Friday, August 20, 2010

Makeover Needed

First football game of the season. I was proud of seeing my son play and his role as defensive captain. But sitting in those stands alone brings such pain on my soul. I could feel myself seeth at all the women around me, leaning into their husbands, having their husbands help them up the steep steps, hating them as they smiled and waved to friends - other married moms. I despise myself that I feel such anger and resentment toward people I don't even know.

My close girlfriend sat with me a short while, then a woman behind me chatted throughout the game. It was nice that she made an effort to communicate. Most people don't. And I did my best to be pleasant as we talked.

I see myself as careworn. All this worry about finances and parenting on my own has been hard. I don't readily smile. I'm sure I look anxious and upset when I'm out. There is too much on my plate and I think it has started to show. No longer can I keep it inside me - it has started to seep out with the way I look externally. I would go as far to say that widowhood's toll is doing nothing to help my looks. I am feeling ugly and it has gone beyond a bad hair day.

The other women in the stands tonight looked more rested, prettier, less stressed, up-to-date, thinner, healthier. I am beginning to feel and look like a frump. I need a hair cut, new clothes that fit (mine are baggy). In short, I really think I need an entire makeover. It would perk me up and make me feel better about myself. In my opinion, if anyone is in need of a beauty makeover it would be a widow. If ever I am in a position to give back in the future, that will be my mission. To participate in a program or start one that provides makeovers to women in my position. God, I would be happy right now with a box of Crest Whitening Strips - any little boost to raise my spirits and provide a lift.


  1. I'm sorry you're feeling bad. *hugs* I would totally send you a box of those strips if I knew where to send them.

  2. Maybe it would be worth checking around to see if there are any beautician or hair stylist colleges in your area and find out if they provide services for free or greatly reduced amounts as "clients" for their student programs. In the city where I used to live, there was a large community college where most area professionals get their training. One of my friends became a hair stylist through there and she mentioned that they used to offer free or very low cost hair styling, coloring, etc.. to "volunteer clients". The students are closely supervised, etc.., so I don't think there is any great risk involved. I think most services are for free, or just some very nominal fee. Might be a nice way to get some spa services and feel pampered without spending big bucks.

  3. You know what I love about your blog -- you are so honest about how sometimes widows don't recover quickly, their lives are not falling together smoothly and that there are other factors that make it more difficult. We all want our lives to become the new normal at some point but it just doesn't always happen. I know there are other widows who are feeling the same but maybe afraid to share lest they be branded. I think you're idea of makeovers for widows who don't have the financial resources is a wonderful idea. We all need a boost sometimes to make us feel a bit better about ourselves even though it doesn't solve our problems. Thank you for sharing your heart! My almost seven years have not been peachy keen, not just because the loss of my husband, but losses of all kinds piled on top and there is noone who would understand the dynamics to talk with. I'm with you, girl, and understand all that you write. And good for you to know that there are some places you just can't go. Those few friends I still have just don't get it. Keep writing, keep sharing -- I admire your spunk, even though you may not feel spunky right now!

    Would love to send you a "care" package!

  4. I went shopping today for my daughter's wedding gown and thought how her dad will never see how beautiful she looks in her gown. Widowhood is like losing a leg or an arm. You have to figure out how you are going to adapt, adjust, change and modify to get through the rest of your life. I know how you feel when you see couples together and you sit there alone. It is a very lonely feeling. I know what you mean by feeling so unattractive. I'm tired, used to be in pretty decent shape but now I'm 15 lbs. overweight. Sometimes I look in the mirror and don't even recognize myself any more. But I'm not sure I care really. Just want my husband back and that's not going to happen.

  5. Vanessa - Thanks for sending a hug.

    Bev - Thanks for the make-over idea. There is a place that offers $5.00 haircuts but I haven't had good luck there and end up having to pay more to repair the damage. I'll keep my eyes out for other options and ask around too.

    Beth - As always you stike a chord with me when you comment - maybe because we share the same timeline in years of being widowed. Even today I got bashed by Sam who told me I am way too emotional all the time. Well, it is hard not to be when you're on your own raising kids with huge losses behind you. I get so frustrated when those closest to me expect me to be functioning in the new normal - they just have no idea about this life. And then to get put down besides because I stuggle with my moods, depression and emotions.

    The point of this post was to examine how I am now feeling the bad parts of my insides starting to show outside myself. I am suffering inside and starting to look worse - I think there is a connection there. I have to take measures so I don't end up looking like a witch before

    I also like your comment about other widows feeling the same but not being comfortable sharing their honest feelings. I sure wish they would because I feel that I'm the only widow posting who talks about this stuff. A lot of time I feel like I'm the "Blogging Bitch/Negative Widow!"

    Anonymous - I find your description of widowhood being like losing an arm or leg very valid. I know the overall life of widowhood is aging me before my time and that seems like yet another burden of this life I've been forced to adapt to. And it is hard to care when what we want isn't a part of our life anymore - what does it matter...

  6. Why is it that you don't care and don't want to hear about "those that have it worse than you," but have such concern and hatred for "those that have it better than you?"

  7. Anonymous - I've never said I don't care or don't want to hear about those who have it worse than I (if that can even be quantified anyway). In starting this blog I had hoped to reach out to those suffering. In my experience with blogging, I haven't been exposed to many who are really having a hard time of it. And by that I mean multiple layers of grief besides losing a spouse (financial loss, loss of home, other deaths or illness in the family, etc.).

    I live in a community where there isn't a lot of obvious financial (or otherwise) hardship so my experiences relate to that aspect of my life. It is my issue that I'm trying to come to grips with. It has been extremely difficult for me to cope with widowhood and the other problems I've been forced to face have pretty much been beyond my personal limit.

    But perhaps actions speak louder than words. In all the time I have been replying to bloggers I have never intentionally conveyed anything critical or negative about that person or what they were dealing with. I have always tried to be sympathetic because criticism doesn't end up having the result the sender intends (usually just the opposite). And I have never sent an anonymous comment.

  8. You are nothing if not completely honest on your blog. It's hard to read sometimes, even for another widow, but it's honest.
    I know that this path has been the most difficult thing I've ever done, or ever will do, but I know that I've had more support than you've experienced .... which breaks my heart for you.
    I pray that "this too shall pass" for you and that you will one day soon find a reason to smile .... on the inside as well as the outside.
    Thank you for your honesty.

  9. Janine - There are times I struggle with the honesty because whenever I let it all out, I do receive criticism, which is tough to hear when you're already struggling. But in the end the honesty wins over because I know that is what will lead the way out of my inner turmoil.

    I post because I figure some way, some how it will end up being of value at least to me, and hopefully to others. I hope in part, to depict how challenging and difficult it can be for the widowed in my age group, raising kids without a support network. If this blog results in some change in perception or the reaching out of a person to a needy widow, then it is worth it.

  10. I just found this blog. You do spell it out. I've been widowed 2 1/2 years with son now 18 and daughter 15 1/2. There is a great divide, unless you go through it you cannot understand it. (I could not have either before) The leap is too great. The overwhelming responsibility for the kids. The schools who don't understand why they are not "over it" yet. I have to do the late night pick up because there is not another parent even if I can don't feel well or am soooo tired. One of the really hard things is those times you need to discuss things about the kids that would be private between you and your husband. Now no sounding board, other opinion,no support.

  11. Leslie - Thanks for commenting, I can tell you can totally relate to all of this. My boys are 16 and 17 and I think that people assume because they are older that my responsibilities aren't as great. But I still have to do carpool and now I'm becoming frantic about how we'll afford college. Having to figure out what to do for the kids (my youngest just texted me asking if he can drop Chemistry) is very, very wearing. I am SO drained and tired, just running on empty and automatic. The thing that has always so much bugged me about the carpooling stuff is that I have still been expected to do my share even thought I'm the only single parent in the group. I've gotten to the point where I just say "no." Let a two-couple, intact family pick up the slack for once. I'm plum wore out!

  12. I worry about college too, but I've pretty much resigned myself to the idea that my daughter is going to have to get a job and work her way through, the way I did. I wish I could pay for it all out of my pocket and give her the carefree college experience I didn't have, but that's just not going to happen. Sigh.

  13. Vanessa - I put myself through college without one cent from my folks and I'd so hoped my sons would be spared my experience, just like you. Gosh, I worked cleaning houses, babysitting, at a dry cleaner, as a waitress, teaching assistant and in a Hallmark store. Whew! I may have left one or two places out too!

    But this is what is really scaring me. In my day, a kid could get themselves through college. It seems to have gotten harder now and college costs are up. I'm going to go in to talk to my oldest son's guidance counselor for advice on financial assistance. But the route I think he'll have to take since his grades aren't that high, is to get through two years at the community college and transfer in as a junior to a university. I did that and ended up with a scholarship to my 4-year school and it didn't stop me from getting a master's later on. They say community colleges are the best economic value in today's world for higher education.