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

I did a rotten thing yesterday, well ok, I've "lost it" numerous times, but yesterday topped it.  I was a horrible mom.  I got up 5:45 a.m. - drove my 15 yr old to work, got back at 7 and crawled back into bed.  My 12 yr old came in several times, I'd answer him and burrow back down in.  Finally, about 1 o'clock I couldn't handle the guilty feelings of neglecting my kids and got up, but all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed.

The day just went downhill from there, to the point that by 5:00 I had reamed out both kids, hid in my closet-screaming into my pillow - when I was finally worn out, and vocal chords hoarse, I sat wondering how did I get to that point?  How is it I could treat my kids that way - first completely ignoring them, then reaming them out?

The reality is that they deserved a lashing - both were utterly disrespectful to me and to each other, behaving and talking in a way that they would never have even attempted if their dad had been there, and it's not like it's behavior I've been allowing.  I just lost it, at least I didn't hit them, though I'm sure DHS wouldn't have been overly impressed with what I said to them, nor would have Dave. 

So how to regroup from yesterday?  The rest of the night and this morning we pretty much moved on eggshells around each other - I'm sure they were waiting for me to explode again.

That's not what I want, how I want to be, the type of person/mother I am - I'm sure a lot of it is that I just need a break - but, that's a fantasy - I mean a break actually happening.   My brother has plenty going on right now - he'd help in a heartbeat, but like I said, he's got enough on his own plate w/ his family.  My parents are in Texas for the winter - I made them go, my sister lives 3 hrs away, and also has lots to handle.  My in-laws - not reliable - the last time I left them in charge for just a couple hours I came back to a totaled house, homework not done, and kids had not been taken to the events committments they were to have been to.  During the week, I work.  I can't afford to take days off at no pay - teaching there aren't "vacation days" - those are J,J, & 2 wks of Aug- my personal days I need to keep for emergencies.

I look at my photos - even the one posted here and wonder - who is that woman?  I look 10 yrs older, feel 100 yrs older -  I wonder, where is that family?  Did it really truly exist?  It's like I, we -the boys & I - are just fading away - how do I get us back? And it seems the harder I try, the more we all just fade away -  some days, I think I've lost it all,  lately, I know I'm still losing it. 

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Comment by Kerryn on February 20, 2012 at 7:16pm

@Dianne - 

Thanks - great idea - option - that time, most weeks would work - even w/ boy "noise" in the back ground ( never quiet in our house- boys = more boys = more boys).

Don't underestimate understanding - it helps incredibly - my friends are amazing and numerous ones have lost siblings and two of them (one set's sister married another set' brother - have after Mike died of massive heart attack, helped Rhonda out a lot) - yet it's not the same as going through it themselves.  They can still go home with each other.  We had our "game night" Sat. night.  was a great night, yet at the end as we all coated up - they went home w/ their spouse - I went home alone to my boys.  They don't get it.   Understanding - it helps and is huge.  Solutions - only one really exists and Dave coming back isn't a reality.   Hope you are doing ok - 14 mo out and almost worse than the first 12.

Comment by Joyce on February 20, 2012 at 4:16pm

@Kerryn:  I understand about the grief support, I wanted to try a group but you're right they don't cater to working people.  Hope you find some kind of solution soon. 


Comment by Dianne in Nevada on February 20, 2012 at 2:43pm

Just had a thought, Kerryn.  I participated in an online bereavement support group through the Cancer Support Community that was very helpful. It's a chat room format with a wonderful, skilled facilitator (who happens to also be a widow). It isn't just for widows, but it sure did help me. The group created a nice bond and we even have a private FB page to stay in touch on the other days of the week. Members come and go as life happens; I haven't been able to attend lately due to my job.  It's 90 minutes on Monday evenings - 5pm to 6:30pm PST ... think that would be 7-8:30pm for you. You aren't required to stay online the whole time if that's not possible. Just something to consider. You do have to complete an application and be approved in order to join the group. Here's a link if you're interested:

And I really do understand how hard it is to ask for help. I'm almost 17 months out and I have not asked anyone for help yet either, but I don't have young children.  (And my husband was a middle school teacher, too, so I understand that you can't take days off.) Unfortunately, my understanding doesn't help you at all, does it? Wish I had a solution to offer you.

Comment by Kerryn on February 20, 2012 at 2:05pm

@ joyce - 

Thanks for the response,  I know I need to ask.  Part of it too is the things the boys  are doing/involved in are things I need to be there for as well - h.s./m.s. activities - gets crazy.  Counselor - would be nice - I drive the boys weekly about 44 miles roundtrip for their individual 45 min/hr - insurance is picking up theirs . There just isn't another 30/45 min to carve out of the schedule - I can't take time off of work and insurance doesn't cover counseling for me-unfortunately it's not in the budget right now.  Group counseling wouldn't be horrible either - but most of the time the times they have it are when the boys have games, or in the middle of the day when I'm at work.  There are wonderful aspects about living in rural NC Iowa, and there are also frustrating limitations - access to counseling any type of grief support is pretty much non existent if you have kids and work full time.   WV is my counseling - you all are truly wonderful and get me through many days.

Comment by Joyce on February 20, 2012 at 1:24pm

Kerryn:  I'm sorry for what you're going through and I understand that you think both your brother and sister both have their hands full but I sure either one of them would help you out if you asked.  Just ask them if they would take your boys for even just a weekend.  They have probably offered and you don't like to impose but it sounds like you really need to do it at this point, for all of your sakes.  People's lives are crazy and sometimes adding a little to the craziness will not matter much.  Have you thought about seeing a counselor?

Comment by Lisa (lost) Lamb on February 20, 2012 at 12:57pm

Kerryn- your a lot like I am. I don't like to ask for help either, just knowing that everyone has their own lives and I don't want to intrude with my problems. But you have to think whats best for you and your children right now. If people are willing to help let them, a friend of mine once told me it makes her feel good being able to do something for me. She has always wanted to help me but didn't know how. Maybe the kids both have friends they could have a sleep over with, then you could have a night to yourself. I hope you can find some peace and a little time for yourself sometime in the future.  Best wishes

Comment by Kerryn on February 20, 2012 at 12:40pm
Dianne - Thanks!! We are in pretty rural NC Iowa - I know there are people I could ask and they would jump, it's just that I know they are all running crazy, same as me w/ their own kids - I hate to add to their craziness, and I know they'd do anything I ask. All our - I still just can't say "my" friends - kids range from elem to married expecting first baby - all running totally different directions during the week. I just hate to add to their craziness.
Comment by Dianne in Nevada on February 20, 2012 at 12:29pm
Oh gosh Kerryn - you are not a horrible mom. You are a mom who is carrying a very, very heavy load and 'losing it' from time to time is not at all surprising. I'll bet your boys get that, too. I recall you live in a rural area, but I'm wondering if there might be a mom fairly close by who could help you out from time to time with some of those road trips - giving you a little bit of time to yourself. I know it's not easy to ask for help, but I hope there's someone there that will be available to help you.

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