Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I'm very up and down these days.

Obviously the thing with my brother has not helped anything. Spent my entire therapy session on why it hurt so much, why it was so frustrating to hope that he could connect with my experience and understand why I've been the way I've been this year. Why I didn't want to hurt him, not purposely. Why I wanted to reconnect with my brother with whom I have not been close since my mom passed away.

Why I feel so frustrated that every conversation we have ends with him bitching about what a terrible family we are, how he is mistreated/not supported/never has been, and we both hang up feeling worse. For years now.

She suggested just sending him a note/email saying that I was sorry he was hurt by what was in my journal, and basically leaving it at that. He was not able to connect with what I wrote beyond what was about him because he's still in pain from his whole life and probably wouldn't be able to hear anything else anyway.

Or something like that.

At any rate, it's another confirmed loss.

I'm not ready to go back to school full time. Or part time, at that. I'm teaching my class, again. This time, co-teaching with a great colleague. Helps. But I'm still not better better. Maybe that's what is making me so sad.

Flashes of last year, olfactory. Weepy again. Angry as hell. Topped out on the Cym.balta. Appointment on Thursday.

I fear what it will take to help me really begin to heal. Function better. I need to be stable before we can even try again -- and off most drugs.

Is it the trauma? Am I just really fucked in the head? Maybe I wasn't trying to convince my brother but myself, that I've been through a lot and that needs to be recognized and dealt with. Or maybe I'm just really fucked up. I just don't know how to process this. Hold on while letting go. Not just expecting the worst.

Accept the pain. Accept the healing, the feeling better. It's okay to feel better, even though it feels so odd.

I almost re-posted that entry I made in May about me/Notme. I took off the Hope necklace. Not feeling it, not yet. And others, are making progress. Friends feeling good, finding their way. Having their little ones. I'm so happy for them. It should give me hope.

But it doesn't.

The Cym gives me enough energy to get up and take care of the dog, and go out to dinner and even try to clean the house some. And then I spend 2 days in bed. Two hours up, three down.

I just don't know how to integrate this into my life. Still. What the hell is wrong with me? I'm pre-disposed to depression, I've dealt with grief before. And I just can't move forward with this.

How did you do it/are you doing it?


Aunt Becky said...

I don't have anything good to say right now, Sue, but I am here, and I am holding your hand as tightly as I can. Sorry if it's making your knuckles hurt.

Tash said...

Our therapist also suggested a letter when we got slammed, and so we did (it was completely on the surface, nothing in between the lines, covered no other topic than the one at hand), and they didn't talk to us for 5 months. So the high road is ok for you, but just be warned, it may get worse before it gets better.

As for the rest: S, I'm here staring two years in the eye, and I have no hope, either. Hope to me is some big ephemeral impossibility because what I really wish and hope for, I can't have. I don't know how you get that back, and I think it's a tall order personally. I've tried instead working on smaller stuff -- focussing on just her, just missing, not all the extraneous bullshit that also got lost. And then somedays its important to focus on everything else -- my body, my family, the friends who never wrote, and deal with that grief for a bit. It's more manageable if I view it as small bites of the same apple, rather than trying to cram the whole thing in my mouth and chew. It also means you might just feel better about something smallish along the way, and that's a good thing.

Hang in there. Keep writing. Keep talking. Know that you're not alone.

Michele said...

I pray a lot. I spend a lot of time in church. I'm okay when I'm home or there; not so great most times in the rest of the world. I pretend a lot. The rest of the world would think I'm okay; most times, only I know the truth.

Sending a warm hug your way...

CLC said...

I don't have a good answer. But some days I still feel absolutely destroyed and most of the time crying, and other days I feel ok and almost like my old self. I can't predict when either will occur, so that is hard in itself. I used to tell myself that it can't feel this bad forever. What I have learned though is that it can, but I am just getting used to it. But as Tash said, keep writing and talking and letting it out.

Ya Chun said...

Hi Sue. I just don't know what works and doesn't, nor why. Maybe it doesn't help to ask these questions.

The letter to your borther sunds like a good idea. Just say sorry, don't try to explain your actions or assign blame or bring up any other issues. Just 'I'm sorry' (cause you ARE sorry that his feelings are hurt, even if it doesn't make sense to you) and that you love him (even though you can't love EVERYthing about him - that's life and love). Maybe your doc can even check the letter to make sure nothing confrontational snuck it's way in there. And then let the ball in his court.

On other points, I think I am living. I don't think I am focusing on hope. The biggest thing for me though, was accepting that Serenity is dead. I posted about this at end of Dec/beg of Jan. MY mind doesn't go to the "I wish she was here" as much anymore, and that really helps. For me, it was our vacation to MExico. Stepping out of our daily life, and realizing that TripleS and I still have something special and great, and that we wouldn't see this other part of the world except for the fact that our baby died. **Our life is at a different place than we had dreamed it to be.** That, to me, is the acceptance. (Not, oh, I wouldn't get to go on this trip if Serenity hadn't died - like yay i get to travel because my baby died - not that way of thinking) It's a subtle difference.

Anyway, sorry this is such a long comment. I just wish it was smoother for you ((Hugs))

k@lakly said...

Depression is an effing bitch. If the chems in your brain are still out of whack it's no wonder that the 'thing' with your brother has you so wiped out. You're right it is another loss, but it also sounds like it was a loss a long time ago and you are only now letting yourself see it for what it is. Losing the boys has allowed you to see him for who he is and allowed you to say MY stuff matters and you(brother) need to respect that and take a back seat to it. That was the right thing to do, absolutely. That being said it doesn't mean, as YC says, that you can't be sorry that his feelings were hurt and tell him that. But, you need to focus on you, on healing you. When you are in a placce where you can work on healing that relationship, then you will. It's ok for you to say, enough. Give yourself a break from having to fix everything and just take it one thing at a time.
As far as hope...sometimes you have to choose it, not wait for it to happen. It's the craptastic gift of loss. We can't control what happens only how we recover from it. But I know you may want to take my assvice with a grain of salt, or the 'easy for you to say' reaction. I'd understand that too.
I'm so sorry Sue. I wish I had more but instead I'll just park myself next to Aunt Becky and hold your other hand, but I won't hurt your knuckles, I'm too wimpy.:)

erica said...

Hi, Sue -

I wish I knew what worked, or that anything worked. Better better seems a long way off most days, and I've been mostly lucky with the way family & friends have reacted to my grieving. I'm so sorry you have to deal with loss on top of loss.

The last week has been especially weepy and hard for me, too - part of it is all the remembering of "this time last year" and part of it - I just don't know.

Thinking of you, and hating that this is so hard.

Betty M said...

Nothing useful to say here other than I am thinking of you. Fwiw in my own experience of traumatic inter-family issues the shorter the letter the better - leave as little space for misreading as you can.

Anonymous said...

You have been through a lot and you are not fucked up. Your brother is in a place where he cannot see anything but his own needs and relates everything back to that. Maybe someday he will work through his issues and wake up to what it means to be a better brother to you and an uncle to the boys.

I have had to push the "pause" button on many of my familial relationships - sometimes people just need to take a break from it, to heal, to process, to just be without the pressure or bonds.

I am wishing you health and peace.