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My parents passed and I'm having a hard time...

LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
Sorry this is going to be long:
So last month both of my parents passed away, now when I say parents I mean the people who raised me not the people who are genetically my parents. My father went first and we had him removed from life support in accordance with his living will (which we found after we removed the life support), I was there the entire time from the moment they removed the support till he passed away. My mother passed away 3 weeks later after a 3 year battle with cancer, I wasn't there when she passed. When dad passed I was pretty devastated, it was a bit of a surprise that he passed away because he never really told anyone he was ill and he went from totally fine to in the hospital to passing in about a week. When mom passed I wasn't as hurt. Maybe it was because she had been so ill for so long, possibly I was burnt out from dad's passing that it didn't really hit me or maybe it was a relief because I had been caring for her for so long and she was getting really fussy (down right mean) near the end... I don't know. Anyway, it's been about 2 weeks since mom's funeral and I've been having a hard time lately. I find myself snapping at my wife constantly, she's been trying really hard to comfort me but I can't help but being annoyed with her (not all the time, but fairly often) for no real reason. I also haven't been eating much, generally 1 meal a day with maybe a snack or something during the day. Lastly I haven't really been sleeping well, I either sleep for way too long (10-16 hours) or don't sleep much at all (0-4 hours). While I'm asleep I have pretty fucked up dreams, sometimes it's my parents other times its just bad stuff... I can't recall any specifics but I haven't had a good dream in a really long time. My wife also tells me that I've been talking and occasionally screaming in my sleep. My wife says sometimes I'll call my parents names, scream I'm sorry and to please come back and other times I'll just mutter and flail in the bed... now talking in my sleep isn't exactly unusual for me its been WAY more prevalent lately. oh and I've been... "losing it" for NO reason, the other day I went out to the shed to get something and I found one of my dads sweaters that he must have left out there last time he was healthy and I just cried for like an hour, and not just sobbing I mean full on screaming child in pain crying. Over the weekend I bought a Crunch candy bar and when I got home I opened it and just started crying. Also now I live in their old house, so that's... fun. Pffftttttt, I think I'm rambling now and not really adding anything here so on that note... does anyone have any advice? I was thinking about going to see a therapist but I don't know, last time I was in therapy it was court appointed when my parents fought for custody of me from my birth parents and I didn't much care for it then... but I was 6 at the time so who knows right?


TL:DR: Both my parents died and I'm sad, help?

Butler

Posts

  • pirateluigipirateluigi Arr, it be me. Registered User regular
    Speaking from experience, therapy was a big help. Grief is a very difficult thing to deal with and it hasn't been long at all. My father passed away 5 years ago and I still have episodes where I'll break out in tears out of nowhere.

    As for food... it's tough. I know the feeling and I went through a similar (but opposite) situation... I couldn't stop eating. I gained over 50 pounds in a matter of months. What worked for me is I had to tell myself that I couldn't do to my family what had just happened to me... I had to take better care of myself.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.

    http://www.danreviewstheworld.com
    Nintendo Network ID - PirateLuigi 3DS: 3136-6586-7691
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    Essee
  • PantshandshakePantshandshake Registered User regular
    Some of the things you mention in your post sound an awful lot like depression. I would advise a therapist.

    EsseeEnczagdrob
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I waited a pretty long time after the death of my grandparents to talk to a therapist about it, and I wish I'd done it sooner. I hadn't had much luck with therapists before that guy, so I didn't figure it would help anyway. Sometimes finding one you feel like you can open up to is the real trick, and you're an adult now and you get a choice who you speak with. That might help, knowing that if you don't like the one you start with you can always find another.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Essee
  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I waited a pretty long time after the death of my grandparents to talk to a therapist about it, and I wish I'd done it sooner. I hadn't had much luck with therapists before that guy, so I didn't figure it would help anyway. Sometimes finding one you feel like you can open up to is the real trick, and you're an adult now and you get a choice who you speak with. That might help, knowing that if you don't like the one you start with you can always find another.

    Could you elaborate on how exactly talking to a therapist helped? Like I said last time I went it felt like a waste of time so I guess that left a bad taste in my mouth. Someone had suggested therapy in real life so I figured I would mention it here. I should have looked today but I ended up sleeping pretty much the entire day, now it's time to whip myself into a frenzy to look like I was productive before my wife gets home so she doesn't worry. I'll be back later... thanks.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    A good therapist will know what questions to ask to help you sort things out on your own, but they can't really do the sorting for you. It's hard for me to pick out the exact bits that pertained because I was in there for a lot of things, but therapy helped me let go of a lot of the anger I felt toward them.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Essee
  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    A good therapist will know what questions to ask to help you sort things out on your own, but they can't really do the sorting for you. It's hard for me to pick out the exact bits that pertained because I was in there for a lot of things, but therapy helped me let go of a lot of the anger I felt toward them.

    I see, well I guess I should talk to my wife and see what she has to say. I've been trying to maintain when around her as best as I can. Thanks for the advice!

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    It might be a good idea to bring your wife along to the therapist as well. Maybe not the first visit or two, but eventually it can be good for her to gain the perspective of what you are going through.

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    EsseeNightDragon
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    It sucks every time. The way I coped was to set aside time of remember every day. When my grandfather passed away, I wasn't really with it even though I needed to be. So I took time in the morning every day to remember and replay a memory in my mind so I wouldn't forget it.

    I couldn't get rid of the random reminders, but the regularity helped. It acted like a relief valve so it didn't build up and burst at awkward times. I eventually didn't need to do it everyday. Even now when I think of him, I remember those memories.

    Therapy/counseling helps. Just remember that it won't be an instant change.

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  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Talk to your wife but make it clear that you aren't asking her to fix things or trying to worry her. I'd start off by saying something like, "Honey, I'm having a lot of emotions around the loss of my parents, and I just want to share some of them for a moment. I'm sad, but I don't think this is anything serious, so I don't want to worry you. Do you mind just listening to me for a few minutes while I talk about what I miss, and how I feel?"

    And, at some point in that conversation, talk about going to therapy. I got married this year, lost my father last year, and my brother the year before, and both grandparents shortly before my dad. I've never been to a therapist in my life, but I'm thinking about it now, because that was just a lot of stuff. I don't even know if I'm angry--I definitely don't feel depressed--but sometimes I just feel a little sad about it.

    My wife is supportive & listens, but it isn't her job to be my therapist, so part of me thinks I should go talk to one, just to have a professional that I can bounce things off of.

    If you go to one, make sure you go to someone who does "talk" therapy, and just take it easy--don't worry about getting value for the money. If your therapist is at all decent, they'll let you talk, and they'll let you determine what "value" means. I think it'll take a few sessions to see what it is.

  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    I get what you all are trying to say but none of that sounds realistic, I suppose I could try talking to her without sounding like a lifetime special. I think the hardest part is that we life in their house so there are a LOT of reminders of them around, it's almost overwhelming. I don't feel like I'm moving forward at all... like it's always the day after the funerals. I think I might sell off the house and get a new place but we can't really afford to buy anything else right now and it seems stupid to sell a house to rent an apartment that would cost us a lot more each month than living in this house. Even if I did want to sell the house I can't until at least march because I'm getting surgery late February. I don't know, maybe it's natural that it feel this way, maybe I'm just over reacting or something.

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    It hasn't been very long since it happened. It is going to be a long time until you feel normal and it's going to happen so slowly you'll barely notice changing. See where you are in 6 months.

    EsseezagdrobCelestialBadgeralltheolive
  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    NotYou wrote: »
    It hasn't been very long since it happened. It is going to be a long time until you feel normal and it's going to happen so slowly you'll barely notice changing. See where you are in 6 months.

    You think so? I was thinking that same thing, they are/were very important people it'd be weird if I instantly snapped back to a normal life right?


  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Lankysean wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    It hasn't been very long since it happened. It is going to be a long time until you feel normal and it's going to happen so slowly you'll barely notice changing. See where you are in 6 months.

    You think so? I was thinking that same thing, they are/were very important people it'd be weird if I instantly snapped back to a normal life right?

    What you are experiencing is perfectly normal following the loss of someone close to you.

    You are dealing with the grief of course, but you're also dealing with other stressors. The funerals are obvious ones, but you're also dealing with the possibility of selling the house / moving, and an upcoming surgery. I don't know about your family, but holidays can be stressful and trigger grief as well. So, don't be surprised about how you are feeling. That's normal.

    It sounds like you are trying to maintain through it all and you might not be addressing all of your feelings. This is one reason - coping with / expressing your feelings it would probably be helpful to see a therapist or counselor. The other reasons would be the possibility of depression, and also making sure that your methods of coping don't damage the relationship you have with your wife. Remember that your wife is your partner and it's her job to be there to talk and listen to you, even if it does feel like a 'Lifetime special'. But - also keep in mind that there might be things she can't do that a professional can do or help with.

    The grief will go away over time. It really will, and one day you'll realize you went the entire day without thinking about your parents, and probably feel a flood of emotions about that. It's baby steps forward, and in time things will get back to a new normal.

    Just remember that what you are experiencing is normal and ok, and that most people don't have the tools to deal with it on their own. Also, everything will be ok and get back to normal. It takes time, and there will always be some sadness there, but eventually you will move past this time of your life and things will be better.

    Esseeceres
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Lankysean wrote: »
    I get what you all are trying to say but none of that sounds realistic, I suppose I could try talking to her without sounding like a lifetime special. I think the hardest part is that we life in their house so there are a LOT of reminders of them around, it's almost overwhelming. I don't feel like I'm moving forward at all... like it's always the day after the funerals. I think I might sell off the house and get a new place but we can't really afford to buy anything else right now and it seems stupid to sell a house to rent an apartment that would cost us a lot more each month than living in this house. Even if I did want to sell the house I can't until at least march because I'm getting surgery late February. I don't know, maybe it's natural that it feel this way, maybe I'm just over reacting or something.

    Okay. Just because it's natural to feel a certain way doesn't mean you definitely won't need help getting through it. "It's natural to feel this way" is not a good argument against seeing a therapist. It's not been very long, but with everything that's happened in such a short time I do urge you to keep therapy in mind.

    Even if you maybe can't see it right now, you are probably going to be pretty mad with your dad. That's just a guess, but man.. I've been there. It took me years to realize how angry I was with my grandparents, rather than just sit there and insist over and over that I respect the way they chose to leave things. I do respect it, even now, but that anger... and if I had worked through that anger or even acknowledged it a little sooner I probably could have saved myself quite a few bad decisions.

    As far as talking to your wife, you should definitely. She should know that you're having a very hard time. It's more than understandable for you to be having a very hard time. She signed on to be there for you, let her really be there for you. But if you really do need a therapist, don't try to put her in that position. It can be very damaging to a relationship to put that on someone you also live with.

    Maybe see if there's another family member you can stay with for a week or two? Just to get you out of that house. Not saying if you should move out or not, but get yourself some space at least.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    EsseeDisruptedCapitalist
  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    Ceres, I get why you might think I might be angry with my dad… but I'm not. Really, I totally respect his choice to care for my mom even at the cost of his own life I would like to think I would have done the same thing. He was always the most selfless man, he adopted me when he was 55, he should have been getting ready to retire but instead of living on easy street he decided to keep working for 20 more years to provide for me… I couldn't be mad at him, its who he was and I wouldn't have changed that for anything.

    I talked with a few members of my family and they are starting to clean out the house now. It'll be nice to start getting the house the way I want it, that should be helpful. Also, I had a real bad day the other day, not sure why but I basically spent the entire day crying. My wife called me up and in general I have a good poker face when it comes to emotions but not this time, anyway she immediately asked what was wrong and we talked for a little while and she just said "I'm worried about you, maybe you should talk to someone"… I said "I'll see" and we left it at that for the moment. I spoke with a friend who went to therapy as well and got some good advice there.

    AiouaEssee
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