Author Topic: Lifes unrealistic expectation  (Read 5887 times)

Jess

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 670
  • AKA Jezzy
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2016, 07:48:30 AM »
LTSL, I am sorry you are feeling that way. We strive to make this a safe place for everyone of all viewpoints. On occassion, we have a thread like this one where there are strong viewpoints. We come from various backgrounds, experiences etc so at times we will not all agree. Sometimes we will vehemently disagree. But, if you would, please focus on those that you find comfort from rather than those you do not. One thing while reading this thread I have seen is that every person in it is coming from a place that they feel is helpful and well intentioned. It may feel to some that this isn't true, but I assure you that it is, even when it comes in the form of brashness. It doesn't mean you need to agree with everyone's tactics (I know I sometimes don't!) or even like the people on the other side of the keyboard, but I do want you to remember that all of us here, every single one of us, is rooting for you to survive this and find a way thrive. That's a whole lot of goodness to have here, isn't it?
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

Mizpah

  • Member
  • Posts: 751
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2016, 08:57:14 AM »
On occassion, we have a thread like this one where there are strong viewpoints. We come from various backgrounds, experiences etc so at times we will not all agree. Sometimes we will vehemently disagree.

I've read this whole thread very quickly, in a rush to get the gist, and what is clear just from a quick read (to me) is that everyone truly means well, and everyone speaks from their own experience, circumstances, philosophies. 

Portside said something about therapy, but I think we should *ALL* be careful not to think of this place as therapy - it's not.  It's not even group therapy, where a counselor/therapist would be present moderating.  Sure, it's "therapeutic" to be among those who have been through partner loss.  But it is NOT THERAPY.  This is a place for support, in whatever form that takes (and I include Portside's "tough love"/straight talk approach in that, because I *do* believe he says it not to judge or make people feel worse, but in the hope that people can find healthiness and happiness). 

Like many of the others on this thread have said, some people encounter difficulties in their grief journey that compound the emotional toll, such as illness, pre-existing psychological/psychiatric complications, dependent relatives, children with especially demanding problems/conditions, issues with in-laws, subsequent relationship issues, etc.  Even if someone is "just" dealing with grief (partner loss being one of the worst things a person can experience), each person's timeline is different.  Some people take a few months to "bounce back," and others take many, many years.  (My own "grief mentor" said it took him 6 years to even START to feel alive again - six years! - and he's one of the deeply happiest people I know.)

I've always thought it's a bit dangerous to think that anyone else can learn your lessons.  We all have to come to our own perspectives ourselves.  Not to say we shouldn't share, or give a pep talk or tough love sometimes, because sometimes someone says something and it's like a key in a lock - it just clicks and opens something.  And talking it all out is what we're here doing.  BUT, it's often very easy to understand something logically or see how someone else has adopted their outlook and approach to their life/circumstances, and a whole other thing to feel it and adopt it oneself.   

EVERYONE BELONGS HERE, anyone who has been widowed young.  This is not a place for just those who feel cheated or in despair, or just for those who put on rosy glasses and march on, or just for those in between.  It's for all of us.  I know it's not easy when such emotional, essential, deep topics are the focus, but I think everyone should try as hard as they can to take other people's opinions with a grain of salt and see that, through all of our imperfect ways of communicating, we all want better for ourselves and each other. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 10:15:18 AM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

SoVerySad

  • Member
  • Posts: 865
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2016, 09:11:06 AM »

It took me over a year to get to this point.. to realize I have no control over the universe.. I had no control over my husband or anyone elses actions.

It was this kind of thinking (like in my original post).. that.. hey.. this is not my fault.. God doesn't hate me.. unfortunate things happen to people every day..  my life isn't over and I can and will go on.. and it's ok to be happy again and not feel guilty about it.. I am not and will not be a victim.. I am a survivor!

I didn't get the idea that your husband had been really abusive to you at all. You don't strike me as someone who would have continued to put up with that, which you confirmed by mentioning your first marriage. I believe all that you have written. I'm glad you have reached this level of understanding and approach to your situation. No one should feel guilty about finding happiness again.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

April

  • Guest
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2016, 10:08:10 AM »
Ok.. I just wanted to be clear.. I was in no way "abused" by my husband.. I think what the therapist was implying was that I put up with way more then I should have.. and by putting up with it.. I was condoning my husbands behavior.. sending a message to my children that it's ok to act like that and we must just "put up" with it.. it was a sticky situation.. yes my husband needed help.. needed me.. but so did my children and my children are my priority.. they come before anyone else.. I needed him to help me with them.. not need me to help him too.. I felt like I was always trying to control the situation.. balance it out.. shield my kids from what my husband was becoming.. but I couldn't hide it anymore.. as my oldest son got older.. he could see everything.. he saw what he was doing and he finally stood up to him.. and it was at that moment everything changed.. the scales were tipped and I lost control of everything.

I was blamed.. yes I blamed myself.. so did my sisters.. so did his family.. "are you happy he's gone?!!  You don't have to deal with him anymore!!".. where were they the years before during his self destruction.. it didn't happen over night.. everyone left me to deal with it.. they just wanted me to be ok with it.. and live that way forever.. something was about to break.. and it did.. my son stood up to him.. it shouldn't have been him.. it should have been me.. I should have made that first stance.. not my 17 yr old son.. to carry this burden on his shoulders for the rest of his life.. it's just too much and it's not right..  after my husbands and my sons fight.. I didn't have a choice to put up with it or not anymore.. I was going to lose my children if I didn't make a stance.. you see.. I gave him an ultimatum to get help or I was going to have to leave.. my very last words to him.. which play over and over again in my head.. "you need to get help.. or I need to move on" .. he sounded confused and asked.. "what do you mean?".. and I said.. "you need to go to your appointment tomorrow.. get help for your PTSD and problem with your pain meds.. or I can't do this anymore".. and I repeated "you need to get help.. or I need to move on".. were those the words that sent him over the edge.. I thought I left a glimpse of hope for him to at least try to get better.. that I would be here for him..  I didn't say "F you.. I'm done!!" I finally made a stance and it blew up in my face.

I am not better off with out him.. I am not happy he is gone.. there is no positive in this situation.. I don't think you can say there is a positive in anyones death.. it's just something that is said to make people feel better.. yes he is not struggling anymore.. he is not in pain anymore.. yes I don't have to deal with his instability anymore.. but that is not worth his life.. my children deserved him to try.. for him to be here.. to walk my girls down the isle.. to help my sons in joining the military..  so the positive (if you can say there is a positive in death.. it's a human life lost!).. it does not and will never out weigh the permanent void in our lives.. I hope my daughters don't seek out the love of a father in every man they meet.. I hope my sons will not grow up thinking they are destined to the same fate as their father.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 10:38:16 AM by April »

Mrskro

  • Member
  • Posts: 294
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2016, 11:36:03 AM »
So I've never shared my story, bits and pieces here and there but I'll add my two cents. 

Life is unfair and it sucks and if on a bad day I want to say it out loud then YEP I'M A WHINER.

I lost my mother at 16, raised my 13 year old brother practically alone as my father had a nervous breakdown and couldn't cope.  It took 2 years and meeting my step-mother to bring him out of it.

In February 2012, my father had a massive heart attack, had a triple bypass, just as they closed him up, he arrested, one of the bypasses collapsed.  He had to have another bypass.  12 hours later, he finally made it through surgery.  There were complications, I ended up in a city 1 1/2 hours away for the better part of 3 weeks helping him in the ICU because my siblings are useless.

June 2012, my father-in-law had a massive heart attack and was airlifted to a city nearby.  I spent the better part of a month helping him in the ICU because my mother in law and husband couldn't face the hospital.  He was sent back to his hometown hospital needing a bit of physio to get his mobility back.  He passed in July 2 days after they brought him home.

My mother in law, battled cancer for 7 years before passing in October of 2013.

My grandmother slipped and fell in October of 2013,  a scan showed bone cancer.  There was nothing they could do.  She passed November of 2013.

Which brings us to Sept of 2014.  I had come down with bronchitis, slept in the lazy boy in the living room so I could breathe.  Woke to a loud crash, my DH has been to the grocery store for me, come home and was showering to get ready for work.   I found him face down in our bathroom, barely breathing.  I managed to get him turned over and out of the 5x5 room and performed CPR while on the phone with 911.   I watched him die twice.  The third time I was unable to get a pulse or breaths back.  I'm trained in CPR, I knew he was gone. 

I have PTSD, I have anxiety, I have depression, I have nightmares where I relive it every damn night.  I cannot take any medication as they cause extreme complications.

I do not wake up every day and Happy thought make any of that go away.   

My father passed away in January of 2016.  My brother and sister who couldn't be bothered with him in life are now fighting my step mother (of 23 years) over the will.

Happy positive thought are not going to make that go away.

My step mother had a seizure in 2015, brain cancer, they gave her 3 months to live.  She's still alive thankfully but not for long. 

So, no, positive thinking, a good outlook will not make it any easier for my children to have deal with another death.  Every grandparent they've ever known and their father. 

I am in no way belittling, or putting down a positive outlook on life.  And that waking up and not dwelling on the bad doesn't help.  But you can bet sure as shit, when I say life is unfair, and yeah I'm a bit jealous of some people.  I am NOT ASHAMED.  My children and I have lived through hell.  and if on a bad day any one of us wants to say "this sucks and isn't fair"  I'm pretty sure we've earned it.

When I've only gotten 5 hours sleep and most of those were reliving my husband's death over and over again, I don't wake up and go oh yeah let's be depressed today.  But saying "oh look the sun is shining let's be happy" isn't going to work either.  When my son drops a book to the floor and I scream because my anxiety is so high, I don't ask for that either. 

So yeah I'm a whiner and proud of it!

Wheelerswife

  • Member
  • Posts: 1113
  • Widowed x 2.
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2016, 12:00:20 PM »
I was lucky in that I could fall back on my training after my combat tours (Navy Corpsman attached to elements of the 1st Marine Division) provided by the Bureau of Navy Psychology Training Programs at Bethesda Naval Hospital. After that, I was stationed at Yokusuka (Japan) Naval Hospital providing psychiatric services to Navy personnel and their dependents. Much of my work consisted of working with patients with what is now called PTSD. I saw enough of it in the field and in psychiatric wards in the Navy to last me forever.  I know both what it is, and also, what it is not. I completed my service and training at Balboa Naval Hospital (San Diego) providing the same type of care.  I don’t claim to know it all. I am always open to learn something new or be pointed in a different direction by anyone. Please reach out to me at any time to help me along. I welcome your input.

Ladies, look – I know I come across as a bit of a hard ass sometimes – especially when we discuss feelings or mental issues here. I may in fact be. But it troubles me greatly when any one does what I consider to be whining (here or IRL) and then receive what I term the ‘tea and cookies’ type of treatment from the untrained. My professional experience, although dated, has led me to believe it simply doesn’t help the one suffering. I hope you’ll excuse me for pushing back. Poor therapies offered by unskilled, although very well meaning, folks can be harmful.

I’m afraid we will have to just disagree on many of these items. 

I know that sometimes we all need to agree to disagree.  I agree with Mizpah, though, that this isn't professional therapy, it is a place of support.  You have some background, Mike, with PTSD, and it seems that it is specifically with what I imagine stems from some of the harshest experiences that anyone can imagine, that of those in combat.  It seems, also, that your approaches to treating those with PTSD are utilized in fairly controlled and supportive clinical settings, where highly trained professionals are present to guide "patients" - for lack of a better word - through a program designed to help them integrate their experiences and process memories, visions, and whatever else contributes to their PTSD.

Most people here don't have access to the support that might be needed with that kind of approach.  And while I can't say that my experiences rival those of combat veterans or even my niece, who was severely traumatized as a secondary victim of the Virginia Tech massacre, I know of others whose reactions to the experience of loss are best explained as a form of PTSD.  But this isn't a competition here.  Sometimes, having an explanation for what one is experiencing helps to find ways to recover from the trauma that one has experienced. 

Every day, widows/widowers are faced with the reality that they are still living with their loss and somehow, they need to figure out how to keep living.  Part of that process is finding ways to understand and express thoughts and emotions.  I grew up being told to "suck it up" on a regular basis.  I spent my 20's working to understand and express what I'd never learned to do as a child.  Like a lot of people, I've developed a pretty strong backbone, but that hasn't shielded me from the trauma of my own losses.  That backbone has, though, allowed me to seek out support and to face my brokenness.  It has been places like this site and the support of widow/er friends that have allowed me to vent and process and get through some of the worst moments of panic I have experienced.  I'm grateful that nobody ever tried to tell me to  look at the positive side when I was "whining".  That being said, many people have pointed out the accomplishments I have made in spite of everything, and sometimes, in retrospect, I have found that helpful.  Sometimes, "tea and cookies", a listening ear and companionship...simply DOES help the suffering.

It has helped me and many others here.  Sometimes, people just need to know they aren't alone in how they feel.  Being a hard ass in those moments might turn someone away from the support that they need.  In my opinion, when we don't know that someone has support IRL to process a hard-assed approach, it is important to be gentle, and to suggest that someone reach out for professional help.

Maureen



Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness

SoVerySad

  • Member
  • Posts: 865
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2016, 12:16:59 PM »
April, I'm so sorry for the dynamics that occurred within your family just prior to your husband's death. Clearly it has been very hard for all of you. I fully understand why you view the ultimatum you rightly stated as a last resort effort to encourage your husband to get help for the good of your family may have been the catalyst that caused your husband to take the action he did, but it is too great of a burden to take upon yourself. You were putting your children first out of necessity, while hoping you could reach your husband through the PTSD to see how essential his participating in treatment was. No one should fault you for that - not even yourself. Ultimately it was his decision despite you having done your best to make it all work out for your family.

I just got back from my counseling where we're working on me letting go of all the worrying I do all the time, because in truth I can't control things. I'm not in charge of the choices of others. I worried myself literally sick over my husband's declining health and he died anyway. Your husband's reaction to the circumstance he was in was not your fault. You couldn't control the choice he made. It is a terrible tragedy that has left you all in a lot of pain. Pointing blame is pointless as it can't change the outcome. Perhaps his PTSD was too deeply rooted to allow him to make better choices for himself. Unfortunately, you couldn't control that either.

I truly am sorry for all you, your kids, and your husband have been through. I'm sorry to have used the term abusive. I did misunderstand your earlier post in that respect. I understand better that it was more of an issue of him putting you and your children in an untenable situation by not seeking the treatment he needed. You did what was needed for the best interest of your kids.

Tight hugs...
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

April

  • Guest
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2016, 12:36:48 PM »
Thank you SoVerySad.. it's been quite a road.. but I believe we are on the mend.. and I am well aware of the rough road I might face ahead.. I've got 3 more kids to get through their teen years.. alone.. with this back story!! We shall see.. this day is good and for that I am grateful.

I didn't mean for my post to become something cold and callous.. but to give hope and encouragement.. I was excited to share what has helped me break through..  I guess people interpret messages differently.. I may have shared too much information.. but I wanted to tell some of my back story.. to maybe bring light to why I feel and cope the way I do.. and to not come off so insensitive.

Everyones journey is unique and no ones grieving process will be the same as someone elses.. I've grasped onto bits and pieces of others coping methods and created a process that fits me.. I'm not knocking anyones way of grieving.

I hope you continue on your path to heeling and wish everyone could just break free from these chains of grief.

Lots of hugs <3
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 12:50:02 PM by April »

Bunny

  • Member
  • Posts: 287
  • widowed 2012
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2016, 01:14:27 PM »
Someone sent me this video yesterday and I thought of you, April, and this thread:

http://youtu.be/MEl2WCyUpM0


I hope everyone who watches it can take something positive from Sheryl Sandberg's words on resilience.
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

April

  • Guest
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2016, 01:54:41 PM »
I love her!!  Thank you so much Bunny!  She is awesome!!  "kick the shit out of option B"  .. and it is so true.. when you think of how it could be worse.. something that is always on my mind.. I could have it so much worse.

Thank you for sharing.. Definitely saving this video

Bunny

  • Member
  • Posts: 287
  • widowed 2012
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2016, 03:10:06 PM »
I'm glad it was helpful!

I am somebody who found the desire to be resilient difficult. It took me a long time to want to feel anything positive. Boy howdy, early on some of the cheerleaders on the other board REALLY annoyed the heck outa me! They were just trying to help us, but it's so easy to hurt the feelings of a widow, even fellow widows can do it, because our skin becomes so paper thin sensitive. Takes a while to build back some of those insulating layers so that things don't all feel so personal- and that growth time is as unique as our fingerprints.

I do hope both you and your son can remember - and truly internalize it- that plenty of people have their kids yell at them, their wives kick them out or threaten to leave them, and they don't kill themselves. I myself had a hard time with guilt that first year (my mama would probably say it's my Catholic upbringing ;)). It is a horrible burden to give to one's soul.
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

April

  • Guest
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2016, 03:30:57 PM »
Yes.. I am finding that a too positive outlook can be offensive to ones deep in grief.. I will try to be more careful.. this lady seems to hit the nail on the head in a non-obnoxious way..

Now that you mention it.. I can relate to being annoyed by a bubbly person.. when we are not having a good day and a too chipper of a person is in my face.. it is annoying.

I have told my kids that lots of people in marriages sometimes have problems.. sometimes get divorced even (not that I was even close to that).. and they don't kill themselves.. that he was very sick and needed serious help.. hence why he was able to take his own life.

I talked to my oldest sons senior chief for ROTC.. he's been around vets and their families for a long time.. he said he sees this pattern all too often.. Vet has PTSD.. vet too proud to get help.. they turn to pain meds or drugs to dull their pain.. it affects their family.. their family falls apart.. they realize what they have done to their families and they take their own lives.. 33 vets a day commit suicide.. and I'm sure that number is higher now.

canadiangirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 438
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2016, 05:36:00 PM »
I’d be ashamed to admit such feelings if I had them.

Said no mental health professional to any patient anywhere, thank heavens.

People like myself come here for validation and support, as Mizpah says.  Validation is a normal human need, and part of our social experience. Many of us go about our daily lives sucking it up all the time despite the inner despair or turmoil -for pity's sake, let people have a safe place in this forum to whine and complain if they want to, without feeling diminished. I seriously could use tea and cookies at the end of the day. 

April, your original post was good to see and I honour you for your positive, resilient outlook.  I don't think anyone could or does find it offensive.

April

  • Guest
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2016, 06:25:20 PM »
Thank you Canadiangirl.. I wouldn't be too upset with Portside.. he is military.. and that is how they are.. There were several times I went to the doctors with my husband and left crying because they are just so brash... I will never forget this one time the guy yelled.. "please leave and take your kid.. I can not hear myself think with all that noise".. I was so taken back.. I left of course and my husband stayed.. I was so upset.. my husband got in the car and said.. "I really like that guy.. I think I'm going to stick with him".. it's how they tick.. definitely not for the light hearted.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 07:15:51 PM by April »

canadiangirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 438
Re: Lifes unrealistic expectation
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2016, 08:25:56 AM »
I really appreciated this anecdote, April - thank you for the insights.  But to be clear, I am not upset with Portside, it's not personal, he often has great observations- his post on blending families was one of the very best I have ever read on this forum.  I am just wary in general of anyone, military or not (and I don't think being military gives you a free pass), who posts judgemental things like the quote I posted above that may make others, women OR men, think twice before letting it all hang out on this forum, because it is meant to be a safe place to share, not a place to seek help, including of the tough love variety, which none of us is qualified to offer and which may not be an appropriate strategy for an anonymous forum. In my opinion, we need more empathy and validation for the widowed, not less.  This has nothing to do with your original welcome positive post.  Hugs--your kids clearly have a great mom, and I could learn from you, so I hope you keep posting about your experiences.