Author Topic: I can't feel anymore  (Read 1140 times)

James

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
I can't feel anymore
« on: March 30, 2017, 08:01:20 PM »
I'm 48.  Married 26 years with 5 kids.  I don't know if I'm young, but I'll be working for some time and still have 2 kids at home, youngest is 10.  I would not fit in on a retirees' widow forum.

Wife died 2 months ago, infection from chemo.  She was given a few months to live and we had the cancer beat back with chemo and some natural products.  She was completely healthy, except the crazy hair from the chemo.  I shaved my head also.  She was 2 and a half years in, symptom free.  Able to kayak even.

I did it right.  Gave myself a few weeks to mourn.  Years ago I suffered real PTSD after witnessing something horrible and understand you have to sob, not cry.  Sobbing cured me back then.  Sobbing involves the voice.  I looked at pictures of her beautiful smile and sobbed.  Thought about regrets, and sobbed. Remembered the happy times, and sobbed.  I let it all come out.

Then I spent time with the kids and did fun things with them.  We told goofy stories and laughed, which helped a lot.  Went on a nice trip as a family.  I hadn't sobbed for weeks.

I work on the road (on rotation) in a very masculine field with men I consider my brothers.  My boss gave me two months off.  I had talked to my brothers and was actually looking forward to seeing them again.  No anxiety about going back, we are a close family on my team.

Got to the airport and started feeling it.  Got on the plane and it hit hard.  I held off til the hotel, then sobbed again.  It had been awhile and I couldn't figure it out.  Then I realized it more than ever.  Whenever I'd start a hitch, I was never too sad.  Leaving home sucks, but she would go with me in my heart.  She was half of me and I took her with me.  Now half of me is dead.  It hit hardest on the airplane and I really felt it.  I dread flying back home, when she won't be there to pick me up.

Then phone time came and passed.  We'd talk every night, sometimes for hours.  We were like teenagers.  That's gone forever.  It's phone time right now, and tears roll down my cheeks.

And now my subject line.  Besides the sadness from time to time, I can't feel anymore.  I am so numb.  I'm sure people who haven't gone through this might tell me to dedicate myself to my kids and love them.  Here's the deal, I loved them before she died.  That hasn't changed.  But she's gone and half of me is dead.

I try to concentrate on the positive side.  I'm a devout Catholic and she had strong Faith.  I have great hope that she is in heaven (God is the Judge, but He is Mercy and Love).  She never has to have chemo again.  For me, I don't have to wake every morning with the dread: She could die today.  Something I would never tell her because I was her coach and trainer and had to keep her fighting, which she did.

I plan on being selfish for a year and work on hobbies and learn some new things.  Not out of resentment or bitterness, just because it sounds like a good plan.  I'll have as my motto: you will live.  But I can't feel.  I'm so numb.

I'd like to hear, especially from the men, did you feel this numbness?  Do you know what I am talking about?  I could witness a horrible accident in front of me, and I'd just stand there staring at it.  I'm that numb.

KrypticKat

  • Member
  • Posts: 97
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 08:15:51 PM »
I know you want to hear from other men but I can tell you it's something women experience too. My husband died suddenly 8 months ago in a car crash. We were just getting our lives started. So many dreams were destroyed. But I didn't deny what was happening. I let myself feel all of the pain and sometimes I felt nothing. Sometime I was so numb I couldn't even remember what my life was before this hell. Like the woman that was married to my husband was someone else and just a story I told people about. Then it would come back again and it hurt like hell. Because all the beautiful things I remembered are now in the past.

Weirdly enough since the day he died I have had to rescue two people from near death. The first one was a young guy that had over dosed in his car doing drugs with his girlfriend and I just happened to walk buy. The second was an old man that fell on the sidewalk as I was driving by and cracked his head on the pavement. Both moments were so graphic. The boy was as blue as the sky and the older man had blood pouring out of him. But I can tell you in those moments I felt nothing. I was almost robotic in trying to save them. I suppose I told myself "well I couldn't save my husband but like hell I'm going to let this one die".

I function better now but I always tell people I don't feel alive anymore. I used to have this fire and spark in me but that hasn't come back. I honestly wonder if it went with him. I can perform being me like a character in a play but the me everyone remembers has been gone for 8 months.

You are not alone.


James

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 08:34:53 PM »
Thanks.  I am not alone.  Thank you for this forum.  This is the only place where people understand this.

I haven't saved anyone from death, but I've become quite good as a grief counselor.  My children also.  From a 30,000 ft. view it is comical.  Kids lost their mother, husband lost a wife of 26 years, and we're the ones saying, "it will be ok" to sobbing people.  I don't hold it against them but come on if we're not crying, we don't need you to be crying.  They are human and broke up, so I don't hold it against them.

I'm "glad" to hear this numbness is typical.  I know I'm not repressing anything, like I said, I let it all come out.  Then I actually got tired of grieving and started doing things with the kids.  I did laugh at some goofy stories, so that was something.  But most of the time when we had fun, I didn't feel it.  My brain just registered, "This is good.  Kids are having fun.  They are dealing with it, so it's good."  Like a robot.

James

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 08:50:02 PM »
Quote
I know you want to hear from other men but I can tell you it's something women experience too.

It's not a big deal.  I didn't know if women and men process it differently or not.  Your last paragraph captured it perfectly.  We used to have a fire and spark, even when she had cancer.  She was told multiple times how much people envied her (as a compliment), because we had a good family and a fun marriage.

I just trying to process it.  I'm not repressing grief.  I'm not bitter.  I'm not having some regret.  I think I have the word for it: LOSS.

Julester3

  • Member
  • Posts: 404
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 10:44:25 PM »
First of all you are 48 years young - I don't consider that old. We are in the prime of our lives (I'm also in my 40's) and we shouldn't be experiencing this theoretically but ironically enough here we are, dealt with less than ideal hands in the game of life. I am also not a dude but anyways I know the numbness as well. I'm 1 week away from surviving the first year without my husband. I have the numbness and it's my current companion. We were soulmates and I too feel like only half of myself. I know I am the same person but I know I don't feel like that person I used to be when he was alive or know if I can ever be that exact person again.

Yes, the kids can help with the moving forward bit but it's just one component to all of this. My hobbies and interests though have kept me sane. They were a part of me before I was officially with my husband and so I keep my hands busy and I find a sense of contentment in them when I complete a project. I craft mostly (scrapbook, sew, crochet, etc.) and I collect dolls. They divert me when I have downtime. My kids are teens but they have their own activities and such so I am finding more time to myself sadly. They do understand I need these outlets myself as my own self prescribed therapy of sorts so if I choose to go out and do something for the day, they entertain and take care of themselves. I am lucky in that respect.

WifeLess

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 257
  • Widowed: August 2009 Remarried: June 2013
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 11:11:41 AM »
James,

Welcome to Young Widow Forum and sorry for your loss.

Yes, after my wife's death I was numb for weeks and probably months. The only feelings were excruciatingly painful ones, and so it was better not to feel anything at all if possible. As described in Letter to a Friend: "I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally exhausted."

http://widda.org/index.php/topic,7.0.html

But as we begin to heal, the shock does eventually wear off and some positive feelings start to return. It is a long road, taking months for some of us and years for others. I wish you well on that journey.

--- WifeLess


MissingBilly

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 02:49:55 PM »
Hi,

I am female but with you in numbness, though I am much earlier in the process. My DH died less than a month ago, after a nine-month illness. I cried pretty much every day while he was sick (we knew it was unlikely he'd beat it), and then about 20 minutes after he died, it stopped. I've had moments or two of what I'd call "surface crying" -- tears falling, but not the wracking sobs that I know are in there somewhere. I know at some point the dam will break, but I think right now the shock is still so overwhelming that my brain and body are just exerting maximum control for now. We were absolute soulmates, together more than 20 years, and had no kids (by choice), so it is a staggering loss for me, and I think the level of shock and numbness is in line with that.

(I also have deep internal shivering, especially when interacting with people. Has anyone else ever had that?)




Monique

  • Member
  • Posts: 64
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 08:19:08 PM »
Yes, me too. I felt very numb especially during the second and third week after I lost Sam. (The first week I was an emotional wreck.) It's such an awful feeling. I also experienced the shivering/ shaking like MissingBilly mentioned. It's been about 5 weeks for me now, and the emotions come and go... some days I cry, some I'm angry, some I'm numb. Some days I feel relatively okay, though not "good" yet.
Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while." --The Princess Bride

James

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 10:24:13 PM »
 
Quote
I've had moments or two of what I'd call "surface crying" -- tears falling, but not the wracking sobs that I know are in there somewhere. I know at some point the dam will break, but I think right now the shock is still so overwhelming that my brain and body are just exerting maximum control for now.
  You're going to have to sob.  Best to get it over with.  Your emotions are screaming at your brain to recognize the horror.  You can clamp down on them, but they never give up.  They'll find a way out, and usually in a bad way.  Best to find some alone time, look through the picture albums and scrapbooks, and name the horror, then let it out.

James

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2017, 10:28:28 PM »
Quote
But as we begin to heal, the shock does eventually wear off and some positive feelings start to return. It is a long road, taking months for some of us and years for others. I wish you well on that journey.

Thanks for the encouragement.  To be honest, I'm doing better.  When I was writing the post up above, the word I was looking for came to me: LOSS, while I was writing.  After I reflected on LOSS, I'm better.  I have a way to go and have moments of sadness, but it was like my brain was trying to process it, and once I realized what I was feeling, it helped me out.

Seems like what I needed was to come to this place where people definitely understand me, and I thank everyone here for that.

HCE

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2017, 05:43:35 AM »
My gorgeous wife of sixteen years died in November. I don't know if numb is the right word for me, but I can say that life has lost all its joy and savour. I used to believe I enjoyed the simple things in life, but I realize now I just enjoyed doing stuff with her. Now those same things are just a burden, when they're not actively painful reminders of what I've lost. I carry on with my pastimes and hobbies, but there's no joy. My life seems to have had all its colour rinsed out. It's a dreary, blasted wasteland.
They lived and laughed and loved and left.

MissingBilly

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2017, 10:28:46 AM »
Quote
I've had moments or two of what I'd call "surface crying" -- tears falling, but not the wracking sobs that I know are in there somewhere. I know at some point the dam will break, but I think right now the shock is still so overwhelming that my brain and body are just exerting maximum control for now.
  You're going to have to sob.  Best to get it over with.  Your emotions are screaming at your brain to recognize the horror.  You can clamp down on them, but they never give up.  They'll find a way out, and usually in a bad way.  Best to find some alone time, look through the picture albums and scrapbooks, and name the horror, then let it out.

Thanks. As it turns out, it happened about six hours after I posted. Without my trying to force it. It was pretty intense. About 45 minutes of hyperventilating.


KrypticKat

  • Member
  • Posts: 97
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 01:17:15 PM »
It's amazing how you can go from feeling nothing to having it all come out. I remember one day having total numbness then a picture of us on the wall caught my eye and it came down like a freight train. I actually fell to my knees and started sobbing uncontrollably. Sometimes I think you're body just doses you with it as you can handle it then shuts down again to give you a break.

beth_krkswidow

  • Member
  • Posts: 211
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 05:13:06 PM »
My gorgeous wife of sixteen years died in November. I don't know if numb is the right word for me, but I can say that life has lost all its joy and savour. I used to believe I enjoyed the simple things in life, but I realize now I just enjoyed doing stuff with her. Now those same things are just a burden, when they're not actively painful reminders of what I've lost. I carry on with my pastimes and hobbies, but there's no joy. My life seems to have had all its colour rinsed out. It's a dreary, blasted wasteland.

What a perfect description.  All the color has been rinsed out of my life. Exactly.
"Until my last breath, I loved you more than life itself." ~Kirk, in his envelope to be opened only upon his death.  And now I to you, My Love, until my last breath...

JP

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: I can't feel anymore
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2017, 01:49:13 AM »
Yup I agree, all the colour has been drained from my life. It's been 4 months for me and I hate to say that I am no better. I do understand the numbness you feel, just impossible to feel anymore, especially joy. Obviously I haven't been happy since the day he died but I really don't foresee any joy in the future. Can anyone further out say what has worked for them?