Author Topic: Loss of an abusive spouse / dealing w guilt / & the loss of what I will never be  (Read 18574 times)

AMI

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I just have to vent somewhere.
 I just came home from Grief Group, and lsitening to the stories of grief and desperation and then reading  these post  on this sight for weeks.
 
I cannot feel  like all of you feel.    I love him as much as he let me,  Mine was crule, mean and very controlling and an  Alcoholic.  I stayed with him because I Loved him and I always believed he would stop and we would at last have a good marriage,   I dont  feel lonesome,  I was for the 42 years we were married,   I have no one to share my real feelings, and I never did,  and I just have to say these things.   

I miss him not being here. 

He was never here when I went to bed, we hadnt   splet in the same room in over 20 yrs,  he had insomina.   many a night I lay and cried wanting that touch of compassion, and a companionship. 
 
I am a christian and I believe God put us together and he would keep us together as long as he wanted us to be together.    I do mourn, but not for what we had ,  for what we might have had,   He had been sober for 2 yrs and things were good for two years,  I am thankful I had that.    I Grieve ,   for the good times we never had because he was always drunk.    We put on a good front at achurch and only one person really knew what our life was really like at home.
He never wanted  company , family or friends.  We never went to parties together , I always went alone, so I dont grieve for him when I go places I always went alone anyway .   

At the Service for him all his co-workers and friends gave such glowing feeling for him,, I and my children never knew that man,  we always prayed to know him and at times we did,  and we live now on the good time.    We dont condem him  he did the best he knew how,  He was an abused child and adolesent,   He was bi-polar  and he was one of Gods children.

I wonder why, a lot,  I dont regret staying with him, He needed me and I loved him.   I pray for a release of what we will never have together,  I grieve for the tenderness  he could not give.   
I cry because no one understands , as I do not understand how so many of you had such loving feeling  and desperation at the loss of a spouse,   I dont ,,  How can I grieve for what I never had !!!   

I dont expect anyone to reply to this.   I know how awful it must sound to some of you with such loving and compasinate marriages.    I just had to vent and try to get over this feeling of guilt because Im not criing my eyes out, Im not celebrating by anymeans , I do miss him and I do have some depression and I do cry .    I had such high hopes for our senior years.

I cannot really be too sad, because hes not having those horrible nightmares,  and those feelings of being lost.  Of trying to be a better man and failing.   Those tormenting memories of his childhood are gone and God has given him peace and this I am happy for I cannot be sad he is finally at peace.

If anyone reads this please dont judge me for sharing such awful things ,   He is missed and I did Love him,   but I did not have a good marriage as many of you did.   I wanted it , it just was not ment to be.     

gulity and longing for what I will now never have nor the hope for a better marriage is gone>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>   
AMI

Autumn Leaves

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AMI, I understand how you feel. I felt the same way about my mother. My brothers were heartbroken and her sisters were griefstricken. My one sister and I just sat there and looked sad. My mother was an alcoholic who abused her daughters and pampered her sons. She was mean and vindictive. She banished her sisters and my daughter, her eldest grandchild and only grandchild for 13 years, because of some imagined slight; she refused to acknowledge their existence, and didn't speak to them. She was the only person I ever knew who could hold a grudge for decades.

Everyone had so many nice things to say about my mother at her memorial service that I didn't even recognize the person they were speaking about. I was sad because the person who was my mother and my daughter's grandmother was gone but I wasn't sad that the vindictive alcoholic abusive woman I'd known for the last thirty years was gone.

It's been nine years since my mother died and I rarely think about her other than the few good memories I have from my early childhood before she started drinking so heavily and became so hostile. I grieve for the all the relationships she banished, all the love the dismissed so easily. I used to wish for a family and a mother like my friends had and like I saw on television.  When I was a kid, I used to wish my mother would hug and kiss me, that she'd be proud of me, that she'd not criticize me for every little thing, that she'd stop blaming me for existing, that she'd stop punishing me for things my younger siblings did, that she'd stop beating us, but all that was not meant to be. No one else knew what went on in our house; some suspected but did nothing.

I understand when you say you feel guilty and long for the compassion and love you didn't have in your marriage. Few people have a perfect marriage as there are conflicts and misunderstandings and hurt feelings. However, after death, we generally remember the good times and forget about the not so good times. My marriage was by no means perfect but my husband was a good guy and, while rather self-centered, was a very caring person and helped me restore the self-esteem and self-confidence my mother tried to destroy. He had many annoying habits but then I do as well and he put up with me all the years we were married and I loved him and he loved me with all his heart and I will never forget that.

I hope you are able to receive the compassion and companionship from this site and the people here, and your Grief Group, to help you deal with the loss of your husband and help you adapt to your life alone. Sometimes the presence of friends, even virtual friends, is exactly what we need to help us through the rough spots in our life.

RJ

Lonnie

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((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((AMI))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Well, guess who's still up? It's me-Lonnie.  :)  I just want to tell you that I get what you just wrote. It sounds like you've been grieving for a long, long time. Grieving for what might have been, what should have been, but never was. Missing his nearness, his companionship, and the relationship of good friends and lovers. Bless your heart-you are right to wonder where in the world you fit in with normal spousal grief. I am reminded of the grief rituals I wrote about concerning the Victorian age, and Crushed and I were saying how terribly oppressive it must have been for a wife to have to wear all those heavy trappings, and stay in mourning for 2 years, for a husband who abused her or wasn't faithful, or attentive. It sounds like a nightmare of the worse kind!!! It's too bad they don't have a grief class for spouses of alcoholic abusers. Sounds like the deepest loneliness was when he was alive, and not there for you. I am just so sorry it happened that way. I am so glad that you were able to get it all out. Let me just reassure you that you don't have to fulfill anyone's expectations about how you should grieve or feel. You have your own story, and your own sense of loss that didn't start on the day he died. I cannot help but think what he must have been dealing with that caused him so much pain. Whenever you think of him, know that he had his own demons that tortured him, and he in turn tortured you, simply because he didn't seem to know how to be any different. AMI-you put us all to shame-the way you continued to honor your commitment to your husband, and they way you truly loved him, regardless of the cost to yourself. I am so sorry that the children had to witness so much that must have been confusing and frightening to them, and also very sad. Living with an alcoholic has got to be one of the toughest things on earth. I am so glad that he was able to achieve sobriety for 2 years. At least he conquered that demon, and it had to help your relationship to some degree as you said. I know you must have spent years wondering where he was, and if you would ever see him alive again. And honestly, sometimes you probably could have cared less-except-you loved him to the best of your ability. If you don't regret staying with him as you say, know that your love may have been the only true and real thing in his life. He might not have been able to put it into words, but you were what was right and good and stable in his life. What a toll it must have taken on you, and continues to. But I sense that God is saying to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have laid down your life and sacrificed everything you had for the sake of love. You honored your vows, you suffered immensely, but you remained faithful to the call." Perhaps your love is the truest love of all. You are not horrible, you are amazing! And your grief started long ago. I wish there was a place for those who have endured so much, to come to terms with all that was taken from them. There are many losses that you are grieving, and your grief is so complex. Please know that you did exactly what you should have done. You shared your feelings, you put into words the confusion and pain that you have dealt with for so long, and I promise that in time you are going to be so much better for it. Please continue to do so. I have a feeling that there may be others who also suffered in a similar way, and haven't known how to deal with it either. Life is so hard, and relationships are rarely what they appear on the surface. Love is a very complicated thing as well. How sad for you to go to your Grief Group hoping to relate to others, and realizing that the shoe just didn't fit.  But please know that there are probably many untold stories, and less than fantasy relationships. Sometimes those crying the hardest have suffered the most, and the conflicting feelings are totally confusing. You did something very important tonight. You did not run away from the truth-you explained it so well, and I am so sorry that was your existence for so long. I wish I could sit with you and hold you, or share a cup of tea or coffee (or warm cocoa) and tell you how I admire your steadfastness, but how my heart breaks for not just the death of your husband, but for all that died long ago in your heart. (Your dreams of a better life, and the comfort of a companion.) You can share anything you want to anytime you want to. I don't know that I have said exactly what I had hoped to. Words are so inadequate, aren't they? But I understand that you are needing to be heard and understood. I pray that God will comfort you and bring you the peace that you deserve and long for. I know that others will come along who also understand what you are saying. Know that we are here for you, and are ready to listen whenever you need to talk. Many tight hugs-Lonnie
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 10:43:14 PM by Lonnie »

Lonnie

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Autumn Leaves: I am so sorry for all you have been through as well. I know that LaurenE can relate to so much of what you wrote also. I am so glad that you found comfort and confidence through the love of a good man, and your own strength given by the Lord. It is so heartwrenching to hear the hell that some people have had to endure. You are also a very amazing woman. I love your outlook and your motivation, not to just survive, but to truly live life to the fullest. Thank you for sharing that with AMI. I know she was comforted, and the words of wisdom that you gave about the complexity of relationships was also right on! I just love this place. People are so compassionate and understanding. It is truly a safe place to be. Hugs-Lonnie

jazzgirl

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Hey guys, I just wanted to say I am so sorry you had to deal with all of that abuse in life. I have never had to deal with abuse, and from the outside looking in, you women are just beautiful people to still have such a huge heart for those that hurt you. That says a lot about you that you can still love after all that was done. Whatever doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.

Crushed

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Oh Dear Dear AMI: I sooo understand where you are coning from. My husband had a drinking problem in our early years that caused a lot of damage to our marriage and family life. He got that under control, but could still drink to much in certain situations, but not like before. He was not abusive to me and our family, but to him self. He worked way to hard and would only go and do what he wanted to do. He didn't take good care of himself until recent years and almost lost a leg to staph infection because he wouldn't go to a doctor until it was almost to late. I went a lot of places with friends and that is good now because I am used to that. He had some demons that  he was never able to put to rest and now those are healed as well. He was an abused neglected child which caused him a certain sadness all of his life. I went to counseling to learn to accept his accident and learned so much more. I'm sorry that he didn't know those things about himself as he could have put some things to rest.
I loved that man with all of my heart as he did me and he always said that he would be a lost soul had I not come in to his life. I have had it said to me since his death, " I would have left long ago and can't understand why you didn't." Jeez, thanks a lot for that!   They also know what a loving giving , hard working person he was, but would have left simply because he worked to hard and was stubborn?  What does that say about them?
We choose our own path in life and the one I chose was absolutely the right one for me and the only regrets I have are that we didn't have our retirement years together and get to do the things we had planned. I wasn't finished yet and never would have been.  Where does it say that life is going to be an easy coast and that there will never be tough times?
No matter what anyone says you 2 loved each other and what ever the reasons it worked for you, as ours worked for us. You have to mourn in your own way and at your own speed and for what the man that you knew and loved.
On the other hand you now have the chance to embrace life and as you plan your new one can embrace the things that you have dreamed of. When I used to go out with friends and my honey stayed at home, I would see couples and have a pang of sadness that mine didn't want to be there with me. I don't do that any more. Of course the flip side of that is that he is not here to tell my stories to when I get home. The cat listens fairly well!
I find that living for my self and coming and going as I please is not a bad thing. I wouldn't  have let him go to have  it by any means, but I may as well enjoy it.
We all have our own stories to tell and our own way of grieving and there are things that I do not miss about all of my departed love ones. As time goes by I have found that I have let those things go to the back and the good times and things about them have come foreword. I will bet that not one person at the grief group is telling everything about their loved one and many are not being totally honest. That's just human nature. You are a wonderful person to have stayed with him and there had to have been something keeping you there. You can't be concerned with what others are grieving, only how and what you feel. On this path there are no right or wrong answers, or feelings or anything else. It is what it is and the best way for me is to be honest with myself and go where the emotions take me. It was hard for me to release the dreams that we had and the things that I thought we were finally going to do.... but I will have new dreams and do things that I will make happen. Take limes and make smiles today.

kay

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AMI,
My heart goes out to you and I know God has put His strength and grace in your heart and mind to make it and be there for your husband over the years.  Your story brings back many of my childhood memories.  My dad was very paranoid, jealous, critical and accusing of my mom.  He was never clinically diagnosed but I know he had some mental issues w/paranoia.  I remember all the nights my siblings and I would stay up and listen to his rantings(my mom hardly ever said anything back to him) and the fear and insecurity it caused in us as children.  We all were affected by it but in different ways.  My mom was the kindest person I have ever known--she would never complain about her lot and always had a smile for everyone--as we got older we realized how much she had suffered alone.  We never understood and would ask her why did she marry him--she would always say because she loved him and her prayer was that God would change and save him.  Well--my mom died first--after 51 years of marriage.  I was sad at her funeral but the overwhelming feeling was relief--relief that she would not have to deal with such unhappiness anymore.  There are so many feelings in my heart now about all this but just know that others feel for what you had to deal with.  When I think about you, I think about my mom and just know that God will make up for all you did not have and longed for in your marital relationship.  Keep believing and trusting.  Love and Prayers.

kay

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AMI--Just wanted to add--I don't know if you have children or not  but you left all you know an example of that love that Corinthians 13 talks about--patient, kind, longsuffering, hopeth all things and beareth all things. Through your trials--your character was developed.  Your life was an example of how we are to treat one another in this life--God bless you.

Lonnie

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AMI: Could you write and let us know if you are okay? Thanks-Lonnie

AMI

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Thanks for all the comments.  It helped so much to vent and not to be judged.   
I do have twins sons and a step daughter.   The daughter suffered from the most because when we married I was not a christian and had no help dealing with the situation,  by the time my sons were born, we had both been  saved and the roller coaster ride started with the drinking, there were years the the children saw nothing , or at least the boys say they never did. I feel the Lord protected them.  Now the Daughter has the bi-polar also, and she is having a rough time with her Dads death, as are my sons,  She calls once in a while and I call her every week.   

As for me I am doing very good I think,  writing all that down on the post and a lot more in my journal ,  was the most freeing things I have done.
Allowing myself to put that trash away or at least air it out, and to allow myself to love the memory of the good times .    I went out with last night to a small country gospel theather my cousing owns in the country and listened to some good music and I enjoyed myself. 

I still think about him and I know from what others say that black cloud can come as quick as it goes.  so I dont expect to feel this good all the time and again maybe I will. 

I dont know what God has planned for the rest of my life, but I am listening.  I know he is with me and taking care of me.

Again Thanks for the posts , it did help so much and I am in aw at some of your stories and all the trials you are going through.

I took care of my husbands parents until their deaths and my father  4 yrs ago, and now I care for my mother in my home so I do know what it is to just put one foot in front of another one day at a time.   

As the scripture says   I can do all things ...through Christ who strententh me
AMI

Crushed

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AMI:  I am so glad that you went out and had some fun. That is so good for the soul. The tide does come in and go out and we just have to go with it.
You know my husband worked so hard and was gone so much and I had a friend tell me that she thought that I was grieving losing him as well as what we didn't have that I wanted. After reading your post, I think there is truth in that. I was looking foreword to his retirement and spending more time together and your husband was finding sobriety and you were looking foreword to a new life with him. It was not to be. I did not have the abuse and
all of the stuff that you did and now you have the chance to make your life what you want and live your truth and don't have to hide anything. That can be very freeing and make you feel lighter in spirit and step. You loved him, stayed with him and you will remember the good times and let the other fade with time. He is healed of all his demons .  Bless you.

Mert

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It has been six years and I cannot seem to let things go and be free of this terrible time in my life.  He chose to leave and am left with the guilty.  Selfish, narcissist.

germangirl515

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I realize this post has not been added to in a while, but I want to make sure someone else who comes home from a bereavement meeting feeling like a misfit has an opportunity to see that they're not alone.  My husband died a month ago after an undiagnosed mental illness - still awaiting results of brain autopsy.  He was abusive in multiple ways.  He permanently altered the angle of my neck with years of bashing my head against a wall.  He killed most of our pets.  He forced me to get pregnant.  He refused to work.  When I grew what we ate, he gave much of it away (even though we had 4 children to feed).  Some of what I earned he stole from and used for buying tools and machinery and pistols, rifles, and shotguns for "Armageddon".  He was court-ordered twice to get a mental evaluation, but he slipped through the cracks both times.  I filed three domestic protection orders in 17 years.  He threatened to put eight bullets through my heart in front of the kids.  He came after me revving his chain saw while I had the baby in my arms.  When I tried to get away, the brake lines or heater hoses on the car would be cut, or the gas was siphoned.  He finally got so paranoid and aggressive, the family doctor put him on antipsychotics and had me hide them among the vitamins and supplements.  I watched him, bathed him, took him to work and shopping and church, but he got so unsafe I had the sheriff's deputies put him into the state mental hospital because he was a danger to himself, brushing his teeth with a razor, drinking hand sanitizer, walking through highway traffic.  They diagnosed him schizophrenic, bipolar, and borderline personality.  He went catatonic.  They ambulanced him into an acute care hospital and fitted him with a feeding tube.  He was hospitalized under restraints (hog-tied) for 3 months, then transferred to a lockdown nursing home.  He died after a couple of months.  I planned and organized a respectful funeral and had him buried in the manner he requested.  It's been a difficult month.  I can't expect the kids to understand because they seem to embrace the Hollywood idea of family.  I wake up staring and having to work at putting one foot in front of the other.  I was not allowed to have working car, mower, etc. so I'm paying professionals to bring me up to speed.  I have to be very careful about sharing my reality.  People who had functional marriages have no way of understanding the fact that I did all my crying decades ago.  I am free.  I feel like the little lamb who was let out of the barn the first time.  If you judge me, be careful.  I am putting one foot in front of the other like everyone else.  Yes, I do cry sometimes, but I smile often.  I am free.