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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."

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Born in the 50s

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Members: 571
Latest Activity: Jul 21

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Comment by Lakegirl33 on July 20, 2015 at 7:37am
Gary's wife, I am so sorry that you had to get poison ivy again. Hope it is beginning to get better. When we built our house on the lake, I cleared by the water for our swimming area and ended up like you, with it everywhere you can imagine! Reading this reminded me of that! I was so ticked off at myself! I am sorry the prednisone did not work for you! It must be difficult not being able to do anything!How good your dreams must be. One small good in the time of pain! I find when I am exhausted or hurting my longing for Bob is greater also. I pray that you are soon up and able to get busy again.
Comment by Gary'swife on July 19, 2015 at 6:45pm

I have been dealing with poison ivy the last several days.  The first time I had a reaction was 2 years ago, and went to emergency, got a shot and pills, but they didn't work.  I ended up taking benadryl every 6 hours, and staying in bed with cold packs, and that's what I am doing now.   Strange thing is in my sleep I dreamt more about Gary than I have in a long time.  I also think about what pain he might have suffered, now that I am suffering.  Thank goodness he wasn't normally in pain or uncomfortable, but I also wonder if maybe he just didn't complain if he was.  I miss him so, so much.   But I miss the time when he was healthy and able to travel, not the last few months of his life.  I try to keep busy, but there is that hole, that no amount of keeping busy fills.

Comment by Slick on July 10, 2015 at 9:34pm

Yes we do Jo...and it is so true that someone always has it worse ..but we all can only take what we can take...some don't understand my directness...I have had to learn to be efficient ...I;m sure you understand...my heart feels for your family to have to have lost your brother like that...or in anyway ..but so young and a tragic accident...the dissociation does give you big lapses but it takes the pain away too...I "left" for years as soon as I felt pain on it's way....I don;t know how I;ve done the the past 6 weeks without dissociating once..but I have...we are survivors, I had someone ask me for some of my strength the other day...if only she knew....how much I need it all just to get up in the morning....but I smile too..inspite of it all..Jo ...God bless ..if ever you need me ...just yell....it's so hard to understand PTSD and since we both do we have something to offer each other..and others here ...who don't get it....keep yourself safe physically,mentally and emotionally.....

Comment by irishlady on July 10, 2015 at 3:23pm

Bergen JC..I think you misunderstood me. I am not saying all widows are uncaring or unsympathetic. I went to a grief group and came out with a wonderful friend, who is also a widow and just a year ahead of me and we meet once a month and talk and talk and vent .whatever it takes. She understands so well, and that is what I would expect from my neighbors, but maybe because it has been longer for them or maybe because some were actually looking forward to having the husband out of their life due to many different reasons, or maybe they did not have the kind of marriage I had. I was married at 18 and my husband and my children were my whole life. Our choice..I never worked outside the home. My whole life has been taking care of someone. I just think it would be nice to have friendly, caring neighbors and I am NOT a "debbie downer" in the least bit. I am NOT the same person I was, but I do have happy moments. I usually grieve in private and do not as a rule impose my sadness on anyone else. But these people just are not the caring , giving type. Everyone here seems to be out for number one. Not my style.

Comment by Jo on July 10, 2015 at 3:03pm

Yes, we all have stories and this is what makes this site so great. it affords us a chance to get things out in the open with no judgments, criticisms, or critique. I appreciate your comments and i know we will both be brave together. Hang in there, it is easy to get unattached with the past, which is why I have a big lapse of memory from my childhood. Trauma does that to people. I was only 10, going on 11 when my 14 year old brother shot himself with my father's gun. My father was a security officer at the time. So that is my first experience with trauma. We are both survivors, we are strong, we are loved, and we are both blessed to have joined a supportive group like this one. Thank you for your support of me and my room-mate. Take care, peace be with you as well.

Comment by Slick on July 10, 2015 at 2:41pm

Oh Jo..what a heartbreaking story......I feel like a whiney brat when I read heartache like this...I can only imagine how you both feel worrying about this little girl...I know my daughters love me...one shows it ...the other has gotten very standoffish since she married and my husband passed...she says she can't take seeing me in pain..OK ..I have to give her that...just because I watched hers for years doesn't mean she 'owes ' me the same...I'm learning...the differences in people...I was dx with PTSD for multiple reasons and also have Complicated Grief...that is hard to explain....I have dissociated for many years due to the PTSD...so much easier...something is happening that's gonna hurt...off I go...so I don't have to feel it....I made up my mind to live and live int he present....so I have been working with a counselor...haven't dissociated for the past 6 weeks....one of the hardest things I have ever had to do besides bury my daughter....I have at times felt like I was in a batting cage ...with all the balls being shot at me at once...when my past started to come pout all at once...I have more triggers then I can even explain...I'm doing it....my friends have all passed in our early 50's ..so my daughters are all I have.....I am in the process of meeting up with 3 widows my age ..one at a time...but don't want to bring my life up and have them run....I hope someday to be friends with at least one of them....I need my daughters to understand....when I talk I need them to listen...my oldest does....but my youngest and her husband have their minds made up that they know all about who I am ..and what makes me tick and they are soooooooooooooo wrong......I need them to keep their thoughts to themselves...they don't really bother with me much....but they are expecting their first baby in ab out 6 weeks...and have already told me they'll be seeing me and talking to me all the time then...how hurtful ....all about them....BUT ...I will do this because I WANT time with my newest grandson...I have a wonderful bond with my two older grandchildren..and won't settle for less with this baby......God bless you....you and your roomate will be in my prayers ...along with these children.......PEACE

Comment by Jo on July 10, 2015 at 2:02pm

Slick, I don't know how to help, but I have a room mate who is also a widow and is going through a situation with her daughter. Her daughter has lost 3 out of 4 children to DCFS because of meth use. Her 4th child (only 2 years old) was just abandoned on the streets of Salt lake City: she was found strapped in her stroller with all of her belongings, stuffed into garbage bags. I can't imagine how any mother could just leave their child on the street, like garbage. My room mate is trying to gain custody of her grand daughter, but because of some health issues and age, DCFS has decided against the grand mother gaining custody. When my friend lost her husband, her children just came around to see what they could get in monetary value and even stole items from her. They were ungrateful brats and still are. My friend has disowned all of her children and tell people that they are all dead. I can see the pain in her face when she thinks of her grand daughter and she cries because this little grand-daughter needs her grandma. This little girl spent several months living with my room mate and I and we both bonded with her. It is lonely without the laughter of this child, even though it was physically challenging taking care of a very active toddler. I feel blessed and fortunate that my two adult sons live at home with us. my eldest child was married to my room mate's daughter for about 5 years before divorce and my niece is raising my only grandson who was the first child taken away from my room mate's daughter. I found a niece who has adopted my grandson so I get to see him at special occasions and if I make an appointment. I am so sorry for what you are dealing with, it is a difficult situation to lose a supportive spouse. My husband was on hospice and Chemo for leukemia from Feb 2008 to Sept 2008 before he passed away and my children have not grieved for him and I secretly cry because I want to appear brave for them. I think this is wrong because I have yet faced grieving head on. I do not have the PTSD for this occurrence, but I took care of both parents and get flashbacks from watching them die. Mom in 2004 and dad in 2012. I also have two brothers who committed suicide which used to cause PTSD flashbacks. One was in 1964 and one in 1979. i have lived with PTSD, so I know how debilitating this is and how it affects a person's life. I was a recluse, suffering from agoraphobia until about 8 month ago, I now can venture on the bus or trax but it is with anti-anxiety medication to stop panic attacks. How did you do on therapy. i only go to someone who manages my antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, I do not talk to her about my issues anymore. hang in there Slick, be supportive of your family. You sound like you are doing the right thing by seeking the help. This is the best step. If they still treat you bad, then they have the issue, not you. I know it is family, I know it hurts, but you are strong and I see that in your words. I also have turned to God to lean on, He is my best counselor and a great listener.

Comment by Slick on July 10, 2015 at 10:27am

Bergen ..thanks for your insite....I just had a nice talk with my oldest....she totally understood where I was coming from and why...has assured me that on occasion when I interfere it's for a good reason and she has no problem with my telling one of her kids that they're being rude if they are.....she also told me that I am not now nor have I ever been a burden that her and her sister...both see me as one of the strongest women they have ever met and are proud that I;m their mother....Yes I am in counseling....having PTSD ...I have been in counseling for 3-5 years off and on for almost 18 years...that is part of why all of the ugly is showing up...I am dealing with it..the best I can...do I get angry,anxious,afraid..etc...sure ...that's why I had to come here...last night...my youngest has admitted she doesn't know what to say when I hurt so ...I  will have to accept that......I don't expect anything from  my kids ....but their love and respect....just as I met 3 nasty , narcissistic widows 4 years ago......I have just found 3 others who are totally different....had breakfast with one a couple of weeks ago, planning a movie, am meeting with another on the 18th...and having dinner with the other the following week..and then hopefully we can all find the time to get together with all 4 of us...so widows being no different then all humans...some are nice ...some are not....JMO....thank you all for your help....PEACE

Comment by BergenJC on July 10, 2015 at 10:11am

(continued from previous post)

The first words out of her mouth when she'd meet someone new were "I lost my husband."  You know what that is?  It's a conversation killer. 

Look, I'm a widow.  I am almost 2 years out.  Last night I went to bed, sat on the edge of the bed and cried for 15 minutes, cried for my old life.  Even when it was troubled, it was a good life and I wished he were still here.  So I get that sadness.  But even I don't want to be around people who are just negative, negative, negative all the time. 

In the meetup group I go to, there are some intensely grieving people.  But even they are capable of enjoying a meal out with good, kind people.  And for the most part, they manage to be pleasant, to even be cheerful, to carry on a conversation with other pleasant people.  Sure, we talk about our grief, and we talk about those dark times, and we sometimes re-hash our own final days with our spouses again and again.  But not all the time.

Call me selfish if you like...but this journey is hard enough without being surrounded by negative energy.  I don't know what happened with the widows you described, but my experience has been so different in dealing with all different kinds of people who have been widowed -- even people that I never would have chosen to be friends with under normal circumstances -- that I find it hard to believe that for some reason people in your area are just meaner than they are here.  I mean come on, I live in New Jersey -- the "You Wanna Piece -a- Me??  Bring It, A-hole!!" state.  No one is meaner than Jersey-ites.  Look at our governor, for God's sake!!  And yet NJ widows and widowers are as nice as any people I've ever met.

I've had a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy, and it's really helped me to break out of negative thought patterns.   I don't suppress grief, but I express it by just venting it...at home....alone...which is really I think the only way we really CAN do it.  Slick, I don't know if you are in counseling, but if you are, and you feel it is not helping, see if you can find a really GOOD cognitive behavioral therapist.  This kind of therapy is not fun, because a good practitioner will challenge you and you will be angry with them a good chunk of the time.  But it really does help in breaking free of the kind of negative energy and behaviors that often get in the way of forging new friendships.  The effort is worth it.  Believe me.

((((HUGS)))) to you.

Comment by BergenJC on July 10, 2015 at 10:00am

@irishlady:  I don't know what kind of widows you know, but I signed up for a widows/widowers meetup group two weeks after my husband died and they have been the most kind and caring people I've ever met.

I am starting to feel lucky that I never had children.  When my husband died, people would ask me, "Don't you wish now that you'd had children?"  And the answer was still "no", because I was not cut out for parenthood. 

I know this is easy for me to say, but from the perspective of someone who has never had the luxury of thinking I could rely on anyone, I will say that if you are expecting your kids to be your life, to make your life, to fill that hole in your life, well, guess again.  Under the BEST of circumstances, they have their own lives, spouses, kids, jobs, responsibilities.  Even if we are old and sick, can we really expect our children to neglect their own spouses and kids to change our bedpans and wipe our feverish brows?  Sorry, but I think that's a pipe dream.  I've always had to look at the cold hard light of day and realize that I'm on my own.  I took out long-term care insurance, I know that I will be cared for by strangers in my old age, and that's just how it is.  On the other hand, I also know that because I have an advance directive, there will be no one fighting to keep me on machines either.

@Slick:  I know you are a good person.  I know you are in a lot of pain.  And so I say this with affection and concern.  If you want to have a relationship with your kids, please back off.  No one wants to hear from her mother what a lousy job she's doing raising her kids.  No one wants to hear the equivalent of "What have you done for me lately?"  I think you are feeling you need something from your children that you are not getting, and it is not a change in how they are raising their kids.  What is it that you need?  Try to identify what that is and then step back and see if it is reasonable.

I realize that I am in the minority, but I do NOT feel that children have to live by some contract when they grow up.  I do NOT believe in "I gave you life, you owe me."  I had a very demanding mother.  She was very needy, and the older she got the more needy she got and no matter what I did for her it was never enough....because she had a hole in her soul that could never be filled...and yet she kept expecting me to fill it through doing things for her.  I spent my entire childhood and a good chunk of my young adulthood trying to find the magic bullet that would make her happy before I realized that it was NOT my job to do so, no matter how much she said it was because she was my mother.

Six months after her husband died, she moved near where my sister lives.  And my sister knocked herself out taking Mom to plays, clubs, groups, adult education classes, concerts.  And no matter what she did, it was never enough and Mom would lash out at her because she was not doing enough to make Mom happy.  My sister was miserable because of the constant criticism and Mom was miserable because my sister was supposed to be making her happy -- and she wasn't happy.

Here is something else I learned from my mother's life:  Nobody wants to be around a buzzkill.  Even other widows don't want to be around a buzzkill.  Anyone can have a bad day.  We all know that feeling where we realize "Yes, that really happened" and it's like getting hit in the head with a 2 x 4 and we just have to cry it out and then take a nap.  But my mother framed the entire last 12 years of her life as "I lost my husband." 

(more in next post....)

 

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