Many losses (long, sorry!)

munkosJanuary 17, 2007

When I was 14 my mother commited suicide. It was extremely rough on my sister and I. I had a very rough time getting over it, and I still cant even say I am over it. I still get angry with her at times, like when my sister got married, and when my niece was born. I was angry because she made a choice not to be there. I know when she did it, these things weren't on her mind, but she still made that choice.

4 years and 1 month later, my father passed away at work from a heart attack. He died on what would have been my mothers birthday. I hadn't seen him in a few weeks since he worked out of town. 6 months after that my sisters father also passed away from a heart attack. 2 days after that, my boyfriends grandpa. And just a year over that, his best friend passed away, as well.

So to say the least, our little network of support, is pretty broken. This saturday will be 2 years since my father passed. I have a hard time talking about it with my sister, as I dont want to drudge up memories of her father, but also my own as she and my dad were also extremely close. I can talk to my boyfriend, but while he understands loss, he doesn't understand what its like to be a 20 year old orphan. He tries to help, but more often than not he makes it worse. I feel bad for saying that, as I know he really is trying.

My fathers side of the family has been anything but supportive. They were all out for money from the beginning. They had a long list of how they wanted things done for the funeral etc, and I was expected to pay for it all. With no offer of any help. Recently there was a big to-do over the headstone. They had told me what they wanted done, I had asked them for pictures, but they didn't send them to me. I wasn't ready to do the headstone yet. It to me is the final step in saying goodbye, it finalizes everything, and I just wasn't ready. So they went behind my back and had a headstone placed. And my boyfriend REALLY angered me over this. He didn't understand why I was so upset with them. I was upset only because they made such a big deal out of having what they wanted done their way, and having ME pay for it. Then they didn't even ask what I wanted and did it behind my back.

All my boyfriend would say to me was "Well, you shouldve just done it, then. Force yourself and get it over with" and when I told him he couldnt say that because he cant say thats what he would do. And he told me "I do, I know I'd be like that" I guess he doesnt realise that when you lose your parents and become orphaned at 18, that you're not at all who you were before. Life doesnt just keep going the same as always after something like that.

Needless to say, I have a very difficult time talking to him since then, because I dont have the energy to fight over something like that, nor should I have to fight over something like that. I've tried talking to counsellors but they dont help much. I've been in therapy off and on since I was 7, theres not much they can tell me now that I havent already heard.

Im doing fairly well with my fathers death, despite having some major issues with anxiety and panic attacks. I've kind of learned to curb those myself. I do have bouts of extreme hypochondria too, but Im also able to get myself through those, too. But I still have melt down over the smallest menial things.

For instance; I inherited my fathers house, outright and fully paid for because the mortgage had life insurance. I also inherited quite a bit of money. A lot of it I would like to put towards bringing this house out of the 80s and into the current times. I had picked out tiles for the master bathroom yesterday, but when I went to order them I realised they were going to cost much more than I'd expected. I got home and had a melt down. I have such a hard time doing anything to this house, without wondering if my dad would approve of what I've done or not. I finally found something I felt comfortable doing, and knew he would like if he were here, and I couldnt do it. I just broke down. over TILES. I could plan an entire funeral when I was 18, but I cant even pick out wall tiles??!

I just wish I didnt have to struggle with the little things anymore, because they're the things that are still holding me back from completely moving on. I don't know what to do anymore.

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Munkos, we all deal with life in our own way - allow yourself to express your emotions. When the time is right, you will be comfortable to move on.

In the meantime, you are in control of what you do, so take your time and heal. When the time comes that you can think of the tile project without becoming upset, then do it.

Until then, just let your emotions flow - that's what aids the healing process.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 7:25AM
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I'm sorry you are having to go through all of this at such a young are only a little older than my older daughter and I can't imagine her handling things as well as you have so far. You sound like you are trying your hardest to do the right things.
I know this is the solution I usually bring to this forum, but I can't say enough about finding a grief support group. My husband and I went through an almost unbearable loss almost 2 years ago when our younger daughter died. I will tell you that connecting with other people that truly understood what we were going through made all the difference!
Grief is a have to go through it.....and a meltdown over tiles sounds perfectly normal to me! And planning the funeral at 18? You were on autopilot, it's amazing what we can do immediately after a loss.
Don't let your boyfriend or anyone else try to rush you through this.....and again, try to connect with a group or just people that might be able to help you. Your local hospitals, hospices, or churches are all places where you could seek out a support group. They are often free too.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Great points Angela - especially being on auto pilot! I know with my dad, it didn't hit me for a few months, and I continue to have my own little melt downs over stupid things too.

Munkos, I'm very sorry for all of the loss you've endured and having a boyfriend that is doing what he is doing does not help. Have you thought about taking a break? If he's missing his sensativity chip now, he probably will never have it, even if he experiences his own loss - trust me, I know.

I have a 13 year old daughter that had a bad year like you did. Her godmother / aunt on her dad's side died suddenly at 41 last year. The aunt's husband died a few months before her. They lived in the same house with my daughters father, so my daughter was pretty close to them. It all started with my dad being diagnosed with cancer, he eventually passed too a few months after the aunt. 6 weeks later, my father in law died (daughter's step G'pa), we then lost a neighbor my daughter "adopted" as a grandma. Like you there was tons of family animosity that my daughter ended up knowing about some how.

I think that you gave in with the head stone because you knew it needed to be done, and probably at this point, giving in was easier then fighting. If at some time you decide you really don't like it, call the company that made it, perhaps they can make some changes to it?

You probably will never get over losing your mom and may not understand why she did it. There are times when things get to be too much for people, it seems like the only way out. She was probably very depressed and not able to think clearly. Cherish the time you did have with her, focus on the good times.

It may be worth it for you to take a break from working on the house. Give it a few months, then go back to it when you're ready.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 9:30AM
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Thanks for your replies, and I'm sorry for you losses.

Just to clarify, I didn't give in on the headstone. They had made all these requests of things they wanted, but offered no help. I was at a standstill with the headstone, as they hadn't sent out any pictures I had asked them to send me, since they wanted them on the headstone. I guess I wasnt exactly ready to do it, either. But it was definately harder without any guidance at all, and no help. I was just told what to do, and how to do it. And to pay for it.

I guess I was taking too long, so they all went behind my back and did it, without asking me what I wanted. I got an email saying "You couldn't get things together, so we did it instead. Go see the headstone, its beautiful" I had no idea they had one in the works, until it was already placed on the gravesite. I would have at the very least liked them to take over the one I had been getting made, and put the finishing touches on it. But they didn't even ask what I wanted on the headstone.

My boyfriend isn't that bad. He just frustrates me. He didn't come into the picture until a month and a half after my dad passed away. So he wasn't there for most of the family drama, or the fights over money, and the fights my aunt had with my sister, pretty much telling my sister she had no say in anything because she wasn't related by blood. All he knows is what he's been told. And he's done remarkabley well considering I was and still am somewhat of a basketcase. He just walked in blindly not knowing what he was getting himself into at all, and he's put up with a lot. Going to lawyers apts with me, listening to me complain about people he's never met. Watch me cry for no real reason at all. Put up with my silly meltdowns over nothing all that important. That has to be tough to deal with, when you know hardly anything about the situation. He has done a lot for me, and he's put up with a lot of silly crazy meltdowns, and demands. So while he definately doesn't always say the right things, he's so good in other areas, and is really helpful or atleast tolerant that it makes up for it. It just stresses me out sometimes that he doesn't see things the way I do.

I'm really sorry about losing your daughter, I can't imagine.

I've done the group therapy, 3 times now I think. And I've done the counsellor thing for years. I really think it's just coming down to time, now. I'm not plagued daily by all of this, but anytime it comes down to something important, I just have the hardest time being decisive or following through with it. Thats the only thing holding me back from trying to move on. I cant do the important things. Group therapy is also a very bad place for me to be. I'm excellent at transferring others problems onto myself, to ignore my own problems. I usually end up miserable after group therapy, feeling very sorry for everyone else and feeling horrible for being sad about my situation when it could be worse. And then I get depressed because so many bad things are happening to so many good people. And my issues get worse, and get ignored. Group has never ended well for me.

Rose, I feel bad for your daughter. That sounds like a very rough, emotional year. I hope she's doing alright, and getting through everything okay.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 5:45PM
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