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Becoming A Woman With None In My Life


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My mom died July 2006. She suffered in pain terribly. I moved in with my parents when she was diagnosed, I was 23. I helped to the best of my ability, not really understanding what was going on. The few days before she died, a hospice nurse sat on her breathing tube, this caused my mother to gasp for air and go into a coma. It was like a scene from a horrible movie. Screaming her name, my dad holding me back physically to keep me from attacking the nurse....I watched a healthy, happy italian woman shrink into a skeleton. A non smoker dying of lung cancer. The first year after she went was a blur, I don't think it really started to sink in till that first Christmas without her. Being around my significant others family made it worse and they were NOT compassionate or understanding. I've gone thru all the levels of grievance except closure and acceptance. I've hidden at the bottom of a bottle, tried medications,tried to do all the positive things to help....nothing has or is working. I'm completely bitter, angry, hopeless, and empty. Nothing makes me truly happy. My smiles are pretend, my screams muted by my own stubborness and pride. I am in charge of this famiglia now, I have been for 5 years, there's no place for me to grieve. It has progressively gotten worse in the last 6 months. I don't care to eat, drink, sleep, breathe, or do anything except DRIVE. I have driven over 1500 miles in 2 weeks. I have no roots, no community, no sense of society. I need my mother....a mother period. I am so conscious and aware otherwise, easy for me to give advice to others in grief, but I cannot seem to help myself. Her birthday is the 5th of this month. Holidays. BAH HUMBUG! I feel like there is a chicken bone stuck in my throat when I think of her or trying to deal with the loss of her. I'm full of guilt and rage. I am completely detached from others. I'm a young, atrractive enough woman who won't let anyone near me, the real me. There is a man who has loved me thru all of this, he has dealt with my ups and downs for almost 6 years. I don't know how to be happy or content in a relationship. Everything ends and the pain and suffering I see my dad go thru without the love of his life is too much for me. I don't want to go thru that. I really feel hopeless, alone, and completely devastated on the inside. A ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Please, anyone who isn't going to try to push "god" on me, I'm open to suggestions. I write in a journal, I tried talking to her, I tried sedating myself...nothing is helping.

A wandering broken soul

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Hi Moku Nani. I've got some time to sort through the content of your post. You have said so much that it's kind of hard to address all your points, but I'll try to share my thoughts anyway.

Being in your mid 20s and dealing with the loss of a parent is pretty raw. I'm in my late 50's and my Mom lived to 78; at least I feel my Mom lived a long life and I had many years with her.

Like you, I spent a lot of time with my Mom after she was diagnosed with cancer. I'm so glad I had that time with her; likewise I think you are probably glad for that time with your Mom.

It's clear that you were traumatized by the incident when the nurse sat on your Mom's breathing tube, putting her in a coma. Trauma is something that can be real hard to deal with. Telling your story with some detail of your trauma is really important, at least to my thinking. Once you find words and can express what you feel, then you are actively working to resolve the trauma. We can also bury trauma and not deal with it at all! That's when we get stuck with troubling thoughts and feelings. That's when we need help.

The first year after my Mom died was a blur for me too. I think all of us here feel the same.

I'm sorry to hear that your other family members have not been supportive. I had similar issues. In the first year after my Mother passed away, my sister got total control of my Mom's estate, and at times she was brutal and openly nasty. All that got repaired, but it took a lot of effort from both me and my sister. We both realized that our anger at one another was not helping anything, so we made effort to restore normal relations and it worked. My younger brother, on the other hand, completely flipped out. Last time I saw him, some six months ago, he had flown into a rage, and was screaming at me. He hasn't been able to deal with our Mom's passing very well at all. He's also raged out anger at my older brother.

So you are not alone with family issues.

The intensity of grief really shocked me; I had no idea my life could be plunged into such black despair. I've slowly crawled or clawed my way out of the darker sides or grief. At the beginning I had anger that was off the scale. I could hardly focus on my work. Slowly things got better for me. But some of my coping strategies were not so good. I tried mild intoxication in the first months, but then I started having anxiety attacks. So I ditched the intoxicants and that helped.

Like you, I tried to upright my life as best I could, but my problems were in some ways bigger than me. I kept a journal, participated in this forum, read self help literature, but finally I had to go get professional psychological counseling. While I was in counseling, I was impatient and sometimes doubted that the psychologist was doing me much good. Now in retrospect, I think that psychologist helped a lot! It's funny how our thinking changes. Looking back, I can see how intensely wound up I was, and that the psychologist helped calm me down.

About bitter, angry, hopeless, and empty feelings: I think most of us here have the hopeless and empty feelings in spades. About the bitter and angry feelings, I think maybe half of us here have had that.

You say there is no place for you to grieve. I'll challenge you on that. You can grieve here. And get response. You can also get professional grief counseling.

Somehow you need to find ways to face your grief and move through it. Our grief seems so complex and insurmountable sometimes, but there is one expression of grief that almost always helps: the simple act of crying. So cry if you can!

I really like one thing you wrote: "I feel like there is a chicken bone stuck in my throat when I think of her or trying to deal with the loss of her." That feeling of being blocked in expressing grief is familiar to most of us here. The best remedy I know for that is to get counseling. Just by verbalizing stuff, our thoughts and feelings begin to evolve. The scariest thing for me was being stuck in desperate thoughts and feelings; my psychologist helped pull me out of that.

You write: "There is a man who has loved me thru all of this, he has dealt with my ups and downs for almost 6 years." So there is someone that cares for you! You do have some real support.

And since you asked for suggestions, I will say just a bit more.

Every generation that has ever been born has had to deal with the passing of their parents. It's part of life. There is no reason to get permanently derailed by this loss. Otherwise we would never form new relationships and become parents ourselves. There is a time for everything; growing up in a family, losing parents, becoming parents ourselves, and facing our own final mortality. Life is short! If you are miserable and feel stuck, then actively work at those things that help get you unstuck. It helps if you have a stable living situation and time to devote to grief related issues.

Probably you did not expect a long a detailed reply to your post. But there it is. It will probably do you some good to connect with others who are working through their own grief issues. This is a warm community and a good place for support; we are bonded in helping each other. Sometimes it's like the blind leading the blind, but it seems to work pretty well.

From one broken soul to another,

Ron B.

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