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Everything posted by Julester3

  1. Julester3

    Lost with two little kids..

    Sorry for your loss. I think you are doing a good job at this point. You are working, you are taking care of the kids, and you are putting on a brave face. Those are 3 giant accomplishments at 3 months. It is tiring. When I went back to work, I simply wanted to climb into bed when I got home but I checked in with the kids and their days. I depended on simple dinner and then I would put on pajamas and either zone out in front of the tv or go on my laptop. I had no energy to do anything else honestly. Be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. I saved chores for the weekend when I didn’t work but I allowed myself to not worry about these things during the week. Time varies for everyone. I think 3 months is still very fresh. As for finding yourself, it will have to happen at some point. I was with LH since We were 18 as well, dated for 5, engaged for 2, married for 15 years. So I understand your concern. There was always an us but I recalled my own identity. I had to look at my own strengths, accomplishments, and my interests to find it. I decided on what was important to me and what example I wanted to lead for my girls. You can do it when you are ready and do it on your own terms. Hugs today!
  2. Condolences on your wife. Teen girls....they are their own level of challenge. My girls were 12 and 16 when their dad died. They may be older than some other kids but gosh they still need chauffeuring, appointments, activities, needs, etc. and it’s exhausting when they didn’t drive either. I spent most most of my time working on them first and then myself second. I made their survival my absolute priority. I needed to find control of our lives and then figure out what I could manage and what I can’t and then find a viable solution. It sounds to me you might have to ease them into chores and strengthening the family unit. I had to stress this. I was the mom who did everything because I could and didn’t mind but when you have to work and provide, I had to change gears and they had to help. They miss my cooking but they understand when I choose to pick up carry out or keep it simple like soup and grilled cheese. They do chores and take care of the pets. They walk to places or decline invites because I’m at work. They understand we need to be a team and that sacrifices are necessary. I have also told them that they never have to get over losing their dad but they need to move forward and progress. He will always be a part of us. How I dealt with my grief? I was honest with the kids. If I was sad and having a bad day, I didn’t necessarily hide it and I would talk about it with them. This in turn encouraged for them to do the same. I often journaled to “speak” to my husband as I needed to vent and also work things out. I found hobbies that gave me piece of mind so I wasn’t feeling the oppression of sadness all the time. I did therapy and I came here a lot to read and gain perspective. I changed the way I did things so everyday or annual rituals weren’t painful. We changed seats in the kitchen, I hosted Thanksgiving instead of Christmas, we chose to do more experiences together rather than focus on material things. I also made myself make time for myself - go out with my own friends to get adult time and to recharge. It helped prevent horrible burnout and closeting myself at home as I could do. I knew I need to be well for my girls to be well. My energy effects them. I made sure I ate and stayed hydrated and I do my best to get at least 6 hours asleep a day. You can do this. We have dad’s here who did it and are still doing it. Read around here and get some perspective on other people's struggles that might be similar to yours. Tackle one thing at a time and be patient for those challenging teen years. Stay consistent and work on getting them to be part of the solution. Trust me, when I’ve had enough, I can call my sister in for reinforcement! Hugs to you today!
  3. Julester3

    A new WIDDA heading your way

    I have only known Widda. A friend of mine from PTA lost her husband over 10 years ago to cancer and knew of the previous site. She knew of Widda and referred me here. I’m good at self therapy and talking things through but sometimes I wonder if I’m off the path or if I’m unreasonable and coming here to read was so very helpful and helped me validate my feelings and emotions. Engaging in direct conversation is ideal but having the resource to read at your own pace and time was what I needed. I too felt not many people would really understand where I was coming from. I had my own therapist for grief but a lot of the work has to be done within. This site is a vital tool to me. Although I feel better than about 3 years ago and I have someone new who I truly care for, I feel the need to stay and be here when anyone needs support.
  4. Julester3

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    Have a great birthday Arneal!
  5. Julester3

    Going back to work

    I’m in biotechnology. I took 3 weeks before going back. I needed to make sure the kids were okay and I wanted to ease them back to school. I have my own office with a door so when it was hard I could work and cry in peace with my door shut and a polite note not to bother me unless necessary. I have flexibility being an only parent so it helped going back and not completely hating it.
  6. Julester3

    Last name change

    I’m kept my married name and I do have kids so I do like holding onto it as well. I’ve honestly thought about it and if I were to marry NG, I’d actually hyphenate last names. But for now, I’m not going back to my maiden name.
  7. Fuck finding yes something else I don’t have access to! Fuck for having yet another milestone with one of the kids that he is not a part of.
  8. Julester3

    MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPS

    I had to think this one over before responding. I have different friends through different interests. I found myself re-sorting my friendships. For the most part, I’m still generally congenial and friendly with many but I seriously closed up my core group of trusted people who I’d confide or share more with. Each person previously was in a different friend buckets before. It’s made me happier and I feel good and safe with my core group. They kept me together on an adult and individual level I needed that I would never burden the kids with. I know I have but to ask when I need help and they know how to be where other people just miss the mark. So it’s okay to re-examine your friendships and decide what works for you. If people don’t understand or don’t even want to try to, then they probably aren’t worth it.
  9. Julester3

    ANGER TOWARDS EVERYONE & EVERYTHING

    Please vent away! Nothing feels better than simply venting and being able to unload. We get it. Anger though is understandable in your situation. It’s hard to get over the unfairness this anger can stew. I also totally understand hating listening to friends bitch about their husbands. At least they still have a living one! It’s getting to be old hat, I’m sure. Hugs to you!
  10. LH was a child of divorce at a young age and he was not a holy terror. His parents were honest and amicable (always in front of him). It just didn’t work out is what they told him. He didn’t get the whole story but got bits and pieces and perspective as he got older. This is what made him secure that he had 2 loving parents above all. The only thing that didn’t help was when MIL didn’t want to give up LH for holidays and pouted, they humored her, even when LH got older and he was able to start making his own choices where to go and what to do. If he was to go to his dad’s and his mom wanted him, he went with his mom and his dad would be lucky if he even saw him. IMO it would have been better and fair to stick to the agreement to the t and not bend. It really set up a lot of issues once we got married. She expected for us to accommodate her needs regardless of his dad or my own family. By the teenage years, he knew of his mother’s bipolar manic depression as the issue of the break of his parent’s marriage. He understood that his dad made sure to be there in case she ever had bad episodes. He never knew the exact stories. I got those after LH passed away and it’s like a Lifetime movie. His mother got main custody while his dad got every weekend during the school year, alternating holidays, more chunks of time in summer. His mom started dating first when he was in kindergarten. His dad dated more actively when he was in middle school because he traveled a lot for work. Ironically MIL dated the same guy for many years and even moved in with him when LH was in high school. They got married one month before our wedding. We found out because my brother is a deputy sheriff at the courthouse they got married at. He saw them and they went alone. My FIL married his GF when we were in college. Sorry this got long! Honesty and not fighting can make a better secure child overall. I would say this was why we were so honest with one another and open. We were very upfront about expectations, personal beliefs, and goals. It was important to LH and he intended to have a single long marriage to me, not to die at 40. We had a good 15 years as husband and wife. We dated for 5 years, engaged for 2. 22 years is a good time to be with a person. I wish for more but I understand it was what I was meant to have and I’m grateful!
  11. Vent away! That stinks about the vacation. I would have done what you did in this situation - I'd have simply gone home. It's sad that you went to the therapist to sort of have a plan when conflict may occur but it seemed all for naught. You can't excuse poor behavior no matter the age in kids. I can't let my teens get away with it and they should be old enough to know better but as humans we all have lapses. You always need to address it or give them a statement that if it can't be addressed at that moment that it will surely be discussed and not forgotten or forgiven. Failure to do so will gives the child belief that they have free reign to misbehave. I also vouch for consistency as well. I have drilled the same litany rule phrases into my kids each and every time I see the misbehavior. I just need to start the phrase, they finish it, and it completely changes the scene. We re-set and start again. I don't expect perfection in my kids but I expect them to be good, respectful people and to apologize when they know they couldn't keep it together. Your NG needs to be honest with his kid, set up boundary rules, and simply stick to them. If you are not allowed to "help", he needs to step up, intervene, and explain things to his kid. I think only you can judge how much you can take if NG isn't even trying to improve or compromise. Hugs and fortitude! With my NG, lately I have observed that we ask one another permission first when we see something we might want to comment on but we try to establish rules and boundaries for the situation or activity where our kids will be interacting together so they know the expectations. What works to our advantage are the ages of our kids. My girls are 15 & 19. His are 12 & 9. So our potential rate for tantrums are very low and they can negotiate with one another and resolve conflicts before we adults have to intervene.
  12. Julester3

    Sad Loss Of WifeLess

    I am sad to see this. So very sorry!
  13. Definitely hard to properly analyze what runs through a 9 year old boy’s thought process! I appreciate any perspective!
  14. Julester3

    Widowed Jan 16, 2019.

    I am sorry you have joined us here but know we are here for you to listen, to read, and to talk. What you are experiencing is normal. You need to process and grieve. It takes time. It sounds cliche but it's true. Time softens the blow. Stay hydrated, cut yourself slack, and don't let anyone tell you how to grieve. It's different for everyone. Hugs!
  15. I wanted to share something. I made a Star Wars quilt for NG for Christmas but wasn't able to finish it until like last week. I had brought it over to his house and he was so excited and happy. I'm a crafter and I show affection by making and doing things for others. So a few days later he got his kids and his son asked him, "why would she go to so much trouble to make this for you?" It honestly really made me sad. I would say this shows what kind of marriage he had. Had his ex never do anything nice or thoughtful for him? Father's Day? Birthday? Christmas? It's obvious to me that if his son can't understand this that he never helped or saw his mother do anything for his dad. His son is 9 already. I just hope he can learn his dad has value and deserves nice things.
  16. Julester3

    I { } someone new.

    I totally get it. My LH was very touchy-feely physical, sexual being when we were alone so when he died I soon found myself starving from skin deprivation. He was my high school sweetheart and I didn't date as an adult. I had to figure myself out and decide what I wanted. I had a quick encounter as well 1 year out and it really helped that craving/starvation feeling that plagued me. I never saw him or contacted him again. I analyzed the encounter knowing that not having a mental connection and affection with the man was never going to work. That guy wasn't it. You will learn from this experience as I did. Hugs and good luck!
  17. Just chirping in to also add don't overthink it or try to control it. I agree to just enjoy it. You don't have to make any future life plans, contingency or what not. I know what it's like to miss that symbiotic, intuitive relationship but don't compare it. It's not fair to you or to the person you are dating. Love them for them. Yes, it will be definitely different and not what you'd expect or used to but that is normal and okay. Why not have the conversation so you have a clear vision of expectations? We all deserve some love and affection.
  18. Julester3

    Reflections at 5 years out from my second loss…

    Hugs Maureen! Thank you for the perspective and the sharing!
  19. We had a discussion on it. We took the kids out for authentic Japanese ramen over the weekend before they go back to school and I explained that sometimes I can't talk right away about issues or feeling I might be experiencing. He mentioned that I tend to shut down a bit and become less sharing but I let him know to please not to take offense. Sometimes, I need time to understand and work through these things in my head. I can't always verbalized what I'm feeling but I told him not to worry and I'd talk about it when I would be ready. I think he's worried it's him or something he's done but I find that like in this NYE situation, I did something different and my inner reaction became sad. What I chose to do that day wasn't wrong and I didn't have s terrible night. I think my brain was calibrated for an all nighter and looking for more and it didn't happen that way.
  20. This was our first time trying to navigate the holidays as a dating couple. We decided to spend the Saturday, the 22nd, together with our kids. We had pizza, exchanged gifts, binged on various Christmas chocolate truffles, and played games with the kids. It was fun and low key. I did Christmas Eve with MIL and her husband's family like we used to. Christmas was at my sister's house. They told me to bring NG over whenever he was alone on a holiday. He had his kids on Christmas Eve but not the day. He had other invites but was unsure what he wanted to do. We celebrated during lunch at my sister's so we could be home by evening. I made sure we all finished packing for our flight to Austin to see my FIL and family early Wednesday morning. I did sneak over to NG's quickly for a little romance and he was sad I was going to be gone through the weekend especially since he didn't have his kids. We came home NYE afternoon. The kids went to their friend's places for sleepovers and I went to NG's where we went to a party for a few hours. We ended up at his house around 10:30 and I knew it was because he missed me a lot. But, it sort of made me sad. In the past, I've always partied all night surrounded by family and friends. Okay, not party really but eat all night and play games and do movie marathons with people until midnight where we celebrate and drink champagne for the countdown and then we carry on until none of us can stay up anymore. I never ever went to sleep early. It was so quiet and different than what I've always done. It seemed anti-climactic and unsatisfying for a New Year's Eve. Does that make sense? I did something totally different than what I was used to and it made me sad. I got to sleep with NG and cuddle with him but the quiet and peace was just too quiet and peaceful. I left early in the morning, no lingering, no muss, or little fuss as I had to go home to take care of the dog and cats. He felt I left abruptly with little comment and that I seemed annoyed. I know I was working through how I felt, trying to understand my feelings and reaction. I brushed it off and texted him later that I was just overtired having just flown in from Austin, barely was home, dropped kids off, and went to meet him to go to a party. Traveling tires me out and it catches up with me so that was true. I just didn't share my sad little feelings since I was still mulling them over. So that is it in a nutshell - I think this is the first awkward holiday season phase. I try to keep simple resolutions. I made quite a few this time but they are meaningful. I want to try to exercise better and improve my fitness. I want to clean my hobby room and reorganize. The kids want to go through their dad's clothes and donate good items to the men's shelter. I want to do better carving time out for my friends each month and spending time with them. I would also try to be mindful of NG's schedule so we can do more together.
  21. Julester3

    Starting a new Hobby to eat up time

    I have plenty of hobbies and I really needed them to fill the blank time and it was my main coping skill. My kids are teens and are quite self sufficient. LH and I were able to spend a lot of time with one another pursuing our own interests (he'd play video games and I'd work on a craft) or we'd watch TV or movies together because the kids were at band or tennis or out with their friends. The emptiness that was left when he died was huge to me. I did not have his physical companionship any more or witty banter. I had to keep busy as constant as I could, be distracted when I wasn't already busy working or doing things with the kids. I could often feel the sadness consume me when I did nothing but watch TV and I had no interest in reading anything even though I love to read. So, I went on this crocheting binge. I made several shawls, many scarves of all different types, blankets, afghans, hats for cats. It kept my mind busy and my hands occupied. I also scrapbooked like a fiend. I wanted to preserve our memories while I could focus on them. I was once several years behind. Now, I literally am so caught up with nothing to scrapbook other than an album dedicated to my LH. I am not ready for it. Not yet. The hobbies really helped me cope and redirect my energy positively. They didn't drain me but invigorated me. So I didn't have to learn any new hobbies. I just focused on a few that I already had.
  22. Julester3

    Picking up the pieces

    That skin deprivation is killer especially if you had a healthy intimate relationship with your LH. I was feeling starved pretty quickly, looking for touch and physical comfort. I pretty much retreated into myself because I knew I wasn't ready. I continued to journal and work through my thoughts and feelings. It was a brutal cut off and one of the hardest things for me to cope with. It was hard to even think I could be intimate with someone else and at first I felt I could do without it. However you learn when you get acquainted to the new version of yourself and can identify what you need and what would make you happy. I do believe you are right that it's best first to love yourself enough to wait and look for a healthy love. I had to learn and it made me a better person and helped me to be patient to look for a good relationship and not to despair. Read some of the dating threads and the discussion is crazily accurate. Give yourself more time to reflect and one day you will know when you're feeling brave to venture out there. Hugs today!
  23. Julester3

    Need advice first real relationship

    It's really hard to say how. I think it's mindset really. I do a lot of self coaching trying to decide and understand what is acceptable to me. I'm good with sharing my feelings and opening up but my own personal hang up is the ability to make any potential long term goals or plans involving him. I am not ready to take this level of risk. I fear making long term permanent plans. What I have told my NG was that, yes, my heart will always have a love for LH. However, love for me is not a set amount. For me, love grows and any love or affection I have for him is his. I think you need to understand yourself and your feelings first and foremost. I have learned from my loss that life is uncertain so I think that has helped me be more open and willing to pursue a relationship than to wallow in solitude and sadness. It is not what LH would want for me. I know he would want me loved and cared for in some way. My kids also encouraged and supported me as well so that helped. Sorry for the random ramblings but I as just typing as it came to me. Good luck!
  24. Thanks for the update. I'm beginning to feel as you do. NG's beloved grandmother just died last week and she really liked me and loved that I make her grandson happy. She asked me to see her in hospice and I did. She wants me to marry NG but we just laughed it off. We have too many factors to consider if we were to marry and combine. I can see more negatives to the adult responsibilities: dealing with exes, kids, expectations on one another and of each other's kids, finances, where to live. It's better to maintain separate households and just enjoy what we can carve out. I would have also been an all or nothing girl like I was with LH as a young woman but experience and age has also changed me too and has me re-prioritizing what i feel is important.
  25. Julester3

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    I love hearing the good news! Congrats!
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