This site is run by widowed people, for widowed people

Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

This is possibly going to be very scattered, so I apologize in advance. But it's also raw.

I know this is totally irrational, but I feel guilty about seeking therapy. The self-hater in me, maybe? I feel like I should hurt and I should suffer in order to truly grieve my Marcus. That if I'm not hurting, I'm getting "over" him?

I hadn't had these feelings before yesterday, but I absolutely canNOT shake them today. I have a friend a couple hours away who is a licensed therapist who helps me on some of the "lighter" things. She reached out to me yesterday, just to see how I've been doing, and I told her I was thinking about starting therapy, but I'm so hesitant to go. My girls have been seeing their therapists since March - the accident was in January - and I didn't think twice about putting them in.

So why am I okay with "punishing" myself by hurting? I think it's some twisted thought in my mind that since he's gone, hurting = love continuing. But I can love and not hurt, right? If I'm not hurting, am I still honoring him? Do I still love him as fiercely if it doesn't feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest?

My friend suggested I look into EMDR as opposed to talk therapy because it's been so good with trauma-related therapy needs. Does anyone have any experience with EMDR? 

Views: 406

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have had many of the same feelings, maybe not about therapy, but I did think I should hurt. Its part of survivors guilt I think. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I have not done EMDR, but think I will at some point in the future. 

I sure hope there are no requirements that you have to endure X units of hurt, grief, etc. before you can laugh and enjoy life again because if there are, I'm in deep trouble.  I've pondered in other posts why I'm functioning so well- lost Ron in November, 2016, 6 months after a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and 10 years after diagnosis of a condition (polycythemia) that we knew could eventually morph into leukemia. I've never suffered the paralyzing depression that most people here have.  I keep enumerating the possible reasons:  he was 15 years older so I was likely to outlive him, I'm a pretty independent spirit, had married the first time at 31 and been single 6 years after my divorce, no financial worries...I could go on.  I have a wonderful son, two beautiful granddaughters and have traveled to Canada, Panama, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Iceland and Greenland since I lost him.  Ron and I were a match made in heaven, we loved each other, and he'd be happy to see me still up and running.

SO- my point is not that I'm superhuman.  Maybe I'm just weird.  At any rate, you are NOT obligated to suffer.  Get the help you need to deal with the grief.  It's possible for that love to take the form of happy memories and gratitude for the great love you had in your life.

It is sometimes hard as a mom to treat ourselves well. Just as you are making sure that your girls will be well give that gift to yourself too. We have to put on our asks first before we can help others. Plus you will show them that it is ok to take good care of yourself.

Reaching out and getting help is a good thing. It doesn’t diminish our love for our loved one. Our thoughts are not irrational. We are grieving and hurting and that’s ok. 

You have a good friend. 

Hi, I am new to this group, haven't even "introduced myself" or put a pic on my profile or even feeling if I wanted to be here ---

but was just looking around and saw your post.  I have done EMDR (stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and is used for Traumatic Stress -- and I did this with my Grief Therapist as my husband's death was unexpected and traumatic, anyway I will tell you two things about EMDR: it isn't an easy to do, because as you do the therapy, you have to "relive it" over and over with the help of a qualified EMDR therapist and, reliving the moment, you begin "stepping back", watching the eye-movement guided by the therapist that's almost hypnotic and that's what desensitizes you, and that part is really hard and you have do it many times before you see results and that's #1 ie it is hard work, but #2--  it did help me, a lot... Though it isn't a "cure all",  I still grieve, but grief is just another form of love, and you are not "punishing" yourself by grieving. As they say "you have to feel it to heal it" and grief is journey

And I want to say "sorry for loss" but that is so cliche and so I will say, that it just sucks, and sorry this happened and it sucks, and you should in no way feel guilty about seeking any kind of therapy, because you/me/we are all just human and this stuff just sucks.  Do go to therapy, I've been going to therapy now 2 years, not all EMDR, lots of just "talk therapy", some EFT and Reiki and it all helps ... good luck and hugs.

Dee, thank you for your input on EMDR. I really appreciate it. My husband's death was very unexpected and traumatic as well, which is why my friend thinks I should look into it.

Welcome to WidVille - I hope you find much support and love here. I know I have. 

Hi, my husband passed away in January also and we have two young girls.  The way I think about therapy is that if I can learn to manage difficult moments better and be stronger, I will be a better mom to my girls and they deserve that.  Losing your partner in life is punishment enough, and I don't think he would want me to suffer.  I can relate a lot to the "if I'm not hurting, am I still honoring him" thoughts.  

If you're having a hard time replaying events of the accident and having feelings of something you could've done I would definitely recommend talking to a professional.  What helped me is understanding how my mind reacts in certain situations because of having gone through a traumatic situation.   If I can recognize that I have an emotional response versus a logical response I can somewhat reason myself through it.  I don't know if that makes any sense.  For me, knowing how the brain works is helpful in managing the trauma part of my loss.  The pain is not going to go away.. the sadness and missing are there all the time.  Feel free to message me if you ever feel like it.

Thank you for your input, Rainbow! <3 

I manage to "stay away" from the accident most of the time. And I allow myself to process it when I do find myself there.

Part of me thinks as long as I have a good support network (which I do between the chat group here and my friends and family), talk therapy won't bring much to the table. I don't know... I'm going to keep thinking and praying about it.

How you speak of Marcus tells me you loved him dearly and I know he probably loved you just as much or more.  He would know that you would grieve for him but I am sure he wouldn't want you to suffer or hurt.  I always say to myself what would Bill say. What would Marcus say to you? 

You make a very valid point. Marcus did everything he could to "take care of my Sweets" and he wouldn't want me hurting on purpose if I had a means to ease the pain.

I know this was posted a while ago but I just saw it - for me, I was 25 when I became a widow (no children- all future milestones ripped away) - and I immediately started therapy twice a week (still do after one year). For me, it is the one place I can talk about Jacob (my spouse) with - my therapist has gotten to know him and our life, since we were each other's best friends I don't have many to talk to about him - and everyone around me avoids it. So for me, it was and is more like a necessity to share his life and our narrative. 

I totally understand the guilt of not wanting to get better because that means in some ways maybe you are "moving on" but really there is no moving on from the one you loved... if you loved deeply, your grief will always be with you and it will be as deep as you loved. 

I hope some of that helped (probably not) but just thought I would share my experience. 

Thank you, kat! I actually have *FINALLY* made my intake appointment, last week. It isn't until late October, because that was the earliest appointment they had. But this month has been *SO* bad that I realized I need the help that grief therapy will provide. I'm planning to request the therapist that has been running the grief support group out there - he and I have already talked about it. I've been the only attendee, so we're canceling the group and I'll start seeing him in therapy.

Shelly, I am new here, but been widowed three years (still seems like yesterday) -- and just saw your post and thought, well, too late to respond... but then I see it's not. I have been going grief therapy since 2016 -- first "group therapy" where it was nice and met some new friends -- and then grief therapy one-on-one talk therapy with a hospice counselor --  I have also done EMDR  and I can tell you EMDR is not easy, but it helped me immensely as my husband's death was sudden and traumatic... but still going to grief therapy (talk therapy) sometimes Reiki and EFT -- EMDR helped me get over the constant replaying of the day of the death, so I can actually remember it but not feel the trauma. I still have stress and anxiety issues . I don't think it's a do EMDR or talk therapy. I needed both.  EMDR for awhile, talk therapy still.  Glad you have an appointment.  The grief journey is the hardest journey, but remember, love never dies.

All my best, D.


© 2020   Created by Soaring Spirits.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service