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No silver lining

I’m tired of waking up each day and being at war with myself. When I open my eyes, it’s the same nightmare all over again. I wake up in the middle of a battlefield, surrounded by dust and ashes where almost nothing grows. The little seeds I try to plant here and there are blown away over and over. It’s too small, too fragile, too vulnerable. I want to believe. So I keep trying. But it’s discouraging to wake up each day to the same reality. My mind is this ground that has been poisoned. The landscape is deserted, chaotic. It feels that trying to make it fertile would require a miracle.

I know I should be more patient with myself this month. I think a lot about my brother, who passed away three years ago. His birthday is next Monday, and I didn’t expect this perspective to hit me so much this time. Another year without him. Another “happy birthday” said to a void. That’s how it is now, isn’t it? I say his name and there’s only this heavy silence in return. He deserved to live. Not to die like this in a hospital bed. Not to be “unlucky” at the genetic lottery. Why am I still here while he’s not? Please don’t tell me God had a plan and he’s better where he is. I can’t hear that anymore and my anger is too high. The truth is my brother knew his life was about to end, and he wanted to live so fucking much. The better place would have been for him to finally have the life he deserved.

Since his death I have reviewed my definition of family, and am grateful for it because it has helped me to be more aware of how much childhood abuse has affected me and shaped me. But the grief of my biological family weighs me down. I don’t talk to my parents anymore and my sister lives so far away. The only grandparent I knew and who loved their grandchildren was my grandma, and she’s gone too. There is so much trauma in this family. So much violence passed down through generations. I am ashamed of sharing the same genes as my mother’s father, who was such a horrible man. Being the younger one in this family, I keep wondering if there will be a next generation after me. Sometimes I just want to cut the tree and make sure to disappear with all of this family history, because this world deserves better.

My mind is scattered. These are ramblings that don’t really make sense. I’m sorry. I’m hurting and need to let any random thought out of myself.

I look around, in this deserted landscape that is my mind, trying to figure out what is the source of the pain this time… The answer is that there are too many valid possibilities. I can’t journal without wasting the pages with my tears these days. I know it’s a special time, a painful month. I know I need to be gentle with myself. It’s not only about grieving my brother. It’s also about all these layers of grief that have been added to his loss over time.

Slowly, I am accepting that all the images stuck in my mind surrounding my brother’s death are the manifestation of another trauma. I know it was. Yet it seems that I haven’t integrated this reality yet. I still am too demanding with myself while my body says no. Everyone faces the death of someone one day, right? So why am I unable to find a bit of peace. Why am I unable to think of him other than as being sick. Why am I so paralyzed and feel nothing but fear again. I know why… I understand why. But I still seem unable to accept it. I keep fooling myself with the belief that I should do better.

I’ve been struggling for so long that being on a warrior mode has become a second nature. I feel like I’m supposed to do more than people who don’t deal with depression, anxiety or complex PTSD. Am I enabling my depression if I choose to rest? And is it a real choice though? Is it my decision or is it this depressed voice in disguise that manages to convince me that I can take some “mental health days” because I’m struggling, just so I could feel more guilty? I can’t even trust myself. Every decision feels wrong. Every decision I make feels wrong. I’m whether too much or not enough. So I shut down.

I miss you, E. I miss you so freaking much. I hate the world for taking you. I hate our family for giving no space to your existence. You are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It overwhelms me to the point that, sometimes, I wish I could forget you. Then I hate myself even more for having this thought. How am I supposed to compose with your absence? Three years, I still don’t know, and my only reaction is to be disappointed with myself while knowing that it’s going to take years before I create a new space for you in my life.

How I wish you were here to help me deal with the void you’ve left. I try my best to be hopeful. I believe there’s a solution and a right timing for everything. But when it’s about the death of someone we love, there’s only silence everywhere.

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Before I start I just want to say that you are so worth it and I’m sorry all this has happen to you.

I know this is out of order but I thought this was important to say first. That it is okay to take days for yourself. Everyone needs to sometimes. You definitely deserve a break and I’m sorry that when you take one you feel guilty about it.

In a sense yes. In another way no. I don’t know if you believe in afterlife or not but in this life after people die they leave a hole but they also leave the memories of them behind as well. It’s those memories that fill that hole a bit but the people around us that support us and love and care about us is what really fills it in. It takes awhile and I know it’s hard to wait but we are here to help you as long as you need it. Just like you help us.

I don’t have answer as to why your here and he’s not. It just happens that way and we deal with the best we can. You’re right that he deserve to live. We all do. I wish I had a real answer to this question but there really is no real reason.

You aren’t there mistakes or actions. You are your own person separate from what they have done in the past. Yes they affect you even today but you aren’t there mistakes. You are your actions and intentions. Not theirs.

It’s hard be gentle with yourself but it really is need not only this month but whenever you need it. And if you can’t be gentle with yourself we will be here to help you. We are always here for you.

I know you know why but I’m still going to say it in case you need someone else to say it too. Just because we all will face someone dying doesn’t make it any easier when it does happen to us. Especially when they were so close to use. It’s hard to find peace. It takes a lot of time and we’ll be here for you to help you find it. It’s hard to not believe that we should be doing better. It’s something we all struggle with but that doesn’t make it any easier. But know you that you are doing your best and that’s all that matters.

It’s hard to trust ourselves but I promise you that you aren’t to much. You aren’t to little. You are amazing and everyone here believes that because that is true. Because you are an amazing person who deserves help.

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Hi Micro :slightly_smiling_face:
I can feel you are hurting. Hurting A LOT. The next few weeks are going to be hard for you and you know that and you are trying to fight it so hard. You want to be all right you want to be healthy and happy and content with you past but you aren´t and that is ok. Your mental health days are here because there are days when you will be feeling sad and depressed. That is ok. Dont fight being sad or depressed sometimes you just have to go through it so you can come out of it again.

I want you to say this with me right now. “The next week is going to suck and I know it but it will pass.” That it the truth. Dont be mad at yourself for how you feel. Your feelings are valid. Things happened to you that were unfair horrible and cruel and it is the same with your brother. It is right that you are mad about that you should be mad about that it is infuriating. Sometimes you just need to let your feelings flow so they are free. That is strenght. To accept your feelings and why we feel them. This week is going to suck and it has a reason. Many reasons in fact. But after the week passes you will realise that most of these things you are mad about are also in the past. They are gone and a new week will be there in their place. You will be happy again I promise you that :slightly_smiling_face:

Stay safe Micro. We are here when you need us. :wink:

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Oh @Micro I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. The loss of a family member, especially a close one can be devastating. I’ve never lost a sibling, but I have lost a child. In fact, her passing was on the 3rd of this month. I was 26yrs old and I mismarried at 7 1/2 months. I blamed myself because in my eyes, I strangled her with my ambilocal cord. I did it.

I dealt with that for a very long time and to be very honest, I still do.

There really isn’t anything you can say to someone to make them feel better when they grieve. It seems pointless to say, “he is in a better place” or “everything happens for a reason” because those words just don’t mean anything when you are confused and hurting. So, I won’t say them.

I will say that this community and I love you and appreciate you very much. At the end of your post, I was in tears because I could feel your pain and sadness. I could feel the desperation in your words for healing and I wish I could give those to you. I’m a DM away if you need to talk and I’m sure the whole community would say the same.

Close your eyes and feel my hug, Micro. :hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove:

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@Paladine

Thank you so much for your words. I know there is this community and people like you who make me feel safe during times of acute vulnerability. It helps so much. Each word you share is a reminder of this, and I feel really grateful.

I don’t have answer as to why your here and he’s not. It just happens that way and we deal with the best we can. You’re right that he deserve to live. We all do. I wish I had a real answer to this question but there really is no real reason.

Thank you for your honesty and for validating how I feel about it lately. It really, really means a lot. I appreciate and respect people’s intention to find a reason behind a tragic event. Somehow I try, and will probably keep trying. As human beings we need to create meaning from our experiences, especially the most painful ones. But now is a time of pain for me, and only this, which I needed to express.

Just because we all will face someone dying doesn’t make it any easier when it does happen to us.

You’re right. My partner reminded me yesterday that it’s going to take a lot of time, still, while being in tears for the third time in a row. I think it’s just a hard pill to swallow to see myself more affected this year than last year during September. It’s just the beginning of a difficult time. His birthday, but also the months he started to be sick and stayed in hospital. Then the winter, the celebrations at the end of the year, until early February when he passed away. I don’t know how to approach this time of the year. I just know it’s more rough now that it is associated with his disappearance. I will keep learning and trying each year. Hopefully this time with the help of my therapist, who now knows about it.

Somehow I’ve been falling in the trap again of expecting healing to be something linear. Though grief is absolutely not linear. It’s not these “steps” that we go through and never feel again. Denial, anger, depression, bargaining… it’s all intertwined constantly and comes in waves, more or less intensely. It’s messy. Though it helps to be reminded that it’s “normal”, for a lack of better word. Thank you, friend.

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@Ashwell

“The next week is going to suck and I know it but it will pass.” That it the truth. Dont be mad at yourself for how you feel. Your feelings are valid. Things happened to you that were unfair horrible and cruel and it is the same with your brother. It is right that you are mad about that you should be mad about that it is infuriating.

I am in tears reading this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. There are situations that are absolutely unfair and are difficult to wrap our head around. I get that it’s scary to acknowledge it and to say it. It could feel like enabling the depressing thoughts of someone. But to me right now it is truly helpful. It doesn’t encourage me to give up. It encourages me to stop resisting and, as a result, being unfair to myself.

For his birthday I have decided to go to the ocean for a couple of days, just on my own. I’ve been thinking about it every single day for a couple weeks now. I see myself on the beach and just BREATHING. To just have space all around and be in a different place. I will definitely keep in mind the sentence you’ve shared with me while being there. To accept what is, to let things flow, and to learn a little more to let go of what I can’t control.

Sometimes you just need to let your feelings flow so they are free. That is strenght. To accept your feelings and why we feel them.

Yes. You pointed out something I was, once again, forgetting. I have this tendency, as a first reaction, to push feelings away, like many other people. Although you made me realize something: I thought I was embracing those feelings and allowing myself to be vulnerable since he passed away. But that’s not true. I was allowing myself to feel if it could serve someone else - parents, sister, or like on this forum and by sharing relatable experiences. Now it’s time to create that space for me/in my heart. For the sake of my brother’s memory, for the love he had for me, and for my right to compose with the unexpected.

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@Mystrose, friend, thank you so much for sharing this part of your story with me. My heart breaks for you. It was not your fault. You know it. But indeed knowing something as true doesn’t make everything suddenly different or simple.

I wish I could have been more there for my brother. I wish we didn’t leave him when he died, just because my mom was having another crisis. I wish I could have been a better sister to him. I wish I had the courage to give him a hug while he was unconscious. Though I know he loves me and was proud of me. And that feeling was more than mutual. He knew that too, even if he didn’t believe in himself.

We don’t forget, Lizzy. We honor them. Grief is love persevering. :hrtlegolove:

So, I won’t say them.

Thank you so much. During his funerals people said things that were so stupid. I hated all of it and am sometimes still haunted by it. I still hate it. Especially since saying “he’s in a better place” showed how much people didn’t know him and his love for life. Also how incredibly strong, brave and full of life he was while being sick and fighting an illness that was destructing his body. He was making nurses and doctors laugh. He made a list of their names to send them a thank you letter for if he’d have been able to recover. He was nothing but his physical condition at the time.

Honesty and being human is all we need during those moments. We don’t need fake assumptions or comfort. We need our pain to be acknowledged. Thank you for doing so without trying to force anything. It means the world to me right now.

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Thank you Micro. It is good to take some time for yourself. Spend it how ever you like. It is yours. Sometimes we might feel like we are wasting our time but we are in fact doing what we were not doing and should have been doing. Things like resting, sleeping, eating good food, enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, or just relaxing on a beach. These things are very good for us and good for you. Try to experience all your emotions and feelings in a safe environment. Your memories and feelings connected to them might be scary and painful and that is why it is important to be in a safe place to experience them. So when you come out of those dark places you canstand on a solid ground and recover from the experience. No matter how painful a scary those memories are, they are in the past and that is where they will stay. I wish you strenght during this and the next week. You need it. Bye Micro :slightly_smiling_face:.

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You may know this but the stages of grief were never meant for the general public. It was for cancer patients. The guy who came up with it was studying them and saw that they all went through a general thing. He never meant it for a death or other types of grief. I don’t know if that helps or not but I thought it’s at least interesting to know.

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You may know this but the stages of grief were never meant for the generally public. It was for cancer patients. The guy who came up with it was studying them and saw that they all went through a generally thing. He never meant it for a death or other types of grief. I don’t know if that helps or not but I thought it’s at least interesting to know.

It is very interesting! I didn’t know it. Thank you for sharing this. And it makes sense. The process of mourning for those who leave (and know they’re about to die) and the ones who lost someone yet have to keep on living is so different. We need meaning. We need rituals. It frustrates me that most of those are gone now. When you lose someone, there’s a hurry. It’s hidden for the sake of privacy. Here in Belgium there isn’t any legal work leave for losing a sibling. For the loss of a child it is 10 days. 10.DAYS. That’s when you see how much death and grief became taboo in our societies.

I’ve learned about those stages when I was young, but understood progressively how much theory is just theory when it’s about human beings and mental health. I hate the message it implicitely delivers though. That if you don’t follow that kind of process, then you are in the side of a pathological experience. It’s the same with what is “officially” (in the DSM, so still extremely partial) considered as being a healthy grief or not regarding the length of it. It has been added in the new version of the DSM: the criteria for a pathological grief is when it occurs beyond 12 months and 6 months for a child. Better laugh about it when we see how arbitrary that is… Grief should be understood, but not perceived through a clinical lens, at least in my humble opinion.

Sorry for this little rant, lol.

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No the rant is totally fine but yeah in the western culture death is a taboo. Mainly because we never really learned how to deal with in it a way that isn’t just clinical. It should not only be a clinical lens but also looking at the person as a whole.

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Yes, we do and I see you, Micro. :hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove:

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my religion/culture has so many post-death rituals that really help with the grieving process because it gave me comfort in doing things for their benefit even after they left. I do hope you can find your own little rituals that will celebrate the good moments you two shared, and also to start healing you as well. I hope the constant pain eases, I know it can feel endless, but it does ease up with time.

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