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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    1,333

    Need support, really struggling

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    I haven't been around here in a while but I seem to always get support when I need it. I've been going through some difficult times and it's only getting worse. I'm seeing a counsellor this morning (finally these people figured out some people can't go to appointments during the day on weekdays). Hopefully I'll be able to get some help.

    What's happening is my boyfriend lost his best friend to a short but horrible battle with cancer. It's been 5 weeks since his death and he's slipping into major depression. He battled it before and wisely started taking Prozac again(which he was supposed to all along but stopped 2 years ago). He also scheduled an appointment with his psychiatrist on Monday. So he's fighting it. The problem is he's pushing me away. I'd like to say it's temporary and he's just withdrawn, but I know that he's very close with the widow and he seems to be reaching out to her rather than me. I get this, they shared a very strong and painful experience together and she probably is the only person who understands (in his mind) the pain he's in. But I'm afraid that he is going to leave me for her. As ridiculous as that sounds, because she herself lost her husband, whom she spent 24/7 with but I know he talks and texts her every day while he essentially ignores me. She's using my boyfriend as her safety blanket (his word) because her husband used him as one during the illness (boyfriend was there day and night at the hospital, him and the widow spent a lot of time together. When the friend was taking his last breaths she only allowed my bf and the guy's daughter to be present. He even sat with them at the funeral while I was in the back with his mother).

    I know that people who are grieving aren't themselves but I'm really afraid that he's going to leave me for her even though they are both basket cases. I suppose the only thing I can do right now is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I can't sleep and I can't eat. I've already lost 7lbs and I'm down to105lbs now.

    When he first got sick and was in the hospital for surgery, that's when my fears started. Again, he was at the hospital day/night. But my bf was really good at reassuring me (I didn't ask him about it, but he was attentive to me to allay my fears). He even said that when his friend passes away, he wants to move to a nearby town with me as he won't have much reason to stay there (he's actually about 2 hours away, he comes and stays with me 4 nights during the week when he works). He gave me a diamond necklace for valentine's and a card saying he's looking to another year together. Then his friend took a turn for the worse a week later and died a week after that. He's not with me right now, he's at home (at least I think so, he hasn't really spoken to me this week).

    I guess all I want are kind words and virtual hugs. I'm not sure I want a barrage of "leave him first, dump him" type of posts. Thanks ladies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    You're doing the right thing. I can't predict what will happen, or tell you what to do, but this sounds like traumatic grief, more than regular grief. Use your counseling sessions to help you sort out everything.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    I just wanted to say, good for you for seeking help and you will get through this regardless of the outcome. It may not seem that way right now, but hang in there!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    14,501
    ((((((badger)))))) Do let him know that you need more from him now. Is couples counseling a possibility? I know scheduling can be tough when both parties are seeing individual therapists too... However it turns out, this isn't the time to be making big decisions. Take good care.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,043
    Badger, I'm very sorry--for everything. I'm so glad you're going to talk to a counselor. I hope he/she can help you deal with your feelings and fears. My guess is that you bf is not going to leave you for his friend's widow, but I also think it's going to be a while before he's able to fully reengage with you as he grieves and deals with his own depression. Your challenge is to take care of yourself in the meantime. Therapy will help immensely in that process, so stick with it as long as you can. Many hugs to you.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    That's great, badger to see a counsellor. Hopefully you click well with the counsellor.

    You deserve your own space and freedom to think, sort out stuff, if your BF continues to distance himself or even suddenly returns. (Really, did he truly recover that fast from grief?)

    Hope you find ways to free yourself in your grief. (Though I also know what it means to feel the tentacles of grief for loved ones for a long time...). You deserve greater happiness and attention compared to what you are getting now, since you have been already very patient with bf.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-06-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    I don't know if it's any help at all, but for maybe six months after my father's sudden death in a car accident, I reached out and related more to my siblings, my mother, and even my step-mother (my father's widow), whom I'd never been particularly close to, than to my husband. He was supportive, but he's never lost a parent so couldn't really "get it", and of course, he didn't have the depth of feelings about my father that my siblings and step-mother did. Fortunately, he was patient and allowed me to grieve in the way I needed to and to visit with, talk with, and email relentlessly the people who did feel the same way I did about my father during those first few awful months, and over time, I became more and more myself. Forever changed, of course, but more his wife again instead of my father's grieving daughter.

    I hope that your boyfriend will find his way back to you in the same way -- sounds like he's still consumed with the loss of his friend and just not emotionally available to you right now. I doubt he will leave you for the widow, and I doubt she is looking for a replacement for the man she lost, but since the two of them share so many of the same raw emotions, it's not far-fetched to imagine them grieving together as they are. It shouldn't and can't last forever, though.

    Based on my experience, I suggest that you not think the worst about what is going to happen. Certainly talk to your bf, but be gentle and non-demanding. It sounds like prior to his friend's illness, things were going well between the two of you, so there's no reason to think that they won't improve in time. Time is going to be the best healer and unfortunately, you're going to have to be patient even when it is difficult.

    Hugs to you...I am sure this is very hard.
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 04-06-2013 at 02:11 PM.
    Emily

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    I think that's a very insightful perspective, Emily.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    5,619
    great advice Murienn.
    Since I lost my husband in July, I have gotten very active on a forum for widows.

    The scenario you described does happen and it almost destroyed a marriage that i know of from someone on the forum.

    a Woman died, his best friend's wife and widower got too close, etc...
    and now this widower had to do the right thing and get away from the woman "who was only trying to help" but it was getting physical. The widower is doing better now, but he lost two friends.

    good luck.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    Thank you all for your kind, supportive words. It's immensely helpful.

    And thank you, Emily, for sharing your experience, it does give me some insight as to why they would reach out to each other. I certainly can't equate to anything in my life as to the magnitude of their loss, and while I had met his friend, I only spent a few hours with him so I only knew him casually.

    I won't be demanding anything from my BF at this time, he's in self preservation mode and have nothing to give me. I understand and accept this. I have already told him that I'm there for him in whatever capacity and that I'm in in for the long haul. I'll just have to take care of myself and hope that he does feel better in time and reengage.

    No matter what happens, I need to work on how to live with anxiety in my life so I'm glad I have this opportunity.

    Thanks ladies

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    great advice Murienn.
    Since I lost my husband in July, I have gotten very active on a forum for widows.

    The scenario you described does happen and it almost destroyed a marriage that i know of from someone on the forum.

    a Woman died, his best friend's wife and widower got too close, etc...
    and now this widower had to do the right thing and get away from the woman "who was only trying to help" but it was getting physical. The widower is doing better now, but he lost two friends.

    good luck.
    I'm sorry for your loss, but I hardly think your post was helpful in any way. Why play on someone's insecurities?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    I didn't mean to offend you, i was just letting you know it IS possible, that this stuff CAN happen.

    some people want to know things like this, so they know they are not being paranoid...it's real. it can happen. I did think I was being helpful

    I am sorry.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    ((((Badger))) . This past summer I was going through a lot of anxiety, and meditation helped. You might find some of these guided meditations helpful.

    http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/m...ges/audio.aspx

    I wish I could give you a real hug because I really feel for you. This is hard on so many levels. Please take care of yourself.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    Quote Originally Posted by redrhodie View Post
    ((((Badger))) . This past summer I was going through a lot of anxiety, and meditation helped. You might find some of these guided meditations helpful.

    http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/m...ges/audio.aspx

    I wish I could give you a real hug because I really feel for you. This is hard on so many levels. Please take care of yourself.
    Thanks for the link, I tried the 20 minute scan and I woke up an hour later... I have the tools to do transcendental meditation but I haven't really done it in years, I certainly should. They say not to but I use my mantra as I'm trying to calm myself to sleep. I tried the 20 minute scan last night to do the same and I don't think I lasted 5 minutes!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Badger, it's quite normal to fall asleep when starting a meditation practice, especially the body scan. Keep at it and your body will get used to the relaxation mode without falling asleep. Unless you are using this to fall asleep... I didn't read back in the thread. I always tell my clients using these kinds of things are sort of like giving yourself an innoculation against anxiety; if you practice every day, it lowers your overall level of cortisol, noriepinephrine, etc. so you are less apt to get a huge surge of these stress hormones when you are in the moment of a stressful situation, thus decreasing the icky physical symptoms of anxiety like tingling, heart palps, and so on. But you can also use some of these things in the moment, particularly, some quick progressive muscle relaxation (tense and release) that you can even do in public if needed.
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