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Topics - Pete (UK)

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Grief not related to deaths / Emotional Abuse
« on: September 23, 2016, 02:03:14 PM »
Big 'Hi' to all members of webhealing. I actually had difficulty remembering the name of the site, yet used it to exhaustion 8 years ago after my wife died. It helped me so much. Now I am in a kind of grief again and need information and/or advice.

I'm five and a half years into a relationship with a woman I met online. We have split and got back together about six times. My daughter thinks I am being emotionally abused. I am 69 years old, my partner is 68. I came from a long (38 years) happy relationship with my wife who died eight years ago. My partner has a history of divorce and failed relationships. She tells me she loves me, and I am wondering if I have just got used to her ways? I am unhappy much of the time, but afraid of being alone, or lonely. She seems unable to handle my emotional needs. How can I identify any emotional abuse. Please help me. Thanks ... Pete

Main / The 'honeymoon' period is over!
« on: July 02, 2010, 04:13:41 AM »
My apologies for using 'honeymoon' as a heading, it's a little provocative I know, but not meant in any offensive way. It's the best way I can think of to describe the plateau stage I've reached, 25 months since I lost my wife, Heather, to cancer. It's been a very bumpy ride, from the depths of wishing I could just die, to realising I have responsibilities to live, for others, and to try to do a little more than suffer these responsibilities.

My current emotions seem to be spread out on a great plain. No longer do I sink to the abyss of emotional pain so rapidly as before. Things are more even. I still hate my life, and spend all my time finding ways to divert my own attention from persistent emotional confusion, but now I have the feeling that my friends and family (excluding my son and daughter), have 'got over it'.

These days, it's rare for anyone to mention Heather's name, or want to talk about her. It's as if everyone except the three of us is breathing a sigh of relief that the crisis has passed and they can all relax again. Well, I can't relax, I'm stuck halfway between a life I can do without, and a life I need to live for my kids. I'm riding a razor-edge every day, and the honeymoon period is over, so I have started to feel very alone again.

I've recently changed my occupation and now I don't get to see the one person who listened to me (to exhaustion) and always helped. Sometimes I actually miss the deep, raw pain of early grief, at least it made me feel close to her. But now I am living in a numb world, peopled by a seemingly short-memoried social circle who would probably wish little more than for me to find someone else so that they could wipe their own  memory of Heather's death from their lives. I don't mean to be hard on friends, they have been kind, warm and supportive, but I get the feeling they want me to 'hey, move on, man'.

I recently met a lady who was divorced about ten years ago. She'd be an ideal companion, about my age etc., but I fell in love in 1970 with a girl and I can't work out how to relate to a woman in my peer-age group. I'm not sure I want to have any kind of relationship, but I feel somehow that others expect it of me. I think maybe this lady can't understand why I don' t persist in wanting to see her more when we obviously get on okay, but I don't want to develop an emotional relationship. It's not just a feeling of betrayal of my wife's memory, that would be stupid; she'd want me to be happy. It's more that I haven't got the patience and energy anymore to go through the process of learning and compromising to meet someone else's needs.

It feels so much more comfortable to lock myself in and stare at the wallpaper. I know I need to change my life,
but lately this plateau period has seemed to be extending. Nothing is said.

Pete doesn't break down and cry anymore, he doesn't feel the need to keep talking about Heather, he must be okay now?:

problem solved, we can all go back to our own lives.

Has anyone else felt this dull cloud of default abandonment in their lives?

It's been quite a time since I came online here and I suppose I have been thinking of my own trials too much. There are so many who've lost loved ones since I lost my great love and companion. At this stage, for me, comes boredom, tedium and apathy, lurking around me, trying to dislodge me from my small targets. The silence is dreadful isn't it?

My condolences to all who have joined this band of sufferers by dint of a common, unexpected and unwelcome bond. As much as I wish to offer support, I wish to offer the truth, as I see it.

Love and peace to you all, may your suffering ease with time,

Pete (UK)

Main / Lost and back at the start agian?
« on: May 16, 2010, 05:10:16 AM »
Hi everyone. It's such a long time since I was here. I've had the ups and downs everyone gets, some days thinking I'm making it, most days knowing I'm not. It's two years next month since I lost Hetty, my sweet little wife, and so much has happened.

I left my job three weeks ago to try to start my own business and suddenly I feel so terribly alone without her. I feel so damned old and empty. My daughter tells me (consistently when I feel like this) that things will change and I'll be on the up again, but somehow, deep down, nothing changes. I've lost my love of life today. My kids are doing the sponsored walk I used to do, 26 miles across country for our hospice funds and I cried off because I broke my hip 14 months ago. I think I could have done it physically maybe, but the stamina and the psychological energy's just not there anymore. I feel very much alone today, aimless and uncaring. Just wanted to say that. Love to you all, my thoughts as ever are with you.


Main / Losing support
« on: July 19, 2009, 08:21:04 AM »
Hi everyone, I'm a bit of a stranger to the website these days. I've been trying very hard to do what I can to get out from under the weight of my bereavement, with a small measure of success.

I think I need to write some stuff down so that I can read it back to discover how far I've come. Does that make sense? I first joined this wonderful site the week my wife died in June 2008, already a lifetime away.
The support, advice, empathy and understanding I received from contributors to 'webhealing', was, after the natural and powerful bond with my children, the most robust raft that kept me from drowning, psychologically speaking. Within two weeks I was contacted via email by a fellow-contributor who seemed to have a deep understanding of my pain. She helped me enormously, and in many ways I must admit, she kept me alive.

As with all of us, there has been much drama, soul-searching, navel-gazing, home-truths, revelations, upsets, frictions, and expressions of love and care along the way. In a nutshell, I've had a half-dozen really viciously bad times; inconsolable grief after a month or so, the same at about three months, an illness at Christmas which I thought might finish me off, and an unfortunate accident in that it almost took me back to Day One! I seem to have survived all these, and I forced myself to be honest (as I am doing now), and to admit that it has got a little easier. After thirteen months I am accepting that my life has changed forever and I must either stay in the past and die inside or attempt to move on in this insufferable semi-misery, taking little bites at happiness when I can. It would be a terrible slap to the memory of my dearest friend and greatest love if I gave up. Back in November, as I've described before, I travelled to Scotland with my son and daughter to commit a portion of my wife's ashes to the beautiful grounds of 'Sweetheart Abbey' in Dumphrieshire, Scotland being the last love in life that my wife, Heather, discovered, and as a homage to her insistence whilst dying in the hospice, that we would all return to Scotland as soon as she left her sick-bed.
The venture was a romantic wish to ease our pain and re-bond, and it was successful.
On the anniversary of her death, the three of us threw a further handful each of her remains to the wind blowing out to sea from Southsea in Hampshire on the south coast of England. This was an amazing revelation: my pain lessened and we all found a strange and unexpected joy in our actions, perhaps this was the 'closure' we sought? Part Three, the final committment came when by chance, we all happened to be at the Glastonbury Festival a couple of weeks ago, when we released a Chinese Fire Lantern containing the last remnants of ashes to the skies in the early hours of the morning from the hill above the festival, after the Bruce Springsteen gig (our favourite performer). I'd love to share the moment with you, and if you care to enter 'Fire Lantern For Het' on Youtube, you can see the little video made by my son's partner.

I thought I was doing well, but underlying everything is the fact that most of my life is acted-out, but that's better than appearing as distressed as I am in actuality.

This posting is purely to outline my current hopeless unhappiness that I now seem to have lost the support of my constant email friend, whom I met on Webhealing. I do in fact feel a similar amount of bereavement in losing her as I've been experiencing every day since 6th June 2008.. She has her own problems and I respect that she may not need me as much as I need her, still. I do hope she might read this one day and contact me. I've tried everything to get in touch with her and I feel lost once again, one of my strongest supports apparently faded into the endless procession of time and trials.

I know I will survive this, I am a relatively normal human, and I expect to carry on albeit with the major part of my heart and sensitivities absent.

I apologise for this dreary, down-beat message, I know I need to learn to make it on my own somehow, but it is so very hard.

Nothing more to say, except that I feel like I'm moving through a desert of lost warmth, just hoping I can one day find a way to come alive again. I will make it, I'm not a quitter, but I know many times I'll think about giving-up, (if I just knew how).

Thanks for your patience if you've read this, and thanks for always being there webhealing, I wouldn't be here writing this if it wasn't for you all,

Regards to all who might remember me,

Love and regards,
Pete (UK)
PS: Please, Sheila, do get in touch with me again!

Main / Still alive, but that's all!
« on: March 14, 2009, 02:56:57 PM »
Hi everyone:

It's been months since I've been on the site, but I often think of you all. I've been doing okay really. I had a very bad patch just before Christmas and I really thought that was it! My kids rescued me and made me see that I had given up caring. I'd stopped eating, lost a huge amount of weight and got ill. They pulled me back from the edge and I've been trying to be positive ever since. It's so difficult, but I am determined to keep going.

This week my son and daughter came over and helped me clear the garage of junk, and those memories came flooding back. I suddenly realised I'd been doing what I'd seen others doing ... cruising along with a mask on. The mask seems to fit, but the new me who's wearing it belies the expression it shows; I hide my sadness because it makes other feel awkward I think. I rapped someone on this site over the knuckles for doing just what I'm doing, and if I could remember who it was I'd apologise.

Basically, I'm alive, in neutral without an aim. Alive but dead inside! And life is shit!

I hope things have been okay for anyone who remembers me, I'll keep on trying, but sometimes I think there's something wrong with me, others seem to cope eventually?

Love to all,
Pete UK

Main / Panic?
« on: December 31, 2008, 06:30:54 AM »
Despite my attempts, and after 'talking the talk', I'm wobbling a bit and not sure I can 'walk the walk' with my kids and their friends tonight. I could do with a few familiar (or new) names to hold me up - sorry!


Main / The Black Hole
« on: December 20, 2008, 02:12:15 PM »
Here I am again, whining Pete, always guaranteed to traipse back to Webhealing when he's unable to cope, never here when others need support!
I hit a black hole some weeks back. It started after I returned from our trip to scatter Heather's ashes. I had a bit of a cold. This then developed into a nasty cough and a full-blown chest infection. My son and daughter travelled over to where I live (on a damned island) and proceeded to pack me up and take me back to Southsea where they both live. I stayed at my daughter Naomi's apartment and started my recovery.
By last Wednesday I realised I'd somehow mislaid the days in between and that frightened me considerably. I seem to have reached a low-point I've never reached before, and this is after 'coping' (that's a laugh), for six months. All of a sudden I feel like I can't go on pretending I'm normal. I returned home alone tonight and it's not like my/our house anymore. I feel like a stranger here and I don't know where I want to be. I'm dreading going back to work even for the two days before the holidays, and nothing seems to be able to pull me out of this black hole. My panic attacks usually last about two to three days maximum, but this had been going on for about two weeks and I'm really struggling. I can't see any kind of future and nothing alleviates the dreary pain of this existence. Can it be just the whole 'holiday stress' thing? The dark evenings and continual miserable weather are combining to keep me down deep in the pit and nothing makes sense. I just want to shut my eyes so that it all disappears.

My daughter, Naomi, is trying so hard to help me and I know I'm letting her down by being such a whimp. My wife would be disgusted at the way I keep giving up, but I don't know where to find the strength to keep going, I'm so tense all the time. I have friends trying to contact me, family trying also and they're worried about me, but I can't make myself get back to them and I feel isolated even though they're reaching out to me. What's the matter with me? Millions manage to get through this every day, why should I be so weak I can't handle it? All I seem to say to anyone's suggestions is, 'whatever'. I've stopped caring about loneliness, coldness, hunger, happiness, anything, life is easier to deal with that way, but I'm breaking my kids' hearts and I'm scared I'm going to break up the family.

Can someone please point me in a useful direction? I trust everyone on this site because you all know how I feel. Who's found a way out of it all? Please help me find the key. I've tried faith, but I've never had any, so that doesn't change anything. What else is there? Sorry to be such a downer, but I'm desperate.


Main / Happy Thanksgiving
« on: November 27, 2008, 03:42:03 PM »
I'd like to thank all my friends on this site for their amazing support over the last six months. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, but I'm celebrating it anyway, it's my only way to thank you all. You have been so helpful, supportive and understanding.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and all contributors who have been unfortunate enough to have needed to find Webhealing!

Main / Weary of life
« on: November 13, 2008, 12:46:22 PM »
I don't want anyone to think I'd do anything stupid, but how common is the feeling that you just can't take it anymore? I'd happily die if it wasn't for the fact that my grown-up kids need me. I can't find a point to anything. Nothing interests me and I don't feel I have anything to look forward to except years (too many) ahead without the woman I love. The thought of being able to push a button and it's all over doesn't seem that strange or illogical, but I'm trapped by my responsibilities to the ones I love here on earth.

I don't speak to anyone after I get home from work or all weekend. My attempts to start making a social life as a single person have been disasterous, no-one who hasn't lost a loved one seems to understand. Everyone just suggests places to go and things to do. Yeah, like I really want to do it alone after 38 years of a beautiful marriage! I am lonely, but only lonely for my wife. Counselling helps somewhat, but it only takes my mind off things for a day or so, then it all comes back. I can't look at her pictures anymore, can't play so many songs we both loved, can't watch movies because everything triggers sweet memories that hurt like a bitch. Sometimes I just stare at the walls and realise I just have to wait, THAT is my sole occupation. Wait for what? Work is a chore, full of people who have cosy home lives and don't realise what they've got. I can't take it anymore.

Main / I'm lost
« on: October 17, 2008, 11:19:23 AM »
This is probably just an impulse reaction getting home to a cold empty house on a Friday, but I'm lost

Main / Help! Meltdown!
« on: October 06, 2008, 12:32:09 PM »
I haven't been on the site for a while, I thought I was doing okay, but I suffered a major set-back this evening. I don't know what triggered it, but I began to shake and lose the plot, started thinking real dark thoughts. I seemed to suddenly wake up to the fact that I won't EVER see my sweet Hetty again. I can't bear the thought and I don't know what I'm doing anything for. I just go round in circles pretending I'm okay and no-one seems to understand how I feel. I feel so desperate and I don't know what to do. I've got nobody to talk to about it and with the evenings getting dark and cold here everything seems impossible. I feel worse now than I did when she died four months ago today. How can I cope with all this? My two kids live quite a distance away from me and I know if I phone them I'll only pull them down to where I am. My life is empty without her, nothing can fill the emptiness and I don't know where to turn. Has anyone, please got any advice for me, I feel real strange and can't shake myself out of it, the dreadful silence has got to me and I feel afraid.

Main / Relentless emptiness
« on: September 08, 2008, 12:20:18 PM »
After three months, I feel I am just now arriving at the point I started off at in June when she was taken. There have been many ups and downs along the way, but always the underlying emptiness of my life without the one I love.

When things went wrong, my darling little wife would put them right with a smile and a hug. When things went right she'd share my happiness with a smile and a hug. Always the smile, always the hug. I am now in a cycle of work, sleep, work, sleep, work, and nothing is there at the end of it. I am working for nothing. Sleep is the only drug that takes away the pain, so I sleep. I've passed through depressions, panic attacks and plenty of fake 'highs'. Sometimes when I laugh with friends, they think I'm happy again, but underlying all is the emptiness.

I don't seem to care about anything, least of all myself. I feel worthless and placeless. I can bear being alone, it gives me time to think, but always my thoughts return to Heather, who like every loss I've been made aware of on this site, gave an immeasurable comfort to those they loved. She is gone, I've accepted that, but I can't imagine I can survive endless days before I join her. I reached a point where I didn't even check this site regularly, thinking I was doing okay, but when things get tough, I find I'm not tough enough.

My family and friends are superb, they care so much, but it is the contributors to these pages who understand most thoroughly how unresolvable grief is. My son and daughter are suffering too, and I don't give them enough time. I don't give anyone enough time. I push help away, I hide away, I seek peace, and the companionship of someone who can never be here again. Never again; a phrase I've probably used hundreds of times before, without comprehending the full impact of the words.

One person from this site has kept me going via personal emails. She never lets me down, always says the right things and gives out loving support for someone she doesn't really know, thousands of miles away geographically. How can I cope? My daughter tells me I am coping, but it doesn't seem that way. I'm seeking escape from this nightmare and I don't know where to turn. I don't know what I believe, so I can't be a hypocrite and pray. I can't trust to fate deciding how I should feel, I can't die because I'm needed. I can't switch the pain off. I look at Heather's pictures and I think, 'what a waste it all was'. All the memories are just memories, thoughts decorated for momentary pleasure, but laced with bitter pain and longing.

This is a bad, bad day for me and I don't know why. I think it's because today I'm so tired of pretending I can live with my new normality.

I glide like a zombie through the days, gritting my teeth when I see couples arguing, sad when I see elderly people, because I know I will never see my sweetheart in her mature years. She was loving and innocent, and I am so broken through this experience. Can I ever start to mend? I finished counselling two weeks ago and I feel I don't want to move forward.

And now the summer is over, winter approaches and scares me. I suspect many people who know me think it's time to start fresh. Do I want to? No way. Sometimes the pain brings her closer, so I'll just hide away and wait ...

Main / Reality bites!
« on: July 01, 2008, 11:54:50 AM »
I was so high yesterday, I returned home after a beautiful weekend with my daughter and after promising her I'd try to remain positive I dug around online to find things to motivate myself. By the time I was ready to sleep I was feeling confident and pretty even, as if I'd come out of a tunnel. I might have known it wouldn't last.

I started back to work today, three weeks since Heather died, and although I coped with the work, it was agony. The day went on forever and I was preoccupied all the time, hurting myself with memories and associations. I left work and did a quick shopping trip. The supermarket was painful with memories of the coffee shop we'd relax in and the fun we had choosing our food supplies, simple pleasures.

Then, home! And that's when I hit the deck. I now feel disorientated, tired aimless, dazed and empty. At times like this I fail to see a way out of my misery. I am so alone and just want the company of my wife, though I know it can never be. Why are we able to feel this way? I feel so desolate. I've read my diary and I know I've felt better a couple of times in the last week, but I can't remember how I got to the moments when the tearing in my heart was dulled. I feel adrift in a world I don't understand. I watch couples arguing and shouting, I see older men and women enjoying their senior years, the way we had planned to do.

What can possibly happen to help me? I will be hearing from the hospice support group tomorrow to set a date for counselling, but I worry any help they can give me will not last. How do I fill my evenings, who is there to talk to except the good, loving folk on this site? My phone has stopped ringing, my emails seem to have dried up. The only two good buddies I have are consistent in their concern, they chase me to get out with them, and I feel like I'm ignoring them because maybe they're just not the direction I can handle at the moment.

I can fight through this evening, then I've got stressful meetings with the bank manager, insurance people and other official departments. Back to work on Thursday for another hell-day. All I want to do is sleep. I can get by at home, but I am getting scared of moving out of the house. Can anyone suggest what to do to relieve the pressure in my heart? Maybe this feeling won't last so long, I'm trying to see things objectively, maybe it's a chemical thing that follows a pattern? No way, I'm told everyone does it differently, but I just can't take much more. I wrote some replies on this site last night and they were upbeat, the way I want to be right now, but I don't know how I got there or how to return.

Dejected and broken


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