting out of the house concerns me. In the first months of grief I had the same issue; I'd just sit in my apartment all day until I started going stir-crazy. What helped save me was a bicycle. I would ride my bike at night and cry. Gave me exercise. Got my grief out. I think it's important to get out of doors; helps dispel the gloom. Perhaps you can work at getting out of your house, since you've already tagged it as a problem. This is 'grief work'. You may not feel like doing something, but you do it anyway because you know it will foster your recovery.

You did not mention whether you were getting help from a mental health professional. You may be in the grips of depression, and that can be very hard to climb out of on your own. Most depression can be effectively treated with medications. So please, tell us whether you are on antidepressants yet, otherwise we are just guessing at solutions for you.

I hope you can provide a few missing details to help us make sense of your grief. Then we can work on the healing.

Ron B.

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Thank you so very much for replying. I am so thankful for stumbling onto this site. It has helped me to start the grieving process. It's funny, but I have been able to express my feelings for others, but have always tried to keep my own in check. Being the oldest of 5 children, I always had to be the "strong" one.

You asked about depression. I am and have been on antidepressants and anxiety medications for years, and since all of this, my family physician has increased and added to them. The only problem is I don't always take them when I should. I am trying to be better about that. They help considerably, but sometimes I think they also help in the "keeping feelings in check" problem.

My husband was disabled and had many, many things wrong with him. The last two years of his life, he was in and out of the hospital about 12 times. His son had told us some time ago not to notify him again until it was all over. He didn't feel his father was taking very good care of himself and didn't want to be bothered. Blair had Crone's disease, diabeties, had had open heart surgery twice,valve replacement, high blood pressure - Oh, the list goes on and on.

That last time I found him laying on our bathroom floor, incoherant, dazed. While in the hospital that last time, I told him that I though I should call his son and he refused, very strongly. I did so anyway, and when the son walked into the room, Blair went "crazy" and they had to put him into a drug induced coma. He never came out of it. At the recommendation of all of the medical doctors, we, my daugher, his son and I, agreed that to remove him from life support was what Blair would want. And, yes, a part of me feels guilty about that, though I know in my heart it was what he would have wanted. Many times he had stated he did not want a conventional funeral, but a true celebration of life, with lots of laughter and joy, no tears at all. That is exactly what I saw to. Not a tear was shed and the room rocked with laughter as friends kept getting up and telling about the wonderful joy he brought into their lives and what a happy wonderful person he was. Most people expressed the desire to have a funeral just like that when they go on.

I can truly say that the more than 20 years I spent with my Blair were the best of my life and I miss him so terribly much. There is such a hole in my heart now and the hurt is almost unbearable.

My Mother was also sick and was staying with us when Blair died. I was unable to spend as much time with Blair as I wanted, due to having to try to care for her. She only had 20% of her heart working, due to a heart attack some years ago. Eight days after Blair's service, one of my sisters came from Florida to take Mother back. They stopped to spend the night in Jacksonville and the following morning, Mother was having trouble breathing. She went into the hospital and was there for about two weeks. My 3 sisters were there with her and when told anything they could do just made it harder on her heart, they took her home to die. I was unable to make the trip to help them. She wasn't taking her medications like she was supposed to. Her mind was alert and she was also very stong and hard headed! You could not make her do anythig she did not want to do. I am so very thankful for the two months she was with me, but also feel guilty that I may not have been taking as good care of her as I should, as so much of my attention was to my husband. Possibly due to my own negligect, or being stretched too thin, I've lost the two most important people in my life.

I've just realized something, as I sit here typing and sobbing, that putting the words down on paper, so to speak, also lets my feelings out, raw, exposed. That is a good thing, right?

I feel the need to get "my house in order"' go through things, weed out, but there is so dreadfully much to go through, a 2 car garage and attics. We loved to decorate and had a different theme for each month. We decorated the entire house! When we could do it together, it was so much fun, but when Blair could no longer help, it became a chore. Prior to my daughters moving her things in, I had been going through each months bins (3 or 4 months worth) feeling like I was making progress. The garage was slowly becoming a garage again, and there was the probability of being able to park my car inside. Then, my daughters things came in. To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement.

I'm sorry to ramble on this way. Please forgive me. Thank you for being there.

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Hi Gingie. It seems that weekends are the slowest time on this site. It's when almost everybody has time available, but it's 'alone' time and a lot of us are sullen. Then at 2 and 3 AM in the morning a bunch of posts will show up, because of our sleep disorders. It's almost comical. Anyway, you mentioned a couple of things in your post that are of interest to me.

Many other posters here have said that they needed to be 'strong' around others throughout their lives, as if suppressing emotion was a kind of strength. As if crying or showing pain is some kind of weakness. That seems to be the cultural norm. But in expressing grief, crying is really the strength, and bottling up emotion is actually the weakness. Most of us are not at all prepared for grief. When it comes, we have to loosen up the tight controls we've learned about expressing emotion. It sounds absurd to say we have to learn to cry as adults, but it comes down to that.

About medications, I generally do not like taking them, because they leave me feeling 'dopey' or 'foggy'. You say you have been taking antidepressants and anxiety medications for years. I wince when I read that. I think, how can you have good clarity of mind and emotion when on high doses of medication? But that's just my first impression; there may be a real medical necessity for you to take these things, I don't know. Have you had discussions with your doctor about long term dependence on medications?

I am glad you are able to write out some detail of your life and explain the decisions you made. I do not understand why this process of telling our stories is so important, but it is. Somehow we are able to give expression to some depth of feeling, and that is a very good thing, no doubt about it.

Most questions in these forums are thoughtfully answered, but there are no easy solutions to grief. We have to struggle with our emotions and our thinking has to evolve before healing begins; at least that's how I see it.

I've edited out half of what I originally wrote in this post. Sometimes I am too eager to give advice, and am too much of a welcome mat. It's the manic end of my mood-swing; I first write like I have all the answers, and then on the down-turn I feel clueless and retract what I wrote. So goes my own depression; I regret that it sometimes leaks out into these forums.

Ron B.

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When my mother in law died, two of her four children were so greedy and horrible my husband and his baby sister cut them off. Too ugly and negative to be around. Bad behavior comes out sometimes. My family had two parents go within a year of each other. They worked beyond retirement in a family business with four of six children. None of us fought about anything. WE honored and loved our parents.

Your home is cluttered becuse your mind is. Try making one room a sanctuary and clean and calm. Read and most of all write what you're going through in a grief journal. Know that you can go out in a mall full of people and still feel alone on purpose. That way crowds and going out will be a journey to divert yourself and not overwhelming to you.

Talk to him openly when you're alone(don't want to scare your daughter). Bond with your family and make a network of new friends. Grief groups at least know what you're going through. I'll tell you that this was the worst day in your life when he died, Everything else is up. My girlfriend gave me a mantra to repeat. She said," It is what it is. You can't change that. Now you go on. It's all better from here." She was right and yes after 2 1/2 years there are down days that I break into tears too. I loved him for 33 years of my life. I put him first. We have no children by choice and you at least have a daughter. Bond with her. Reward yourself for the pain and pleasure things. I have to clean up/a pain/ so stop and read or play on the computer as a reward. I call it pain and pleasure. Reading is a pleasure. Can't concentrate

/read short stories, write them. LindaKay

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Thank you so much for your response. In traveling through this wonderful site, I have noted that many, many suggest the grief journal and that is definately something I need to do.

Ron had noted concern in reference to my drugs, but thy are something that I have to take. I had a complete break-down some years ago and it was found that I had inherited a chemicl imbalance from my father and must have the drugs. We are looking forward to reducing the dosages back to what I used to take in the future.

You are very right in noting that the house and my mind are cluttered. I find it impossible to be able to concentrate on one thing for very long and have panic attacks quite often, though not nearly as badly as I did at first. My baby sister said she thought they were probably "grief attacks." And, she may be right. Little or big things that go wrong around my home really throw me into a tizzy and I founder trying to figure out how to fix things. I no longer have my anchor here to help me. I used to be so in control and able to handle any situation,, but not any more. I recognize the symptoms as some of the same I had when I had the break-down, but the medication is helping to keep that at bay. Since I have found this site, I am able to look through other posts and am able to relate and cry along with them. It is helping. I've held the tears in for so long, it is a relief to get them out. I do have a very hard time traveling to any stores alone - True panic attacks set in, I think because we always went everywhere together. I have trouble socializing and even being around people, whether I have to communicate with them or not. Also, being 65 years old and extremely overweight causes me problems in trying to get around.

My daughter is not Blair's biologial child, though they always considered each other father and daughter, and she is 36 years old. He was the only father she ever knew and she was devoted to him, as he was to her. SWe always treated both his son and my daughter the same, with often favoritism towards the son, because he was always so quick to anger and have to have his way. We had tried to get along with him, but he always seemed to have to do or demand something that would hurt us to the core. The last time was a couple of years before Blair died and he wasdisowned by Blair at that tim. Once he was so ill, I felt his son should be aware of the seriousness and wanted to include him in all decisions, trying to bridge the gap, but it was not to be. The loss of the grandchildren has been extremely difficult also. To go from having them over at least once a week and on week-ends to nothing is similar to a death or divorce. The sons mother is quite wealthy and he cut her off from the grandchildren for 5 years until she broke loose with some of her money for him. Since I'm not a blood relative, I do not see any communication in the future. To loose my husband, mother and then to have the son tell me (because he didn't get to put me out on the street) that I had burned my bridges and will have no contact whatsoever with him or his family is very difficult to wrap my mind around. But, I have faith that I will come through this. I am having a young woman/friend start tomorrow to help me clean the clutter from the house. It may take us every Tuesday for a couple of months, but I know we can do it. Then, I should start feeling better, if once clean I can keep it that way! I want out of this rut so badly. I miss the laughter and fun times. Having someone here willing to work hopefully will motivate me to do the same.

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