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Question on self confidence

Posted by Leogirl (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 15, 05 at 12:09

I'd like to get some feedback from some of you - especially those who have experienced the loss of a spouse. Did you have - or are you now having - problems with your self confidence? Previously I felt very self confident and self sufficient. I never connected that to my husband or our marriage since I felt that way before I met him. Did I lose my self identity somewhere or what has happened? I feel so inadequate and I've noticed that I have trouble maintaining eye contact when I'm talking with someone. Also, I've never avoided confrontation and now I try to dodge it and, worse yet, I find that if I can't dodge it I have a reaction to run from it. (the fight or flight seems to be missing the fight part). This is so unlike me - and I hate being this way. It's bad enough that I hate my life right now but I've turned into the kind of person I can barely tolerate! I just pray each day - sometimes several times a day - for the courage and strength I need to get through this grief. It's like when my husband died a part of me - most of me - just left. Do any of you know if I'll be back? Is it better to fight to get it back or does this just run a course like so many other aspects of grief? I realize that I won't get my life back but I'd like to have MYSELF back for this new life I'm enduring. Thank you all.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Question on self confidence

Leogirl, I have avoided answering your post because I have not been in your shoes, and I am by no means an expert on this subject. That said, I must say that think what you are feeling is not uncommon. You are grieving, you are very naturally emotionally drained from all that you've been through and confrontation and outward strength may be too draining for you right now. You have had to be strong for a long time now, you have been through so much. But NEVER give up on yourself. You are obviously a kind, compassionate loving person. You DESERVE to be happy again. Through the fog of grief being confident and happy again may not seem possible, but it is. Your husband wants you to heal and be happy, you know he does. God wants this for you too. Your precious grandchild needs you to heal and find your joy and your purpose again. I know you can do it.

Your newly changed life can be fulfilling again, but you need actively work to recapture your inner strength and spirit. I don't think you should just let these feelings run their couse and hope for the best. You deserve better than that. Have you considered professional help to do this? Is it possible that your grief may be evolving into a depression? I'm not saying it is, but if it is, head it off. Depression can and will get better with proper care and treatment. Perhaps some medical attention may be in order to assist you in this period. I don't mean this in any way to be hurtful to you. I can tell that you are a very nice person that is hurting too much. You recognize the loss in yourself and want to get better or you would not have posted this. Please be kind to yourself and speak to your doctor, or a counselor or someone who can provide you with trained guidance so that you can heal and move forward in the most healthy way possible. Even if it is not depression, professional help following the death of someone we love can speed our healing. Reaching out for help is the first step in reclaiming the life you chart for yourself.

Forgive me if I sound preachy, I don't mean to. I just want to reach out and tell you that you can feel better about yourself, because you are clearly such a nice person and you deserved to feel better. I have witnessed women I know who lacked self confidence come out of this period stronger and more self confident than ever. Given that you were independent and self confident before, I want to believe that when you are healed, you'll be even more so than you ever imagined you could be. Please make the choice to help yourself regain your happiness.

I sincerely wish you the best. Please let us know what we can do to support you as you work through this. ((Leogirl)) Be well.


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RE: Question on self confidence

Thank you, Movingon. You don't sound preachy and I think you are giving good advice. Thanks for the kind words, too. I am going to a therapist who was recommended to me by an aquaintance whose daughter was murdered by her husband. I thought if she could help her she could surely help me. Maybe it will, eventually, but I've never had counseling before and I don't even know what I'm supposed to do really. I guess I want a quick fix - I've never had much patience - and there is no quick fix for this. And there have been complications with things associated with his death which has thrown me into a situation of having to deal more with business than with my personal feelings. Maybe that is part of it but, unfortunately, it cannot be avoided. Thanks again for setting aside your own grief long enough to help me.


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RE: Question on self confidence

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I'm glad to hear that you have found someone to help you work through this. Please let us know whenever there is anything that you can think of that we can do to support you in your healing. You helped me as soon as I signed on to this board, and I am grateful for your kindness. I wish you all the best. Hugs.


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RE: Question on self confidence

I'm so sorry that you are dealing with these feelings. I know it is hard enough to deal with the sadness itself without having other problems along with it. Any loss can result in a person's loss of self esteem. It doesn't always happen but it is common. I'm not sure why this sometimes happens. I'm so glad that you are getting professional help. I wish that I could tell you how to fix this, but I really think that it a part of the journey through grief that many people face that gradually improves with time.
I wish I could be of more help.
Lu


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RE: Question on self confidence

Leogirl,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I believe I've experienced the same feelings you're going through, although my loss was not as significant. It was due to the love of my life having an affair (I had no clue) and leaving.

Like you, when my significant other left, I suddenly lost my self esteem and self confidence. It was as if the rug had been pulled out from under me. Never in my whole entire life did I feel so scared. It was as if I was scared to live. Suddenly, I became apprehensive going about my routine activities (going to the market, the post office, etc.). I was even afraid to make decisions, the same type of decisions I made before with confidence.

I wasn't sure what was happening and I surely didn't like the "new" me. It was as if I had lost "me" somewhere. As I slowly got over the loss, I began to feel much better about myself. It was a slow process.

At the time, a close friend suggested I seek professional help but for whatever reason, I did not take her advice. In hindsight, perhaps if I had done so, I would have been back to my usual self much more quickly. It was a painful journey for me but perhaps it'll help you to know that I managed to survive it.

You are not alone.

chocoholic


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RE: Question on self confidence

Thanks to all of you who responded. I talked about this when I went to my counseling session earlier this week. While talking I realized that what I'm avoiding is conflict not confrontation, which initially seemed the same to me but really isn't. I told my therapist that it makes me feel like I'm weak and lacking confidence. She said maybe I need to cut myself some slack. She suggested that maybe it isn't that I'm avoiding conflict because of a lack of self confidence but instead maybe my plate is just full right now and one more thing is just one thing too many. She said maybe I should stop using these labels like weak and just realize that I have a lot going on right now and it isn't permanant. I guess my mind is too much of a jumble right now to come up with this on my own but when she suggested that I give this possibility some thought it seemed clear to me. I think I'm just expecting too much out of myself and I have to work on part of it and just let part of it be for now. Still, everything you all have said has helped in one way or another and I appreciate you for taking the time to help me. Take care - Leogirl


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RE: Question on self confidence

Sometimes we can't find the answer until we hear the question a few times. Now that the question has been reflected back to you, I hope with the help of counseling, you find your answers.
I think you're doing wonderfully well just to keep working through this.

Nell


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RE: Question on self confidence

Hi Leogirl. I have been lurking around this forum for the 14 months since my husband died. I am so sorry that everyone here has to have a death of a loved one being the common thread that we share. There are no words that I can offer to you that will help other than to share what I have gone through. That, it seems, is opposite of your reaction in that I immediately threw myself into doing what needed to be done (in my mind)and not letting myself fully feel the loss. I have gone overboard in showing my "strength" by redoing almost everything I can think of physically with my home and what was "ours" rather than take time to let reality sink in. After 14 months I still find myself thinking, "Okay, the joke's over....you can come back now". I can't even comfortably look at a picture of him....at least the healthy him. His cancer was only diagnosed 2 months before he died and the "sick" him that died was almost easy to let go of since he was suffering at the end. It's the "healthy" husband that seems to have just gone on a trip or a visit and is out there somewhere......... I guess what I wanted to say to you is that no matter how we choose, not that we have a choice of how our emotions play out, to carry on, that brick wall of reality will have to be faced at some point. You are wise in seeking help from a therapist while some of us, certainly me, continue to hide behind a mask of strength. I am waiting for and somewhat fearing the day that I let my reality in......
I see on your page that you are also from Tennessee.....anywhere near East Tennessee?
May you find each day a little easier to cope and love that blessed grandchild! Mine are surely the best reasons I can think of to see the brightness of the future.


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RE: Question on self confidence

Jae, Thanks for your reply to my post. To answer your last question first, yes, I live in East Tennessee in Blount County. Where are you? I was glad to hear from you - I'm sorry for the circumstances that brought you here to begin with but since we're in the situation anyway it's nice to have this place, isn't it? Honestly, I think I'm dumping the therapist. I was given several books which have helped me tremendously and my therapist keeps telling me how I seem to be very self aware, understand the stages of grief, etc. I'm thinking that $85 bucks would pay for a massage which would probably relax me more than my sessions with her! I've also been very fortunate that I have a very good support group in my family and friends. I just miss Bob so much that I can hardly bear it and I think sometimes it's all fresh again. I go home and almost expect to see him sitting there. And do you have people telling you how good you are doing? I get that a lot and I want to just scream! I guess they mean well but "good" is not the word I would use to describe me. Take care and thanks again for responding to my post.


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RE: Question on self confidence

Leogirl, we are practically neighbors.......I am in Roane County. We should get together for lunch or something sometime! I really don't have people telling me that I'm doing good, rather that I am "hard to do anything for". I am determined to not be a pest to my neighbors and will do everything I possibly can before I call for help. It is just in my nature to be independent and I guess remaining so is just another coping mechanism. I am 59, we were married almost 40 years, and I just can't imagine the rest of my life doing the same old stuff that I am doing now! The rut I am in has gotten old already and I can only blame myself for not changing things to a more productive lifestyle! I need a good kick in the pants to get inspired to do something.....


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RE: Question on self confidence

I'll e-mail you soon - I guess we shouldn't use the message board to talk back and forth! It's nice that we've "bumped into each other" here. Maybe we could meet for lunch but I have to suggest that we both bring a friend along the first time. Not that I think you are being dishonest about who you are but I know someone who thought she knew who she was talking to only to learn that the person wasn't even the sex he claimed to be - and that was just the start! Be careful about meeting up with people you meet online. I don't mean to lecture and everyone who posts here seems great but we're vulnerable and some of us still aren't thinking clearly and it just pays to be safe. Take care -


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RE: Question on self confidence

Leogirl, I've been thinking about you. How are you doing?


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