Friday, September 25, 2009

A Little Dose of Therapy

I am back to seeing my grief therapist on a weekly basis to help me get through this latest secondary loss of having to sell/move from the home I shared with Husband #1 and downsize into a two-bedroom apartment with the boys. At one point during today's session, my therapist made the comment on how few people seem to understand how difficult it is being an only parent. I have struggled with this issue from the beginning of my widowhood. I asked my therapist if other widows deal with the same issue and she said, yes, that it is felt across the board to a certain extent by all widows raising kids. But to what degree frustration is felt is in direct correlation to how much outside support (emotional and physical) is received by the widow. In my case, since I have received virtually none from family, I am hit doubly hard. Trying to always explain to others how hard this is/was while at the same time feeling tremendously angry at the hand I have been dealt.

I am feeling a lot of rage right now. Pent up anger, grief and outrage from years past. Little help received from others and then the tedium of having to do everything by myself anyway. And the constant justifying my actions and trying to explain just how tough this role is/has been. My therapist pointed out that I will continue to be an only parent for the near future. But that I can start to try and choose more supportive people to interact with. We talked about how I may have been unconsciously bringing certain people into my life who end up not being supportive, including Husband #2. Interesting food for thought.

Rather than try and talk me out of my raging feelings, as so many in my life try to do, my therapist told me that I need to feel them and get them out. There is a backlog of them and if I don't deal with them now they can rear their ugly heads in less than positive ways in the future. I recalled asking Husband #1 for help with cleaning out the garage two years ago. His response to me was that I was weak for needing the help. When I recently told Guyfriend that I am feeling overwhelmed and dismayed with the unpacking process, he told me that he is sick of my negative attitude and that all things get better with time. My therapist stressed that we are entitled to our feelings and to be talked out of them or to be told they are not valid is very counterproductive.

The other good advice I gained from today's session was that when people start to give me their opinions on parenting (the boys should get jobs and play less sports for example) I can stop the barrage right then and there by holding up my hand and saying, "Whoa, hold the advice. Until you've walked in my shoes you don't have any conception of the decisions and choices I've had to make." We talked a little about how easy it is for others to throw in their two cents - especially those who have no idea what they are talking about!

I am just experiencing a great deal of difficulty getting through all the boxes stacked up in the apartment and trying to make a new start for the three of us. I am frustrated and feel alone and defeated. Add some anger and rage along with the usual grief to the mix and boy, I'm having a real party here!

Today I am grateful:

1. For my therapist. May I someday return to my field so I can impart my wisdom and comfort to others facing this same strife.
2. For grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.
3. That gas prices went down.
4. For the Korean place I go to for pedicures (my one beauty luxury I allow myself).
5. That I found my younger son's textbooks the packers had put into the box labeled "fine china!"

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