Sunday, December 27, 2009

Too Hard and Too Much

I feel that I have failed my boys. They've lost their Dad, their house, we've lived in a financially strapped position for years. The least I should be able to provide for them is some sense of safety and security in their home town and beloved school. But now my dire financial condition threatens that too.

I remarried because I fell in love but also because I felt that it would provide a better and more stable life for my boys. That turned out to be a bust.

They've done nothing but be my sons - that is their only crime. And they are being punished for it. For poor decisions I've made, for being too tired as a caregiver to my parents when I should have been concentrating on them. For feeling incompetent and scared as I try to market myself after not working for years. For feeling bitter and betrayed for the lack of support and help I've received from my family.

It has been too hard for to manage on my own. I have been a shitty "only" parent. I've needed more help and support. I haven't asked or demanded any. None has really been forthcoming. I have not been able to do this for as many years as I have.

My grief therapist says one of the top criteria as to how people manage being widowed is in direct correlation to how much support they receive from family, friends, community, church and other networks. We have not received much and now I feel too tired and drained to keep this up.

How can people just blindly turn an eye to us? My husband's family has been non-existent in regard to any contact or interest in the boys. I don't care if you blow me off but what about these young men who have lost so much, suffered and are still struggling to find their way? All I will say is that I would reach out to any relative I knew was struggling to raise children on their own and especially the children.

We were not the family to have the dad die. It should have been another family where there was a stronger support system in place with family that cared and was loving. Where family would reach out to offer love and support. The death is enough to have to recover from and survive. The being alone and financial struggles now seem insurmountable. Why? Because I'm just too damn exhausted from having had to try and get by on my own all these years. I don't have the energy or strength.

I feel as though I'm being forced to move because of the finances. But how can I keep going on like this? At least Sam loves me/us and has offered us what he can. Can't say the same of family or Husband #2.

But it just seems that this is such a sad and defeating moment. A sense of failure and rejection permeate my being. This is not how it should end. There should not have to be so many years of hardship and pain following such a major loss.

My siblings have lived the past six years in their same homes with their kids surviving no major upheavals or losses. How can no one fathom the amount of pain that accompanies the loss of two husbands and a home? These are tragic and horrific losses. To have to wake up every day after suffering these events and face the world and parent on one's own and try to plan and figure out the future alone - no husband/wife by your side to talk to and share the worries, as well as the burdens.

What has the world expected of us? Why has the world cast down its evil so much on this little family? Couldn't it have been spread around a bit or bypassed us? I hate life and the world right now. I don't like writing or feeling like this. It is scary to let such rage come out to the surface. But my therapist says bottling this stuff up is what leads people to become nasty and bitter. And I don't want that for my future. I do not want to be an ugly person inside as well as one who grieves. The grief is enough!


  1. Let it out.

    We are here and we know your fears and pain.

    We care.

    Let it out.

    And yes, the grief is too much actually on its own ... it is shitty.

    You won't be bitter and ugly inside, ever, ok ... but you will get ill if you donh't let it out.

    Vent, rage, go ahead


  2. I agree, let it FLY! They, your family, don't get it and they aren't going to. This is also a reality I have had to face from my own family. Luckily they are not in close proximity to me so I don't have to see them on a regular basis. If I did, my rage and indignation would be even greater. Physical distance has been a blessing in disguise.

    You are not and could never be bitter and ugly inside. You are feeling perfectly NORMAL feelings. I suspect the majority of us are or have felt them. Grief and the grieving process has no timetable. Oh, rest assured the rest of the world and society absolutely love putting a timetable on it. But the reality is it is an intensely personal experience with no right or wrong way to do it. Sure, there are commonalities, but in the end each of us grieves in our own way on our own timetable.

    Don't feel that what you are doing is wrong or imperfect. I cannot be. It is yours and you deserve to own it without judgement.

  3. The boys are going to be okay. I went through it all as a teenager - poverty, eviction, motel living, parental divorce and remarriage, estrangement from my mother, even dropping out of school for a while. It was a nightmare, but you know what? I almost never think about any of it now. It's there in my memory, but it's something that happened a long time ago, and it doesn't affect my daily life. (People who have heard the full story have said in amazement, "But you're so normal!") Ten or twenty years from now, the boys will remember these hard times, but they'll be too busy with their own lives and families to dwell on them much. So don't worry that they're going to be ruined forever, because I promise you they aren't.

    And as far as venting, I say go for it! This is your space, and if you can't be angry here, where can you be?

  4. Boo - I'll take your advice any day. Your insight is pretty powerful. You'd make a very good grief counselor if the path takes you there someday.

    Kelly - I just so appreciate that there is someone else out there with "family" issues. and that somehow we've connected. My family being so indifferent hurts sometimes far more that all the other losses put together.

    Vanessa - Wow! That is a story. Thank you for caring enough to relate it here. I am trying to soak in your vote of confidence that my boys will not be ruined. There isn't really a right or wrong decision here - I'm just trying to figure out which will be the least damaging to my sons in the long run.

  5. I have to agree with you. The family stuff is definitely more painful. I think that's because it is always there, always in my face. Joe is gone and while that is devastating I don't have to 'hear' about it on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. The family is another issue. Sometimes I wish they would go away! I don't want to hear what they are doing, where they are going etc etc. It's terrible to say but there are days that I get angry that they are still here and he is gone. At least if he were here he would treat me well and love me. Them.....well......AHHHHH! I keep telling myself over and over it's THEM not me. They are the ones with something fundamentally wrong inside. But that was cold comfort as I sat home for 2 days over Christmas alone and not ONE of them called. If the roles were reversed, regardless of any baggage, I would DO THE RIGHT THING. It still boggles my mind that they can't/won't.

    After thinking all of the above I then feel like maybe I'm a horrible person for feeling like that. But I'm not.

  6. Kelly - I only got two Christmas cards this year - from one of my brothers and my sister. They just signed the cards with their names and that of their spouses and kids. Although they included a picture of their kids, there was no note, no words of support, care or concern. They truly act as though everything is just fine and dandy in my life. Now if the tables were turned, I'd have included a Starbuck's gift card or a little something. And for sure I would have written some words of compassion. I would rather have not received any card from them - isn't that sad? Thanks for letting me gripe. I do know you understand and it helps a little to share with someone who does.