09-02-2019 10:37 AM
I started to read other people's posts but then thoughts rather than confuse myself I would jump in here and tell my story and read what other people have said later
Okay - I am starting - I have no idea where this will go right now
We adopted our son at 2 weeks and from the beginning he was hard work and my doctor at the time told me that some babies make everyone's life hell for months - my son went on doing this for 16 years and it pretty well broke my life apart because over time everyone - including his adoptive father - my then-h - pull out on both of us - and this has to have been the darkest time in my life
I told my sister at a more recent time that I had left the family for years at a time deliberately and her response was that I did strange things they didn't understand and they drove me away - but I left of my own accord
After all - who declares what is strange and why? I did not need my family's permission to do what I did - my son needed more than a village - even a city was too small - he had come kind of MI - possibly - probably BDP and also some kind of spectrum disorder - it was very difficult to have him diagnosed - he did not cooperate.
He started with vandalism and his crimes became more serious as he grew older and my stress levels were so high I was seriously underweight though I ate a good diet - some of my family members stepped in and would take him on for a short time but he was too much for them - things were said to me that made me believe other people thought I was to blame - something I have refused to believe btw -
And eventually my family of origin abandoned both of us - I had nothing but criticism from friends - and I am sure no one realised how bad things were for him until he committed suicide -
He was 16 then and he would be nearly 50 by now and I get triggered now and again and it can really send me into a tail-spin - and after the last triggering-event I asked myself why it was that so long after he died that I was still battling with the trauma which seems to me to be out of proportion.
After all - the depth and length of my grief is not the measure of how much I loved him - he was important to me and the measure is that I stuck with him until the end regardless of what my family wanted. And what did they want - I think it was they wanted me to abandon him
But I couldn't and I wouldn't and I am glad I didn't
So - the last trigger was less than a month ago. I really felt that this was enough - my pain specialist is refering me to a therapist who deals with traumatic loss and I had never put those two words together but yes - losing a child is traumatic all by itself - add suicide and it is worse - a sudden and violent death.
And it's terrible for everyone whatever way a child dies but why after well over 30 years am I so devastated when I am triggered? I had to work this out
So I think over a week give or take I rang Life Line 4 times and worked through it - and now I think that my own parents and siblings treated us so badly was appalling and unwarrented - showing their weakness - not mine - and although my father talked to me at the end of his life and was so regretful of what he had done and actually - really proud of me - I was vinidcated but still - but mother tried to say something but got stuck and never really made sense to me - and yes - she had some degree of dementia and was stuck in her own favourite words - she didn't like being "upset" - who does?
And for decades I was lost somewhere - not knowing if what I was going through was normal or abnormal - trying to accept what had happened - more than just my son dying - knowing the past can never be changed -
I think I have it now - although my father owned his part in what happened justice was never served because my mother never did - and she was a very cruel woman psychologically - and my sister is toxic and self-righteous - and doesn't want to be ''upset''. I have felt better about it all since then - not a month yet - and it will depend on how I feel the next time a trigger happens
Easter is over two months away yet but that's when I will hit the dark dates - my son went into prison - juvenile detention - at Easter when he was not conforming to his probabtion requirements
Only my parents gave me a message - unspoken - get rid of that child or we will never speak to me again. Apart from a short time when he did they didn't talk to me - so what I am glad off - proud off - I never abandoned him - I know too well what that is like and he knew I would always come back
So I was told often that "I would have to do something about that boy" - I did all I could - I left my family because I was not going to tolerate their nasty behaviour - I have kept my dignity - but in reality treating me like that was abandonment.
Thanks everyone - I will get back to this thread later
09-02-2019 10:52 AM - edited 09-02-2019 10:54 AM
Hi @Dec thankyou very much for sharing your story. I knew parts of it but not all. It sounds like you've had a triple whammy of grief sources and I feel for you. I can't imagine that the grief of a lost child ever truly stops coming up at times. It still does for me after 23 years. How strong you must be to have stayed dedicated to him through all the trials and tribulations. Someone once told me that when we lose a child it's two sources of grief - loss of the child we had plus loss of the future that could have been. And added to that you had the loss of your family.
Hoping you feel ok-ish after having written it all here. Will be thinking of you and sending strength today. Be kind to yourself. Are you going to take another trip this year around that time? I think you've done that the last couple of years (might be wrong) and it seemed to help you get through. Lots of love xx
09-02-2019 11:24 AM
I will be okay but I will read the other posts over the weekend or early next week - not today - let's not climb the mountain all in one day
You know sustained grief - 23 years is a long time too - and you are right - we do lose part of our future when a child dies - and possible grandchildren as well - so it is complex. We expect our parents to die - and the other elders in our families and circles - but not children - and yet not long ago - during the C19th - many children died - which is why people had large families -
I am planning another trip when the weather cools down - I feel as if I need to go to a place I already know and chill-out for a few days - my life has had ups-n-downsies over the last few months - and the last therapist I had was a bad-fairy I think - long story - I believe we are the person in charge of our therapy and there are things in my past I do not feel the need to hash over again - let's deal with the most important issue and it will work out better
My son died in the middle of winter - I went interstate a couple of winters ago - the weather was beautiful - I did okay until the anniversary which was the day I was flying home - and I cried on Life - LIne twice before I could get myself out of the hotel room to get to the airport - but then saw a glorious sunset from the plane
So the last two years I went away later - my old cat died a few weeks ago and I didn't like leaving her and would have like to have travelled more or for longer but I loved the cat too much to put her in a cattery and my daughter would check on the cat everyday - but she (the cat) was not well after my last trip and had to be helped over the Rainbow Bridge.
The loss of a pet of 15 years was tough too - but we had 15 great years together and that is not something everyone has - I treasure my memories - and my dreams - that cat has a way of getting into them and this is a good thing
09-02-2019 12:07 PM
Reading through each post I found myself feeling blessed to have not dealt with such situations. I've of course had my moments where grief hits with intensity, but seeing your histories, it's humbling and very sobering.
There've been three losses of magnitude in my life; the death of my maternal grandmother when I was 15, (the woman who I considered 'mother') learning that I wasn't at fault for being raped (a lost life that could've been) and dealing with the aftermath of my son's sexual abuse at 2 yrs old. Something in him (and me) went away and never came back...
I applaud all of you! Your strength, courage and conviction; exemplorary people who've not only suffered personal trauma, but witnessed things that challenged the very core of who you are as humans trying to survive while helping others do the same.
My heartfelt thoughts go out to you...may you be blessed with some semblance of peace at times when you need it most.
With kindness and warmth;
11-02-2019 08:06 AM
Hi @Hope4me thank you too for your sharing, your understanding and your empathy. You've been through some really rough times too.
Sorry I didn't reply sooner, went bush for the night on Saturday and got back late yesterday.
Sending out hope that the sharing here has been helpful, knowing we're not alone sometimes makes it just a tad easier.
Thanks again everyone.
19-02-2019 10:59 AM
Have spent this morning working on my piece about grief that I wanted to write. Feeling grateful for everyone's sharing here and hoping you're all travelling ok today. I will post it here later today. I found I needed to pick just one of many grief-triggering events in my life, it's such a huge topic for so many people, too big for me to write about it in general yet, tho I might in the future.
19-02-2019 08:11 PM
I know you well yet still you catch me unawares
You swell from my belly
Hurt my heart
Through my throat
Into my eyes
You whelm me
I forget to breathe
Down and deeper down I tumble
I remove myself from company
Sit with you
Find my breath
I remember his tiny toes
His ski-jump nose
All the what ifs surface yet again
The life he could have had
We would have had with him
His birthday comes
I think I'm prepared but no
It's Australia Day again
Celebrations in the streets
I boycott the world
"Aren't you over that yet?" I am asked
Some things change us forever
Not sure about a title yet. And still a work in progress. I keep thinking of bits I could add, bits I could leave out.
Had a difficult night tonight as sil's bro raved on about Maori culture at dinner - he doesn't know about my Maori partner ex who did DV on me, and yet I've grieved over him since. Talked about it earlier in this thread. The disenfranchised grief @CheerBear referred to. I managed not to bring it up. I am at a stage in my recovery journey where I want to stop talking about all the traumatic events whenever I'm reminded other than with my psychologist or here on the forums. Thanks for being here and sharing everyone. It really means a lot to me.
19-02-2019 11:07 PM
You know what @eth? I think your words are gold!
I love the rhythm of those short lines especially. The impact is deliberate; depicting the rawness of dealing with grief; struggling to find the words...
I hope writing it was cathartic and healing...
20-02-2019 12:29 AM
It is a beautiful poem. @eth
@Razzle Your story is very sad. Mourning your son. Trying to care for your husband and stifling your own feelings. Sometimes we need to do that for all sorts of reasons but in the end the grief will break out regardless.
You also touched on the LOSS of community when people are horrified and not able to cope with grief. I had to deal with that a lot in my life, caught up in families that were limited and immature and unable to stay together throughout it all.
I do not want to open my grief story up at the moment. A lot of you know most of it and it is sprinkled here and there over the forum.
I do believe in the importance of griefwork.
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