Author Topic: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????  (Read 113 times)

Bettyanne

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Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« on: November 22, 2020, 08:49:54 PM »
Just saying I never knew how to be?? I was called spoiled because my dad bought me toys?? but he never stood up for me......he never stood up for himself?? either......
My mother Queen of the Castle...... did what ever she wanted.....
Good or bad.....and most of the time it was bad......because it was about herself and doing for herself......She worked 6 days a week and died at age 100...omg in 2012 PS my dad, brother and grandmother all died within 7 months in 1964
It has taken me years of therapy etc.....to see this
But today I see it and see how immature and out of wack it all was..
Having her old mother live with us was difficult as well. She  never knew how to read or write....ok that doesn't make her bad but she was drinking my dad's booz and screaming and yelling all of the time....My mother was at work, leaving her mother to care for my cerebral palsy brother and I was in day care until age 5 and then sent to first grade for 2 years so she didn't have to deal with half day kindergarten....
Then I was sent at age 9 to an all girls school, run by nuns who were awful and not nice. Betty Lawler would not let me out of this school until I graduated at age 18.....I can tell you I hated it and and no choice because the Queen decided??
I see today how brainwashed I was into living with such dysfunctional family......
No one cared much about me......like I slept with my dad and brother until age 14....mother slept in sofa bed alone.  AT age 14 they bought 3 bedroom house and Betty Lawler Mother.....told me we would now be sisters and share a bedroom together......I said over my dead body......so I was able to get out of that..........omg such craziness
I am just saying here until I met Bill when I was 16 ......at least I had some normalcy.....
I am so grateful I met him.....His mother was a bit off too.........
I just need to find a place in my head that feels good after him dying......I am so so sad....and feel so alone....I know I am not alone with these feeling but so hard to deal with now.
Time...will help......
Thanks Friends.......Bettyanne

Twoapenny

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2020, 04:15:27 AM »
((((((((((((((((BettyAnne))))))))))))))  Things will feel better in time but it's a slow process and you've had much stress to deal with during Bill's long illness.  Be kind to yourself.  Feeling sad and alone is horrible but also a very normal part of grieving and I don't know of a way to get through the grieving process without experiencing that part of it.  Take very good care of you.  Give yourself the mothering that your mother was unable or unwilling to give.  Particularly be patient with yourself as all of these feelings and emotions pass through.  It's a very tough time.  Thinking of you xx xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2020, 08:20:45 AM »
It isn't going to feel any better for a little while, Bettyanne; but then that feeling of "alone" will change. For you, it might be a really GOOD thing to be alone - because that's how you find YOU; or at least how I found me.

I hear you talk more about Betty Lawler & Bill than your self, right now. But you're NOT THEM. Are ya? (Not saying it's bad; just feeding back what I see/hear.)

I can understand too, why the connection you had with Bill was so, so important. Precious. It's possible that after some time, you'll find his passing has given you one more gift but it is one you'll need to discover within yourself.

The day before Thanksgiving, the 24th, is the 5th anniversary of Mike's passing. My D has been pestering me to come spend the day with them; I make her SO feel pretty uncomfortable and vice versa. Because she is in her element when surrounded by others, she can't quite see how fabulous I find being alone with myself. How relieved, even. Yeah, I'd hoped my new fella - B - would be here, but he will be working to get here permanently and getting HIS D, successfully launched. Not much longer there. But we'll still communicate with each other - and I'm going to have a really good cozy day and I won't do the avoidance thing; I will go visit D and hang out a little bit. Maybe even talk to the SO.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 08:22:31 AM by sKePTiKal »
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lighter

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2020, 10:00:04 AM »
You're not alone, ((Bettyanne.))

You can always come here for fellowship and understanding.

Sadness is normal and of course you're missing your best friend and husband.  It's ok to be sad. 

I'm not sure where you live, but invite you to research therapists in your area specializing in trauma.  I found an amazing one practicing EMDR, memory reconsolidation with Buddhist leanings.  Not religion, but a way to be in the world so we suffer once, and release it.  So we suffer less and let it go.

That might not make sense now.  Healing isn't always a straight line, IME.  Sometimes it's an unexpected result of habits that seem unrelated, IME.  Sometimes it's what you might expect.

The important thing is to find a good trauma informed therapist you connect with, IME.  It's ok to interview many to find the right one.

Lighter




« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 10:02:24 AM by lighter »

Hopalong

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 10:41:22 AM »
Betty Anne,
In your grieving you are very very normal, I believe.
It's just that this kind of loneliness is the hardest kind, and especially near holidays.

You must be feeling bewildered over how much the loss of Bill can ache, and maybe you're reviewing your life (and Nmother) because you're hoping there will be a reason why it was that way for you (and your poor brother).

It's trite, but Why Bad Things Happen to Good People is a really helpful concept, and a simple book written by a very kind man.

I think you are very brave to put one foot in front of another right now. The only thing I can add after all the wisdom you've just gotten here is, you didn't deserve that treatment that haunts you. There was NOTHING about you that deserved anything but healthy positive parenting, and it was NOT YOUR FAULT you drew some unlucky cards in mother and grandmother.

Sometimes I think who our parents are is one of the most random things ever, and making peace with that is a lifelong challenge. It just feels so intentional, as we try to figure out our own identity based on them.

When Covid is passed and you can get out again, I hope you'll find a bereavement group AND a grief counselor. Those both can be pathways into feeling much, much better in time. And you will.

with comfort,
Hop
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Bettyanne

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2020, 04:24:01 PM »
Thank you, Two a Penny, Lighter, Skeptical, and Hops,
So nice and kind of you all......
I really appreciate you all taking the time to respond......Maybe its finding myself in all of the years of abuse by my childhood family and then having Bill and it was not trouble free but we could work things out......talk about it......He was in AA for 35 years had his great coins with the years on them.  He was a teacher for 43 years and he helped others as they helped him. He had so many good friends whether we were in New Jersey or Washington state.....people helping people.....I went to some 4th of July celebrations....that were mostly AA people and their families. 
That to me was different from what we both grew up with....
I think my life has been a big lesson.....of how to love which I didn't get from home.  Home was more of you don't appreciate anything and my N mother was always looking for herself to be praised.  Putting her back in the grave now, I'm not sure because of religion that was always sending you to hell.....I plain didn't like my mother or grandmother and my dad was sweet and nice to me and my poor brother could only laugh or cry poor sweet soul.....I always felt bad for him and myself the mess we lived in.

I want to thank you for all your responses.....I do realize that missing Bill isn't going to go away over night and perhaps normal......It took me years to get over missing my dad as I was 20 when he passed and the same for my brother.  I don't miss my grandmother or for sure my mother...maybe the biggest lesson they taught me was how they didn't love anyone but themselves.....if that makes any sense????
The loss of Bill and finding myself.......is next on the list......My kids are kind and loving and I am grateful I have them.....they are not perfect like myself.......Life is a lesson.
Thank you all again.....I take what you all wrote seriously.......
Bettyanne

Bettyanne

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2020, 02:12:49 PM »
When I was 20 my dad died he was 51 years old, he had melanoma cancer which spread all over....he was a kind person, unlike my mother.  She would take his medicine capsules for pain and put sugar in them and delete the meds.  He would say to her something is wrong they don't help.  I saw this and I was so so upset......
In the meantime my brother was dying too and so was my grandmother......my mother was so mean or acted it???? so with in six months they are all dead....except her.....omg I am left with a bitch of a mother.
I get married a few days after my brother died and she tells me at the wedding I don't care about anything....but  I am lost without my dad......who was so kind and loving to me. 
I am just saying here......I have never forgotten her meanness and uncaring ways.....
She left for England a
 for 3 months and oh poor poor Betty she was so so upset.....what bull crap she was really relieved everyone was gone. 
I was all she had......and she told everyone how bad I was and my husband.......bad I like to know what I did .......??
A week after my dad died she told me she was glad he was dead?? I think she didn't like I had a close relationship with him??
Did any of you have anything like this what I put up with her?? I don't think I'm alone here in this group.....I never had a family member I was close with except my dad.......and of course Bill which is so so difficult now.
AS I have said before she lived onto 100 and was never happy with me for sure.....she bought my kids with money but nothing I can do or ever could....?? I do know now I should have gotten away from her and broke this relationship while she was alive......I never had a therapist tell me to do this??
Thanks.......freinds.......Bettyanne.......PS I was named after her which I never liked.......

Hopalong

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2020, 01:29:46 PM »
Hi Bettyanne,
I never experienced anything like the viciousness of what she said to you after your father died. I do relate though to what it's like to have one safe kind person in your childhood world (your Dad), and how it feels when that person is gone.

I was lucky to have my Dad's quiet gentleness as a presence in my life. He never protected me from my brother's bullying (always done out of sight) but I did always know he loved me. He couldn't possibly intercede with my Nmother, because he had no idea what he was dealing with there (narcissism? what's that?), and he loved her. To get between us (to relieve my stress) he would have had to betray her. And he honestly was out of his depth and believed there was something primary about what "the mother" wanted more than a father, so wasn't able to help the sad little girl. Plus, I kept my misery quiet as I wouldn't have added distress for him for the world. He was much too passive, I realize, but his gentle nature stayed with me and is a comfort to think about always. I was also lucky to tend him during his long illness and death, which brought me deep peace.

I was less lucky with Nmother because I was so brainwashed that comforting and catering to her was more important than any dream of my own. I was also keeping a deathbed promise to him. Implicit was the same old contract -- let her talk to you until your brain screams, attend to her whims and just accept she was the center of the world. So I moved in with her and took care of her for ten years. That was a big mistake. Not the being kind and responsible toward her part, but actually living there. Hindsight.

I'm sorry you have such painful memories to contend with, along with the loss of your dear companion. I imagine that Bill would want to remind you now that his love hasn't gone anywhere, and hopefully the felt memory of being loved by him will continue to give you strength as you work through this chapter of grieving, finding the meaning YOU choose in this new chapter of your life, and coping with the changes it will mean. Sometimes small beauties, small comforts, or smaller spaces take on extra power in older years.

Your dignity and value are already in you, Bettyanne. You deserve to respect yourself, to accept that understanding things takes as long as it takes. And if you never saw the things you see now so clearly until five minutes before the end of your life, it would still be okay.

Your life has not been a waste at all. And you can find happiness even after this loss. It'll take a while, but it's how humans work. We aim toward peace and contentment, even if there are sad undertones. We're still here. The beauty of nature, the sight of a bird, the sound of a wonderful singer, and the expressions on the faces of children....they're still here for us.

hugs
Hops
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Bettyanne

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2020, 09:02:52 PM »
Thank you Hops.......
My NM had it in for me why?? I don't know.  I know she lost her dad at age 4 which was not my fault of course....but she was angry and also very into herself......Like work I think she got praise??? is the only thing I ever came up with......I think she didn't like me having a dad...or anything like she relived her childhood in me.  But she also wanted praise from me and I didn't do it....... but even if I did praise her at times it was a waste of time for me. 
I think she needed praise like 24/7 all the time.....I think the men at the office must of liked her or something like that......who knows......I never knew when I would be yelled at or what ever....she was never proud of me because I don't think she could go that far???
I think not having any brothers or sisters.....I was alone and it was hard to defend myself.....for what I never was taught anything. 
I knew my mothers job or getting out of the house was so so important....the most important going on....her mother was not the same but just as bad as she was.  She screamed and yelled a lot if I wanted a friend over as a kid.....the friend was told to go home.
So its taken a lot a way from an innocent kid......and I was never taught how to be an adult.....mostly just figuring things out on my own and when Bill came into my life that made a big difference.  My NM didn't like Bill.....she told me he was a smoothy.......what ever that meant???
Thank you......for you kind reply and it makes me see I am not alone......not that seeing anyone else in pain is good either.  But I sure appreciate your reply. 
Thank you so so much.....
Bettyanne

Twoapenny

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It's so hard, BettyAnne.  My own take with my mum is that she took all the awful things that happened to her when she was younger and kind of projected them out onto her own kids.  She was never praised so she didn't praise us, no-one was affectionate to her so she wasn't affectionate, no-one protected her so she didn't protect anyone and so on.  It's taken me nearly twenty five years of really hard work and soul searching to get to a place where I can kind of see her now as a grown up version of a kid that no-one loved, rather than feeling so much hurt and anguish over what she did and didn't do for me over the years.  It's a tough way to grow up and even harder to work through it all, I think.  It's just very difficult, whichever way you look at it.  I suspect she described Bill as a 'smoothy' as a way of trying to invalidate his genuinely nice character.  It can be hard for some people to just accept that someone else is nice and doesn't have an ulterior motive when they're not used to that themselves (my mum always thinks people are only doing something nice if they want something.  It's one of the reasons I don't get back in touch with her - I know she'll tell everyone I'm after her inheritance, which isn't true, but she wouldn't be able to see any other reason for it.  I think she's invisible to herself, in a way).  It's very hard, but it sounds to me like you didn't pass all of this on to your own kids through the way that you raised them.  You sound like a much closer, healthier family than the one you came from and that's good.  Your kids will do a good job with their own kids, I'm sure xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Crazy family and trying to recover after my husband died????
« Reply #10 on: Today at 08:36:54 AM »
It helps people heal to grieve the hurt we felt from parents, Bettyanne. Without assistance or guidance, the way I coped when I was younger was to see myself as an orphan - no parents. Even with a Dad in the picture, often they're ineffective at meeting our needs or protecting us, because of the PD parent in the equation. Later, in T - that orphan status transformed into something better for me.

My mom's impact on me, simply wasn't personal. It wasn't anything specifically wrong with me that earned me that kind of treatment. So, eventually, I came to forgive myself for not being able to be what it was she needed to heal and be her "good mom" self. I don't think anyone could've done that. And when not taking all that "water over the dam" personally, I found that while there really wasn't anything to forgive her for - she was simply incapable of being what I needed - I really didn't have a "relationship" with her. And in away - that was coming full circle to the make-believe "orphan" status I came up with in my teens.

That time, it helped me get past (it was an obstacle for me; others say "let go") the intensity of the hurts. Granted, I still have residual anger about it; but that's mostly because I do remember a better mom, when I was much younger and what I'm now attached to is the silly hope that at 87, she'll have the light bulb come on and figure all this out for herself. I don't need/want an apology... I just want her to BE her best self. And perhaps this is her best self. Not for me to judge, is it? But I still experience her as extremely negative and blaming everyone else (even taking turns between my brother and me; and yes - even though they were divorced almost 30 ago and my Dad's been dead 10 years now; my Dad comes in for the blame too.) I suspect this is the only kind of relationship she can maintain, except at a very casual level. And of course, she wants a "confidant" or validation for her negativity and lack of self-insight about how she is and how others might feel being around that. That must be a HORRIBLE existence, ya know? So ya, I'm a bit angry still that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Not a damn thing - in 50 years I've not been able to get her to see ME, the way I am; what I can do. The only thing in her mind that makes her proud of me is that I left home the week I turned 18 and never looked back. (She is absolutely not interested in what that cost me in life experiences; me being totally unprepared for life in the non-PD world.) Everything else about me, she takes credit for.

So it's much better and easier for me to accept that we are never going to have a close relationship; never did have one, for that matter, especially when I needed it most. My D, Holly and I are very close... and we've worked very hard to do this in healthy ways - including expressing anger at each other and finding out that the world doesn't end; nothing bad happens because of either of our anger. Maybe because I had to bury so much of my feelings, I went out of my way to make sure she didn't. I made her a puppy pillow when she was smaller; Puppy Pillow had big ears to hear all her "secrets"... but only a small mouth, good enough for smooches, but not big enough to tell anyone else her secrets. When she was older and dealing her Dad's family stuff - I made the proclamation/rule that she could tell me absolutely anything she needed to say. I might get mad about it, but I would still love her no matter what she told me. I got angry BECAUSE I loved her.

And she still tells me everything in her head. LOLOLOL. Whether I can help her with it or not. No good deed goes unpunished. LOLOLOLOL. It's much less often, now that she's in her own house again.

Long personal story is meant to maybe show you some paths through your own "getting past" Betty Lawler, Bettyanne. Take what you can use or adapt and leave the rest. You sound like a really strong, resourceful, effective woman. And resilient! Think about becoming a phoenix - reinventing yourself now into who you wanted to be all those years go; keeping what you like about yourself and built, just as much as Bill helped you to... and "window shopping" some things you maybe put aside years & years ago out of need to be practical. DAYDREAM. Its safe to do so.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.