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Myriad Of Emotions.


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Hello all.

I was just given the green light and am now able to post this. I am new to this, and I am not very good about writing these sort of things, especially about myself. I lost my Mom over a month ago, and has added to an already heavy load to my depression(breakup, layoff, unemployed for a year, lost home, soon to have to give pets away, and soon have to move somewhere else.) I miss her, and wish that I could have had more time to be with her. I still wake up right before the time she is to have her breakfast and take her pills. When I do, then I remember that I do not have to now. Since her death, a rift has formed between my siblings, and I feel that I am caught in the middle of different camps. That is no help either. I either sleep too long, or not enough. I am having a difficult time articulating thoughts and emotions and talk about them. I try to be upbeat, but can't maintain it. The thing is, I feel so incredibly numb and apathetic to everything in life now to the point of not caring how the days go anymore. My friends do not know how, or what to do, to deal with me right now. They all say "call me if ever you need anything," or, "You know I am there for you man." The fact is, they have been avoiding the subject whenever they talk to me, or avoid talking to me altogether. Others say "We all gotta die someday." I feel like kicking so much ass after wards because that is like telling me to shut it after asking me in the first place. It doesn't matter how old she gets, she is no less your mother than she was when you were little. I just started to actively look for work again this morning, and feel like I worked a full day's shift. I am in my mother's house now, and will soon have to leave it again. Couple weeks ago, I caught her scent as I descended the stairs. It feels like I am compressed into a whole myriad of emotions: sadness, anger, guilt, and now a perpetual numbness. My friend suggested I take his " I don't give a crap medicine." The fact of the matter is, I need to give a crap and do something. I looked at the calendar today and realised that I spent almost a whole month in my room! This is wrong. I need to know how to break this cycle in the event that one of the employees actually hire me. I have no insurance, and need to know where to start looking. Any ideas?

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KJO,

Greetings and welcome to these forums. Actually I think you've expressed yourself very well here. After one month grief is usually still very raw; it's not surprising that you have so many issues and emotions to sort out. I too have many of the same issues on top of my grief; breakup of a relationship, a year of unemployment, and loss of the family home. I was a bit more fortunate in that I spent almost 2 years with my Mom before she was gone. Like you, I had caregiving duties, and just the night before last I dreamt of doing those things. And I am 11 months on now. About siblings, it was an ordeal in my family. Normally we are never together for long periods of time, but with my mother's illness we were almost on top of each other for months. Lots of friction, but much of that has now dissipated. The ordeal of distributing possessions and selling my mother's house is finally over, and that is a relief.

Many people here have problems getting normal sleep; that's normal for grief. About articulating emotions, many of us keep journals, and that helped me a lot in the first months. Posting here in these forums has been quite helpful to me and most everyone else here; it's a valuable resource which you can use liberally. Many of us get counseling or see mental health professionals; that's yet another avenue where we can articulate feelings. Verbalizing your feelings is important, but don't forget that feelings are also a direct expression of emotion. There is solid consensus here that the experience of grief is packed with all kinds of wild emotion, sometimes our emotions get a bit beyond our control and just spill out. Crying is probably one of the most important things you can do during grief; it helps release emotional tension. I'm 55 and I tear up every day thinking of my Mom. Sometimes it's anger that needs to vent; a number of people here have deep anger over the loss of a family member. It's hard for me to give advice about anger; I guess I don't understand it very well yet. For all the powerful feelings that flow through grief, try as best you can to give them some kind of expression; that eases the pain and fosters healing. We call this 'grief work'. Bravo to you when you can carry an upbeat feeling, but the mood swings of grief can bring us low very quickly, and you are discovering that. 'Numb' fits the experience of initial grief very well; others here call it 'fog'. 'Apathetic' is another really good description of mood during grief; lack of interest in food, for example, is common, with ensuing weight loss. Old interests just don't seem to be engaging any more. Not being able to get much done in the course of a day or week happens with many of us. Sometimes just getting out of bed, making a meal, getting dressed, or going outside is an accomplishment. So we have to scale down the expectations we put upon ourselves, and still feel ok if we've had a slack day or week or month.

Dealing with friends who don't understand your grief is another issue that's difficult. I just started getting a bit blunt, but very honest. Sometimes they'd be a bit shocked. If they didn't want to hear that I was feeling rotten, then too bad! You can usually pass them a clue by saying you really need time to yourself, probably months. One thing for sure, your friends do not understand grief unless they have lost a family member themselves. That's why it's important to get real support here, from counseling, from family, or anywhere you can find it. Otherwise nobody will understand you. Don't get stuck on trying to explain your feelings to clueless people; just duck out politely if you can. Anger with friends that don't get it is one of the most common topics in this forum; there are a few current posts about that right now.

Just like you I have thoughts, feelings, and a sense of my Mom that comes upon me all the time. It's a tender and even slightly painful experience. Those memories and feelings that touch your soul are precious; that shows that you are moving through grief very well. Initially the pain was so great in those first months that I could not look at photos of my mother. 10 months on and I have memorialized my Mom with photos on my wall; the searing pain has receded, and now I feel only tender when I look upon her.

About looking for work, it's so hard to take on new responsibility when all your mind and body want to do is recuperate. Sometimes it helps though to have something that keeps us busy. Good luck with the work search. About feeling completely stuck right now, welcome to the club. Most of us feel plenty stuck about a lot of things. Eventually we find ways to re-engage ourselves, whether through work, therapy, exercise, writing, or whatever. Grief is a struggle, but it's also a learning experience. For all the pain you feel, there will also be healing. Take heart; we are all going through the very same thing.

Ron B.

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KJO, you've said so much, and I can so relate. My first suggestion is to look for grief resources in your area and go to them, if they are there.

I am not a poster child for dealing with friends while grieving, as I cut off four relationships (at least) in the process. Just don't look to them to understand and try not to lash out at them like I did.

I so understand the spending a whole month thing. Believe me. You've been dealt a real blow. All I can say is to accept and realize that it's ok for things to be a mess for awhile.

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hi KJO,

welcome to this forum, I hope you will find that you are not as alone as you might feel right now and that sometimes some of us can relate to some of what you are feeling.

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Mom, as Ron said, one month, that barely a split second really in terms of grief.

Wow, and you have so much other huge changes going on, my heart goes out to you, losing your Mom is more than enough to have to cope with and now you have all this added pressure, I'm so sorry.

I think sometimes family can be the worst people to be around with grief, simply because each of you is grieving, each of you is experiencing all of this in a different way because while you are all her children, you each had a special unique relationship with her. Try not to worry or think about that, right now it's all about YOU.

The one thing I've read many times about grief is to simply go with the feelings that come without trying to fight them, they are all perfectly normal. Although they are a new normal in some cases, new feelings, new emotions that you may never have felt before, this loss of your Mom is new so does bring so much that none of us have never experienced before.

I can relate to your numbness, I think it's a protection mechanism, I believe our minds are either incredibly strong or so weak and they block out the full reality and just give us little doses every so often because the full reality is too much for our minds to cope with. I still have days where I feel a lack of all emotion but I still function, when I truly connect with the full reality of this I fall apart, I cry, sob, get angry, feel I can't even get through the nest 5 mins, but I just go with and let those feelings out, then it's like the full reality goes again and I can function again. I still sit wondering WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LIFE, how did this happen, is it real telling myself yes it's real, I cannot change it and so on. It can be so confusing to feel so many different things at the same time and then sometimes to feel nothing at all. But that's the nature of grief and the shock of it all.

It is so hard for friends to watch us go through all this, especially those who have never experienced the likes of it, because their instinct is to fix us, cheer us up, try to make us "better" but none of that is possible. I know some of those cliches are like a knife through the heart, the don't help, it can feel like your hurt and pain is being minimised but just know that as you say they don't know how to deal with you, they don't know what to say and every single thing they say is with the best of intentions, they mean well, of course they don't want to add to the pain but because they really have no clue, some of what they say hurts. With my very close friends, I try to tell them how I feel, I try to explain in a gentle way about the types of words and cliches and how they make me feel ..........it has given them a whole new understanding to grief as it has me. I was one of those people who had preconceived ideas and so many assumptions now unfortunately I know better, I know too well and I wish I didn't. I wish I was still back in my old life, with my Dad not having to deal with grief. It's only now I have also realised that as you say, it does not matter how old a parent is, it does not matter how sick or how sudden we lose them, yes there are some different questions and wishes but underneath it all, it is shear shock and horror when it happens.

You say you spent a whole month in your room, well that's what you needed and that is ok. For now I would just say be very gentle with yourself and don't pressure yourself if possible to suddenly try to do too much together. Start with the little things, like getting up out of bed, going to the store ..........it's tiny baby steps are needed now and each little one you take is an enormous achievement ..........others may not see it that way, but it is. Right now you are still breathing, you are still in this world, I think that in itself deserves a pat on the back, because you lost your Mom, the bottom of your world was snatched away, I think losing a parent we lose so much security regardless of whether we were depedant or not on them, having parents in this world with us provides security, so through all this you still live, you still breath and that is job 1 well done.

Right now all the little things you do will exhaust you because even as you sleep, your mind is working 24 x 7 simply trying to process everything while at the same time trying to survive, that's a lot of hard work. So yep, it makes perfect sense that spending a morning looking for work would make you feel like you've done a days work. When you feel you need to rest or sleep, take that time for yourself, your body will force it at some point anyways because you are now working 24 x 7 with all of this.

The feelings will come when they are ready to, sometimes I find I get frustrated if I go for days/weeks without feeling anything because it's like I know somewhere deep down inside there is something building up, it eventually erupts and comes to the surface .....and most of the time I want it to, I'd rather feel the pain, the hurt, the anger, sadness than feel nothing at all. The numbness makes me feel like such a shell, a living breathing body with organs functioning and not an emotion to be seen in sight.

So, keep talking and sharing with us here if and when you are up to it, nobody here will judge what you say,how you feel, none of us will try to fix you, we will simply share our stories, our experiences and be here to listen to you. This site has been a lifeline for me just knowing someone else in the world can nod and know what I mean, I am not as alone as I think in all this and while it doesn't exactly take away any pain or anything, it gives me a small comfort just knowing I am not the only one in the world feeling like I do.

sending you an extra large gentle (((HUG)))

Niamh

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Hello Ron,

I really appreciate your response. You are a very thoughtful, intelligent, and so organised in your response. How do you manage? I still get the 'jolts' of pain in between the numbness. That, and I find it hard to focus. I recall the day after my mother died, I had a job interview that didn't go well. Of course, I had to go because I had no real choice at the time. I wish I could have had it before she died. They probably thought I was on drugs when I arrived. I am still sifting through all of this, but still struggle. It is releasing to know that there are those who know. I thank you for your kindness and input for me. I do appreciate it. Thank you.

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Thank you Niamh.

A big bear hug for you too, girl.

I am trying. You seem to be covering the same exact bases that I am just starting to run. I no longer know if my mind is strong, or if it is weak. I feel like I have been caught in between consciousness and dream scape. I 'function' day by day and it all seems to run together until I check the calendar. As I write more about it, more emotions and thoughts surface, and it is painful at times, but then the numbness returns. I almost feel as if I am 'doing it wrong' at times when it comes down to dealing with it. However, reading these do help. I must thank you for your response. It is most helpful when there is input, such as yours, to light my way. Also, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and genuine warmth in your posts. I don't know where you get your energy to post so thoughtfully the way you do. It is very sweet of you to do so. You have my thanks.

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Hello Lostdaughter,

I found you. Yes, things are a mess whether I can accept them or not. I totally get it when you discussed your friendship. I wouldn't say that my conduct with my friends has been easy for them as well. I don't think I lashed out, but have been less tactful in my expressions lately. However, at times I would love to talk to them, or somebody. But being as it is almost 4:30 am here, I doubt that they would be in the mood. Obviously, I am not sleeping too well now either. There are times when I feel like I want to reach out, then there are times when I am rather taciturn, pensive, and withdrawn into myself. Then I do not want to see anyone, which can conflict with those who want to see me. All the resources here require insurance that I currently do not have. I am still looking, however. Thank you for your support, and stay in touch please.

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KJO, your post was so informative and thought provoking and most of all helpful.

The one phrase that I heard the most (and started to grate on my nerves) was "I'm sorry for your loss" All I wanted to do was talk about Tommy. I wasn't looking for sympathy and they didn't "get it". I know my friends where being caring as many (even my online friends) knew Tommy.... So Ron, My heart goes out to you. And to everyone on this board. ((((HUGS TO ALL))))

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Hello Caije_Laurie,

Danish name, yes? Welcome to the forum, and thank you for thinking that I was helpful in any way. It really is not the friends' fault for not knowing what to do, and how to go about it. I think they are now holding me at arm's reach so they can see what stage I am in the process when I am 'approachable' enough to contact. So, please do tell me about Tommy. I love to hear of such 'love.' It is good to hear as well.

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KJO,

I'm sorry that any resources where you live require insurance. I am fortunate in that there are several grief groups where I live. Maybe there is another kind of group where you are, that would be somewhat related to grief that would help? I am even thinking a depression support group.

Yes, I know how it is when friends want to see you and you want to be alone. I try not to discuss my grief, so I am hoping they aren't thinking I am just being anti-social. I figure no one wants to hear about it anyway, yet I need to preserve my alone time to process everything. Here's hoping your sleep improves.

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Hi... Actually, my name is Laurie. A lot of my friends call me Cajie (Cajun). I answer to either. Also, not long after we got together 9 years ago, Tommy changed the lyrics to a song called The Boston Rose to The Cajun Rose.

He and I met in an Irish Chat Room on AOL. Not only did he consider himself to be a True Gentleman, he was one. He asked me if he could IM me, instead of just IMing me right away. That right there made me agree and then he helped me get rid of a someone flirting with me by coming back with a female name and getting rid of the guy for me.

Then he helped me move from Va to Fla at a moments notice. (My Ex had just remarried and I had no one to help me out of a bad relationship) He came to visit me every weekend at my friends home, until he asked me to come live in Tampa with him (My friend lived 2 hours from Tampa)

Our friendship grew and soon we were engaged, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we were never wed. That is a regret I have. Now, I see we could have married. Tommy was everything my Ex wasn't. He was good to me and had an undying love for me as I did him. In my eyes, we WERE married and no lack of paper was gonna say we weren't.

Tommy and I came together through Genealogy (I did his for his dad's 70th birthday present) and continued our friendship once we found out we both had Epilepsy. He graciously accepted my 2 boys to come live with us even though he had no children of his own (They were both 18) But most important, he was my best friend. After my boys left home, it was just he and I alone and we could each be at our own computer doing our own thing, not saying a word. But, he was there.

Now, I wish we had talked more... about whatever. Anything!! His father died of a heart attack, complicated with Sepsis and Tommy feared he'd die of one too. And he did... complicated with pneumonia and sepsis. He was to go see the doctor Thursday 10th of June. He had the heart attack June 7th... on his dad's birthday. Many can say they are in Heaven watching Norte Dame games together, sipping their ale and raising cane and while that gives me some solace, I miss him. He was only 52. He smoked heavily and with his smoker's cough, I didn't know he had Pneumonia OR Sepsis. Not until he was on a vent in ICU. (Even in the ER I didn't know because they would only talk to the family and being only his Fiancee I wasn't considered family.)

He lived a week, dieing June 14th. I had to leave to go see the doctor about get my Epilepsy meds refilled and I get the call 30 minutes after I arrived home that he had passed away. I was alone. The nurse was blunt, to the point and when I couldn't react, she asked if I was alone. I said yes, hung up, then called his family, who was notified before I was (They lived out of state) That's when I cried. His brother in law set it up that I could go see him before they took him to be cremated (His sister has the ashes and will bury him, eventually, next to his father where he belongs)

While I did get to tell him I loved him before he left me, I wish we had talked. They took the vent out Sunday and Monday they did a swallow test on him just hours before he expired. For that I am grateful. But, it wasn't enough. I promised I'd be there the next morning. He was supposed to live!! After all, he was getting better. They took him off the monitors. Off the IVs... They were looking to transport him upstairs and eventually into a rehab facility.

Well, Tommy did make sure of one thing, I will always remember his father's birthday!! (He always loved getting the last word in LOL)

And that, is my Tommy.. my love , my best friend.

Laurie

PS Here is the You Tube Of The Boston Rose

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Hello Laurie,

Irish background? Excellent. I'm of Irish descent, but mostly Scottish. My Mum was 100% Scottish born and bread. In her household, we weren't brought up, we were forced up, with a loving hand of course. Wow. I am so happy for you that you were so blessed to have met a person that you can be so connected with. That music is part of your connection to him, along with other tangible things he may have left for you. I loved the Irish song. It is a beautiful piece of music. With those qualities about him, you indeed had a best friend in your life. What did you take from that relationship that enriches your life now? I am very sorry that he passed on. I think he got your message, though. I have to point out something I feel as well as you do. I feel that I did not say enough to my Mom before she went. Everyone else said I did, but it still feels incomplete to me. Even when I told my mother goodbye, and I loved her when I viewed her body(she wanted to be cremated in her favourite outfit, and I volunteered to verify it) I still feel I have to say it more, subconsciously. Even now, I will 'talk' to my Mom as I muddle through the course of the day. Sounds crazy, but it helps echo a bit of how everything in life transpired before it all happened. It helps a bit. Now it is your turn to live girl. Also, if you are also a smoker, you need to stop real soon because you must be healthy and happy. Please. If you are not, then okay. I think the more I interact in these forums, I feel it is of some help. However, I must do more. Keep talking. Write to us. That is what this is about. Here is a link to a song that was one of my Mum's favourites.

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Thank you for your response. I am glad you have such resources. I am not done looking though. There must be something. Yes. Today I talked to an old friend for a while. He had to go, and asked me to call him back. I didn't. I don't know why, but when I do not want to do something, it ends up being that way without any true decision to do so as if I do nort truly care. I talked to another friend of mine, and he sounds different to me. It is all weird. I just have to take it all in stride.

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Tommy was both Irish and Scottish... Scottish on his mom's side. Wouldn't it a kick if you guys connected? I do genealogy and did his back to the 1700's on his dad's side. (Don't know if I said that already LOL)

At first, it was hard to listen to the music, but I couldn't give up his CD's. What's funny is, songs I didn't like are the ones I play the most (Like the Irish Rebellion songs) Or the Irish bathmat and the "Only Irish park here" sign... I kept all that (and more) and when I do move into my own place it will all have a place of honor somewhere... either a whole room or part of one, depending on how big a place I can get.

But, you're telling her those things now, right? I know how important it is to you that you said it all before hand.

Cuz I feel the same way. Even though in my beliefs I know he can hear and see me, I wanted to make sure he heard me. LOL... Things I started to say, I stopped thinking I'd tell him when he got better and was more lucid. When he was fully awake and off the vent, he thought it was 2008 and he didn't remember his father had died. He also didn't remember his mom or sister being there... (They left shortly before they took him off the vent Sunday) but, he remembered me! That made me feel good.

I know what you mean about friends acting different and not calling back. One of mine told me that if I needed to talk, call... I answered back... Or you can call me.... she never did and I never called her, either.

I'm watching"The Bay" a webisode starring Mary Beth Evans, who Tommy adores, for him. (She played on Days of Our Lives... that's another story in itself LOL) When the Casey Anthony trial starts, I'm going to watch it in its entirety. Tommy kept up to date on that because it happened so close to home. I got angry at him one day and screamed, "You were supposed to be watching it with me!!"

Yes, I smoke... The day he passed on, I got some patches to help me quit, so that when he came home he wouldn't smell smoke on me. Hell, I would have quit cold turkey for him. I still have the patches, unused... I'm not ready to quit. The stress is too high for me... OK so, that's just an excuse. I know it. I am cutting back from 2 packs to one a day.

I wish I had more to do with Tommy's funeral and all. I was just there... His family took care of the arrangements. Even the Obit... Which ran in the Charlotte newspaper... The man lived in Tampa, FL!!! I was titled "The loving companion of many years"... NO, I was his FIANCEE!!! I never told them this though. They were dealing with their own grief. I was ... functioning, coping. But, ya know... in the end, I know Tommy will be laid to rest where he wants to be. Near his dad. And that's what matters. I know who I was to Tommy.

I listen to the song. It's one of my faves too. Along with this one...

(((Hugs)))

Laurie

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Yes. Lovely music. Nobody can, or even understand your level of love with Tommy. They cannot validate you two, because they just don't get it. I believe it does not matter what others called your status with him. Just as long as he, and you, know it. I haven't gotten to the stage of memorialising as of yet. I am still feeling dead in the water. I still have little communions with my Mom at times. My ex girlfriend just wrote to me telling me she is breaking off contact with me altogether. She had to remind me of one of our songs before though-not in a malicious way mind you. I listened to it, and cried. I cannot say that I blame her for breaking contact, because there were painful events that led to the breakup. Life goes on they say, but it is another finite event in my life that could have waited a bit longer.

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Hi KJO..

WOW... that's all I can say about the ex-girlfriend reminding you of a song, especially now... even if it wasn't done in malice. What gets me is people can be so insensitive. Even your family. My son has said a few comments to me. The 1st one I let roll off my back. The last two I called him on it just to make him see that I wasn't in the mood for his sense of humor at that moment. He said he was sorry and it's over. Some one called him a jerk and he was being one. Maybe he was trying to make me feel good, I don't know. I really don't care, now.

This all may sound trite, but if she couldn't stick it out with you through the rough times, she wasn't meant for you and one day, probably when you aren't looking, the right lady will be waiting for you.

Laurie

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