Since my husband killed himself, 10 yrs ago, my old friends have put me on the shelf out of their lives. I am so lonely for my friends, but for the most part, they don't seem interested in my friendship anymore. I think they are there, but have become silent. I know they will talk to me, if I call them, but they don't reach out to me at all anymore. So, i have lost motivation. It really hurts, but I think I get it.

I have tried to make new friendships, but always kind of get stuck at that awkward moment when I am asked how my husband died. It is the kiss of death for the friendship to mention the incident. I have tried to just not share the story, but there always comes a time when I have to either lie or tell the story. I have tried telling different versions of the story, some leaving out the potent details, some bearing all. But, it seems to be too much to ask a person to be friends with a person such as myself, who carries such heavy emotional baggage!

I have become extremely self conscious about this. It seems too complicated to make a new friend. In the past ten years, I have been very lonely and am afraid that I will never have close friends ever again because of something my husband did which I truly didn't want or have any control over!

I need help knowing how to make new friends now. All the old rules seem to have changed. Thanks.

Views: 64

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Michelle,
I am too a survivor. It has been 7 years since the death of my brother and I feel the exact same way as you do. I almost feel as I have done something wrong. I feel that all of my friends have changed as well. Mostly, they never know what to say to me. Of course, they act like nothing happened but I can feel the sense of tension when I talk with them or see them. If I don't mention my brother, then it seems like there is no problem, but, if I hear a song or catch a glimpse of him, they wonder why I am not "over it". I do not understand people and it makes me feel frustrated and lonely. My therapy is that I went back to school so that I can become a grief therapist for survivors. I still have a year to go but it is helping me work through some of the grieving issues. I can't say if I will ever have a "normal" friendship again. It seems that when I meet new people I tend to pick people who are grieving and it gives me a sense of bonding so to speak because, I know that they will not judge me, and they understand how I feel and what life is now all about. I feel that support groups and therapist are the most beneficial and these amazing people accept me for who I am and who I was. Remember life is changed...Not taken away. I will keep you in my prayers!
Thanks Leah for your reply! I have to agree that most of my current friends or acquaintances that actually talk to me daily, have been through the loss of a friend or family member. They aren't bothered by the issue and know how hard it is to recover from.

However, when the death is an accidental thing, those people rarely have empathy for my situation. For example, my daughter dated a boy whose sisters died in a car accident that was not their fault. The boy's mother and father made the son break up with my daughter and not speak to my daughter because of how her father died! Like she wasn't good enough for him! And, they attend my church and are the head of the Young Life group for the County! Amazing how judgemental even those who have lost their own family members can be against those of us who have survived suicide.

I am glad you are pursuing a counseling degree. I have been to several counselors and found them unhelpful. So, I am going to try the local survivors group.
Thanks again for understanding!
Hi,

I just joined this group because I felt the need to communicate with people feeling the same as I do. My sister took her life on June 14, 2009. I have been amazed at how difficult it is to communicate with my friends and co-workers. I am shocked that you are into this 10 years, and it is no better.

I work two different jobs, and after telling everyone at one of them, and feeling like I didn't belong anymore I didn't tell anyone at the other job. That feels kind of strange too. I just wanted to be treated the same.

I feel very lonely too. There are people around, I just don't feel connected. I wish I had some words of encouragement but unfortunately I guess I'm just surprised to learn that you lose your friends after something like this.

I keep thinking maybe they don't know what to say, and in time things will feel normal. I guess if I want to be honest, I will never feel normal again. I feel as though I have lost my personality. Sorry I didn't mean to wallow.
No worries here! I KNOW!!! My whole personality has changed too. I have to work really hard to create happy moments in my life. But I keep trying and in some ways, it has gotten better over the past ten years. So, don't give up. Never give up. Just be wise and realize that most people really don't get it.

A police officer lady who attended my church was killed when sitting at a coffee shop. A guy came in and shot her and three of her police officer friends dead while they were sipping latte's before their shift began. It was truly tragic. Her family was given a huge televised funeral, the children were given community funded scholarships and the deceased were all considered heros. The families were honored in the face of their tragedy. It was touching and I cried when I listened to the funeral.

I don't want to sound like I just ate sour grapes, but, why should we be treated any different than that family? Ok, so he wasn't a police officer, and I understand that her office as a public servant warranted the public funeral, but my husband was himself a shooting victim as well. It is a crime to kill yourself. My husband was not in his right mind when he shot himself. He was a very sick person and he was victimized by his own illness.

Yet, somehow as the family, we are held responsible both by ourselves and others, as if we did the shooting, and are treated like social lepers. I have never really heard about this phenomenon until I experienced it. And it's about time someone get on the bandwagon to educate the ignorant prehistoric views of depression rampant in society.

There are brain scans and blood tests now that can diagnose and prove the illness is real, through unhealthy activity in key areas of the brain, as well as through blood tests that can show low levels of neurotransmitters in the system, which is another key indicator of depression and other mental illnesses. No one goes to bed healthy one day and wakes in the morning and decides to kill themself. It is a progressive illness that victims of it try desperately to hide because of this stigma attached to having a "mental illness". It's almost as if the stigma and shame are the real killers. And the stigma is what we are a victim of as well.

What shall we do then? I want to do something to change things for myself, my children and others who will suffer what we have been through. A book? Go on Oprah? Any other ideas?
I wish I knew what to do! I am pretty sure the care given to victims of mental illness when compared with other illnesses is just about as horrendous as possible. Treatment of mental illness comes with limits on everything. My sister had been hospitalized for depression, and she was so limited on the amount of time she could spend in the hospital, they would just dump one medicine after another on her without the medications that did not work being out of her system. It was so horrible. She couldn't have a tv in her room or a telephone. She could only have visitors on certain days for limited amounts of time. Who treats sick people that way?

My sister was so medicated by the time she died, I am really not sure she made the decision. I think the mind altering drugs given to mental patients make the situation worse. The medical profession, the drug companies, and the insurance companies need to be held accountable for what they have done to these patients.

Mental illness is no different than a physical illness, it is just a disease affecting a different body part. The people suffering are treated so poorly, and the drugs appear to be so deadly, I'm sure they have contributed to the increase in suicides. I know of no one with severe mental illness treated with the available drugs who have been helped for more than a short period of time. Am I wrong? Do they ever work? I'm just curious because my experience in both my personal life and my professional life is that they are just money makers for the manufacturers. I'm not sure what the Drs. get out of prescribing them.

I think the first place to start is with the care they get from the medical community. I don't think you can do much with ignorant people. They will be cured when someone they love is affected. Until then I guess we just learn to cope as best as we can. I am grateful when I actually get a few hours when I don't think about it.
I am very sorry for your loss. I was 12 when my father jumped to his death. To this day (I am now in my 30's), some treat me with "kid gloves"; some people are not able to comprehend what we have been through, so they act uncomfortable (because they are). I simply be myself around them. I do not hide how my father died and every once in a while I connect with a person who has a similar story to share.

Two years ago my older sister (and only sibling) took her life. She left a husband and an 18 month old son, along with the rest of us. Things were awful until recently when I began to share my story with nearly everyone who asked about my family. I share in a factual manner; sometimes tears well up, but for the most part, I have found this to be very liberating. We ALL have baggage - if one is unable to handle my story, they are not for me.

I encourage you to reach out to people without guilt in your heart for sharing your story with them. Leave that for them to deal with. I guarantee that you will make friends and find the unconditional love that we all deserve.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad and Sister. I pray every day for my children and we talk a lot about depression and how you can treat it, but not if you hide it (which their father did). You are someone I wish I could be friends with in person. I need your kind of friendship in my life.

I think that as I work with my doctor and improve my own brain chemistry and balance, my hope is that it will help me in my friendships. I have developed ADD, depression and anxiety related to the grief. I have just not been able to truly cure it, but have recently been working with a doctor at the Amen Clinic that has given me renewed hope that I can feel normal again. Already, his regimen for me has me at 50% improvement from when I first saw him.

I agree also about your approach to telling people. I don't feel bad about it at all, but I just think some people can handle it and others cannot. Because we had 3 children together, and he is not in the picture, I always feel obligated to "fill in the blanks" so to speak about how I have 3 kids who are older and then 2 really young ones (from remarriage). Anyways, thanks for taking the time to write!

What have you done for your health to get through your sister's passing?
Michelle, you know what gets me is when people like that are Hippocratical they should be representing Jesus Christ and love one another. I guess someday they will have their own judgement. All you can do for that is pray for them. I ask myself why does it matter how someone died.. The fact is they died. Who cares how, they are gone. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. Either people are ignorant or just plain insensitive and that is why I advocate Suicide prevention. It is different if you are talking with a survivor, they get it. Having friends that have gone through similar situations is a positive thing because they have the empathy and do not cast stones. You have a sweet spirit and I'm sure you will find at least one true friend. Stay strong!

Michelle said:
Thanks Leah for your reply! I have to agree that most of my current friends or acquaintances that actually talk to me daily, have been through the loss of a friend or family member. They aren't bothered by the issue and know how hard it is to recover from.

However, when the death is an accidental thing, those people rarely have empathy for my situation. For example, my daughter dated a boy whose sisters died in a car accident that was not their fault. The boy's mother and father made the son break up with my daughter and not speak to my daughter because of how her father died! Like she wasn't good enough for him! And, they attend my church and are the head of the Young Life group for the County! Amazing how judgemental even those who have lost their own family members can be against those of us who have survived suicide.

I am glad you are pursuing a counseling degree. I have been to several counselors and found them unhelpful. So, I am going to try the local survivors group.
Thanks again for understanding!

RSS

Latest Conversations

Steve G. commented on Steve Cain's group Bereaved Spouses
5 hours ago
deborah peck commented on Steve Cain's group Bereaved Spouses
7 hours ago
Mariann is now a member of LegacyConnect
yesterday
Jeanette McSherry posted a blog post
Monday

Community Guidelines

Please be respectful of others. For more information, read our Community Guidelines.

Follow Legacy

© 2019   Created by Legacy.com.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service