Advertisement
Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Can't move forward

    Hello,

    My father has had a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease my whole life. In the last year his health has taken a turn for the worse. While he has good days and bad, he is more often in the hospital than not. It has been difficult to see him suffer. In the last month (after a few months of seeming progress) my father's health took yet another turn for the worse and it has thrown my family into turmoil.
    I live three hours away (by car) from my family. I live in NYC, don't have a car (use public transportation) so I can't be with my family as much as I would like to through all this, but I do go home when I can.
    I am married and my husband has a good job here in NYC. At the moment I am unemployed and having a hard time finding a job. My husband is extremely supportive but I feel as though my life is in shambles.
    I am not happy here (in NYC) because my father is in need of help and I want to be more involved in his care, yet we have to be here because of my husbands job. I am actively (everyday) applying to job openings and having interviews, but my heart is just not in it. Where I used to feel optimism and excitement I know only have insecurity and sadness. I feel torn between my life here in NYC with my husband and my family three hours north, who are really suffering right now. I can't focus on getting my life together here, because in my heart I just don't want to be here right now. I am not comfortable with being unemployed (this is the longest amount of time in my life I have gone without working) but I just can not seem to find the motivation to move forward here. I feel as though I am steadily sinking into a depression, try as I may to stay positive. My mood swings rapidly from happiness (I get a call back for a job) to sadness (my family calls with increasingly worse news about my father).
    I have lived with my father's sickness for years and I always knew the day would come when my father would succumb to it, but I am not handling it well. I can't move forward. I feel caught between two worlds and I am not able to function in either one of them.
    I would appreciate any advice or words of encouragement from anyone who has had experience with this sort of grief..depression..confusion...whatever it may be.

    Thanks,
    Holly

  2. #2

    Re: can't move forward

    Quote Originally Posted by holly
    Hello,
    My father has had a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease my whole life.

    Holly, I'm sorry to hear the sad news about your dad's health. My son has a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease so I can relate to your familial pain. What may be so difficult for you is that even though your father has had this condition, he has survived "your whole life". If you had expected his life to end much sooner and it did not, but in fact went on for a very long time, then this may actually be more of a "sudden shock" emotionally then what you intellectually expected.

    I would appreciate any advice or words of encouragement from anyone who has had experience with this sort of
    grief..depression..confusion...whatever it may be.
    Thanks,
    Holly

    That's a good description! Grief, depression, confusion. Is it perhaps all of these combined? I have experienced this combination. Maybe you could work out a way to have all of your needs met. Find a way to spend some time with your father and to also stay with your husband in NY. Do you really need to find work at this time? Maybe postpone that until a later date.

    Does anticipatory grief better suit your current situation?

    Anticipatory Grief

    When someone has a prolonged fatal illness, suffers from serious progressive memory impairment, or is being kept alive by extreme medical interventions, their friends and family members may begin grieving the loss of their loved one's former self long before the actual death. This pre-death mourning is often referred to as anticipatory grief.

    Anticipating the loss that it is coming and feeling helpless to do anything to change the inevitable can be just as painful as the post-death grieving period. Anticipatory grief can provoke a wide range of intense and often conflicting feelings. It is not unusual for those who are close to the afflicted person to experience guilt or shame for wishing it were finally over, or feeling as though their loved one is already a memory instead of a still-living presence. They may agonize over what they should or shouldn't do regarding medical interventions, such as those that maintain life through artificial means, and wish for a quick and final resolution that will relieve them of the painful burden of such important decision making.

    Other commonly experienced reactions include hopefulness quickly countered by hopelessness, rage, denial, extreme anxiety, and deep depression. It is important to recognize that these are all normal and quite understandable reactions and that ultimately all feelings associated with anticipatory grief are the result of attempting to emotionally prepare for the inevitable.

    In fact, the process of accepting the inevitable is what grieving is all about. The impending death of someone close can be a life-changing experiencing that impacts all aspects of your being. Throughout the time of anticipatory grief, it is crucial to seek and accept as much caring support as possible. For many, help from a professional therapist during this difficult period can prove tremendously beneficial in preparing emotionally for the loved one's death and using the interim time to contemplate and clear unresolved issues.

  3. #3

    can't move forward

    Forgot to give you a hug, Holly


  4. #4

    can't move forward

    HeartArt is absolutely on target, Holly. My work in hospice care puts me in a position to encounter anticipatory grief in many of our clients' family members. Anticipatory grief is no less devastating than any other grief. The grief cycle must still be experienced, and experiencing it is different for different individuals.

    As HeartArt suggested, if possible, put your job-hunting on hold for a bit. Try to find a way to spend more time with your father, and the rest of your family, if possible. Give yourself a chance to grieve your way, in your own time. What you are experiencing is experienced by everyone who loses a beloved family member. It is always a difficult time. My heart goes out to you, hon.

    Big hugs to you and all your family members at this sad time in your lives. :o(

  5. #5

    can't move forward

    Hi HeartArt and ThatLady,

    Thanks for your replies, hugs and kind words.

    Yes, anticipatory grief does seem to fit what I have been experiencing.

    "Anticipating the loss that it is coming and feeling helpless to do anything to change the inevitable can be just as painful as the post-death grieving period. Anticipatory grief can provoke a wide range of intense and often conflicting feelings. It is not unusual for those who are close to the afflicted person to experience guilt or shame for wishing it were finally over, or feeling as though their loved one is already a memory instead of a still-living presence."

    This part especially hit home. It is hard to admit and explain(to myself and others) that I am grieving for someone who is still alive. When I was working my bosses and coworkers were very understanding about me missing work to rush home each time his condition worsened, but each time I returned to explain that no, he didn't pass away only to rush off two weeks later with the same terror in my heart it made me less willing to talk about it for fear of sounding like the "girl who cried wolf". My sisters are experiencing the same thing, however they live in the same town as my parents for them it is a little different.
    I think I even feel guilty mourning at all for someone who is still alive. I feel confused about what is expected of me. I have conflicting emotions about what move to make next. So, I end up not moving at all. Paralyzed.
    As I suspected, simply writing about it the other day on this forum helped me to understand a little better what I am going through, and your posts have been extremely helpful.
    I am grateful that I have been able to spend more time with my father and my family since I have not been working. I am still job-hunting, but I am only applying to jobs that are part time, so that I will have time to make trips home (and I just don't think I could handle a major career move right now). I will keep you posted. Please feel free to offer more words of wisdom and advice. Thanks.

    Holly

  6. #6

    can't move forward

    There is no shame in anticipatory grieving, hon. It's something we all do when someone we love is afflicted by a terminal illness. It's the way we cope, and allow ourselves to prepare for that which we know is inevitable. It is a natural, normal way of dealing with a very difficult part of living life...that of losing those we love.

  7. #7

    can't move forward

    Hi ThatLady,

    Yes, you are right. I know it is normal and natural, but at times it does not feel that way. I guess because my father's condition get's worse and then get's better, so do my emotions in dealing with it. It feels a bit like a roller coaster. I am up, then down, then up again and so on. And all through it I am searching for some kind of middle ground to just be okay and get on with my life.
    I think, ultimately, I am doing okay right now (not surprisingly because my father is doing okay again- he is home from the hospital). I still have guilt about not being near my family to help them more and perhaps that is the worse part. I know that is something I need to deal with and find a medium ground to stand on. Maybe I will spend another month at home. Don't know.

    Thanks again for your kind words.

    Holly

  8. #8

    can't move forward

    I've tried all day to think of something helpful to say, but I just can't think too well. I just wanted to say that my heart goes out to you. All I can think of is try to take care of yourself.

    My aunt was diagnosed with a brain tumor on October 21st of last year and given six months to live. She passed away right before Christmas. I kept meaning to do more for her and I did as much as I could. I think she knew that. I guess what I'm trying to say is try to be at peace with yourself knowing that you're doing the best you can right now.

    Hugs.
    Janet

  9. can't move forward

    Give your family the time you can, hon, and give yourself time, too. Grief takes time, especially in cases where, like yours, there are so many ups and downs. Your dad knows you love him with all your heart. What greater gift can we give?

Similar Threads

  1. Move out or not ?
    By marcusaurelius in forum Ending Relationships: Separation and Divorce
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: October 12th, 2005, 08:53 PM
  2. Is it possible to just move on?
    By ithappens in forum Depression, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 19th, 2005, 10:50 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •