My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death

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DistanceNotDefense

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My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« on: April 20, 2021, 12:56:43 PM »
Hi all - I've been NC almost 10 months now. The grieving process is getting better, letting go and accepting FOO for who they are, etc. but there are of course twinges of pain here and there and I know there always will be.

The hardest part is people close to you not seeing what you're going through as "real" grief. Very little in society has conditioned people to see and accept loss of family while they are still alive, and to be able to empathize with that or even understand it - even when it's clear that the family is abusive. And, some people struggle with the idea of grieving, period.

Sadly, my DH has been one of these people. Over time this has landed me back in therapy, which yeah, is good anyway. I have no one to talk to now paired with his inability to talk about it. I either talk too much about it and he complains, or I don't talk about it at all/enough and he complains about having to "pull it out of me," and then my grief morphs strangely somehow into meeting his sense of comfort (?!?!?) Obviously he can't NOT center himself in the situation.

He even has struggled to give me leeway with our daily and work routines, and my grieving illnesses that have risen up, such as migraines, fatigue and body pain. His complaints more often aren't concerns over my recovery it is about my role in our business, work, ability to stay on top of things in the house, finances, etc.

He has even seemed impatient that I haven't just gotten the picture and moved on. Though has been made aware of those moments and how unsupportive they are, and he has apologized. He does not fully have my back or understand by default, however, and that is painful that it is something I have to teach and show him.

Then, my DH had a death in the family recently. Dealing with some long-lost half sibling from his mom he barely knows. He doesn't have a great relationship with his mom either. But he is suddenly hit with grief over the death of someone who is pretty much a stranger (he definitely knew my family more intimately). And also, feeling deeply for his mom.

The empathy and attention I have ached for from him is now on full display - for someone else. Someone he never really knew and someone he literally ran away from home to have a better life away from. It is for family he didn't have a good relationship with in the first place, and I'm seeing some of the FOG in his own life in motion.

I have been calm and supportive and caring of him during the process to start, but as day two and day three go by after the hard news, a part of me feels like turning into stone. I'm forgiving of him slipping up at work and taking it slow, dropping the ball with house chores, etc. but beyond that, sounding interested or engaged or supportive of his feelings, making time to check in on him, all things that come naturally to me, etc. Ive been shutting them off completely.

I don't feel obligation to people anymore who I'm only related to by blood, though he clearly does and I just don't relate.

But I feel cruel.

However, after dealing with my FOO, I'm 100% done caretaking for people in my life who cannot return it, even if it is my DH, close friends, work associates. Though I absolutely can and will * care. *

As you have each worked through your grief in your respective situations, how did you make room in your heart or grow yourself out to understand and make peace with the invisible loss we have to grieve that others do not see, and do not make room for - especially when you have hardly anybody?

As others around you have learned how to grieve or express it for others, and seem to value their own or other types of grief over your own, how have you dealt with that?


TIA... 🙏

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BefuddledClarity

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 03:13:26 PM »
Been on and off with NC with parents---mostly LC but have no choice unless I want to cut my brothers off too and have....thought about it...I'm also NC with my relatives but that's not really out of purposeful choice, they live in different countries or I really don't know them and feel like they are strangers to me. Though, I recently blocked my aunt's phone# and my in-laws. Planning on changing my phone# soon. Tired of people...

When I FIRST became NC, I grieved for the type of parents I WISHED I had and was extremely irate as well as gloom and melancholy. I searched as hard as I could for "replacement parents" since I heard of the term "FOC" in order to fill in that hole in my life...Came close a couple of times but I don't really know what having a supportive "parent" feels like and gave up on the pursuing that ideal once I grew older.

So...whenever people used to ask me about my parents, I would mentioned I don't talk to them, I would ALWAYS received unwanted advice from kibbitzers telling me "But she's your MOTHER!!" and to basically apologize and grovel back to her (funny when I describe how my father was---whos similar---they don't say the same thing. It seems our society has a bias for one parent but not the other...) I ended up just bullsh*tting saying "Oh, my parents are fine" and other malarkey to get them off my back.

Anyhow, I haven't really met anyone in real life to fully understand it because either they a) come from a "normal" family and never experienced it b) come from a dysfunctional family and are blind to the idea or c) they are PD themselves and find the PD's behaviour in your life acceptable.

My partner didn't understand my NC/LC at first ..but when he got to know my mother and seen how she treated both me and our son, he got the hint. He used to be the type saying "family comes first" until his close friends who are practically like family to him betrayed him. I had to witness the fallouts each time too...so him experiencing that made him understand me better as to why I don't engage with my family as much.


TLDR; I don't think people will understand it unless they experience it themselves---it took my partner being betrayed about 3-4 times to truly wake up and see who's real family and who isn't. Although, he's still very enmeshed with his PD parents and PD sister whim he listens to in order to gain their approval and validation.


Sorry that you have to deal with this by the way, I have been in your shoes and it's hard to talk about this particular topic and not have it well received. I don't blame you for feeling the way you do after your dear husband dismissed your feelings. If he does request emotional supports, perhaps suggest he go to therapy so it's a win-win situation? He can grieve there, and it'll take some weight off of you as well.

I used to give up telling my partner...and he'd apologize after and tell me he didn't understand how I felt the way I do---until later on he met my parents lol. Then he understood after. Though, I don't suggest breaking NC for your DH to experience what you have ---for your own sanity. My parents drive me NUTS.

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Pepin

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 04:12:07 PM »
I have dealt with both.  I was motherless from a very young age so grief over the loss of someone through death has completely permeated my life.  I have dealt with it at various stages and I was denied therapy when I was young.  I also grieve not having a real father even though he is still alive.  He wasn't the father for me.

My husband hasn't been able to understand these things because he hasn't experienced any of it.  While he did lose his father, it was much later in life.  As PDmil ages, DH is losing someone he knew through the lens of a child (and actually does seem to grieve for her in a sense) .... but since he was so heavily parentified, I think he is realizing that he may actually be grieving for the childhood he never had -- and as a result, has started to behave a little bit from a place of rebellion.  This has been scary for me as he is at a different place in his life considering our age and length of marriage.  I feel that both he and I were denied a normal childhood.  But for me, I set different boundaries much earlier on and honored self care.  DH is still manipulated and doesn't know how to walk away - to a degree it gives him power because no one can do what he does.  I didn't need that power to feel validated which is why I went NC with NF.

As for me, I have had to re parent myself for quite some time now.  I feel that emotionally I am far ahead of my peers.  I am older than my age would say I am.  All of my experiences have shown me that I don't really need people anymore.  I only need myself.  I used to think this was selfish but at my age I know it is necessary.  While I still grieve from time to time, I focus on moving forward and going after what I want -- not what others want.  My husband, siblings, in-laws and anyone else can go take a hike if they don't like how I operate.  They made me who I am today and I will never go back to being the doormat they wiped their feet on.
NPD F (overt/covert) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 11:11:38 PM »
It must be incredibly hard to see the stark difference in his approach to his grief vs his approach to your grief. Some might even wonder if he sees how disconnected it is...he has his grief but doesn't understand yours.

People do all sorts of things to avoid the grieving their mate or wife or sibling or friend is doing. I think its the exception not the rule to have anyone in our life who understands grief.   But the people I have met who have allowed themselves to grieve have been more mature than their peers. As Pepin said, once we've done some of this work we cant help but see that we became more mature than a lot of the people around us.

I don't have much of any real advice for you. I do know that I got there with my thinking before I could get there emotionally. In other words I understood that some people kept making it all about them but I struggled with what to do about it.

I struggled with feeling ok pulling away and letting them figure out things without coming to get me so they could make it all about them. And deny they were doing so. It's very crazy making.

I understand what you wrote about your invisible grief. It isn't invisible to us here. But honestly most people don't want to deal with any of the NC realities that are all around them. So the grief of NC is just one more thing they would rather we just don't talk about. Or even do.

I grieved after NC without people understanding or caring. It is harder but not impossible. Its probably a slower process than if there's support. Slow doesn't mean bad. It can mean we feel a bit more lost a bit more often as we grieve.

I make peace with my invisible losses by different ways at different times. I limit how much time I spend with people who don't know about my NC based loss. There's just too much subtle pressure to caretake them by keeping it invisible to them. Its like taking a beloved piece of art down from the wall every time someone visits who demands that they not have to look at something in our own home. It's too much work for no real return.

Making our grief invisible is exhausting at times. Its never invisible to us. We're caretaking others by hiding it away. I mean we do that for children out of love and respect for their still growing hearts and minds. But when were left alone so much by people who then expect so much from us. It takes its toll.

You can only give so much before needing to recharge for yourself.

Much hope to you during this challenging time.

Trees

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notrightinthehead

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 03:16:45 AM »
Distancenot, from what you write it seems that it hurts you that your partner lives out his grief so openly and expects emotional support from you, while at the same time not being able to give you emotional support for the - chosen - loss of your family.
It seems there is a big gap between what you expect from your partner in emotional support and what you receive. Maybe, just like your family of origin, he cannot give you what you need. Of course you will feel disappointed and less willing to continue giving without reciprocity.
It just shows how much progress you have made in your journey Out of the FOG. You can see things much more clearly now, painful as that may be.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 02:21:02 PM »
Disenfranchised grief.

It's unfortunately not uncommon.

People often have deep or profound losses that are not ackowledged by society, friends and family, and this can come in many forms.

The loss of family because of a need to be rid of abuse is too common.

Other example of disenfranchised grief, can be found in homosexual relationships, losing a very close friend who other were not aware of, in friendships with large age differences, between secret lovers, between coworkers who depended in each other, business partners, etc etc.

The loss of someone to mental illness or addiction, or dementia is another category, where as with abusive family these people are still alive.

I live multiple of these situations simultaneously.  My spouse has mental illness and dementia.  He has not been a husband to me for decades.   I never got a casserole from the church, and no cards were sent expressing sympathy for my loss.  I get no recognition as a widow, or a single mother either.  We aren't asked out as a couple due to his issues and I am not asked out as a single either because I am married and church stuff is couple oriented.

I had several quite elderly friends and have lost and am loosing them this year. One just had their medical treatment transitioned to hospice.

Lost a high school friend who I was close with to a strange accident just weeks ago.

It feels like soon I will be a stranger to the world.  There will be know one remaining who really, really knows me.

Covid bs does not make this an easy hurdle to get over.

Sorry to high jack, but this was said in part, to day I get it even if your husband does not.

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Hepatica

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2021, 01:23:34 PM »
Hi Distance,

First of all. I want to tell you that I get it. 1foot, called it Disenfranchised grief and I'm going to look into that now. All of us here must be experiencing that - but invisible grief is the perfect way to describe it. And it makes me feel so lonely.

I can tell no one about the massive grief I carry from my childhood and now the choice I've made (even thought I chose it) to go no contact with my family. The silence that we sit in, the lack of reassurance that our sadness is real and hard, adds an element of alienation to it all. No one seems to get it.

But we do, here on this forum.


I feel for you about the body pain and the migraines. I think it comes from the armouring we did in childhood, the tense muscles from the fight or fight feelings and then later on, it really takes a toll on us. And how do we tell someone that this old pain has resulted in wear and tear on our bodies, if they don't read about and inform themselves?

I think co-counselling might help for you and your Dh, but I know that's nearly impossible during Covid.

In the meantime, I just want to tell you that your feelings make sense to me, how you need something, and you're not getting it, and may not get it from him, but where do you get what you need to give space to this grief?

All I know and believe is it is real. This grief is real and it's so painful at times and it causes me anyway, periods of time where I can do very little.

You sharing has helped me clarify feelings I've been having this week. It seems like, once again we have to find that part of us that really stands by ourselves, really believes what we are experiencing is hard and real and be our own best advocate.  It's something about claiming our power so we can reach a place where we thrive.

Others, sadly, just don't have the imagination to understand what we've gone through it seems. The outer world is not educated enough yet about childhood trauma.

That said, reading posts and comments here, help me immensely.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 01:29:33 PM by Hepatica »
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there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2021, 01:41:09 PM »
Befuddled, Pepin, Treesgrowslowly, Notrightinthehead, 1footouttadefog - thank you so much for your incredibly wise responses.

It is truly a weight lifted off to post here and hear back from people who truly get it. It's like all the thick stuffy air in my mind and in the room has been let out, a window opened. (Apologies for this message getting long, I'd really like to reply to everyone...)

The theme that I keep running into, like the same wall over and over again...and that I see in all your feedback, too....is that people like us just have to learn to process all this stuff very much alone. And it is almost very much better off that way for everyone involved, but mostly just ourselves.

Must we just accept the aloneness....is that the fastest ticket to peace?

Thank goodness for this forum though. But I'm starting to feel like drawing other people into grief like ours for support only warps it for us and makes it more painful, due to their inability to understand.

We should still seek a FOC in some way and take what we can get. But it doesn't replace or take away the pain...I'm starting to wonder if this is the route I must accept. No point banging my head against the wall anymore.

Like you said Pepin, maybe what happens for the best is that we compensate by not having a need for people to do emotional support for us, period, and we grow into fully solitary self-functioning and self-parenting individuals and internal family systems.

I am also starting to feel like you Pepin, like people just don't meet my needs and I must meet my own. It is also very scary for me and my marriage too, like you described with your own spouse - it feels like he and I don't occupy the same space anymore because of my needs and that shakes things up.

I'm very sorry for what you yourself had to experience Pepin. Having it permeate your life and feel like there's no way to know any different, and have people dance around such a central and painful subject for you, I would just want solitude too - and I relate to that feeling myself.

But every so often I beat on that need for people again like a it's dead horse. This nagging feeling "I need somebody" keeps returning into my life once in a while, when I think I've beaten it.

And the nagging feeling of wanting and needing a mother. A new set of sibling-like people. FOC to replace FOO.

And the closest person is my DH. I know friends will never meet the need, now I'm realizing my husband doesn't, either.

At least compared to my FOO, my DH has not wrought my emotional pain and needs into a mirror reflecting how horrible I am for having them in the first place. He is very supportive but just falls painfully short ... And next to the heaping pile of protection and unconditional love I missed out on as a child, OF COURSE he does.

When I FIRST became NC, I grieved for the type of parents I WISHED I had and was extremely irate as well as gloom and melancholy. I searched as hard as I could for "replacement parents" since I heard of the term "FOC" in order to fill in that hole in my life...Came close a couple of times but I don't really know what having a supportive "parent" feels like and gave up on the pursuing that ideal once I grew older.

As for me, I have had to re parent myself for quite some time now.  I feel that emotionally I am far ahead of my peers.  I am older than my age would say I am.  All of my experiences have shown me that I don't really need people anymore.  I only need myself.  I used to think this was selfish but at my age I know it is necessary.  While I still grieve from time to time, I focus on moving forward and going after what I want -- not what others want.  My husband, siblings, in-laws and anyone else can go take a hike if they don't like how I operate.  They made me who I am today and I will never go back to being the doormat they wiped their feet on.

Same to all of this!...but at the same time I worry, aloneness feels antithetical to being human, and can cause so many health problems...but maybe science just hasn't caught up to those who grow into needing to be solitary to fully function? I do think we're out there, we're just rare. Or maybe not as rare as we think....?

We're wired to have families/tribes/support systems. Or are we? Are only some of us? Any grief counselor recommends leaning on a support system for grieving....so I get so confused, when these circumstances exist that we're better off alone.

Befuddled - gosh am I tired of people too, and it's funny to say that considering everything I just wrote above.

I tend to crave company but then when I get it, I tire of it quickly lately, maybe because it doesn't meet some weird expectation within me. That's when I really start to consider being solitary being for the best, though I do have wonderful friends and of course DH and workmates I wish to keep in my life.

It has been a struggle and a worry to feel tired of DH in that sense as well. It's really hard to pin down the a) b) or c), his FOO have a lot of dysfunction and difficult childhoods/upbringing but seem to relate to one another in a fairly healthy way - though it is not very loving, at least it is not controlling.

I hope time will show him some things. Unfortunately he is the type to be betrayed but then roll on his back, go straight to the friendship again. But to be honest, his grief is almost a little annoying, almost attention-seeking? :doh:

Treesgrowslowly, thank you....yes it is hard. I really appreciate you putting it into perspective, that grief is something that the majority of our population struggles with in general, that is so true, a comforting perspective and reminder.

In fact, it just made me remember a death in our community over this last winter, and how people who barely knew the guy took up so much space and made so big a hubbub that those who truly deeply knew the person had to hide away from the light of day.

And I remember talking to someone who said "people who've experienced *real* grief know that the best thing to do for those grieving is to shut the hell up and listen!" and you can pick them out of a crowd like night and day. But that wasn't the case with most everyone and especially the most extroverted and least connected to the loss. They made it a spectacle, weeping over someone they didn't even know.

I realize I hadn't even applied that to my own situation, and I realize DH probably hasn't deeply processed any grief before in his life.

There's just too much subtle pressure to caretake them by keeping it invisible to them. Its like taking a beloved piece of art down from the wall every time someone visits who demands that they not have to look at something in our own home. It's too much work for no real return.

This, precisely, is what I feel - and so well said! This grief is part of me right now. DH wants things to "go back" the way they were, and I realize he says this in times if stress when I just can't be there for him in the same way. It feels like a part of me is rejected.

Also, thank you Treesgrowslowly for saying it's OK for grief to be processed slowly! It's a comfort. I have a friend who has been trapped in complicated grief for over a decade, it is ugly, and it freaks me out.

I am seeing lots of healing happen in my life but scared that some of the things I'm experiencing, I'll experience forever (esp. the physical psychosomatic symptoms migraine, fatigue, body pain, etc.) though I'm hopeful this is something to just chip away at slowly, and it is getting better visibly finally but slow going.

I feel very fortunate very recently that DH seems to be picking up on my unavailability for attending to his grief and he's responding in a very healthy and relational manner. He states he appreciates very much what little I can give and it seems he is turning to some other friends, I had been nervous he'd fall apart or get more attention-seeking.

Thank you notrightinthehead - you're spot on. Though it's hard for me to feel like my grief is "chosen"....being in contact with my family the way I was brought me awful close to harming myself a few times. It was a choice but a hard one to realize it was either me or them, but I do understand what you're saying.

In a way my DH had a choice with his grief too, that involved tangling himself up in his mom's dark past. In a way he is enmeshing himself with his mother's grief from what I see, and I even said so much as it kind of feels like he's ripping open an old wound that isn't his. (It's complicated....)

Compared to me, DH seems fully functional physically and like he'll get through it in a couple weeks. Whereas I've had pain, migraines, fatigue, etc. that still have not been resolved since last fall...and that I have no control over, but he gets impatient with because I'm not as well-functioning as I used to be. He's going to have to deal with it but it still hurts he can't see why I need this or try to understand the pain inside.

But like Pepin said, I'm putting myself first. He can hit the highway if he can't see my need to slow down, as scary as that thought of him leaving is.

1footouttadefog - Don't feel like you're hijacking at all. Making yourself visible makes me feel less alone so I thank you for that and I thank you for sharing :yes: I, too, realize that once a few people in my life are gone no one will be left that truly knew me. My DH and a few close friends/workmates are some of the last few.

I'm so sorry for your experience and that type of grief. I find myself relating to it and understanding it a little but that sounds like a lot of pain to deal with on a fresh level every day.

I have no church community (I had to flee mine as a teen because it was abusive) but if I did, what a failure of being a church that would be, to not be supportive of their own. For all the problems mine had they would probably bring me food etc. if I was going through what you were going through, so that's saying a lot about yours dropping the ball.

And thank you Hepatica  :) thank you for sharing your experiences and I'm heartened that my own helped somebody else.

Personally like I said to notrightinthehead, I really struggle to see this as chosen grief. To outsiders it seems that way but if they were in our shoes, the ones who would want healing and a free life would also see it is very much not chosen, either... it's our families pitting us to choose between themselves over ourselves.

Definitely relate over the body pain/migraines. I do think mine are easing, and I may also be entering perimenopause. My DH is very resistant to therapy unfortunately. Seems everyone in my life avoids it owing to bad experiences as children. I'm back in therapy myself and that very much helps, and while it's a tough and counter-intuitive thing for me to do, I refuse to be anyone else's free therapist anymore, even my husband's (unless he changes drastically!)

I'll stop here as this message is already quite long responding to all. Again I thank everyone for chiming in. It has really helped clarify a lot and helped me to feel less alone. I hope others are feeling less alone in their own grief too ❤️

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Hepatica

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2021, 01:53:54 PM »
Sorry if what I wrote was unclear. I didn't mean we chose grief. What I mean is we made a choice to no longer be abused, which results, naturally in loss, and even if we are losing toxic family members, it is still loss.

That is the loss that is invisible to others, but very real and difficult for us. Not only do we lose family, we also lose the structure to grieve the 18 or so years we spent in an environment that should have been healthy, to toxicity. I mean, there are funerals for a reason, so that people can receive support and openly be allowed to show their grief.

For us, we are left with silence and lots of unresolved issues.

Until we are able to put words to it and carve out a space for our grief, it remains doubly painful. Because we rarely get lucky to have someone give us a card, bring us flowers and say to us, yes, you have the right to grieve and it's okay.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2021, 05:31:50 PM »
Sorry if what I wrote was unclear. I didn't mean we chose grief. What I mean is we made a choice to no longer be abused, which results, naturally in loss, and even if we are losing toxic family members, it is still loss.

Hepatica, no worries, I think I got what you meant. Maybe I was misunderstood - I meant to say that this is a grief we do not choose with the intentions of sending comfort and reassurance your way, if there is any guilt weighing on you there with your choice, which I'm sure it weighs on all of us. But forgive me if I misinterpreted! And sorry if I was not clear.

:bighug:

You describe "even though I made the choice" I firmly believe a lot of choice has been left out of these situations for us, and we're forced to either be healthy or not healthy. Or that because there is choice, period, there is a right choice and a wrong choice, and we can get forever stuck in our heads wondering if we did the right thing or made the wrong choice - instead of thinking "my family's behavior left me NO choice but to go NC."

Maybe it's just me, but the more I think about my decision to be NC as a choice, it feels like this "elective" or a "fancy" (which the words "choose/choice" make me associate that with). It makes it seem like the other option was somehow doable or viable. But it was not! (At least in my situation, it was not....I felt I HAD to do it or see my life destroyed).

We didn't choose our families. I think we should forfeit all guilt in choosing a life that takes us away from them, because we didn't ask to be born into the lives of abusive caretakers. If we didn't choose, we have every right to reject that which we didn't choose for ourselves, especially if it brings is harm....


Hope that makes sense....

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Hepatica

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 08:13:16 PM »
Distance,
When I was walking today, my husband said, 'you did not have a choice' about going NC with my family.

What you're saying is absolutely right. The other option, to keep seeing family and stuffing the bad feelings, and coming home overwhelmed and having a flashback, I had to stop too. It was like I woke up and realized it wasn't me choosing not to handle it, it was that I really couldn't handle it. It was hurting me deeply.

Thank you for clarifying this and the timing is right on - as I was trying to understand this earlier.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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DistanceNotDefense

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 08:22:51 PM »
Distance,
When I was walking today, my husband said, 'you did not have a choice' about going NC with my family.

Exactly!!!!

:bighug:

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1footouttadefog

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Re: My Invisible Grief Vs. DH's "Real" Grief from Death
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2021, 11:32:41 AM »
I did leave that particular church. I finished my time as an elder right as Covid was getting cranked up last year.

I am looking for a new one.  I visit alone or with my dd and dont plan on taking pdh with me. I need friends and an identity separate from him.

A few years back I let people T the previous church know about my spouses mental illness as was appropriate.  It seemed to be the right thing to do.  I hoped it would open things up socially but it did not.

For example pd would be very outgoing at the social /coffee hour for a few weeks then would be standoffish or would not attend (we drove separate cars sue to my choir schedule).  Over time people would come to me wonder g if they had offe xed him etc.  I would explain that he had mental illness and his mode varied and sometimes he could not handle social interactions for periods of time.
They were usually relieved to know this, as his variations, made them wonder what went wrong.  No one seemed to pick up in they he does not like to socialize even though I do part.  However they all had my number of their computers acted up.

Time for a change.  The great reset.

The good news is that all grief can diminish invisible or not.  We need to find other ways to fill our needs until our lives are re established.