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Old 04-19-2013, 02:01 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,669 posts, read 6,737,637 times
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I was a natural hermit. Ever since I was a child, I was uneasy in social situations. I was the type who only had one friend at a time, and loved being alone. I was an only child, so that may have been part of it. I went through school without much of a social life, and when we got married, I was fine staying home and raising kids. I did the usual Girl Scouts and gymnastics with the girls, but otherwise, I never volunteered for room mother or anything like that. After Bob died, and I moved to Tucson where I didn't know a soul, I had no choice (well, I guess I did....) but to try and meet people. I joined the Landscape committee of my HOA, which was good as there are only 5 of us, so it's not socially overwhelming. Then I volunteered for the Finance Committee, the Nominations Committee and became known for my PR skills. I was asked to be media liason, to write the newsletter, make flyers and other PR stuff and I found out I liked it. I also joined the American Sewing Guild and found neighbor also belonged, so we go together and are friends. Her husband is a great handyman and has done some beautiful repair work on an antique 8 day clock, as well as rebuilding my table side Caesar salad bowl. Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever seen myself as fairly social. I took baby steps, and I'm still uncomfortable in social situations, but I'm dipping my toes in the water and making friends. Bob would be so shocked, and hopefully proud of me.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: SWFL
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Good for you, marcy. I'm a "natural hermit" also.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,172,988 times
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I'm a member of the "only child" club (too) so I'm used to amusing myself and having a lot of private time...If I tried to become a non-stop "social butterfly" I'd probably go through a sense of losing my "self!" (And my basic identity or ?)...But I can see that extreme isolation isn't always "good" for me right now...I need to feel a part of a larger world at times. I need some sense of "belongingness" once in awhile...So I push myself to take a few "baby-steps" at times too. (And try to step into the "flow" of life a little more.)...This is probably why I come here!..If I don't see people on a regular basis in my everyday life I know I have friends (and a "place") here on the grief forum.. Thanks a million to all of my friends here!
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:29 PM
 
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What a roller coaster we are all on. This week has been on the up swing for me. I do feel tho as if I am contained in my own world of routine. Right now that is fine with me. That "cruise" is dangling out there, but I am afraid to wet my toes. I am feeling safe in my coccoon. This is the normal for me at the moment.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:06 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,669 posts, read 6,737,637 times
Reputation: 7078
Most of the committees I'm on only meet once a month. Finance is once a year and so is Nominations. The Sewing Guild is once a month, too, but if you're not into the "topic" you don't need to go, so I'm not as social as I sound. And all the PR work, etc., is from home on the computer, so my cocoon is still fairly tight still. But, I have met neighbors through these groups, and it's not so weird going to get the mail, and keeping my eyes down to avoid people. I will now smile and say hi, and sometimes stop and chat. But, on the whole, I love my alone time, love my space and am good at keeping myself busy (a good skill learned from being an "only"). It is good to meet people, even if just enough to say hi, as there is a need to connect sometimes. It does feel good having people know me, as long as they don't start wanting me to do happy hour every Friday or something....at least not yet. It will be 3 1/2 years for me on Friday, so this has been a very slow process with lots of ups and downs. I still have plenty of downs, but the ups are gaining.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Sunset Mountain
1,385 posts, read 2,744,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
Kat...I wish I had all the "answers" too...It does feel like going through "unchartered seas" or being a "pioneer" or ??...The friend I wrote about in my earlier post called again a few days ago...Frankly it's hard to have an ongoing conversation with her because she jumps in and finishes all my sentences with: "It will be fine." (Or something like this.)...She mentioned that her BIL just passed away unexpectedly and she went to stay with her SIL for a few days.. I said I was "sorry" about his passing. And she jumped right in and said: "It's all over now and fine!"...I'm not angry or full of hate and discontempt towards my friend. I know she "means well." And sincerely feels she is being helpful...But it's impossible to be my "real self" with her because she has such a need to play "pollyanna."...I'm not whining and complaining when she calls. I conduct myself with dignity but yet she has trouble letting me talk..I'm glad she doesn't call on a regular basis. I've tried to explain my feelings to her in the past. (In a caring way.) I've told her that I just need to be honest about my feelings at times. And need a chance to finish my sentences etc...But she has her "pat answers" and feels she's "right." So we're at an impasse.. I'm glad I have friends who are willing to "hear me out."
These responses are coming from her own insecurities and coping mechanisms she has designed to carry her through times she feels helpless. I've watched Sarah slowly and painfully disconnect these relationships in her life with those exact "Pats" with answers to everything. These were friends and family of friends who had basically adopted her from childhood and have been a rock for her -her entire life. When she realized she couldn't be herself, she couldn't grieve with them, or in front of them without these judgements (whether well meaning or not) she had to do what was right for her, and that meant moving on without them.

It took her 3 years to grow tired of them not listening to her and being impatient with her grieving process before she pulled the plug.

She still chats with them on FB, but the conversations are "weak" she says, and it feels to her like distant acquaintances. She said she would explain the "truth" of why she disconnected when they came asking, but they never did, and because of their insecurity, most likely won't ever, and that's something she's ready to accept.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Sunset Mountain
1,385 posts, read 2,744,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
Kat...Thought I'd write a little more...I know my friend "means well." (As I stated earlier.) But she has a way of transmitting the message: "I'm OK and you're NOT!"...Her Mom passed away a few years ago and she "brags" about the way she handled her Mom's death...Her husband has ongoing health problems and almost died awhile back ago. (But is okay now.)..She took pride in handling her husband's "brush with death" in her traditional "matter of fact" kind of way. (By being stoic?)...I don't want to pretend that I am "made of steel." Or look down my nose at people who have feelings or go through grief...I never want to lose my ability to "feel." (Whether I'm "feeling" my own emotions or "feeling" for others.)...I don't act like a big "cry-baby" 24/7..Or try to dominate every conversation with talk about my grief and losses...I've "moved-on" to a large degree when it comes to talking about everyday life and "normal things." But I am still going through grief and trying to process my grief even if I don't bring it up or talk about it all the time with friends...And I don't want to be treated like a "whacko" or "stupid child" because I still have feelings left to deal-with and "heal."...I can't be just like my friend and pretend that nothing "affects me." (Because this just isn't true!)
Based upon my reading tons of books and living with Sarah for the last year +, this is what I see:

"I'm OK and you're NOT!" = "I haven't really accepted grief, I've only transferred it, covered it up, and will deal with it later in private where no one can judge me." She's judging herself. The more she "brags" the louder the cry for help is heard that she hasn't coped with it, nor has she really accepted it.

Her "made of steel" is her way of coping. Sarah was stoic for about 6 months after husband died. As a child, she was taught never to show emotion-emotions are weak and that led to an adult life time of never coping with anything in a healthy way. Being stoic only lasts for so long-or as long as you buy into it. That vulnerability we allow ourselves to feel is a natural release of these confusing emotions in varying stages of grief and upset. Those who function by suppressing this vulnerability sometimes find problems later down the road when it all catches up to them.

Don't be anyone but yourself: it's who you really are, what you truly reveal about yourself because of this grief, that others must accept about you.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:38 AM
 
1,050 posts, read 2,865,811 times
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Marcy, you are wetting your toes. I am sort of an only child, my bother is 10 years older than me and left home early. I too am on the Landscape committee with our HOA. It is a small neighborhood and I pretty much know all the homeowners. There is a new home just built and the owners are about my age and the lady is retired. They move in soon. I would like just one person to connect with here....maybe a walking partner, wine sipping on the deck....that sort of thing.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Sunset Mountain
1,385 posts, read 2,744,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude1948 View Post
I have had problems with Bank of America. Gave them a copy of the death certificate, copy of the will stating I am sole beneficiary. We bought a rental, and for some reason it is only in my husband's name. I have been making monthly payments on time. I called to say that I am the owner now, and they kept sending me something about needing the court approved documentation showing that. Made many calls to different county departments and they said I needed to go and pay 150 dollars and go before a judge. I called my son who is in the mortgage business and he contacted an attorney and he said it is not necessary. They just wanted that done to insure they get paid. Now I am in the process of selling.....First contract fell through, and now have another. Anyway I was going in circles trying to get all of the proper documentation which was not needed
Sarah still gets her husband's mail and it infuriates her-she grew tired of the hassle of selling her home and let them foreclose on her.

That left all three of us "homeless" so to speak-I had hoped she would have recovered something for her loss but she needed the burden of that home lifted in a hurry and so we just all left it behind.

I'm sorry you're going through this crap-it's so insensitive and unnecessary and I feel we've lost every ounce of proper etiquette in corporate America about more important things.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Sunset Mountain
1,385 posts, read 2,744,928 times
Reputation: 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
I know I'm probably going to need to make some changes when it comes to friends. (Changes in my thinking!)...I may live for many more years. Who knows?...I can live the rest of my life as a loner in my isolated little "cave." (And just step "out" once in awhile.)...Or I can become a little more "mainstream" and learn how to "adapt" to many different cultures and step out of my "comfort zone." (And controlled environment.)...I sort of "bottomed-out" over the past few weeks. (To the point that I even became worried about myself!)...But all of a sudden I see a little "flash of light." And I "get it" that my future and my happiness rests on my own shoulders now.
A great set of books that helped me get through some tough times lately were the ones written by Brene Brown. All of her work is wonderful.

Try "The gifts of imperfection" or "Daring Greatly" if you need help jump starting your heart again into this world.

Sarah had bottomed out a few times while my husband and I lived with her this past year and a half. I would revisit her statement that started this whole process of getting her to live her life again but differently than she did with her husband:

She had said to me 2 years ago "Kat, I don't want to end up one of those bitter, hateful widows that can't crawl out of bed on his 10 year anniversary of his death. Help me."

We're actually at a crux in our plans right now-maybe you can offer me some advice?

We sold everything 4 weeks ago, and drove from TX to Wisconsin to start a new life. This was what all three of us came up with. We've been racking up quite a bill at the hotel we've been living in the past 3 weeks because we can't find any rentals that will take our pets, plus her pets so we can all live together.

She can't get a place on her own because her and I aren't working yet.

She sent me a text last night from her hotel room saying this:
I have a hard time verbalizing this out loud because the thought is extremely painful, but given the current situation I feel like we have to consider all options. Angel and I talked about the emotional aspects of this briefly the other day. Trying to put all emotion aside - the reality is that it would be easier and simpler for you guys to find a place to live if I weren't part of the equation. You could probably have already found an apartment or rental home here by now and we would not be having this huge bill building up here at the La Quinta. I imagine the same will be true in Michigan, and if my presence is no longer a consideration then it will be easier for you to find a place there as well - should you decide to head that way.
I could always just pack the absolute essentials in my truck along with my animals and leave everything else with you guys to keep. I don't want to go back to Texas so I would probably have to go to my sister's in New Mexico and go with them to Colorado Springs. I don't know.
The real question I guess is: are we better off sticking together or should we separate?



My husband is sleeping so we haven't discussed this yet, but this is what faces me today-

It's times like this exact moment in life where my character and true nature stomp out any reasoning, rational decision making, or smart thinking. My heart always wins the fight with my sensible lacking brain.
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