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I moved to my old hometown a few months ago, after a long absence.  I'm generally an outgoing person, before all the dark grief.  People are very friendly here.  Up until recently I responded truthfully to the inevitable casual questions of "why did you move here?"  It's obvious from my ID, different area code, etc., that I'm new here.  It's just too exhausting to go into the whole widow thing and field the equally inevitable stupid remarks, unless there's a clear need to know.  I've started vaguely saying "I retired", "want to be close to family" (true), or "needed a change".  Why do I feel this need to be "nice" and not offend? Does anyone have any other ways to shut down the personal line of questioning?  I do eventually want to meet people but need to preserve what little privacy I have left.  Thanks

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Pearlinden, I to am an outgoing, caring person as yourself. It is in my nature to try to please everyone, even to my own expense. Like yourself I to in public didn't want to discuss the death of my husband for fear of a breakdown in public and have to rehash all that had taken place. It wasn't good for me because it had lingering affects on me, while they got to walk away unscathed and go on with there normal life. For a while I avoided going in public and avoided talking about my husband, but it still had lingering affects on me, but in a different way. I started to have anxiety and panic attacks trying to avoid the inevitable pain of discussing my husband and "our" journey. So what I have learned is to put some sting in my response when people get nosey and try to pry into my personal private zone. It makes them feel bad and they shut up most of the time. If they still don't get that I am not appreciating there unwanted prying, I start by saying "I've got to get my day on" and walk away. I don't avoid telling people that my husband died anymore, because it's better for me in the long run mentally, emotionally, and physically. I have had to learn to think about me and my own personal well fair...screw them! I find most people understand when I say I lost my husband, but there are a few idiots that want to be nosey just because they think they can! But don't give them that right! You are in control of your own personal private life...not the other way around! Don't let them control you...you have the right to control what you disclose or not disclose. If they keep prying I tell them that I don't want to discuss it, it's too painful, and move on to another subject or walk away! I don't know if you are willing or able to change your phone number, but that may also help you "appear" as local and stop some unwanted prying. I was fortunate that when I moved it was still in the same area code, so that is not a red flag to people. I do hope that things get better for you, and that you find some peace in your new surroundings. God bless and take care of yourself first!

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