Sad today..

Been a long time, I think I’ve become a master of hiding my sorrow and grief about missing Betsy, but I also know part of it has been the sheer amount of crap I’ve been dealing with.

My entire life has changed since she died.  Soon after Betsy died, I thought I’d complete my doctoral degree.  She and I had made plans for our future that involved me having that document.  In the years that have passed, it had become more of an disruption to my peace of mind and a huge stressor.  I didn’t realize how horrible I’d feel when I discovered that I wasn’t writing well.  I didn’t have anyone that I could work with to review my papers and I felt horrible asking friends.  Finding an editor was possible, but was a lot of money.  It took me a long time to get three chapters completed and approved by  my committee.  It was also a lot of heartache as I felt the sting of being told that I couldn’t write.  I did conduct the study, but it took three times to get 50 people to respond to the survey.  Then, the interview was a disaster, ten people said they’d participate, but in the end only four did.  While taping, one of the electronic tapes didn’t work, so I had no recording of it and the last person bailed out on me, so I had two interviews.  It appeared to me, that I did have data, but I felt as if I was seeing signs that I should just bag it and move on with my life.  My love for Betsy and hers for me isn’t changed by this degree, nor is acceptance by any other people.

I’ve also had to endure five basement floods, flooding about once a year during heavy rains causing water from homes behind me and a bit above my home (and my neighbors) to pour in our backyards, into our front yard over the retaining wall, into a drain in the driveway causing sewage and water to back up into the house.  Water poured through the dryer vent and the glass block windows.  I lost thousands of dollars of furniture, books, and priceless memorabilia.  So many items that I cannot ever replace, it has been heartbreaking.  Again, something that made losing Betsy even harder.  During one clean-up, someone took her Michael Kors boots, I still hope they break their ankle in them.

Add to that, the my job.  A year after Betsy died, I returned to work, only to be told what a terrible teacher I was.  My principal was relentless, I knew I wasn’t terrible, we all have room to improve, and they had an agenda to get rid of veteran teachers.  It was the worst for my confidence.  Nobody I worked with, not him, every knew, that I wound up almost committing suicide.  I was at a very low point, I’d lost the most important, loving being in the world, now my livelihood was threatened.  I really didn’t know how to cope with this added pressure, who would take care of my animals?  Where would I live?  I almost took a bunch of pills, but instead I called Erica.  Soon afterward, the police showed up, then an ambulance and I was whisked away to the hospital where I had a week to receive some intensive care.  When I was released, I spent 3-4 months in therapy, three days a week for three hours.  It did help a lot.  But I also knew I wasn’t strong enough, emotionally to return to my job, I love teaching, but I couldn’t face being a target again.  So I found I was able to retire early, found a part-time job to supplement and was gone.  Not one person that I was very close with has ever called or tried to contact me.  Not that I would ever let this principal know how badly he affected my life or how I let him affect my life.

Finally, I had to euthanize sweet little Sophie.  She was 15.  She was having trouble eating for almost one year, she’d seem ok, but then would vomit and could not eat.  She was blind.  She was showing signs of dementia.

I have few friends that are close enough for me to confide in.  I’ve learned my lesson from my previous job, those who I thought cared for me, dropped me once Betsy died.  I don’t know how they could do it, but that is not my problem any longer.  I have family members who no longer speak to me, that hurts like hell, but again, I’ve learned that I can only control myself and my feelings.  Through all this, I’ve lost a hell of a lot.  It’s time for me to get something back.

I still have Coco, she is just as goofy, lovable, and shy.  She barks like a maniac to protect me.  She still loves to play, but she too is losing her sight.  We have Daisy cat now, she is shy too, but so lovable.  I love them both and am so thankful for both of them.

We have moved.  We have a nice apartment, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, nice size patio..and I don’t have to do any maintenance!

I have a job I really love and am gaining my confidence back.  I teach children in China English.  Each class is 25 minutes, one student at a time.  I have taught 2025 classes in less than a year.  I have 272 people following me on their platform.  I have a teacher rating of 4.99/5.0.  Again, I’m not perfect, but I’m far from incompetent.  I’m learning and adapting to my new life and my new way of teaching.  I love working from home.

I’m walking more often, reading more books.  Trying to figure out what I want.

One thing I am planning is to start a scholarship in Betsy’s name at the graduate school she was going to attend.  I have no plans or idea of how to do this, but it’s time to do something for her.  And something about her, that would match her goals and her planned future.  I’m excited about this.

I miss her everyday, some moments hurt more than others.  Sometimes I can’t hold the tears back, some days I just can’t cope.  But somehow, like many others, I go on.

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Sad today…

My sadness is coming out of nowhere today.  I can’t even say what triggered it.  I suppose it just doesn’t matter, I think of Betsy so many times during the day, can’t even think of how many times she pops in my head.  How do other people just act like nothing has happened?  How do I keep going on?  What should I do to keep this sadness?  I know I’m a better person because of her, but it just doesn’t seem right.  She should be here, not me.

Still Hurts

Just realized that I need to spend some time sifting through my thoughts, I’ve been so down in the dumps the past few months.  It seems like I’m on a path to nowhere.  Nothing has gone well since Betsy died.  I’m not sure if it’s just me being depressed or if I’m just having a rough time of things now and feel overwhelmed.  I guess those of both the same things.

I should be grateful that I have some very good friends who support me.  And I have two dogs and a cat who love me too.  I love them a lot too.  They have kept me going in some ways.  My family, small as it is, helps me too.  But I don’t feel connected to many other people right now.  I still am not sure what my goals are, where my life is going, and how I’m going live like this for the rest of my life.  I’m still seeing a therapist, I have some more copying skills, however, the fact of the matter is, surviving Betsy is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to live with in my life.  I hide it well, I suppose that many of us who have experienced this are good at hiding the feelings we live with everyday.  It’s as if you cut out your heart and nobody notices or can focus their time and energy for a long enough time to help you deal with it.  I spent so much time alone after Betsy died, that I think I learned to just shove my feelings about it aside in many ways.  I’m thankful I had a lot of time off from work to deal with the immediate shock and mind numbing grief that occurred that first year, but as time has gone on its almost like she never existed.  She exists for me, in photographs, my memories, but she doesn’t live on for me because I don’t talk about her enough.  June 23rd is quickly approaching and I recognize that I am more focused on her death because this year’s June 23rd marks the 7th year that she’s been gone.  SEVEN years…let that sink in a bit..a long time, but really a short time in terms of a lifetime I may have left.

Maybe if I had more goals or drive or something that I felt to live for.  I struggle to find that.  Many times I don’t even want to finish my dissertation.  I’m too hard on myself when I make mistakes, have such high expectations that I feel crushed when I don’t meet them.  I don’t feel like I’m doing anything right now, just wallowing in self-pity.  I get overwhelmed with all I have to do, the house, the pets, the dead-end job, the excess weight, the paper that never ends, the loneliness, the money issues..nothing I expected to happen, but all have happened since she died.  If only I could wipe it all away and get a fresh start somehow.  But then I still have my grief to deal with and how does one really “deal” with the death of their only child?  Their dreams, hopes, and future???  How and what do I replace them?  I’m tired of looking within, I don’t think the answers are there.  But I know that in the end we all are alone in this type of journey..I hate it.  I hate my life right now so I guess it’s up to me to find the courage and strength to change things.  I wish I had a crystal ball to know where I will be in a few more months..but right now, everything still hurts.

I love you Betsy…Always ❤

betsy italy

This entry was posted on June 4, 2017. 2 Comments

Goals and Plans…hmm

When people talk about their goals for the future, I wonder about what mine really are, it seems like its a simple question, but for me it really isn’t.  Since Betsy died, I’ve felt like I’m in a state of nowhere, just existing, coasting through my life adrift without her.  My biggest goal was to complete my doctoral degree and I’m closer to that, but not really sure why anymore.  I feel like I’m plodding through it, but have gone too far to quit, I’ve got three decent chapters done, just need to revise them.  My study is approved, so I just have to get those 3 chapters done, meet with my committee and do my study.  Then collect data, analyze it, and write up the last 2 chapters.

It is close to being done, but then where do I go?  And what do I do?  I’m not really sure that I want to teach any longer, I’m tired of it and want more time to just figure it out.  But, I have a house, a cat, and two dogs to take care of, I can’t just drop out of sight from the world, nor am I sure that I want to do that.  Betsy and I had plans for life long term.  I’d teach at a college close to where she was working.  At some point we would go on Semester at Sea together, since she loved it so much, but I’d be teaching and she’d be my family member.  We wouldn’t be living here in Pittsburgh, but would be together.  I could help watch her kids, my grandchildren..

But now, I’m not really sure what I want to do.  I’m so tired.  But I know I need something to help me move forward through life.  I’m just not sure that my heart is in to teaching any longer, but I’ve got no clue as to what else I can do at this point in my life.  I know I want to be making more money so I’m not struggling any more.  I need to be doing something positive that helps me feel good about myself, that isn’t frustrating too.  I just don’t know what that is, I wish I could have Betsy’s advice.  Although, I realize that if she didn’t have her accident, I would be in a different place.  The loss of her life has been the most defining moment in my life.  I remember saying that she was my anchor, I need an anchor, how do I find one within myself?

Live for the Moment

I’ve been trying very hard to live in the moment, which is not as easy as it sounds.  But it is a goal which I think is worthy of my time, I’ve found myself being so bogged down by hurts and trauma of the past that I almost don’t know how to deal with the now.  I think it keeps me just moving through live at a warp speed with breaks of inactivity that are mindless.  But that isn’t how I want to live, nor is it how I think Betsy would want me to live.

I’m also trying to figure out how this affect my weight too, because I don’t believe that my emotions and weight are separate entities, but I do think that they are tied together.  Right now, I’m feeling sadness over breaking up with a man I loved.  I thought he loved me, maybe he does, but sometimes love isn’t enough.  I am worth a lot, I’m generous, loving, smart, fun, interesting, and strong, but I can’t sustain everything on my own.  I deserve someone who is able to be present in my life and I want that too.  I realize that I make myself happy, another person enhances that, not causes that.  But it’s still difficult to lose that love.

But the good thing is, you can always start over.  A very dear friend suggested that perhaps life is like a bus ride, some people are on the ride for a long time, some for one stop.  Maybe he had another journey to travel and we were supposed to be together for a short while.  That could be, I do know that I control nothing, I’ve known that for some time.  I don’t like it cause I’m an egoist, I like to think I can control things.  But there is a Creator who controls everything.  Doesn’t mean my ego has to like it.  But I do have to live with it.  And move on, always move on..but maybe not at warp speed..

 

 

Strength

Somehow as I’ve found strength, assertiveness, and the gifts I gave my daughter in myself, I realize that I open myself up to be hurt when other people are involved in my journey, particularly because I tend to give my heart and love so freely.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve lost so much that when I find something I know is right and feels right I go for it full force.  But I’m also learning that I might be too much for some people.  However, what does that mean in the long run for me??  I think in terms of those who I know love me and are my angels in this realm, I can be safe giving freely to them.  However, I am learning that I need to tread more cautiously with those whom I just meet because I give too much of myself away and then feel hurt too much.  I still believe in love and finding a love for me, but maybe not right now, when I feel so raw from this one.

My dear friend told me not to have expectations, perhaps I need to learn that.  For now, I’m going to keep taking care of myself and doing for me, because I have to make myself happy.  I will meditate, get back to my Kabbalah lessons, study for my comprehensive exam..rock my study and get my dissertation done..plan and nurture my garden and my dear friends..and myself.  I will take care of me.  Because there is some plan that the Creator has for me, I just need to surrender to it, finally.

And for now, I’ll let myself be sad for this loss..and be sad cause I don’t have Betsy to advise me.  But maybe she is trying to, I just need to listen harder and not talk so much.

Love you forever Mumbly…<3 ❤ ❤

HPIM1085

Guilty Thoughts

So, I’ve been having guilty thought about how happy I’ve been feeling and wondering if it’s alright for me to feel like this?  After all, my life isn’t perfect, while I’m finally making good progress on my dissertation, I still have a lot of work to do.  And yes, I’ve found a wonderful man that I believe will be with me forever, I love him already, but we don’t live near each other yet and that it difficult.  But then I realize the hard things I’ve been through already and know that this is just a small window of time for us to be apart.  I’ve lost a small amount of weight, but am eating better and on the path to better health.

I don’t cry as much as I used to do, but it’s because I am not thinking about Betsy as much as I did in the past.  Sometime I wonder if I’m being selfish.  Or if I don’t love her enough..or maybe this is just the way things should be..I wouldn’t want her to be sad and grieving forever.  In my deep heart, I do miss her, I find myself wishing to talk to her or share something with her..it’s those moments when I know that the guilt I have must be misplaced.  It’s ok to be living again, the feelings of grief have lessened from the searing pain it once was.  Oh, I can go back to the place in seconds, it’s so easy to go there and that pain isn’t far away.  How many times a day do I want to tell her something??  Probably hundreds, but now it’s just habit knowing that in some way I can’t physically talk to her, but I could just talk to the air and maybe she’d hear me.  Why is that so hard to believe???  Perhaps because I felt like she was going to die before she left and I didn’t fight hard enough for her to drive another way..I couldn’t convince her.  Sometimes I feel like it’s my fault, if I’d fought harder, bought her a safer car, done anything to stop her from being there at that time.  Then I wonder if it would have happened no matter where she was, it’s crazy how I have two thoughts running through my head..I think I can control death, but I also think that the Creator controls everything…is it crazy to think like this or is it just normal ranting of a bereaved mother?  Who is to say, but I just know this, I’m heading into the sixth year without her..I’m going to finally have my doctoral degree, without her, I will have a new job somewhere, without her, I’ll most likely move out of our house, without her..how will my memories stay alive..without her?

 

Love you Betsy, forever ❤ ❤ ❤

This entry was posted on December 29, 2015. 1 Comment