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That was hard

CatsNTats posted 12/10/2019 22:35 PM

Do people really expect me to be the same person I was 3 or 4 years ago? Let alone a year ago?

Every year I have shown up for a certain friend's birthday and today it was last minute. I didn't even know today was his 40th until I saw it on FB. He kept talking about how I was and how I used to the witty, smart, funny, sarcastic woman that threw shit back at anyone that fucked with her. Like he was waiting for that me to come out of my shell. I literally had to tell him on the verge of tears multiple times that he can't expect me to be that person right now. It hasn't even been 2 months. And God forbid I talk about anything WH.

It's been less than 2 months since his death. Do people really expect me to be okay? And he knows. He fucking knows.

I mean, maybe having always seemed like the fucking tough girl I was raised to be - maybe he thought he'd see me and I'd just be okay. But I wasn't. I kind of felt like having to say something - may have ruined his birthday. But I just wanted him to lower his expectations of me right then. He kept trying to pull up pics of me from 3/4 years ago to show his buddy how much fun I used to be. But it wound up just gutting me.

I fucking bawled my eyes out after I got home and called my mom. She told me tonight she could tell that WH had taken something from me - that my joy was gone. But she didn't know how to get through to me and he was always there. She said she couldn't get me alone.

But her way is God's way - which would have been to tell me that WH was possessed by demons or some shit and I'd have wanted to vomit. I didn't need that either. I just needed someone to believe me - and help me.

I literally had to tell him on multiple occasions tonight that it's been less than 2 months and he can't expect that of me. Like, just fucking be happy that I even came out.

I thought being out would be good for me, but being around him made me feel worse...fuck. my. life.

I should add - a lot of my friends growing up and in life have been males. I know some of them don't know how to handle - emotional crap very well. But, honestly - WH died. I just don't know how he expects me to be okay. I don't know how his wife, (who I love dearly), can stand that - someone who can't handle anything serious - or emotions. I mean, maybe somewhere deep down he's broken. But it just felt really fucked up.

[This message edited by CatsNTats at 10:42 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

Superesse posted 12/10/2019 22:57 PM

Cats, first of all, Congrats you Rockstar student! I knew you could do it, too! Wooo Hooo!

But I hear you about the old friends not getting it. If they already had formed this opinion of you as a "tough girl" long ago, they wouldn't be quick to "re-see" you in light of what has been going on in your life. As you have probably already started to study in your courses, people's brains physically change through the life experiences they go through.

I just know too well that kind of thing, how people can tend to see us as "always able to rise above everything," so they tend to look up to us, and maybe they don't even understand us at all. Meanwhile inside, we are hurting. And no, they cannot see it or will not want to. It's like our own tough shell has worked against us....

People like familiarity, so they will try to "bid" you to act as they were expecting, based in the past. Part of my journey through all this infidelity trauma has had to be getting in touch with whatever pain I used to just grin and suffer through in silence, to be liked or "accepted." Sucks! There is a time and a place to be real, but I think you are deserving of some real quality care about now. Self-care is #1, ok?

(Are you still going to go out tomorrow or was this the same person you were mentioning in your Too Soon post?)

CatsNTats posted 12/10/2019 23:08 PM

No, not the same person. This guy I knew from the same place where I became friends with the guy I was out with tonight (who is married and his wife was there tonight too) - but the guy tomorrow doesn't have expectations because we never really got to hang out outside of when he came into my place of business. We'd just catch each other's eye every now and then. But he had asked and heard through the grapevine that I was "taken", and it was never more than the flirtatious eye or smile. He does not know me on the level that my friends tonight do.

And thank you Superesse. That makes sense. I just don't understand how people don't get it though. I mean - it wasn't just anyone that died. It was my H. Like - really? I know this friend isn't heartless - I think it is more that he doesn't know how to deal with this kind of thing. But I would have been okay if he hadn't kept prodding at me about being "who I was" all night. Like - just stop!

[This message edited by CatsNTats at 11:26 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

Superesse posted 12/10/2019 23:36 PM

Most of my life, all my coworkers and pals were guys, too. They def. have a different approach to coping with heavy duty stuff like you have been through. Maybe he considers you as almost "one of the guys?" That's often the treatment I got; never bothered me, either. And it was his 40th birthday, a time of looking back and reflecting, anyway.

But I have another thought: maybe he had heard about how your WH behaved and formed a low opinion of him, but he didn't want to say such a thing last night to maybe his prodding you to return to the way you used to be, was really his indirect way of saying "the dude wasn't worth all the misery he put you through" or something?

But you are probably right that he just doesn't know how to respond to a tragic situation. Many people don't. Death is still sort of a taboo topic in our culture, and people in the younger years have often never experienced it personally. I was 39 when I lost my mother, and wow, I wasn't ready to deal with that, yet, either!

Sorry the party went like that for you. Take care each day, you need to recharge the immune system after all this.

[This message edited by Superesse at 11:45 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

CatsNTats posted 12/11/2019 00:19 AM

Last time I saw this friend - this Summer - before I got out (away from WH), he had invited me to an (soft opening) event at his work in place of his wife - b/c she was sick. At the time, tension was high in the house and I was trying to make myself scarce because of being brow beat every time I walked in the door. And I was at the point of a mental break. So I accepted the invite.

He told me at that event that he had never really like H because of certain things. But when I tried to tell him about what was going on - and trying to get out - he didn't really want to go there. I just don't think he can handle any of the hard shit. Or to know that someone is going through something like I was. I don't think he knows how.

I think he does think of me as one of the guys. I think he's so used to seeing me as the sarcastic witty girl behind the bar that would throw things back at people faster than they could finish their own sentence. The one that made people laugh to the point they'd cry. I just can't be that person right now. I thought getting out tonight would be good for me, but it just made me feel worse.

barcher144 posted 12/11/2019 06:01 AM

Go easy on yourself.

Of course you are not the same person. You were abused.

My advice to you... figure the person that you want to be and then set a goal to become that person.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/11/2019 06:47 AM

I'm so sorry, Cats. I have also encountered that kind of attitude while deeply grieving. Sometimes it's because the person loves you and just can't cope with seeing you in pain. Sometimes, it's a shallow person who uses you as a source of feelings and resents that those feelings have been cut off. Most often, it's a mix -- they care, but they don't deal well with not being able to solve your pain for you, so they try to pretend that they can jolly or incite you out of it, because moving on is "best" for all concerned.

Any way you look at it, you deserve better. It really sucks.

k8la posted 12/11/2019 07:08 AM

Being mentally tough for situations like knuckling down and studying when you feel broken into pieces affords you the ability to be resilient, but at the same time, doesn't mean tolerating this 40 year old birthday boy jerk. Anyone with any kind of heart knows grief takes years to process. and trauma adds to the time table.

I'd steer clear of ANYONE with low empathy skills like that.

CatsNTats posted 12/11/2019 13:44 PM

Of course you are not the same person. You were abused.

My advice to you... figure the person that you want to be and then set a goal to become that person.

This. Exactly. And that is what I am hoping to do. I just had to have a talk with my mom - as she was saying "as soon as you can put him behind you..."

I was like you do realize, he didn't just die - but I was living in domestic violence, I was abused, and the kind of trauma I've been through doesn't just disappear overnight like people would like it to. His death has weighed heavily on me - and healing from that on top of the things he did to me is hard enough. It takes - TIME. I hope that the people that treat me like I should be okay never have to endure what I have. Clearly some of them have no idea the extent of the real pain I'm in and still trying to wade through.

CatsNTats posted 12/11/2019 13:45 PM

I have also encountered that kind of attitude while deeply grieving. Sometimes it's because the person loves you and just can't cope with seeing you in pain.

I believe for him - and my brother - this is exactly how they are.

CatsNTats posted 12/11/2019 13:46 PM

I'd steer clear of ANYONE with low empathy skills like that.

This will be hard to do. My brother is one of those people. And it hurts me even more that I don't feel like I can talk to him because of his lack of empathy, but he is my family. It does make me feel like I can't be close to him though.

EllieKMAS posted 12/11/2019 13:49 PM

You are right CNT - people who haven't been through it just have NO idea what it is like or how hard it is. I think most of them probably mean well enough, but just suck on delivery.

My therapist told me something a while back that resonated and that was that for the next 'while', I am allowed to distance myself from anyone who is not supporting my healing. I am allowed to tell people what I need/want from them for my healing. And I don't have to explain either distancing or my requests to anyone. And neither do you.

Hugs girl - you are just amazing, even if you don't feel that way right now!

CatsNTats posted 12/12/2019 01:52 AM

Thanks Ellie. Appreciate you girl. It's hard when my family is so small now. If I distance myself from them - then I distance myself from my favorite littles too. But I can for sure do it with "friends."

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