Snowed in and feeling very isolated…….

Hello Yvonne, thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes I agree, I always used to ring my mum in the evening and when she didn’t answer we got the car out and travelled for one hour to make sure she was okay. Nearly every time she had not put the handset back on the stand properly. We had landlines then, no mobiles. We took her shopping, and did her gardening and decorating for her.

I have not seen any of my neighbours at all, We had a big extension built quite a few years ago so I have two lounges, one in the front of the house and one in the back and also a separate through dining kitchen, so I spend all my time in the back of the house which looks onto the garden. I have a very large garden which goes all around my home with tall trees and hedges so I cannot see out.

I could not put my bins out today as I could not move them in the thick snow so they will have to wait until the weather gets better, there is no way I am risking falling otherwise goodness knows how long I will be laid there. I can just imagine me falling then ringing my sons and it goes to voicemail and three days later they will text me and I will be dead. Sorry for being so morbid but sometimes I wonder what if I fell in the house, no-one would know. I have thought about having one of those buzzers that hangs around my neck but I would have thought that they are for people with no family, but because I don’t hear from them much perhaps I should get one.

Anyway, I have got that off my chest. I know I won’t be seeing anyone this weekend but I am hoping to get out next week as I have to pick up my new glasse.

You take care.

Love

Sheila

Dear Sheila,

I have just read your latest online contribution ~ I am really saddened by your situation.

I’m wondering if you have thought about joining any sort of group, where you could make new friends who live locally ~ U3A or a Friendship Club? I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it might mean you will meet people who are in the same situation as you and you could keep an eye on each other.

Its only a suggestion, but just someone who makes occasional contact with you, to see how you’re doing would make the world of difference to your situation.

At the moment, I am fortunate, I have friends, family and neighbours who are helping me out, but I’m only three months down the road since my dear husband passed. I am realistic enough to know that eventually the kindness of people close to me may not continue, as everyone has their own lives to live.

I have tentatively enquired about my local U3A and its something I may try in the future. I joined a Pilates group at the local community centre, and that has been wonderful, as I’ve made a couple of new friends and we occasionally go walking to the local pub for a coffee. Everything feels difficult for me to do, but I’m taking little steps……

See how you feel when the weather gets a bit better, its maybe worth consideration.
Keep warm and take care ~ thinking of you ~ Elaine xx

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Hello Eileen and thank you for your comments. I totally agree, when Peter died in August 2014, everyone was there for me, ringing me up, our sons always coming to visit with our grandchildren, me going out with them at the week-ends but nearly 12 months later things did change. Our sons were pushing me to join groups, which I did, then had to cancel it as they wanted a child-minder for the day I was going out. I think I made a rod for my own back by not saying no I can’t do it I am going out. Then I found that even when the groups meetings were on each month, our sons had booked me for child-minding weeks ahead so I had to cancel again.

I have just had a photo sent me from one of our sons showing him and our grandsons having lunch out somewhere and I am thinking, yes, they can go out and have fun but cannot come to see me for a few minutes. Him and his wife have just had another baby and I have been told that because my daughter-in-laws mum and dad are buying them the pram etc. could I buy them the Moses basket and the cot. Also they are moving into their brand new 4 bed-roomed detached house in three weeks and I have again been told her parents are buying them a bed so could I buy them the washer and dryer.

Our son is divorced and this is his second marriage. Peter and myself did all this the first time round when he married his first wife and had children but now I am on my own, with only one income, having to do it again. My daughter-in-laws parents are ten years younger than me and have two incomes coming in.

A few weeks ago our eldest son said to me, 'mum, I think it is about time that you started giving us some of your savings every month because if you have to go into a care home they will take the lot. I told him where to go. He was not happy and said that all his friends parents are doing it. I said what would happen if there was an emergency and I needed some repairs or a new roof on the house, he said, use your house insurance.

Then a few weeks ago our youngest son said, 'mum, when anything happens to you and we had to clear the house who do we contact.

I cannot believe it, it is as if they are waiting for me to die.

I think it is time for me to stand up and be counted and say no, because it is now eating away at me and making me into a very bitter woman which I never have been.

The next time I am asked to child-mind (after the end of May) as I am booked up until then, I will either lie and say I am going out or not cancel the appointment I already have and if they don’t like it it will be their loss not mine. I manage on my own for most of the year, pay for gardeners, decorators, electricians etc, and if I get a serious illness then I will have to go in a home and the government will take the lot.

Rant over, the new me is going to stand up and be counted.

Thank you for caring.

Sheila xx

“Brillliant” xx

You will never believe it. One of our sons has just rung me and asked me if I want anything as they haven’t spoken to me for a while and with the weather being bad they were worried about me. They are both coming over. I have told them I need some Bread, soup, yogurts and milk as I have been making my own and when you are not well it is a toil of a pleasure. I have asked them to also bring me some fish and chips for my tea. They asked if I needed anything else doing so I told them and they are putting my bins out and clearing the drive whilst they are here.

I think I am as much to blame as they are because since Peter died, I have been putting on a brave face and letting them think I am doing okay as I didn’t want them to know I was still grieving for him after three years as they seem to have got on with their lives. Perhaps I should stop being a martyr and start being truthful and asking them for help when I need it.

I help them out a lot so I should not be too proud of asking them for their help.

I will though, stand up for myself and say it like it is, if I am going out, then I cannot child-mind and I will not cancel my appointments, perhaps they won’t like it at first but they will get used to it. If I don’t feel like looking after our three grandchildren for a full weekend then I will tell them.

Today has given me the chance to start over and stop being afraid of confrontation. When Peter was here I was a very confident woman, then I became a nurse to Peter for three years handling all his drugs and caring for him but when he died, a part of me also died and I became someone I didn’t recognise, I lost myself, never wanting to go out, I lost all my confidence, but now I think it is time for the worm to turn and get back on track. Peter would be so very upset to see me being walked over by his family and just accepting things, so I will once again become the woman Peter fell in love with all those years ago, strong, confident and fun loving, I will make him proud of me if it kills me.

Thank you for caring.
Love Sheila xxx

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Hi Sheila

That’s great news. So glad you have found some confidence to speak up for yourself. It’s time for you to put yourself and your needs first. I’m sure your family will come around and be able to find alternative childcare when they need to. They will no longer take you for granted and be a bit more thoughtful. I’m sure Peter would be proud of you.

Yvonne

Hi Yvonne, I think the reason I have become this downtrodden old woman is because I am grieving for Peter, like many others on here who are grieving for their loved ones, I didn’t have the strength to fight any more battles because the one I am fighting is to carry on living without the love of my life so rather than stand up for myself it was easier to just say yes, okay all the time. But it started to eat into me as I felt that our sons thought that now I was alone, I was at their beck and call all the time and was no longer entitled to my own life. I don’t want my life to revolve around our son’s and grandchildren’s lives, what I do want is to hear from them now and again or see them now and again. I want to be part of their family instead of the mother who is just there to baby sit and let my house be treated like a bed and breakfast.

Anyway it will change now, they came today and did what they promised and all was well, they asked me what I was doing next week so I told them I was going out with a friend one day and then going shopping on another day if the weather gets better.

Our eldest son (48 years old) is having his 12 years old daughter for next week-end (he has her every two weeks) and said she would be staying at my house whilst he goes out with his new girlfriend, then they will come back to my house and stay over. I said no they can’t stop. It is his turn to have his daughter and she is entitled to his undivided attention for the week-end and he can see his girlfriend during those two weeks he doesn’t have his daughter. He seemed a bit shocked but didn’t say anything.

I have made a start, our eldest son is very confrontational both with me and his brother but his brother tells him where to go, but like I said, he didn’t say anything. I could feel myself getting ready for a confrontation but it never came.

Thanks for your concern.

Love Sheila xx
I will see how things go now and take it one step at a time.

Hi Sheila

I understand exactly what you mean about becoming an ‘old woman’ because of grieving, It is like we have been plunged into old age by becoming widows. When Geoff was here I never felt like that, he wouldn’t have let me feel that way. We always mixed with younger people and never acknowleged our true ages. Like you I never said no to anyone but now we have to take time for ourselves. it’s difficult to know where to start. I’m still taking one day at a time.

Yvonne

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Hello Yvonne. I think my problem is I cannot accept this is the life I have now been given and I cannot accept I am an old woman so until the day I do, and start accepting this is the way things are, I will never be able to move on without Peter. With every year that passes Peter goes further and further into the past and it frightens me because I don’t want a life without him in it.

I think I am feeling sorry for myself, I have been ill for a week and stuck inside for a week I think I have cabin fever, once I get out again I will feel better.

I am now going to bed, blanket on, Horlick’s at the ready, I have also put some Baileys in it so let’s hope for a good nights sleep.

Love

Sheila xxxx

Yes you are not alone and today it snowed again and the feeling of oh no, I want to get out, was very strong. But just think spring is just around the corner and then summer. Keeping busy is the best way to bet the feelings and having things planned helps. Don’t worry, you are never the only one with these feelings and tomorrow is another day. Keep smiling.