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The discussion previously started by KATPILOT regarding multiple losses, and following responses, seem to relate to the present and relative approximation of short durations of time in between each accumulative loss. I found the discussion interesting and disheartening in my situation. Interesting in the normalcy.

Disheartening because the duration of losing everything I spent my life working toward was lost in 13 months due to a traumatic brain injury causing debilitating migraines and seizures. I was in pain the first year but had no idea what was headed my way.

It started with my house, I had been renovating over eight years, was being foreclosed on even though I qualified for the mortgage modification and paid the first payment. The bank informed me they mistaking used someone else's paperwork and gave me a payment amount $20 than the original mortgage. They gave me two weeks to move my mother, who hasn't been feeling well, and myself out.

Sorry....too much detail. I'll try to just list it.

1. Find homes for three dogs, three rats, and indoor pet ducks (I ran a part time business called Paws with a Cause training Companion Animals).

2. Move from two story house with full size basement and garage that also served as my office to a two bedroom apartment.......no time to sale anything, just asked for donations. Ended up giving 2/3 possessions away just so bank didn't get anything of value.

3. Three days living at new apartment, doctor calls to inform mom she has late stage pancreatic cancer approximately 6-8 weeks to live.

4. With my medical background and persistence, one round of chemo was given to no avail; however, I noticed....dosen't matter. I insisted on using the chemo port for basically water IVs twice weekly, three times weekly toward the end. She lived almost eleven months and had quality to her life. Thanksgiving was her last meal.....and it didn't stay down.

Crap.....doing it again. Stay simple!

5. Ma died on January 7th

6. I had to have all our belongings out of the 2 bedroom apartment into the one bed room artist loft I had been accepted to. Could only take my service dog and one cat. Had to give my cat away.

7. Succeeded at getting all our belongings moved to the loft the evening of the 15th right before midnight and fell asleep fully dressed. My brand new loft was on fire by 9:30am. Ma's cat died.

8. Homeless for rest of January, got to live back in the previous apartment for February. Ma was responsible for renter's insurance, guess she didn't notice bill going down meant something was wrong such as the amount insured dropped and my name was removed from the policy.

9. Mental capacity continues to deterioration and migraines last for days and even weeks at a time.

10. My best friend from college doesn't want to be friends anymore.....saw this one coming since I couldn't participate in longboarding, snowboarding, etc.

That was kinda an all at once loss for me, yet although it has slowed down, loss continues. I finally lost my job in January. No friends, no family, lost my therapist two weeks ago, now my case worker is leaving, and I gotta change neurologist now that Medicare has kicked in.

Uggh, now Im talking jibberish. What Im trying to say is that my life has been a life of loss and what most people refer to as tragedy, but I thought I had escaped all that when I found stability at the orphanage and then I made something of what was born into nothing.

"If you have been sitting on old grief from your childhood, your failed relationships, the loss of a family pet when you were nine, and any other losses you were unable to honor in the past, this left-over grief will also come through the broken damn. Let it." (5 Lies You Were Told About Grief, Alison Nappi - located in announcements forum).

My mother and I only had five years together before her death and her death killed me.....not her death itself but the flood of grief behind it. I don't know who I am anymore...my sense of self/character is still intact but that's it.

It's been a year and a half since ma died and the only reason I still exist is because of my service dog Clark Kent. He's all I have left. I feel like I'm just waiting to die.

Oh and I've got an asperger's diagnosis, might be why I was able to compartmentalize my emotions so well for so long and the TBI did something to that ability.

It's quite probable this post doesn't make sense. I'd apologize but can't because I don't know how to fix the problem, so my apology would be a lie and I'm not okay with lying intentionally.

I've said enough, if not way too much.

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Dear RainFire,

I am so very sorry that you have lost your mother, and you were obviously very close to her, so it has left a big hole in your heart. And if that weren't enough, you have had all these other upsets until it must feel as though your whole life is awry.

Because this is a holiday weekend, others may not find your post until Monday, but I am sure there will be more comments and perhaps suggestions. All I want to say right now it please eat as well as you can, stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and take good care of yourself. All this stress is hard on your body, and you need to treat is as well as you can. You might want to try meditation if you don't already use it.

I am sorry for your loss, and for the other losses and upsets that have made your life so very difficult. I hope things begin to get better for you very soon.

Peace to your heart,


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Thank you so much for responding. I already started believing I had crossed some boundary or my post just didn't make any sense.

I spoke, or posted, as an attempt to help deal with my grief since I'm completely alone during holidays. Nothing is even open to just be around other people.

Your post added the other half of the perspective I was missing.....members are with their families/friends just like the real world. I didn't necessarily mess up with my post.

Thanks for suggestion on meditation. I'm decent with using mindfulness, which is extra difficult with autism, but I've never been able to grasp even the concept of meditation.

I'll reevaluate meditation practices again, it'll at least give me a distraction.

Also, thanks for reminding me of the basics. I still struggle to remember them quite often.

Enjoy your holidays :-)

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Hello RainFire ... I am so terribly sorry about all that you've had to go through since your childhood. I cannot imagine how much pain you have inside of you right now. How wonderful that Clark Kent is with you and is loving you and gives your a warm body to hold close ... In the midst of all of your sorrow and loss hold onto that 1 positive. I too pray that good things start coming your way.

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I had a therapist but she quit on me two, no three weeks ago. I've asked for grief counseling but no one listens. My therapist was great though.

Asperger's, now just known as autism spectrum with no distinction, affects emotional regulation.

For me I live in a world of logic. Emotions were non-existent for the most part until my head injury. Traumatic brain injuries often cause emotional disregulation issues. So I still live in a logical world however when things do not make sense, or I don't understand why something is happening, I experience the emotional disregulation.

At first the emotions were crushing. I was basically a two year old experiencing emotions I didn't understand. The therapist I just lost was able to work within a logical construct I could understand. The answer was so simple. She told me when it came to emotions, I didn't have to solve the problem immediately, meaning I didn't have to "feel" everything all at once. She told me to only allow a little in at a time and then go find something to do.

Over time my tolerance for allowing myself to feel emotions for extended periods of time has improved, but I still get too close to the edge at others.

That's where my love for my service dog kicks in and brings me safely back to shore. He is my life.

In regards to understanding myself as I would a good friend, despite being two classes and a practicum short of becoming a licensed psychologist..... I don't understand "normal" people. I'd just try to solve the problem.

Grief was something I never understood and was of the mindset "get over it" because I had lost so much throughout my life and never grieved (Very turbulent childhood with lots of abuse/violence, several homes ending in an orphanage, 26 different schools despite graduating early).

That's why I think the dam broke when my mom died.

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My friend, your comments about your service dog remind me of the book Until Tuesday ~ it's a great read about the love between a wounded warrior and the service dog who saved him, with lots of detail about how these magnificent animals are trained to care for their humans.

I understand that your life so far has been difficult, filled with one loss after another, and I am so sorry.

You say that grief is something you never understood, but I sincerely hope that by coming here and joining us, and by doing some reading as you work your way through the various threads in our forums, you will come to understand what is normal in grief (and therefore to be expected) and you will discover some of the many things you can do to manage it. See, for example, Grief: Understanding the Process and Coping with Cumulative Losses (including the Related Articles listed).

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I reviewed the suggested links by MartyT. Anything referring to a dog, or somehow connecting a dog and death terrify me.

My service dog, Clark Kent, is also a PTSD/TBI dog like the dog in "Until Tuesday". Anyway that link and the link on cumulative loss left me crying and scared. Clark is all I have left and I honestly don't know if I'll survive the day he dies.

The "Understanding the Process" link kept referring to "grief work" but never indicated what that might include.

The response posts I've read from other forums, in addition to my own post, seem for the most part just to validate the original poster.

Empathy and validation are understandably important for some individuals. Where's the work advice/suggestions and encouragement?

Maybe I just don't understand the purpose of this group. I don't wanna drown in my grief, I wanna get better and I can't do that without useful directions/pointers and tips.

I'm frustrated and this isn't helping. I think it's making it worse. Remember I live in a world of logic....empathy/sympathy just bug me. I need to figure things out.....logically.

I do appreciate time taken to respond to my post....it's very kind, my brain/emotions just work differently.

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Good for you for wanting to get better, my friend! We have lots of different articles we can refer you to ~ but I didn't want to bombard you with too much information all at once!

You asked, "Where's the work advice/suggestions and encouragement?"

I invite you to take a look at this article: Bereavement: Doing The Work of Grief

See also Mother Loss: A List of Suggested Resources

If you're looking for specific suggestions for understanding and managing the many different manifestations of grief, take a look at these resources:

Finding Your Way Through Grief: A Guide for the First Year

The First Year of Grief: Help For The Journey

And you'll find a list of links to many of the articles I've written here: Articles by Marty Tousley

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Thank you for the links. I'll get right on checking them out and working on all this piled up grief.

Thanks again and I'll keep checking back. I'm not sure how to help others cause of my perspective on grief as mentioned in a previous post. However as understanding comes, I might be able to offer support along the way :-)

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