Loss and Grief: How are you doing?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Jan 16, 2018

When my dad passed away several years ago I lost my keys 4 times in one month, I would wake up at 3 a.m. several days every week feeling startled. Sound familiar? These are reactions to grief. Grief is a very personal experience – everyone grieves differently – even in the same family because the relationship of a father is different than that of a wife or a granddaughter. Unfortunately, often we grieve alone. Sometimes we don’t want to “bother others” with our grief, and sometimes friends and family tell us that we should be over it by now. After all the person we lost was ill for a long time or was very old and “it was their time” or “they are in a better place now.” Sound familiar?

Grieving is often described as the “work of grief.” It does feel like hard work doesn’t it? Grief can be difficult because of the many factors related to the loss. If the loss followed a prolonged, serious illness you undoubtedly did some “anticipatory grief work” prior to the actual death of the loved one. If the loss, however, was sudden, i.e., accident related, suicide, a result of crime, etc. the sense of grief is coupled with shock.

The relationship that you had with the loved one also affects your grief experience, i.e. was your relationship close or had it been strained? Do you feel guilt that you were not closer or do you feel guilty because you don’t feel you did enough to help while your loved one was ill?

Sometimes anger plays a part in the grief process. Did your loved one get poor medical treatment or a wrong and/or late diagnosis? Did your loved one not follow your doctor’s orders with regard to their health (diet, smoking, attention to meds or exercise)? All of these factors contribute to your experience of grief.

Also, some losses are not so evident to others. These would include a miscarriage or a stillborn. Sometimes these losses are not considered as relevant to others as the loss of a person who has lived a longer life. In the case of a miscarriage, others might not even be aware of your loss.

You may think of that person on anniversary dates (their birthday, date of their death) or you might think of them constantly. Unfortunately, sometime people say things that can multiply grief. Have you ever heard someone say, “you should be over this by now?” or “I had a similar experience and I’m OK.” Well, most likely their similar experience was not the same as yours. Thinking you should be over it might compound your grief with feelings of guilt or frustration.

Whether a recent loss, or a loss you experienced a long time ago, let’s talk about it. Whatever your experience, I’d like to hear your stories and together find a way to relocate that loved one so that we can experience peace in our lifetime.

Together let us support each other in our grief journey.

Teresa

@trider7140

I appreciate the suggestions of going to the cemetery and talking to my mom about some of my feelings that might be coming out in dreams. I'm not able to do this, since she donated her entire body as an anatomical bequest to the U of M medical school, as did her mother before her. We are not having her ashes returned to us, instead they will be held in a joint colombarium or something when the school is finished with them.

I have been trying to talk to her out loud a bit lately to just try to recognize her ongoing presence in my life, which is very hard for me to feel. I'm a deeply spiritual, empathetic person, a Presbyterian minister, and I've been surprised that she feels so far away from me. No signs, no meaningful dreams, no "presence." Just absence. It's incredibly painful.

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@trider7140 If you have something of your mother's, or some physical thing that reminds you of her, you could use that for your meditation focus to call up the good memories of your mother and the love you shared. Aloud or not and what you use is irrelevant, the end result is the aim, right? I assume your mother lead you to your spiritual life and ministry, so perhaps your bible or one of your spiritual books may be something you shared that can help your focus. For me the first are always the worst after a loss. The first time anything happens that you would have shared with your mother may be a huge trigger. It gets easier for me as time passes, but that first event was tough each time. You have the best resources at hand, which puts you far ahead of many. God Bless.

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@trider7140

I've been reading through so many of your posts. My mom died in November, at the age of 82, but unexpectedly. She had been a single parent, and raised not only me, but was a foster parent to 58 children over more than 40 years. She was my best friend and we talked every day for over 20 years, although we had an atypical relationship in which I grew up as a mini-adult, so she was more a friend to me than someone who was nurturing as a mother. Complicated relationship, and I'm grieving deeply.

My dad, who I had a relationship with, even though my parents were divorced, passed away the year before, after fighting Alzheimer's for five years. I was relieved for him that his struggle was over, and the grief journey hasn't been as painful.

What is bothering me the most is that I'm having nightmares and bad dreams about my mom — she's always very angry with me, and in the last one, tried to suffocate me. I have no idea what to do with such awful stuff. I spend my days crying for the mom I miss so much, and then this stuff comes out at night?

Yes, I do have a therapist to talk to, as well as a grief group which starts in a couple of weeks.

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@trider7140 I have just made my way back to your original post. I wonder if you had a chance to say goodbye to your mother or if it was too quick and she was gone before you got to her. If so, it may be that you are angry that you were robbed of that last healing conversation. Anger can be suffocating, which is a close association to your dream in my opinion. She actually may also be angry that she was unable to have that last "blessing" goodbye discussion. If you and she ever talked about her death and after death wishes, remembering that conversation might help you now. I know it helped me when my father died and will also help when mother passes. The time was right for him and is right for mother whenever it happens. They lived hard, difficult lives providing and caring for many people in many ways. They had nothing to regret, even though they did regret any time anything happened that they wished they could have changed. In my chain of thinking they "earned" their death. They were faithful and true and I will always remember them that way. It is not easy, but it is "right" that they should go before me and not have to live through my death.
I have been angry at someone's death when teenagers I mentored lost their lives driving recklessly after drinking and driving carelessly. That was tougher for me but I was able to get past it my remembering that they took the risks knowing the possibility of the consequences they received. It would have been worse for me if they had taken those risks without knowing that there was another way, because that would have meant that they really had no one in their lives to teach or show them better choices.
I do believe that if you can find a way to focus more on the good memories with your mother it will help you heal, but these coming months will be tough. Thankfully you have resources on board to help you make it through. And, we are all here for you. Blessings.

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The value of tears. Just wanted to share with you a short video from Dr. Amit Sood about how tears are healing to our body and our spirits.

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@hopeful33250 I have not a clue how to post a link. I recently watched a couple of youtube videos on complex trauma by Diane Langberg. This so describes how my world feels. Now finding a therapist that possibly help in restructuring my fractured mind. There are more than one of her talks. No wonder there are so many suffering needlessly or so it seems. Wondering if any of us can try to still have quality of life now that our stressed bodies of so many years are now showing the abuse. Her videos have gotten my wheels spinning and my mind reeling. It is scary what humans do to one another. Also sad to abuse the mind of a small child or even an adult. I try to believe that this was not the intent of the caregivers. I try to believe that man is still kind in some way.
I still am saddened by the suicide of my father. He is still my hero though. Aging brings with it so much dying. Trust my heart will not become hardened to the pain and suffering of others. I know my heart tries to not feel the pain. Tears cloud my vision but rarely fall.
To all of you grieving I hope you can find some comfort and peace in something.

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@parus

Thank you for sharing Diane Langberg's information. You are right in that she has several YouTube videos about complex trauma. Here is one of those.

If you view this video, will you share something that was helpful to you?

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@hopeful33250

@parus

Thank you for sharing Diane Langberg's information. You are right in that she has several YouTube videos about complex trauma. Here is one of those.

If you view this video, will you share something that was helpful to you?

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@hopeful33250 This was the first one I listened to and I then started to understand some better about self harming. I know I have a hard time with the feeling I am bad and this is why bad things happened. At times it is so hard to see anything good about life and this world. More to it than depression and PTSD. Just don’t know anymore. Currently I am not even excited about flowers. Just isn’t worth it right now.

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@hopeful33250

@parus

Thank you for sharing Diane Langberg's information. You are right in that she has several YouTube videos about complex trauma. Here is one of those.

If you view this video, will you share something that was helpful to you?

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This was a great video for anyone who is trying to "figure out" why they aren't "normal". My mom had me when she was barely 14. She and my dad married and have been married for 61 years. They both came from traumatic childhoods but I never recognized that until I became an adult. My parents went on to have 3 more children after me, giving them 4 kids by the time my mom was 20. That was back in the 50's. I guess it wasn't totally out of the norm to have kids at a young age. I didn't know any better until I started kindergarten and I would hear other kids asking me if my mom was my mom or my older sister. I also heard comments from room mothers about how young my mom must have been when she had me. I guess I felt like I was well-adjusted and didn't know the difference. As time went on, I grew into quite a chubby little girl. I can remember my mom jerking me around in dressing rooms when it came time to buy school clothes, or special occasion dresses; i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc. I can remember how I felt. She was angry at me for something I couldn't control. She was feeding me what I was eating. But looking back, I think I developed an eating disorder from all the comments and subconscious "things" I was trying to figure out in my mind. And I was embarrassed….of myself and my situation at home. At no time we were ever physically or sexually abused. Never. But my mom wasn't mature enough mentally or physically to take care of 4 kids at such an early age. She was a stay at home mom, cooked and cleaned. There was always a hot meal on the table. We were active in sports. I was a straight A student. But I always felt like there was something wrong with me….When I was 16 I became pregnant with twins. My mom never gave my sister nor I "the talk" and to tell you the truth, I really had no idea about sex or pregnancy. I think I was searching for some kind of love and attention and started dating the brother of my best friend. When my parents figured out that I was pregnant, they were mortified. I remember being called a slut, whore, "loose", and I as whisked away to get an abortion. I only found out when I was on the table in the middle of the procedure that I was carrying twins. I begged the doctors to stop. I wanted to talk to my parents and tell them that I could not go through with it. It didn't happen. I was traumatized beyond words. It happened that day and it was never, ever mentioned again. Ever. I graduated from hs with honors and always dreamed of being a teacher. I was told there was no $$ for college so I'd better figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life because after I graduated, I was on my own. My senior year, I quit cheer leading, dropped out of academic classes and took business classes to learn to type, do office work, etc. I started working the day after I graduated. My parents did let me stay at home the next year because I was working and able to "pull my own weight" and went on to marry my high school sweet heart. As most little girls always dream, I wanted a church wedding and my boyfriend and I saved every dime we could to pay for it. My mom never went dress shopping with me or had any interested in the planning of the wedding. It was in the earl 70's and nothing fancy but there were plans that needed to be taken care of. My grandmother did everything with me. As life went on and there were other big events in my life, my mom was never there for me. When I would get a better job, she would ask me who I screwed to get it, etc. My husband and I bought and sold little homes to get the down payment on a permanent family home as we had two children of our own by them. My mom berated me telling me that I thought I was better than everyone else in the family because we had a new home. I had almost every family function, holiday, etc. in that house because I loved having my family and I WANTED to do it….I wasn't shoving what I had accomplished down anyone's throat. They were glad to come and partake of the parties, that's for sure. My daughter had a stroke when she was 12 years old. She wasn't expected to live. She is now 38 and is doing fine. She still has some residual affects from the stroke but is gainfully employed, drives and is doing better than anyone ever expected her to be. My mom was little support during this time. My grandmother stepped up. I don't know what I would have done without her. When my son graduated from high school (shortly after 9/11) he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. I begged him not to. He was in his second year of college and wanted to be a teacher and football coach (his passion). He left for boot camp on 1/13/2002 and was in Iraq by September of that year. My life came crashing down around me. It was the worst of the worst. My son was in the middle of the war at 19 years old and there wasn't a damn thing i could do about it other than pray, pray, pray. When he returned home from that first deployment, we were all elated…..God had brought him back to us and he was ok. Three months later his unit redeployed and this time it was holy hell. He was stationed near Fallujah and if any of you know anything about the was in Iraq, Fallujah was the hot spot. He had a very difficult time on that deployment, having lost three of his buddies literally right before his eyes. I had started a new job and was under so much stress. My husband was no support at all. No one in my family was either. When my son returned home, he was a mess. PTSD and a TBI debilitated him. But, he was a Marine and three months later was headed back to Iraq for a third tour. I went over the edge. Depression and that out of control feeling over came me. My husband grew more distant. I came home from work one day and found him loading up his truck. He told me he met someone at work and he had filed for divorce. I was devastated. Our daughter still lived at home and she was beside herself that her dad would leave the family when there was so much going on. We divorced, had to sell that dream home everyone begrudged us about and for the first time in my 56 years I was alone. When my son was finally discharged, he was a mess. PTSD, TBI and he had become an alcoholic. His dad was no where to be found. I begged my ex, my family and the VA for help but there was none. On the morning of 1/3/12, my 29 year old son took his life. There are no words to explain the heart ache and shock of losing a child, much less to suicide. That was 7 years ago. My family has totally abandoned me because I can't "move on". They live 10 minutes away and I rarely see or hear from them. I have been in every kind of support group, been on medications, been to grief retreats but I just can't get out of this deep, dark hole. I really want to leave this earth but can't do that to my daughter. She has already lost her brother and her dad isn't in her life. I know this is a lot….and it is….but I just can't figure out how to keep on living….

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I really appreciate you sharing your story, @sadiesmom. You are undoubtedly a survivor and I appreciate the effort it must have taken just to share this story with Connect. It has been a difficult journey for you, I can tell.

What are you able to do in order to help yourself?

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@sadiesmom Thank you for sharing. You mentioned not being normal. Considering all you have been through seems more than many could have endured. There are times we do not have the answers as to the “why” of things. When I listened to these videos I started to realize how strong and brave some people are and how the abusers have been terribly deceived believing they are strong to harm others for whatever their reasons may have been. I know I have always wondered what makes some cruel and others not. I can not think on this long as I would surely go insane. My mind can not grasp these things. As I read your words I can feel your despair on some level. I hope you will continue sharing and may find some comfort here. Listening to the words of Diane Langsberg help to make a little sense of how our minds have been damaged by things that do not make sense even now.
I grew up with an abusive mother too.

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@hopeful33250 I am still pondering your question as I am still trying to sift through my thoughts. A lot to digest.

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@sadiesmom

This was a great video for anyone who is trying to "figure out" why they aren't "normal". My mom had me when she was barely 14. She and my dad married and have been married for 61 years. They both came from traumatic childhoods but I never recognized that until I became an adult. My parents went on to have 3 more children after me, giving them 4 kids by the time my mom was 20. That was back in the 50's. I guess it wasn't totally out of the norm to have kids at a young age. I didn't know any better until I started kindergarten and I would hear other kids asking me if my mom was my mom or my older sister. I also heard comments from room mothers about how young my mom must have been when she had me. I guess I felt like I was well-adjusted and didn't know the difference. As time went on, I grew into quite a chubby little girl. I can remember my mom jerking me around in dressing rooms when it came time to buy school clothes, or special occasion dresses; i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc. I can remember how I felt. She was angry at me for something I couldn't control. She was feeding me what I was eating. But looking back, I think I developed an eating disorder from all the comments and subconscious "things" I was trying to figure out in my mind. And I was embarrassed….of myself and my situation at home. At no time we were ever physically or sexually abused. Never. But my mom wasn't mature enough mentally or physically to take care of 4 kids at such an early age. She was a stay at home mom, cooked and cleaned. There was always a hot meal on the table. We were active in sports. I was a straight A student. But I always felt like there was something wrong with me….When I was 16 I became pregnant with twins. My mom never gave my sister nor I "the talk" and to tell you the truth, I really had no idea about sex or pregnancy. I think I was searching for some kind of love and attention and started dating the brother of my best friend. When my parents figured out that I was pregnant, they were mortified. I remember being called a slut, whore, "loose", and I as whisked away to get an abortion. I only found out when I was on the table in the middle of the procedure that I was carrying twins. I begged the doctors to stop. I wanted to talk to my parents and tell them that I could not go through with it. It didn't happen. I was traumatized beyond words. It happened that day and it was never, ever mentioned again. Ever. I graduated from hs with honors and always dreamed of being a teacher. I was told there was no $$ for college so I'd better figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life because after I graduated, I was on my own. My senior year, I quit cheer leading, dropped out of academic classes and took business classes to learn to type, do office work, etc. I started working the day after I graduated. My parents did let me stay at home the next year because I was working and able to "pull my own weight" and went on to marry my high school sweet heart. As most little girls always dream, I wanted a church wedding and my boyfriend and I saved every dime we could to pay for it. My mom never went dress shopping with me or had any interested in the planning of the wedding. It was in the earl 70's and nothing fancy but there were plans that needed to be taken care of. My grandmother did everything with me. As life went on and there were other big events in my life, my mom was never there for me. When I would get a better job, she would ask me who I screwed to get it, etc. My husband and I bought and sold little homes to get the down payment on a permanent family home as we had two children of our own by them. My mom berated me telling me that I thought I was better than everyone else in the family because we had a new home. I had almost every family function, holiday, etc. in that house because I loved having my family and I WANTED to do it….I wasn't shoving what I had accomplished down anyone's throat. They were glad to come and partake of the parties, that's for sure. My daughter had a stroke when she was 12 years old. She wasn't expected to live. She is now 38 and is doing fine. She still has some residual affects from the stroke but is gainfully employed, drives and is doing better than anyone ever expected her to be. My mom was little support during this time. My grandmother stepped up. I don't know what I would have done without her. When my son graduated from high school (shortly after 9/11) he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. I begged him not to. He was in his second year of college and wanted to be a teacher and football coach (his passion). He left for boot camp on 1/13/2002 and was in Iraq by September of that year. My life came crashing down around me. It was the worst of the worst. My son was in the middle of the war at 19 years old and there wasn't a damn thing i could do about it other than pray, pray, pray. When he returned home from that first deployment, we were all elated…..God had brought him back to us and he was ok. Three months later his unit redeployed and this time it was holy hell. He was stationed near Fallujah and if any of you know anything about the was in Iraq, Fallujah was the hot spot. He had a very difficult time on that deployment, having lost three of his buddies literally right before his eyes. I had started a new job and was under so much stress. My husband was no support at all. No one in my family was either. When my son returned home, he was a mess. PTSD and a TBI debilitated him. But, he was a Marine and three months later was headed back to Iraq for a third tour. I went over the edge. Depression and that out of control feeling over came me. My husband grew more distant. I came home from work one day and found him loading up his truck. He told me he met someone at work and he had filed for divorce. I was devastated. Our daughter still lived at home and she was beside herself that her dad would leave the family when there was so much going on. We divorced, had to sell that dream home everyone begrudged us about and for the first time in my 56 years I was alone. When my son was finally discharged, he was a mess. PTSD, TBI and he had become an alcoholic. His dad was no where to be found. I begged my ex, my family and the VA for help but there was none. On the morning of 1/3/12, my 29 year old son took his life. There are no words to explain the heart ache and shock of losing a child, much less to suicide. That was 7 years ago. My family has totally abandoned me because I can't "move on". They live 10 minutes away and I rarely see or hear from them. I have been in every kind of support group, been on medications, been to grief retreats but I just can't get out of this deep, dark hole. I really want to leave this earth but can't do that to my daughter. She has already lost her brother and her dad isn't in her life. I know this is a lot….and it is….but I just can't figure out how to keep on living….

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@sadiesmom Thank you for sharing your story. Your life story is so close to mine it is eerie. I am so aware that there are miniscule events that have brought me to a slightly different place that where you exist. Bless you for coming to this group and sharing your story for me. I am sharing my story with you and I know it is long. Hopefully you can read through at least some of it and get at least a little encouragement. Take what you like and leave the rest. This will help me and I thank you for whatever you manage to read through.
Similar to you, my parents were raised by tough homesteading emigrants. One side with known severe physical abuse and dry alcoholics, but no mentioned sexual abuse. There might have been some, but if so it was one of those things that nobody talked about except the "adults" and person involved, and that behind closed doors. Two of my aunts on that side of the family had children before marriage, handled in the manner of the time. The girls were sent away and arrangements made for adoption of the babies. Then the girls would return home and resume their lives. The second girl decided to keep the baby and did not return home. The younger children of the family did not know about the older sister's baby until much later in life and they deducted who that child was That child had been "adopted" by a couple in the community that had been unable to have children. Imagine how difficult it was for that sister to come back to the community and see the neighbors with a newborn adopted baby when she had just given a baby up for adoption. I don't know if or when she ever put it together, but she moved away and rarely came back to the family
As a child I was the 4th born of 7. During my childhood there were always "biddies" counting from the wedding day. My mother became very large early during her first pregnancy and the tongues wagged hard and fast. The full term baby was born one year and one week after the wedding. But that does not change the feelings of being judged by the community. The sibling before me was quite willful and gave my parents a great deal of trouble. After refusing to return to school because she had been teased on the playground, mother was forced to go to school and intervene and confront the girl in school with the teacher. It didn't go well and that sibling is quite irrational today, in part because she did not use that experience to grow and become self sufficient. The part that impacted me was that mother came home and told me, a 4 year old, that I had to fight my own battles and she would not fight them for me. I did not know until adulthood about my sibling's incident until a few years ago so I spent my life believing that I was on my own in this huge family and world and that my mother favored my siblings over me.
Growing up in such a judgmental community, I was extremely adamant about not "sleeping around" during my teens, despite having been molested and raped by a relative during several years of elementary school. Discussions about my pregnancy were held on my wedding day because I was living in a nearby community and assumptions had been made that we were "sleeping together." My first child was born 3 years and 8 months after my wedding and about 20 months after becoming Type I Diabetic. The second came 21 months after that. The marriage began breaking down when my husband, wanting to be a trucker, got a job in the oilfield and moved us 100 miles from family. In the 70's that was more significant than it is now, but served to isolate me. He did not want me to work and he worked long hours and many days in a row, so I was alone quite a lot. He did not handle it well when we found out I was diabetic, but I thought he just needed time to adjust to it. Like I did. He really did not want to have children either, but he did not tell me that nor restrain himself. Having children to save a marriage does not work. Everything really fell apart when the second child was born with severe congenital issues do to my diabetes. He and I spent 9 of the first 12 months in hospitals and 6 of the next 12. During the first year of our second child's life I figured out that my husband felt abandoned by his wife. I did not feel there was much I could do about it because I had to keep myself alive for my children and do everything I could to keep the baby alive and heal. The final day of our marriage came after he had spent another night out drinking with the guys and then came home and started beating on me again. I remember clearly being bent backward over the kitchen sink and saying, "go ahead, hit me again. That will solve everything." He left the room for a minute and I grabbed the baby, to go bag and ran from the house. I picked up the oldest from the neighbors yard where he had been playing and ran. I used a domestic violence center and made it away. A few years later I met my current husband.
My oldest joined the Navy after high school in 1997. His first deployment was to Kosovo on an aircraft carrier. He struggled some based in Florida, but finally made two really good friends. His second deployment was ending when the twin towers were plane bombed. He then had land duty and transferred to California, which turned out to be a very bad transfer for him. Not knowing it, he had transferred into a "last stand" base where the norm was to harass to the max and see how much they could do before a guy cracked or gave up. He separated from the Navy in 2003 and has struggled since. He finally has a good job, nice apartment, and is settling into a good routine (with a little help from Mom now and then).
I finally feel safe, loved and that I belong.
I think that the differences in our outcomes has something to do with my faith basis. I was raised in a religion, but I committed to it and have used it throughout my life. That is why I never gave up and always kept fighting (still do). Over the years I have recommitted many times to turn my life and my will over to the hands of God. I know that sounds trite, but it is the best way for me to express that I know I am not alone, never will be alone, and will always be safe unless I refuse the protection of God's arms. That "knowing" carries me through.
I believe that you have a guiding power also and that there is a plan for your future. I am glad that you have your daughter who needs you and that you carry on for her. I have added you to my prayers for healing, understanding and courage. I believe you can get to a better place and learn that there is reason for you to be here . . . there is something you must do. Just for today, each day, I suggest you try to think of one thing that you need to do that day and at the end of the day think of at least one thing you did right that day. Focusing on the positive of have a goal and reaching a goal each day — no matter how small — can lead to an accumulation of hours, days and beyond where you have reached and attained a purpose. Blessings to you.

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@sadiesmom

This was a great video for anyone who is trying to "figure out" why they aren't "normal". My mom had me when she was barely 14. She and my dad married and have been married for 61 years. They both came from traumatic childhoods but I never recognized that until I became an adult. My parents went on to have 3 more children after me, giving them 4 kids by the time my mom was 20. That was back in the 50's. I guess it wasn't totally out of the norm to have kids at a young age. I didn't know any better until I started kindergarten and I would hear other kids asking me if my mom was my mom or my older sister. I also heard comments from room mothers about how young my mom must have been when she had me. I guess I felt like I was well-adjusted and didn't know the difference. As time went on, I grew into quite a chubby little girl. I can remember my mom jerking me around in dressing rooms when it came time to buy school clothes, or special occasion dresses; i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc. I can remember how I felt. She was angry at me for something I couldn't control. She was feeding me what I was eating. But looking back, I think I developed an eating disorder from all the comments and subconscious "things" I was trying to figure out in my mind. And I was embarrassed….of myself and my situation at home. At no time we were ever physically or sexually abused. Never. But my mom wasn't mature enough mentally or physically to take care of 4 kids at such an early age. She was a stay at home mom, cooked and cleaned. There was always a hot meal on the table. We were active in sports. I was a straight A student. But I always felt like there was something wrong with me….When I was 16 I became pregnant with twins. My mom never gave my sister nor I "the talk" and to tell you the truth, I really had no idea about sex or pregnancy. I think I was searching for some kind of love and attention and started dating the brother of my best friend. When my parents figured out that I was pregnant, they were mortified. I remember being called a slut, whore, "loose", and I as whisked away to get an abortion. I only found out when I was on the table in the middle of the procedure that I was carrying twins. I begged the doctors to stop. I wanted to talk to my parents and tell them that I could not go through with it. It didn't happen. I was traumatized beyond words. It happened that day and it was never, ever mentioned again. Ever. I graduated from hs with honors and always dreamed of being a teacher. I was told there was no $$ for college so I'd better figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life because after I graduated, I was on my own. My senior year, I quit cheer leading, dropped out of academic classes and took business classes to learn to type, do office work, etc. I started working the day after I graduated. My parents did let me stay at home the next year because I was working and able to "pull my own weight" and went on to marry my high school sweet heart. As most little girls always dream, I wanted a church wedding and my boyfriend and I saved every dime we could to pay for it. My mom never went dress shopping with me or had any interested in the planning of the wedding. It was in the earl 70's and nothing fancy but there were plans that needed to be taken care of. My grandmother did everything with me. As life went on and there were other big events in my life, my mom was never there for me. When I would get a better job, she would ask me who I screwed to get it, etc. My husband and I bought and sold little homes to get the down payment on a permanent family home as we had two children of our own by them. My mom berated me telling me that I thought I was better than everyone else in the family because we had a new home. I had almost every family function, holiday, etc. in that house because I loved having my family and I WANTED to do it….I wasn't shoving what I had accomplished down anyone's throat. They were glad to come and partake of the parties, that's for sure. My daughter had a stroke when she was 12 years old. She wasn't expected to live. She is now 38 and is doing fine. She still has some residual affects from the stroke but is gainfully employed, drives and is doing better than anyone ever expected her to be. My mom was little support during this time. My grandmother stepped up. I don't know what I would have done without her. When my son graduated from high school (shortly after 9/11) he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. I begged him not to. He was in his second year of college and wanted to be a teacher and football coach (his passion). He left for boot camp on 1/13/2002 and was in Iraq by September of that year. My life came crashing down around me. It was the worst of the worst. My son was in the middle of the war at 19 years old and there wasn't a damn thing i could do about it other than pray, pray, pray. When he returned home from that first deployment, we were all elated…..God had brought him back to us and he was ok. Three months later his unit redeployed and this time it was holy hell. He was stationed near Fallujah and if any of you know anything about the was in Iraq, Fallujah was the hot spot. He had a very difficult time on that deployment, having lost three of his buddies literally right before his eyes. I had started a new job and was under so much stress. My husband was no support at all. No one in my family was either. When my son returned home, he was a mess. PTSD and a TBI debilitated him. But, he was a Marine and three months later was headed back to Iraq for a third tour. I went over the edge. Depression and that out of control feeling over came me. My husband grew more distant. I came home from work one day and found him loading up his truck. He told me he met someone at work and he had filed for divorce. I was devastated. Our daughter still lived at home and she was beside herself that her dad would leave the family when there was so much going on. We divorced, had to sell that dream home everyone begrudged us about and for the first time in my 56 years I was alone. When my son was finally discharged, he was a mess. PTSD, TBI and he had become an alcoholic. His dad was no where to be found. I begged my ex, my family and the VA for help but there was none. On the morning of 1/3/12, my 29 year old son took his life. There are no words to explain the heart ache and shock of losing a child, much less to suicide. That was 7 years ago. My family has totally abandoned me because I can't "move on". They live 10 minutes away and I rarely see or hear from them. I have been in every kind of support group, been on medications, been to grief retreats but I just can't get out of this deep, dark hole. I really want to leave this earth but can't do that to my daughter. She has already lost her brother and her dad isn't in her life. I know this is a lot….and it is….but I just can't figure out how to keep on living….

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@sadiesmom I am glad that you are comfortable enough with this group to share your story. I hope it gave you at least a tiny bit of help to be able to share it.
You have been so strong and resilient, I admire how well you have done. I can only imagine the pain of having a child die, let alone from suicide. One of my niece's sons did commit suicide and I think of her so frequently and how well she is enduring for her other, younger children. Your daughter sounds like a very important part of your life, I hope that relationship will bring you joy and give you more reason to live on. You are right, she needs you, but you need her also.
I am amazed that your family has abandoned you. I have a relative who also cannot mover on after the death of her husband but we are all there for her. I hope at some point that your family will be more understanding, but I also hope that you will be able to move forward. That's essential for your own well-being. Have you had any counseling or spoken to a member of the clergy? That could be helpful. Support groups exist most places for people suffering from the death of a loved one. If you haven't looked into that, I wish you would.
Prayers will be with you. Of course, you will never forget and be able to put your son's death totally aside, but you do need to make sure you have other things in your life that give you some joy.
Hugs, JK

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Thank you all for your kind and caring comments. We never, ever know what folks go through in life. When I was married and the kids were in school, I thought I had the perfect life. I loved my husband and my kids were my world. We did so many fun things as a family. My ex had a heart attack at 46 and I think after that he completely changed. Maybe the fear of dying young was in the back of his mind and he wanted to get out and see what else there was in life, I don't know. But I do know it killed me….going through a horrendous divorce while our son was on his third deployment sent me over the edge. I had to be hospitalized and he told he was glad he got "rid of me" when he did. I loved being a wife and a mother and did every thing in my power to be good at it. Worked full time, kept a clean and tidy home, ran the kids all over kingdom come while their dad worked shift work, kept myself up, but I have never felt like I was "enough" for anyone. My son left a note that he was ashamed of the man he had become…..he wasn't what he was raised to be. He saw more in his early 20's than most men see in a life time but he just couldn't figure out how to get out from under the demons….I'm wondering if I ever will. God bless all who struggle. This world is an evil place and evil lurks where you least expect it…

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@sadiesmom I'm so sorry for all the trouble you have had You are a survivor for sure dealing with alot in your life .The hardest would be your son taking his life. My nephew took his life it was extremely hard on his Mom the whole family then my other nephew drowned It just doesn't seem fair but it takes a very strong person to get through and you are . Just keep looking up Does meditation help you you said you have gone to different groups and medication maybe you just need arms wrapped around you Here,s a big cyber hug for you 🤗

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@sadiesmom

Thank you all for your kind and caring comments. We never, ever know what folks go through in life. When I was married and the kids were in school, I thought I had the perfect life. I loved my husband and my kids were my world. We did so many fun things as a family. My ex had a heart attack at 46 and I think after that he completely changed. Maybe the fear of dying young was in the back of his mind and he wanted to get out and see what else there was in life, I don't know. But I do know it killed me….going through a horrendous divorce while our son was on his third deployment sent me over the edge. I had to be hospitalized and he told he was glad he got "rid of me" when he did. I loved being a wife and a mother and did every thing in my power to be good at it. Worked full time, kept a clean and tidy home, ran the kids all over kingdom come while their dad worked shift work, kept myself up, but I have never felt like I was "enough" for anyone. My son left a note that he was ashamed of the man he had become…..he wasn't what he was raised to be. He saw more in his early 20's than most men see in a life time but he just couldn't figure out how to get out from under the demons….I'm wondering if I ever will. God bless all who struggle. This world is an evil place and evil lurks where you least expect it…

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@sadiesmom Your son really went through a lot,as did so many of the war victims. It’s horrible to think of what they must have gone through and seen. Is it typical for soldiers to be sent for tgree tours of duty? That seems too much to ask of anyone.

As his mother, you must have been worried constantly. It’s so sad that he made it through all of that and then took his own life.
JK

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