Author Topic: Compartmentalization  (Read 362 times)

amandalgh

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Compartmentalization
« on: January 17, 2018, 01:11:12 PM »
I feel this sense of compartmentalization come over me often as I process everything. I believe it due to the fact that I've had to do that almost the whole time I was married. My husband was very very ill, and I cared for him, while working full-time, attending school, running our household, etc. I had to learn to wear different hats and keep emotions/feelings in check while I just do what needs to get done. I feel myself doing it now; sure I mourn, I cry, I get sad, but for the most part, the loss is in a bin, and other things (work, life, etc.) are business as normal.

Since I am doing this, I find myself missing companionship in general. It feels WAY too soon to move on, but I miss having someone to talk to, to take care of (in a general sense, not as a caretaker), etc.

Anyone else feel this so early on?

Wheelerswife

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Re: Compartmentalization
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 06:04:51 PM »
Hello and welcome to our board.

I was also a caregiver for a very long time with my first husband.  I also worked full time and in the last year and a half of my husband's life, we faced some extensive hospitalizations and near-death illnesses.  I held it all together for him.  But I don't think I compartmentalized my grief.  I did reach out to find people who understood my grief - through a website that preceded this one.  I met several people in person about 6 weeks after he died and they have been friends since then - over 8 years ago.

I think many of us have to find a way to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  We put on a good face for the outside world and grieve more privately, perhaps?

I met my second husband when I was 6 months out.  We married a year later.  He has been gone for 4 years now and I haven't yet dated, although I have considered it.  It is different for each of us.  I think we need to look inside our own selves and ask if we think what we are doing is right for ourselves.  I don't think anyone else can tell you that.  If you think you want to move forward and find companionship, be true to yourself and make your moves in ways that are right for you.  You can always change your mind if you dip your toes in the water and decide the water is too hot or too cold.

Best wishes,

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

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

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Julester3

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Re: Compartmentalization
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 10:00:25 AM »
I too felt a huge loss of companionship. My husband and I were homebodies. The kids are teens and were often running to their activities and with their friends. I felt so alone but knew I wasn't ready for relationships. I used my own friends and my husband's friends as well. I had them come over and hang out with me and stuff. It really helped. We did movie nights in and game nights in. I just couldn't go out yet. I'm lucky to have people I can call on when I need to.

amandalgh

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Re: Compartmentalization
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 01:30:13 PM »
Maureen,

did you feel any hesitation dating 6 months after? I feel torn, I personally feel ok talking to another man (and I am, he's a fellow widower, happened by accident) but I still feel guilty so I am not open about it.

Wheelerswife

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Re: Compartmentalization
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 03:23:46 PM »
amandalgh,

Both John and I were very surprised when our platonic conversation changed in its tone.  Neither of us were looking for a connection and certainly didn't think we were ready for anything when we started talking.

What we did do - was acknowledge what was happening when it started.  We found we could share quite extensively with each other and developed trust very early in our discussions.  We lived quite far from each other and decided to meet just a few weeks after our first conversation (he flew to meet me) and our relationship blossomed quickly.  We kept it fairly quiet at first, all the while discussing future opportunities to get together.  We knew that others would have opinions, but that didn't deter us.

I know that others have found connections as early as John and I did, and many of them were not as successful.  Some of those people wished they had not moved so quickly, but that was not the case with John and I.  We dove in head first, and throughout the entirety of our relationship, we talked 2-3 hours every single day, more on weekends or when traveling.  We solved issues related to relocation and finances and we both had great respect for the other's prior life experiences, spouses, and grief. 

My advice?  Talk.  Then talk some more. 

I wish you well!

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

amandalgh

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Re: Compartmentalization
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 06:16:05 PM »
Awe, I love it! I love your openness. And honesty, clearly that's the key, being honest with yourself.

Captains wife

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Re: Compartmentalization
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 11:22:22 AM »
First of all, I am very sorry for your loss. I believe that the timeline is very different for each individual and going with your feelings is ok. I had a little baby at home so I didn't even try and start dating until 14 months out - but I finally did it out of complete loneliness. I think what you need to be prepared for (at least I found out personally) is that I was still working through a lot of grief issues at that point and sometimes dating exacerbated that grief. And sometimes jumping into a relationship quickly works very well for the right matched couple - but doesn't work for other so just keep your wits about you. BUT saying that, it felt good to get out and have a social life again. I had a few misses but still met some lovely men along the way (and having been dating someone now for 1.4 years). As an add, I hope "guilt" isn't a reason holding you back from dating/socializing - we deserve to find love after all that we have been through. I kept my dating life away from my inlaws for a long time out of some guilt (and still do a bit) but in hindsight - I had no reason to feel guilty.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 11:24:16 AM by Captains wife »