Protected: Grieving someone who is still alive

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Another wasted day

Today has been another wasted day.

I woke up happy enough, slept in late, snuck downstairs to make a cup of tea and found the last 15 minutes or so of Jayne Eyre on tele (I love Jayne Eyre). I sat with my cup of tea and watched that and soon my husband came downstairs too.

I felt pretty happy. I even thought to myself how glad I was that I felt this way after my meltdown on Friday night. Phew…

Sadly that soon changed. I suggested we went shopping today for Xmas presents etc and hubby didn’t want to and I (admittedly) overreacted and got very grumpy and felt very miserable. Hubby moaned he couldn’t think of anything worse and moaned that I take too long blah blah blah…. I ended up complaining that all I feel like I do is work, counselling and look after him and the kids. I moaned that every Sunday lately has felt wasted and that we never seem to do anything that I want to do.

Long story short – I ended up crying and angry and hubby ended up saying we could go shopping. And shopping we did go.. but we needn’t have as the mood between us was shit and I was upset and angry and the atmosphere was ruined.

We went into a large department store that we had vouchers for looking for Xmas presents for people but the shop was huge and so busy. There was a madness in the air and it was so stressful. I was overwhelmed and couldn’t see anything we needed to buy for anyone and the chaotic atmosphere was making me feel worse. My mood got worse and worse. Hubby looked at me at one point and told me to “cheer up for god’s sake”. I snapped back “I can’t help how I feel!”.

We are home now. We haven’t spoken for about an hour and not because we’ve argued or anything, but because … basically…. I am in such a shit mood he’s probably given up.

I feel really shit. I took some of my anxiety pills earlier. I also took some yesterday and Friday night. To be honest I doubt they are helping whatsoever… but I feel so overwhelmed by my feelings lately I feel like I need to take something.

I know on the surface this really isn’t a big deal but to me another Sunday has been wasted. Tomorrow it’s back to getting up at 5.45am and going to work, working my arse off, commuting in the dark in both directions, cooking dinners at night, ironing work clothes, going counselling, driving in traffic, feeling more emotional pain and suffering and then having the kids and then starting again… and again …. and again. And it all feels too much. It all feels too negative and I am struggling with it all right now.

The fact we’ve spent our only day off together like this upsets me more than it probably would 99% of other people. I don’t know why. I feel agitated and angry and upset and out of sorts.

And I feel deeply upset. I think it’s more grief coming up. I dreamt about my mum last night, I can’t remember the details but I know she was in my dreams, I registered that when I woke up this morning.

I’ve been wondering how and when I will see her over Christmas given I won’t go to her house and she won’t come to mine (nor is she invited). How will that work?

I can’t quite explain how I’m feeling other than to say I feel overwhelmed and… what’s a word for full up? I feel like I’m so close to utterly losing my shit. Again. I feel like I am so close to totally breaking down.

It’s all too much and it hurts. It is so hard.

And I know I sound like a winge but Christmas is triggering me left, right and centre. Happy families and happy kids with their parents and safe and cosy homes. The whole thing hurts. The whole thing makes me want to scream and cry. Or something.

Eugh I don’t know. I wish I could make myself feel better. I wish I didn’t waste so many days feeling like this. I wish this shit didn’t have to be felt. Why do I have to waste so much of my life feeling this pain? It’s not fair. I don’t like it and I don’t want it. It’s taken too much away.

It’s all bollocks.

Therapy hangover

I have a therapy hangover today. At least I think I do, if not then I am just feeling really shit and miserable LOL.

Obviously I had therapy yesterday and then cried when I got home for an (at the time) unknown reason and then I had a very long and in-depth conversation with hubby last night about it all and think I figured out why I was feeling how I was. I felt better after our chat, much better but I appear to have woken up feeling horrible.

I’m not sure if I am feeling angry because I am desperately trying to fight against sadness or whether I am sad desperately trying to fight against anger. I just feel miserable but miserable in both sad and anger ha, does that make sense? 

I feel fragile and delicate and I really want to be at home. I really want to be alone to be honest and I wish I was home in the warm, in comfy clothes. I struggled getting ready this morning as my jeans felt too restrictive (I HATE tight clothes at the best of times), my hair looked awful and I just felt horrible. I also woke up to my monthly and so that sucks and also indicates another failed attempt… with the added bonus that I was 3 days late yesterday so started to wonder…. Could this be the month? Well, apparently not.

I suppose it isn’t really surprising that I might feel this way today after the stuff I spoke and thought about yesterday. Perhaps this is the way Fridays are going to be now that I am going twice a week again? It is hard though, isn’t it? I feel drained of my energy and I feel like crying and I feel like shouting at the same time.

I think I’ve uncovered that I was denying the truth of my situation a bit and trying to convince myself that I had reached a place that I could see my mum now and again without being hugely triggered by her. I thought I had found a way that I didn’t have to take any drastic action and was thinking that I had “done” most of the hard part – most of the grieving etc. I am starting to think that maybe I was kidding myself. Maybe that isn’t the case after all.  

I think it is the thought that actually there could be much more to come with regards to my mother and how things will end up. If I am absolutely and brutally honest with myself, the thought of truly there not being some way of making things somehow tolerable, kills me a bit. I don’t want to have to do that. I don’t want to have to feel that. I don’t want to spend months feeling my way through and processing this stuff again. I just want to find a way that is just… tolerable. 

T and hubby both say that I haven’t quite got it, that I am not quite there based on the fact that I can and do still see her however infrequently and I can be there whilst she says and does these horrible things. That I am so unaffected by it. That I am so used to the way she behaves that it barely even registers. That is true. I can see that. They both say I wouldn’t put up with that from anyone else in my life – also true. 

Hubby says he can’t understand why someone “as kind as” me would be able to sit around someone who says such nasty things about other people. I don’t know the answer to that. He says T is right and that I clearly do shut myself down to an extent and also that I am just used to it, like they say. I know I don’t enjoy it, I don’t benefit from it. So why do I go?

My answer is always for an easy life but part of me wonders is that even true? Is that why?

T says I don’t get it yet – I don’t quite get how abusive she is. Hubby agrees.

But me, what do I think? I am totally and utterly confused by the whole thing. Maybe the truth is simply that I can’t bear to deal with/feel the alternative. Cutting her off forever. Accepting that I can’t have my mother in my life in any limited capacity at all.

I think this new feeling of feeling sorry for her is easier to feel than accepting it is too horrible or too hard for me to see her.

Denial? Is that what this is?

T thinks when I have my own child I won’t be able to tolerate her anywhere near me/them/us. Maybe that’s true. It’s another loss to have to accept.

I feel sad and angry. Sad that this has to be true, has to happen, to be real and I feel angry – angry that it is unfair and angry that I don’t want to have to do any of it.

Why does it all have to be so hard?

 

Processing

Ah so, hubby came home and noticed almost instantly that I was feeling down. I kept leaking tears accidentally which was annoying ha. He asked me why I was sad and I denied that I was. He asked again a while later and I said I wasn’t sad but my face clearly wasn’t convincing.

I told him that I didn’t really know why I was sad and he said that was okay, that I didn’t need a reason right now and that sometimes it takes a while for the thoughts to catch up with the emotions. (He’s clearly been paying attention to the things I’ve told him T has said – LOL!).

Anyway, to make a very long 2 hour long conversation short, we spoke about today’s therapy session and I told him what T had said about how she didn’t believe I had quite got it yet and that she didn’t believe I completely understood how abusive my mother was yet. I said it made me feel a bit shit because I think I do. Or at least I did and that I felt confused because now I was wondering exactly what I was missing or what she was seeing that I wasn’t.

We spoke through this a lot. My husband said he kind of agreed with T and gently explained his reason for this which was that I still tolerated her behaviour by being there – by going – giving her my company. He said that I might not like the things she says or does but by being there, I was allowing her to carry on in my presence. I compared this to an ex-friend of mine who was actually really mean and nasty to everyone, me included, and how I put up with that for years and years. He said it was the same and that eventually I couldn’t bare that anymore and I ended our friendship. I agreed but said the difference was that she was blatantly abusive to my face about me and that my mother wasn’t on Friday.

Hubby explained to me that he thought T meant that eventually I will find my mother’s behaviour so intolerable that I won’t be able to sit and watch her. He gave some examples and said that for example, the Remembrance Day stuff she came out with, he said “imagine anyone else said that, you would never want to go out with them again, would you?”. He also gave an example of how my ex friend was rude to him (rude isn’t the right word actually, she was abusive) and how he refused to ever come along again because he didn’t want to be around her.

I started to understand what he was saying and what T might have meant.

I explained to him what I’ve written about here recently that now when I see her I genuinely feel sorry for her and see her life as sad and pathetic and that I feel sorry for her (not in an angry way). I told him that I felt sad that she won’t change and that I feel I’ve overtaken her in emotional maturity. I said I no longer feel the anger towards her that I used to.

My husband said that he genuinely believes that when I do see her as being as intolerable as him and T think I will, that I won’t be able to have contact with her at all and I won’t care about the guilt by that point. I said that T also believes I won’t be able to tolerate her at all.

I said I felt that way after the wedding because the way she acted hurt me so much but that I just couldn’t figure out how to tell her. Hubby said he doesn’t believe that to be true, although he does believe I think/thought that was true.

I pondered that a while.

I said that perhaps the feeling sorry for her thing was easier to experience than the anger or the guilt or the fear. Perhaps I was tricking myself. I remembered T saying sometimes we put our defenses back up for a time and wondered was this what she meant? Was I trying to make it all “better” for myself because some of the pain was so bloody horrible?

I said I don’t see my mother and think of her as an evil, nasty person because I just see the sadness of the situation and I just see how she has no emotional intelligence etc. I said watching your mum act and behave like mine wasn’t easy. It was tough to watch.

Hubby said he thought that what T meant today when she said that she doesn’t like that part of me shuts down so I can sit with my mother for those evenings is that she and he know I wouldn’t tolerate anyone else behaving that way. I said I guess I’m so used to her behaviour being so shocking that it didn’t phase me anymore. I just sat there (half present) and accepted it.

We discussed this quite a while and then I said that I think when T said she didn’t think I had quite “got it” yet, quite understood it yet, that perhaps (unconsciously at the time) I felt angry and felt defensive about what she meant. Hubby said “yes and you do that with mostly everything you perceive to be criticism and you know why that is don’t you?!” And I said “yes, because I had too much criticism growing up”. He agreed and said yes and not being absolutely perfect is petrifying for you and you feel like a failure and you cry and give up. Yep.

I think I felt that pang of anger because I felt like I was failing it being slow or not doing well enough “at therapy” you know, “at healing” or whatever..

I know now that I’ve acknowledged this consciously, that of course T DIDN’T mean that at all. I know that. But I’m interested in how much that unconscious feeling effected me. I cried when I got home and my mood didn’t get better until me and hubby spoke this through many hours later.

I also acknowledged that perhaps knowing and admitting/accepting that there’s a lot more work to do with regards to my mother and that perhaps it is actually going to get much tougher and perhaps I will end up having absolutely no contact with her whatsoever is obviously very hard to accept … even though I thought previously I was ready for that, clearly I am not. And I kind of hate to admit that I’m not where I want to be, or I’m not as far along as I want to be or whatever.

I also told hubby (and T earlier) that my mother often told me how she can’t wait for me to become a mother so I can see how awful it is and how hard she had it and how she can’t wait for me to knock at the door or phone her crying begging her to help me because I can’t cope. Both T and hubby were horrified by this and said that is such a nasty thing to say and just not normal.

I said tonight that I can really see now that she just wants me to have to feel the same pain she has felt in her life. I also spoke about why she alienated me from my father for my entire life and why she acted how she did at my wedding as she witnessed how close me and my dad and his family have become, how close I am with my stepchildren and in-laws and how much me and my husband love each other.

I realised there are many examples of this. Not wanting me to have a happy and successful marriage, not wanting me to drive, get a college education, have a good set of friends etc etc… she wants me to live the same life experiences as her, even the bad stuff – ESPECIALLY the bad stuff and that’s bloody awful isn’t it?

I said it must come to jealousy because she can’t tolerate her envy that I might have a better or easier experience than she did.

It’s awful. I can see the sadness of this for her but also, it’s so wrong. So bloody wrong and it’s take me 30 years to realise this.

Anyway I have loads to process tonight when I sleep but I feel better now even just acknowledging why I felt how I did.