Jump to content

Overwhelmed And Going Backwards Yet Again


Recommended Posts

It's been 13 months now and things are going okay most of the time, despite the loneliness and the longing.

However, the last few days I've been having that "going backwards" feeling. I know it must be common, because so many other people here have mentioned similar feelings. It started when I was painting the house on Friday afternoon. I got 1/8 of the house painted, took some pride in that, but realized I still had 7/8 to go. Suddenly the whole idea of responsibility for the house, the yard, four kids, a dog and job - ALONE - felt overwhelming. I sat down in the yard and cried. I've been very weepy this weekend and even cried myself to sleep.

Today at work, (I'm taking five minutes in my office to write this), while at a general information meeting, I looked around the room at all the women my age who were married, with normal everyday lives. They have kids the same age as mine, but their kids still have a father. These women still have husbands they can come home to and share all of life's responsibilities with. They have normal weekends they look forward to.

I feel so sorry for myself! I hate wallowing in self-pity, but I can't help it. It's just so much to deal with, and I have so little energy to deal with it. I know that there are women all over the world who have lost basically everything and who have to struggle to survive. But I can't help it - I'm really struggling with this new life.

Any comforting thoughts or comments welcome - I need a group hug.

Melina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

melina, I am sending a huge hug from Ohio to you. I hope you regain your confidence soon.

I too try to look at women who have been left with far more responsibilities, or who have lost far more than I have. But I still wallow in self-pity at times. As recently as a few days ago.

I don't like the responsibility of home ownership. I now am responsible for two houses; I own a tiny house on my farm that we have used as a rental house since 1989. I don't want to be a landlord!

I am very proud of you for attempting to paint your house. I absolutely could not paint my house, it is 3 stories high.

Sending hugs and comforting thoughts your way.....Beth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Metteline,

Big hug going over the Atlantic right now. First of all, I don't think feeling sorry for yourself (I call it feeling your feelings) is a bad thing. I actually think feeling your pain is good. Embracing it is better, as Bill used to say. This is a tough path. I remember 13 months very well as I approach 18. It was one of my toughest...felt like I had made no progress and that feeling remained for quite a while.

What I see in my life, on my path, are these big hurricane tsunamis coming in sporadically, knocking me backwards off my feet and carrying me out to a rough sea. The little waves I deal with better but the big "knock me over" ones I have not mastered....and they do come. I don't believe that you (we) are going backwards but just feeling the feelings we felt earlier....loneliness, loss, profound sadness..... For me, I think this will continue...perhaps forever but less frequently as time goes by...I do not know.

What I do know is that the ocean calms down eventually and we get to float for a while before the next storm; so far I have not drown though I feel a bit like I am almost daily; and sometimes wish I would; and somewhere out there is a shore where I can sit and rest a bit (longer and longer between storms) before the next one carries me back out into this God awful sea. I think it is all normal...not going backwards...just part of the journey.

I do not have children but I have all the rest...a house that screams for attention with boxes in the basement that I never got a chance to unpack when we moved just before Bill took a major downhill (I am sure the move contributed to it though it was the best thing to do at the time); the finances with never enough; work; a dog that needs attention....on and on it goes. It all feels so overwhelming. I do try to avoid the big tasks that will drain my energy...like painting an entire house alone :) ....is there someone you can get in to help you...your kids perhaps, a girlfriend....that has to feel overwhelming and fuels the tsunamis. See if someone will help you....

I reach out to you with love and support. We are all struggling together. None of us wanted this new life and I have not even identified it yet...it feels like chaos most days....just getting by. We are in this together and hugs are flying over the waters....wish I could grab a brush and help you paint. If you lived nearby...I would.

I hope the day at work winds down a bit more peacefully and that you know we all care....a lot!!

Love

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

90 minutes later

No sooner did I respond to your post than a tsunami that has been threatening off shore for a week or so make land and carry me out to its threatening waters. I grabbed a book I had gotten as a gift from one of Bill's former clients and this quote fell out of it:

CS Lewis: "Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape…Sometimes you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn't a circular trench."

From my trench to yours,

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much everyone - I feel comforted by this circle of friends who "get it". It's a good thing it's raining today. I won't have to worry about painting the house. I think I may just pay someone to do the rest.

I feel like there's so much to learn when it comes to living independently. I haven't lived on my own since I was 21, and then only briefly. Still I suppose I should be thankful for all I've learned - also practical stuff - from my husband over the years. Just wish he was still here.

Melina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sooooooo glad you are going to pay someone to finish it up....good for YOU!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is approaching midnight here on Monday and I just got home from a community event where I felt like a total misfit. I just do not seem to enjoy what most people enjoy....it is not new. Bill and I were at least misfits together. This audience was clapping, whistling, standing ovations and all I wanted to do was get out of there. Bill and I would rather hear Mahler or Strauss than what I saw/heard tonight....a group of well intentioned and fun filled locals putting on skits. We would rather have a quiet dinner with close friends than partake in a noisy crowded fest. We would rather take a hike in the woods than attend a party. The community spirit and support was all that saved the evening...and friends who care.

I came home, let Bentley (our dog) out and stood in the back yard gazing at an incredible full moon in a clear sky...a moon that is casting tree shadows on our lawn...I stood weeping and lonely and wondering where Bill is in that vast universe and trying so hard to 100% believe he is right behind me. Though lots and lots of folks chatted with me and I with them before, after and at the intermission...hugs from folks I seldom see...genuine "how are you's" from others....and I come home and weep in loneliness and wrenching pain at what life has become. It feels good to be able to come home and have a place, here, to dump this pain...and I thank you for allowing me to do that and for your understanding and support. I can only believe, tonight, that in another 18 months, not much of this pain and aloneness will change in my world.

Peace to all,

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Mary....it's now 12:45 am...just read your post...wish I could give you a hug right now...since I can't....just sending up a prayer that tomorrow will be more gentle to you. My day was up and down also. Two days shy of six months...It was such a beautiful day I put the garage doors up and swept up a little....there sat Bill's work boots. I picked them up and tossed them in the trash....pick up is tomorrow. My daughter stopped after work and I asked her to take the trash can to the curb so I would not be tempted to get the boots out...she said she had to look at them once more...lifted the lid...touched each one..tears falling....and left them at the curb. My other daughter called on her way home from work and I told her what I had done...with regret. She was at my door in ten minutes...boots in hand. She lovingly placed them where Bill always left them. She said she could not imagine yet to come to the back door and not see those boots there. We held each other and knew it was not time....for either of us. She called her sister and and we all cried.....happy the boots were in their place again. I am exhausted from all the emotions...but feel a strange comfort knowing those boots are so meaningful to my girls (and to me} and that they are back where they belong.......for now. Sounds like a silly thing...but...all part of the journey I guess.

Anyway....my heart is with you...your feelings are mine also...Perhaps it's because we each had a "BILL" that I am always touched by your posts. You echo so much of what is in my broken heart...yet your very next post can show so much strength......we are going to be ok....Love and hugs to you.......Carol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mary and Melina: My hearts are with you both. Kudos for you Melina to get someone to paint the house. I am looking at the same thing and keep procrastinating. No hurry.... just breathe and do it when it seems right. Wish I was there to help you.

Mary: Hugs to you. Yesterday was my 5 month anniversary of Randy's passing. Thank god I had a counseling appt. It was good and the day passed gently. I can so relate to you and Bill and and your not fitting in with others. Randy and I were similiar. We so enjoyed our own company. We were not night people and did not go out at all at night much. But the early mornings were our time and we enjoyed sunrises, coffee in the a.m., walking, etc. It caused issues with our friends at times. I remember going on a cruise with another couple. They were up half of the night and of course we weren't, they were always wanting us to party, gamble and go to shows. We enjoyed getting up and watching the sunrise and the start of a new day. Of course they slept half of the day. Now I am finding myself being thrown back into everyone else's invites for evening activities and I am going, but not really feeling it is my thing. Randy and I just fit together, even though we didn't quite fit with others some times. Now I don't fit anywhere. How I wish I could have one more morning, one more sunrise, one more coffee with my spouse. :)

Blesssings to all

Becky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Becky and Carol,

How reassuring it was to waken to your posts. Fitting in, boots that remind us of so much, being awake at night, feeling like we are living someone else's life, and so much more...it is indeed a roller coaster for all of us. I stood at Bill's closet yesterday trying to decide what to do and ended up inside the closet sobbing into his shirts. Not time to touch those yet...just like your Bill's boots.

I just saw a huge bump on my 6 year old roof...what is going on there is beyond me. Time to call another repairman. Bill would have seen that a week ago and fixed it before I knew it was in need of repair. on and on it goes.

Yes, I feel like I go from strength to weakness. I have a quote on the refrigerator door: "In my weakness is my strength".

Thank you both for understanding, reaching out. I wish you could feel me reaching back to both of you....we are all in this together...none of us invited death into our lives but now that death is here, we have to learn to live with it. Not an easy task.

I am on deadline with my publication today so that is good....distractions help.

Peace

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Melina,

Mary just has the right words to say every time someone need lifting, up. What she said is so true about not going backwards, just feeling those same emotions, you felt in the beginning. Every day we make small steps in progress through this grief, that we all must go through. Remember you are a strong woman, who lakes care of your children, your house, and a full time job. I think you are doing great. Not many can handle all this at once. These feeling will pass and yet others may follow. If I could I would come to help you in a slip second. I send you all my warm ((HUGS)), from New England.

My Dear Mary.

As you ride those huge waves, that toss you to and fro. I cast you a life line, but it came back empty. I guess I am to far away from you to reach your hands, in that hellish storm. I wish I could help and bring peace to everyone one here. The way God and my Lord JESUS CHRIST has brought me peace into my life. I have this blazing fire inside me that no on will ever be able to put out again. Pauline is here with me all the time. I just pray all of you can feel that way again.

Mary, I love that quote, I do believe we come back to the familiar ground again. Some just sooner than others. Keep the faith, never give up or give in, cause when you do you are defeated. It is always harder to come back from that.

God Bless, to everyone

Dwayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dwayne,

I am so glad you are doing better...you are way over due for that. Thank you for your kind words. I am drifting to shore again this morning...distracted by preparing my publication for press. I will post one once we get my new website up and running....It keeps me out of emotional trouble many days. Your words are always reassuring and warm and I thank you for sending them out to reach me in these tumultuous waters we all find ourselves in these days.

Fall is descending here in the midwest. Yesterday was close to 90 and today it will be cooler...finally. I am not crazy about summer heat and we had our share this year.

Peace to all of us who are doing our griefwork.

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been 13 months now and things are going okay most of the time, despite the loneliness and the longing.

However, the last few days I've been having that "going backwards" feeling. I know it must be common, because so many other people here have mentioned similar feelings. It started when I was painting the house on Friday afternoon. I got 1/8 of the house painted, took some pride in that, but realized I still had 7/8 to go. Suddenly the whole idea of responsibility for the house, the yard, four kids, a dog and job - ALONE - felt overwhelming. I sat down in the yard and cried. I've been very weepy this weekend and even cried myself to sleep.

Today at work, (I'm taking five minutes in my office to write this), while at a general information meeting, I looked around the room at all the women my age who were married, with normal everyday lives. They have kids the same age as mine, but their kids still have a father. These women still have husbands they can come home to and share all of life's responsibilities with. They have normal weekends they look forward to.

I feel so sorry for myself! I hate wallowing in self-pity, but I can't help it. It's just so much to deal with, and I have so little energy to deal with it. I know that there are women all over the world who have lost basically everything and who have to struggle to survive. But I can't help it - I'm really struggling with this new life.

Any comforting thoughts or comments welcome - I need a group hug.

Melina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melina.........

If you read my post yesterday and then asked me how I feel today I would say "just like you!" Unfortunately for some "unknown" reason I feel depressed today. Sad, lonely and just plain miserable! I had a good week last week and thought hummm, maybe I'm on the road to bouncing back. And then last night and today......complete opposite! No wonder we all feel sometimes like we are going crazy! I am probably the last person to make anyone feel good right now. This going backwards is for the birds! I do think sometimes we try too hard to keep busy and we overwhelm ourselves. And this "new life" is going to take a long time to get used to. Like you I look at other woman and think how lucky they are to have their loved one. But, my motherinlaw said to me once that you never know how many of these woman are on their second marriage. She was widowed at about the same age as myself and she remarried 2 years later to as wonderful a person as her first. So I guess we have to consider that the future may not be as bleek as we feel now. Gosh I hope! I can't stand the thought of growing older with just my animals and my sister living with me. She moved in to help keep me company. But I can't imagine that this is all that is left of my life. Okay, enough self pity. Maybe tomorrow or by the weekend we will feel better about all this. Pray for strength. We all need it sometimes no matter how long its been!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear PBJB

I do not think we go backwards. I think feeling the pain we felt months ago is just the way it is...it is part of the journey. It feels like going backwards but it is just grief rearing its head again. I sort of feel like I am on a roller coaster...deep dips, easy curves, severe drops, soft hills....all unexpected of course. Somehow we will make it...we will! Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I read through these posts, I'm truly amazed at what this circle of people represents. We all have so much in common, we all try to help each other feel better, and there are those among us who (like Mary always seems to) know just what to say. My wonderful Wanda and I were, like so many have said, the kind of people who did not need to go out to have a good time. We were equally happy and "together in our thinking" whether we were spending a quiet night at home or we were entertaining 50 people at Thanksgiving, cooking for several days things that we could slip in the freezer and pull out at the right time. We just enjoyed each other's company no matter what we were doing. And, I've figured out that when our kids/grandkids were worried that the family was losing all the "Grandma traditions" they just didn't understand how close we were. Every one of Grandma's special recipes is in my head just as they were in hers. Last Saturday I made two fruit cakes for the Christmas season, and tomorrow I'm going to get one of Grandma's German Chocolate cakes in the freezer. When we told people we did everything together, I don't think they understood....we did everything together. That's why I know when her houseplants need to be watered, how I understand the washer and dryer, and she is actually the reason I can make it through this new life....we were partners, and now one of us is far away, the other writhing in pain but able to function as the two of us did. It brings back wonderful memories when I do these things, and yes, I do cry about it, I do talk to her while I'm working, but we always said we would be Together Forever, and even when she is now gone on to the better life, I still have her with me.

Thanks to all of you for making it just a little easier, and for those who are having a really tough time, I wish we could all do a group hug because you all deserve a hug.

Earl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Fellow Trekkers,

It is a lovely fall evening here in the midwest. Finally we have said good-bye to the 90s...I hope. I was looking for some photos on line to use to practice my watercolors. We are advised to find pictures we want to paint so we can practice techniques. I came across the attached and decided to paint it because it is so much how I feel. I uploaded it because I know all of us feel this way at one time or another. I know it is a famous piece of art. I know also that when I saw it, I started to cry...because it is me in so many ways. We shall see how well I do as I tackle with my brushes and my heart. I completed my very first this week- autumn trees, a lake in the background...a reminder of my last country ride with Bill-October 2009. We named our painting group this week: Local Color (each letter is a different color and the font looks like watercolor painting). We decided that we are all colorful characters. This group lifts my spirits.

This roller coast ride (the grief train) is taking me underground these days....it is very dark down here. Can hardly see where I am going. There has to be a light down here somewhere.

Mary

post-14525-131596674055_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melina,

(((hugs)))

Kay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...