Author Topic: Keeping the fear at bay?  (Read 2759 times)

MrsT85

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 240
  • Widowed by a car accident at age 27
Keeping the fear at bay?
« on: April 14, 2015, 12:34:45 PM »
I need to ask you all that are more "veteran" at this Chapter 2 relationship thing - how do you help keep the fear of the future and all the uncertainty that it holds at bay?  After having a "worst case scenerio" already rob you of your whole life once, how are you not convinced that the other shoe will drop and rob you AGAIN of all you've managed rebuild and the person you've managed to rebuild it with?

30 second summary of why I ask - Tim died in a car accident.  Out of the blue and in a single moment - my whole life was torn to pieces and I was never given a chance to prepare.  Fiance tells me last night that on his day off tomorrow he's going to start calling around and trying to make a doctor appointment to get a spot/sore on his tounge checked that's been stubbornly sticking around for a couple months out, because after consulting with WebMD (which, admittedly, tells everyone they have cancer) he's worried it might be a (according again, to the internet) a very treatable form of cancer.  But since he doesn't know, he's doing the right thing and trying to schedule a doctor appointment to get it checked out.

I haven't been able to stop worrying for even one moment.  I cried all night last night, before I even know if I have a legitimate reason to be worried.  I just can't stop thinking "I'm 29 years old and I'm going to be planning another husband's funeral in just a few short years."       

How do you all deal with uncertainties like this?  I logically know that there's nothing I can do about it, that chances are things will be fine, and I should just proceed and live and love and try not to worry.  But how can you try "not to worry" about an absolute worst case scenerio when you've already been hit with it once?

I just want to be the one who gets to die first next time.  I know it sounds absolutely horrible, but it's true.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 12:51:24 PM by MrsTim85 »
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face

Do You Realize??

01/12/1977-04/06/2013

Wheelerswife

  • Member
  • Posts: 1068
  • Widowed x 2.
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 01:35:31 PM »
I just want to be the one who gets to die first next time.  I know it sounds absolutely horrible, but it's true.

I can't agree with you more on this one.  At the same time, I feel like we need to live the life we have right now.  There aren't any guarantees.  It's hard doing this once...which we have all done, and of course, it is doubly hard doing this twice.  I wouldn't take back the decisions I made to love my second husband -  and to dive into a life with him that turned out to be the most amazing moments of my life.  It hurts...a lot.  But I will take those 3 years and 9 months and cherish every bit of them, because my second husband made me the absolute happiest I'd ever been.  It is worth the pain...for me, at least. 

At the same time, I don't want to go through this again, but I will take that risk some day, because for me (and maybe not some others) having someone with whom I can share deep intimacy is critical to my happiness. I want to be happy again.

I don't know if this really answers your question, MrsTim.  But I understand your fear.

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

Mizpah

  • Member
  • Posts: 738
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 02:04:57 PM »
I don't try to keep it at bay.  I keep it right on the surface.  I, too, lost my love in a car accident.  Friday morning we left for work, told each other we couldn't wait to spend the weekend together, and by noon he was in brain surgery after having been hit by a car while standing on the sidewalk - healthy, happy, 28 years old.  ("Funny" part - he was 5 years younger than me, and I thought things like, "Thank Gd I'll never have to live without him because he's younger and I'll die first."  Uhhhh....)  Now I'm with a man who is three years older than me, *never* goes to doctors, doesn't take care of his health very well, works a job that is dangerous in many ways, engages in risky behaviors (rides a motorcycle, goes winter hiking alone - even when injured or ill, etc.), deals with depression.  Now, we don't have the easiest relationship, so who knows if we'll stay together, but I love him like crazy, and it is possible (likely?) I will outlive him.  Every time I call or text him and he doesn't answer, part of me assumes he's dead.  I wait a bit, send another text, "R u ok?"  Wait a bit: "I hope you're not dead."  I tell him all the time that when it comes to his health and safety, he is accountable to others - me, his son, our daughter, that it's not his right to not take care of himself (he quit smoking the day I moved in with him - it was a condition).  What's my point?  I'm scared.  He said something about a job he was on giving him cancer and I made some sarcastic comment about how sensitive it is of him to say such a thing to me, that I love burying men.  I don't think we can avoid the fear, and we know firsthand that even if the stats say we're gonna be ok, that someone is that small percentage and it could be any of us at any moment.  I figure I'll see him after work but anything can happen.  I just try to make sure we don't ever leave mad or go to sleep mad - stuff like that.  I take things as they come and try not to think into the future (a friend calls it "not bleeding before you're cut").  Being a widow so young makes it more likely that it will/could happen again.  The alternative though is staying alone, which is fine.  Doesn't carry the risk.  Or rather the certainty: we're gonna die, and so are they, quite possibly before us.  I meant this to be encouraging.  It didn't come out that way!!!!  Sorry!   
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

MrsT85

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 240
  • Widowed by a car accident at age 27
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 02:34:11 PM »
("Funny" part - he was 5 years younger than me, and I thought things like, "Thank Gd I'll never have to live without him because he's younger and I'll die first."  Uhhhh....) 

I've felt this way with both of my serious relationships now.  Tim was 8.5 years older, Fiance is 4 years older, but I have an incurable chronic condition - I'm a type 1 diabetic and have been for over a decade now.  "On average" (which I know in individual cases means very little), having this disease shaves a decade or more off someones life.  Tim's most serious chronic condition was eczema.  Fiance doesn't have any. 

Tim's dead.  Fiance's medical hiccup (whatever it is) is scaring the hell out of me.  Meanwhile, I've been plugging along with an insulin pump, without any serious complications and just one hospitalization over my dozen years with this stupid disease. I used to think (and it gave me much comfort), "at least the diabetes will kill me before he goes" too...
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face

Do You Realize??

01/12/1977-04/06/2013

patriciad

  • Member
  • Posts: 107
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 03:38:34 PM »
((((MrsTim))))
I do remember well when I started dating my DH2( almost 5 years ago).  I was an absolute crazy lady.  I worried if he was late(turned out he is chronically late), if he had little things on his physical exams that required "a deeper look".  One day, 2 months into our relationship, he gets word that he needs to follow up with a pulmonologist.  Something looking not quite right on his CT scan.  He was a 9/11 responder.  My DH1 died of lung cancer.  All I could think was that God could not possibly believe in irony and throw me that   curve ball again.  I prayed so hard and it turned out to be ok-something to keep and eye on.

I think after having lived through what we have lived through we never look at life the same.  I don't think that is going to go away-maybe fade a bit-but never go away.  That carefree, naive feeling that everything will turn out all right all of the time is gone.  We all know that it doesn't always work out that way.

I have learned to try to live in the moment.  To make plans but live for today.  Life is so fragile and we all know how it can be ripped from us in a minute.   But what is the alternative?  I can not envision a life without people for me to love deeply.  Sadly, grief is the very high price we pay for that. Take one day at a time.  Be with him when he checks things out with a doctor.  Be the nag when he doesn't.  And after all that , understand it isn't in our hands.  You deserve happiness and I guess you have to believe that, in order to take that giant leap back into the world of relationships.

Let us know how everything turns out.  He is in my prayers.

Pat

anniegirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 322
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 05:16:06 PM »
There is no way to vanquish the fear but you don't have to let it rule/paralyze you either.

My husband's LW had melanoma and I am a fair-skinned redhead. Going to the skin doc is just a way of life and I nearly need to have this or that bit of skin scraped or burned off. It really bugs him and in the beginning, he was more obsessive about my skin DR appts than I was, but over the years (8 now) he has settled down and gotten himself to a point where he just acknowledges that "it" could happen again.

And I had my moments too. The worst was when he had a minor heart attack just after our 3rd wedding anniversary. Very minor. Legacy of the stress of caregiving and he made a complete recovery with no lingering issues, but it's always there somewhere in my mind and I could do quite the number on myself if I let myself go there and dwell on it.

The reality is that one of us is going to die first. Statistically it's more likely to be him and we both decided long ago that living through widowhood again someday (hopefully a day years and years from now) was simply the price of admission to a second opportunity at love and remarriage.

When health scares come up (and I had a pretty big one myself a while back), you deal.

The diagnostic part is, imo, the worst because when you have no info at all, your imagination just naturally runs wild and fills in the gaps. I try to live by the motto "don't panic until there is a concrete reason to".

It's easier said than done.

But it's normal to be afraid of losing someone again. It takes time to feel safe and illnesses and accidents have a way of starkly reminding you that safety is mostly an illusion.

It's a good thing that your guy is getting things checked out. It's better to know than not. But don't spend time worry before you need to. People have "things" checked out all the time and usually, everything is fine.
This is not the droid you are looking for.

Melbar

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 06:14:32 PM »
I have nothing useful to add other than I totally relate.  This fear of 'what could happen' is undoubtedly the scar left behind that gets picked the most - and unfortunately, that will probably never change. Thank you, widowhood.  Thank you for the unwanted knowledge.

Now that I am madly in love again, it is right there on the surface, even though I try very hard to keep it hidden.  My bf has an incredibly demanding job, is having a hard time exercising like he should, eating right, and his father died of pancreatic cancer the same age as my husband who also died of a form of stomach cancer -- so it's in his family.  No worries there!

I made the remark once that if anything happened to him I would just die and he was so understanding and reminded me we just have to live one day at a time - so that is what I remind myself every time I start feeling it.  One day at a time.  I don't know if it helps, but it's truth.  ((hugs))  I am glad your guy is checking into it, and hope he gets the good news you need to hear. 

look2thesky

  • Guest
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 09:27:17 PM »
There's no way to know or prepare.
He's doing the right thing. Not every sore turns out something worse.

Trying

  • Member
  • Posts: 1607
  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2015, 06:37:37 AM »
I think it's inevitable that we think this way, that we worry.  The struggle is to keep the worry at a reasonable level.

As things are progressing with my BF I find myself asking him questions about his long term disability insurance, I'm making him do a will so his sister will have control over the children's life insurance money instead of his crazy ex. I've gone to medical appointments with him.  A part of me feels like of course he will be sick some day and I will take care of him, not so much a fear as just a reality.

I can only imagine that losing a spouse to an accident would bring a different type of anxiety.
You will forever be my always.

Carey

  • Member
  • Posts: 524
  • Widowed 11/23/13 Joined YWBB 12/2/13
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2015, 08:00:23 AM »
I drive my best friend crazy.  I "latched on" to him right after Chad died.  He reached out to me and he tells me all the time he "knows what he signed up for" as far as my particular brand of irrational crazy.  But if he gets a cold I baby him to death, if he goes 2-3 hours without texting  I ask if he's alive. I know it makes him nuts. He says it's a good thing I'm exercising all of this on him so I will have it out of my system when/if I find someone else and remarry.  But I wonder if it will ever go away? Life never seemed so frail before :(

So yea, nothing to add but I do understand that fear. And like we talked about on the thread the other day about the child going missing for a little while ... I DO tend to hold the crazy irrational fear at bay more than I guess I realize I'm capable of, but as soon as some OTHER stress rears it's head, it's like the strength to keep it at bay is gone and I get hit with it all. 
I can't look at the stars they make me wonder where you are. 
Stars.... up on heaven's boulevard
And if I know you at all
I know you've gone too far
 So I .... I can't look at the stars --Grace Potter

MrsT85

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 240
  • Widowed by a car accident at age 27
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2015, 12:12:08 PM »
I can only imagine that losing a spouse to an accident would bring a different type of anxiety.

I can only speak to my experience, but I've always been an anxious person.  The night he died wasn't the first night that he was late coming home and I thought he was crashed somewhere on the side of the road...it was just the first time I was right. 

And now that my anxiety has been shown (in one instance, but holy hell, what a terrible instance) to be justified, I feel like I'm constantly holding my breath, waiting for another distaster to strike.  I'm always - and pardon the expression, as a car accident widow it leaves a bad taste in my mouth but it's the best I can come up with - bracing for the next impact.  For the first several months, I felt like I spent every waking moment in a state of fight-or-flight.   And while I don't live there full-time anymore, it's so very easy for even a small obstacle to send me right back.
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face

Do You Realize??

01/12/1977-04/06/2013

Ants

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Keeping the fear at bay?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2015, 07:56:27 PM »
Thanks for posting MrsTim85

I feel the same way!