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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Grief

I don't post all that often, but I'm having somewhat of a crisis and who better to vent and cry to than a bunch of anonymous strangers? This will probably be loooooong, but I need to get this out...

Almost a month ago, I found out that my first love died in 2005. He was a dear friend, the man I lost my virginity to, and the only man that ever broke my heart...I loved him so much and we stayed close friends even after the teenage drama of our break up. He was just so fun and funny and sensitive and kind and just a really unique person, although he never knew how wonderful he was.

So...he moved away from here in 2000 with his parents, back to Texas. He and I talked here and there on the phone and kept in touch. He called me Thanksgiving 2003 and asked me to come get him in Texas and if he could stay with me for awhile...he and his fiance had split and he needed to get away. I was upset with him because I had found out he had been up here a year or so earlier and stayed with a mutual friend and never let me know he was in town (never mind that I was eyeballs deep in a shitty abusive crazy relationship at the time he came up here and he knew good and well that ex would have gone apeshit if K would have called me or showed up at my apartment, I was so young and selfish I didn't think about this at the time) so anyway I told him no, purely just being a pouty bitch, the crazy ex was long gone, and I wanted to see him so badly, I was just hurt by K not letting me know he was here so I said no.

A few months later in 2004, he called my dad's house looking for me and my older brother wouldn't give him my new number (cockblocker from way back). So I tried the last # I had for him, which was disconnected. I figured he would track me down through mutual friends but then I never heard from him again. I looked for him online a lot over the years, but never found him. I assumed he was living his life and married and having babies and not into the world wide web and hadn't contacted me because he was moving forward with his life...

So fast-forward to last month, I was looking for him again and didn't find anything. I looked for his sister and didn't find anything. Then I googled his name with his middle name, which I hadn't done before as he has a somewhat unusual last name, and found his obituary from February 2005. I was in maybe shock for several days and could hardly function. I tracked down his ex-fiance on facebook and she let me know what had happened, that he had been in jail for 6 months on a possession charge and three days after he got out, he overdosed doing heroin with his mother. She has really been a god-send to me, she is so sweet and kind, and I feel like K left me a gift with her because his family is so awful I was dreading tracking them down and talking to them.

Anyway...it's almost a month later and I don't feel any "better." It is all I can do to brush my teeth and get my ass to work. I feel like a zombie. I can't focus on work, home, anything. I fall asleep thinking about him and he is the first thing on my mind when I wake up. I can't stop thinking that I let him down and wasn't a good friend to him. He needed help and he asked me to help him by getting him away from those shitty people in TX and I let my pride stop me from doing the right thing. I told him no to "punish" him and a year later, he was dead. I can't stop thinking that if I had let him come stay with me or if I had tried harder to find him after the 2nd call, he would still be alive. Or at least I could have seen him one more time and laughed with him and heard his sweet voice.

I don't know what to do. I feel like everyone thinks I should just get over it and they are minimizing him as a person and see him as some sort of caricature. Granted, we were teenagers when we were all together and I know that most of our friends didn't know the real K like I did. They just saw him as a funny, goofy, good-time kinda guy, they never knew how sensitive and sweet he was like I did. My husband is being very sweet and patient and understanding, but I feel like he feels like I am pining away for another man, and it isn't like that. It has just opened this whole huge can of worms that I didn't even know was there. I hate the way I acted and the way I treated him and I hadn't realized all this time how much he meant to me and how much I loved him and missed him. I always thought we would meet up again and we could laugh about the old drama and make amends for all the silly little hurts in the past.

There have been so many things over the years that I have thought I can't wait to tell K or K would think this was so funny or he would love this song or I can't wait to see K's face when I tell him such and such. And he's been gone all this time. I feel so selfish and I have so much regret and guilt it is killing me. I've lost 10 pounds, haven't had energy to do anything, all I want to do is think about him and try to remember every little moment we had together and make up "what-if" scenarios. There were just so many things left unsaid between us, like unfinished business. Things I was too guarded and scared to say when I was younger, but that I would be brave enough to say as a grown woman, but that I will never get to say to him.

It's almost like I feel embarrassed to be mourning him so deeply, people were sympathetic the first week, but now it's kinda like "get over it, I didn't realize you were that close, it had been a long time since you talked to him, etc." But I can't "get over it." I feel physically ill and emotionally drained. I have had a few friends and extended family members I was not close to die over the years, but this is the first real grief I have ever experienced. I have missed all week of work this week, I just don't feel like I can face people and piddle through faking smiles and laughs and interest in things when all I can think about is K.

I don't know what to do. I got The Grief Recovery Handbook, and I don't feel like it's telling me anything except how wrong everyone else's advice for grief recovery is. Everyone is telling me to get on anti-depressants but I'm afraid it will just numb me and I don't want to forget about K or lose the connection I feel when I'm thinking about him and our memories. Does that make any sense? It's all I have left of him and I don't want to lose it. I feel like I am neglecting my daughter and husband to be absorbed in the memories of the past, but I don't want to let go of that connection.

Sorry this is so long and thanks if you read it all the way through. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 04:58 PM
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First of all, I am sorry for your loss. You have just as much right to your grief as anybody else.

If it were ME, and I was still having as much trouble functioning, I would probably try to get into some grief counseling, and that person should be able to assess whether something more(like meds) would be needed. Most people use ad's as a temporary way of being able to function while healing. They shouldn't take anything away from your feelings and memories, just balance things out in your brain so you can heal.

I hope that you are able to get some relief. And again, I am so sorry. Click here to enlarge
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 03:08 PM
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I wanted to respond to gogodancer who made this comment within her post:

“I don't know what to do. I got The Grief Recovery Handbook, and I don't feel like it's telling me anything except how wrong everyone else's advice for grief recovery is. Everyone is telling me to get on anti-depressants but I'm afraid it will just numb me and I don't want to forget about K or lose the connection I feel when I'm thinking about him and our memories. Does that make any sense? It's all I have left of him and I don't want to lose it. I feel like I am neglecting my daughter and husband to be absorbed in the memories of the past, but I don't want to let go of that connection.”

Dear GOGODANCER,

I am the co-author of The Grief Recovery Handbook, which you mentioned in your post on GRIEF. We can graciously plead “guilty as charged” to your comment about our belief that much of the advice grievers get is not helpful for them. However, in the very next line you mention that many people are telling you to get on anti-depressants.

If you read far enough in our book, you would have discovered on pages 48 and 49, our little diatribe against the use of drugs for grievers, for reasons very similar to your fear of numbness and loss of connection – and worse. From that point of view, we find ourselves in 100% agreement with you, and remain fully against those people you say that we think are “wrong.”

All that aside, the real issue is that “Recovery from grief or loss is achieved by a series of small and correct action choices made by the griever.” That’s YOU, not us, nor the “everybodys” who’re are telling you to mask your pain with drugs. Our book is really about the actions you can take to complete what remains emotionally unfinished for you, so that you can retain the connection and fond memories, and so you can pay attention to your daughter and others.

We hope that you can get past your opinion about our opinions and get to the life changing actions in the book.

From our hearts to yours,

Russell Friedman [ [email protected] ]

And for John W. James
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