Hi all feels like I’m going crazy so thought this was a good place to start.
The years from 2014 to 2018 were nothing short of hellish for me. To cut a very long story short, my partner of 23 years died unexpectedly of alcoholism in autumn 2016. I had been dealing with the ravages of his addiction at the same time as caring for my mum who had terminal ovarian cancer and I had supported her through 18 months of brutal chemo fighting for her to get the right treatment meds etc. until she felt she would rather die than take any more. I was on my way to her in the hospital when I got the call telling me my partners body had been found. I watched mum die in hospital 4 days later - needless to say I didn’t tell her what had happened to my partber just bottled it all up.
So two funerals to organise at the same time. Then all the legal stuff, financial, probate - you know.
Dad had always been an alcoholic after his horrendous childhood and as soon as the news about Mum’s terminal diagnosis hit home with him, he hit the bottle. So not only was I dealing with an alcoholic partner while supporting mum through chemo I was completely unsupported by him because he was permanently drunk.
Four months after my double bereavement the hospital admitted that there wasnt anything else they could do for him, from now on his heart disease brougbt on by the alcohol was just going to get worse. So having just lost my partber and mother I was now caring for him for another 2 years, holding down a full time job with management who gave me zero support (in fact they actually went to the registration office to check death certificates to try to prove Id been lying about my double bereavement as if Id make it up!!!).
The bullying at my workplace got so bad I left after 13 years of service and got another job closer to dad His illness got so bad I would finish up at work at 5 and then spend four hours at his house cleaning up cooking, sorting out meds etc. He then died in Septrmber 2018.
Those of you who have supported someone through terminal cancer or heart disease will know the depths of stress, confusion, horror, helplessness and anticipatory grief behind the words above. Suffice it to say my bereavement started in February 2016 and hasn’t ended.
Last year was a good year I had a few long overdue holidays and ‘kept busy’ with the help of antidepressants. One awful thing did happen though - I had adopted the family cat who Id been caring for alongside mum and dad. And yes, youve got it - he died. Went missing for three months (I did the posters, advert in the local press, everything I could to find him) but by the time he was eventually found he was in such a terrible state I could only authorise euthanasia to end his misery.
And then along comes lockdown. Nothing to do, nowhere to run.
It is all hitting me at once, grief for three people and a pet plus my life - flashbacks, crying until Im exhausted, loneliness, anxiety. Im supposed to be working from home but its just not happening. I can’t focus I just cry and sleep cry and sleep cry and sleep.
And I think - is this the new normal? Now that its coming out - and it needs to - when will it stop? When will I be able to function again? Is this grief or trauma or depression or all three? Where do I even begin? Can I make plans for the future? How bad will this get?
I’ve made contact with a local therapist to go to when lockdown is over in case EMDR will help and I’m practising trauma relief exercises every morning, reading self help books and anything else I can.
Thanks for ‘listening’. I’m sure I’m not the only one this is happening to - all the numbed-out pain inside pouring out -but it certainly feels that way!!!