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Unable to move forward

(18 Posts)
Bluebell66 Sun 13-Nov-16 06:48:50

I lost my husband to lung cancer three and a half years ago, he had just turned 51. We had two children aged 13 and 16 at the time.

I had known him since I was 15 and we had been married 20 years, he was my sound mate, my life partner, my best friend.

Basically, I am completely unable to move forward, paralysed by a general fear of life. I am wracked with anxiety, which affects every area of my life.

I am desperate to move forward and start to "live" again, for the sake of my two precious children who are my world.

I just don't know how to do it. I feel overwhelmed with guilt that I am still able to live my life and my husband's was so cruelly ripped away from him. I just don't know who I am anymore and still can't believe he's gone.

I am trying Counselling with CRUSE but feel it's making me worse, more depressed and anxious.

Any words of advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thank your for taking the time to read.

3littlebadgers Sun 13-Nov-16 06:59:29

Oh Bluebell, I am so very sorry flowers the grieving process is long and hard and somedays it can feel as if you are swimming in treacle.

I lost dd2 20 months ago. I found cognitive behavioural therapy more useful than counselling as the psychologist was able to give me actual techniques rather than just listen to me, but saying that I am still comfort eating and spend a good amount of time feeling down and in tears.
Do you have anyone in real life to talk to? I imagine that is one of the hardest parts of losing your other half, loosing that support and someone to share all of the good and bad with.

mrstomriddle Sun 13-Nov-16 07:23:39

I'm so sorry for your loss. Counselling might help, CBT might help, but you will only move on when you're ready. I lost my fiancé in 2009 in very tragic circumstances, we hadn't been together anywhere near the length of time you had with your dh but I know something of the pain you feel. I am now married with children but i still miss him terribly.
You will learn to live with missing him, the memories become kinder and you smile rather than cry when you think of him. You will realise that you laughed properly one day. Your heart will find a new way of loving him that allows you to start putting the pieces back together and perhaps one day love someone else. But there is no rush, there is no time scale. Be kind to yourself, talk to people, don't expect too much from yourself, you've been through so much pain, it takes time to heal

Bluebell66 Sun 13-Nov-16 08:05:11

3 and Mrs, thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

I do wonder if CBT may be more helpful, like you say the Counsellor can only sit and listen to me. She has made it clear she can't give me any advice. I know nobody else can do this for me, it has to come from inside me, but I'm so afraid if I dare allow myself to feel any kind of pleasure or happiness, life will throw another blow at me. I'm just paralysed with an intense fear of everything. I do have people I can talk to, but often they don't know what to say. I think death frightens people and the overwhelming emotions it provokes. I also feel that after three and a half years, people think I should be "better", and they are fed up with hearing about it. I tend to just keep everything inside now for fear of alienating people.

I just can't imagine a time I will ever feel relaxed and able to live life again. I put on a front for my children, but they know that deep down I'm struggling and unhappy.

BigFatBollocks Sun 13-Nov-16 12:35:42


We r coming up 2 my dads 2 year anniversary in December. My mum met him when she was 15 & they were married over 40yrs. She still cries every day. She's now having to adjust to this world without him and she struggles. Like you, she was basically a child when they met and she's now having to carry on without his support etc and having to deal with the loneliness this brings as well as the financial side of it. I miss my dad loads but my 3 kids r young and have been a massive distraction. Yours are older and more independent. I don't think my mum will ever get over losing him, maybe you won't too. Try finding something new to do that you enjoy and perhaps try a widow's group so you can offload there. And remember that he would hate to see you so sad and try and keep that in mind when trying to move forward. All the best to you.

Ps my mum got a little dog which helped a lot. Gives her something else to think about and do.

Bluebell66 Sun 13-Nov-16 13:24:19

Hi Big, thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it and understand what you say about finding something new to do. I will definitely give it some thought.

Thinking of your Mum and wishing her all the best for her future.

BigFatBollocks Sun 13-Nov-16 14:13:32

That's ok BLUE. And thanks re my

3littlebadgers Tue 15-Nov-16 10:18:13

Thinking of you today, hope it will be a gentle one on you flowers

Bluebell66 Tue 15-Nov-16 10:56:04

3Little - thank you so much, that's really thoughtful of you. Thinking of you too and hope you're keeping your head above water. Xx

BrighterLight Sat 03-Dec-16 01:15:04

Hi Bluebell
I wanted to send you a message. I recognise some of the feelings you have, the anxiety, the guilt and the not moving on. My beareavements were my parents, one when I was very young and one more recently, both were sudden, both emotionally traumatic for me. I have suffered with some level of anxiety and hyper vigilence about life ever since. A couple of years ago, following another traumatic event I went to the GP and said I just know I am standing on shaky ground and can they please help. I had some CBT but to be honest, I cope, I am OK(ish) and they discharged me, it helped me to think more positively etc but didn't really help with the deeper emotional issue of life just not making sense sometimes or at least feeling I was in survival mode. Long story short I have been having EMDR - rapid eye movement therapy which sounds bizarre but it is helping. They believe that traumatic events and bereavements can sometimes shock the system so much that the brain literally freezes and can't move past the emotions, the emotions become too scary. Anyhow the EMDR helps you process them in a safe way and there is not much counselling involved, but that I mean talking and working things out cognitively. It is all about feeling the emotions that perhaps are 'trapped' and freeing you a little bit. I hope you are feeling OK

Bluebell66 Sat 03-Dec-16 06:56:28

Hi Brighter, thank you so much for your message, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I am so sorry for your losses, losing a parent so young must be so difficult.

I have had a lengthy spell of CBT but didn't get any success, I am currently having bereavement Counselling through CRUSE. I am very interested in the therapy you mention, EMDR, I think my CBT therapist may have mentioned it to me. I am definitely "stuck" and unable to move forward. I am constantly re-living every aspect of my husband's diagnosis, treatment and death. I have been diagnosed with Complicated Grief, which is when you are unable to move through the stages of grief and finally reach acceptance. I am desperate to move forward for the sake of my children, but also myself. I am tired of living in a constant cycle of fear, anxiety, depression, flash backs and sleep deprivation. My CBT therapist also diagnosed PTSD.

May I ask how you accessed this therapy please? Are you going privately or are you having it under the NHS?


BrighterLight Sat 03-Dec-16 19:16:04

Hi Bluebell
I have every sympathy for that feeling of stuckness and you have my understanding.

I accidently found EMDR, CBT wasn't really getting me where I felt I needed to go, there was a nagging anxiety/fear. I was not eligible for more therapy on the NHS at that time, so I found a private therapist who specialised in trauma, she suggested the EMDR.

However I think it is now available through the NHS. Earlier this evening I turned on the radio and to my surprise there was a programme talking about EMDR! It is worth a listen as the process is described really well by the woman telling her story. It is related to bullying but you may well recognise similar traumatic responses, I certainly did. It sounds as if the NHS provided the therapy - either way, you deserve specific help with trauma - I went years without even knowing this was an element in my situation.

I am certain you will find your way through this, to a new place, where you are a level of peace and the feelings loose the scary intensity x

Bluebell66 Sun 04-Dec-16 15:58:09

Hi Brighter

Thank you so much for the information, i will definitely give the programme a listen. I do honestly think that the trauma I suffered needs specific treatment and I don't think CBT or grief Counselling is enough.

I think I will email the lady who I was having CBT regarding the EMDR and see if she can give me any idea where I may be able to access it.

How many sessions of EMDR did you need Brighter and has it helped you progress?

Thank you again for your time and support xx

Kaywillow12 Sun 04-Dec-16 21:57:07

Good evening I need someone to talk to other then my family im feeling lost, lonely and guilty all rolled into one.. Here goes I lost my step dad on the 26th August this year he was more like my dad he brought me up since I was 4 I looked up to him and loved him dearly.. He died suddenly and was found at home I didnt see him which eats me up but people were protecting me which I can understand in one respect but I feel guilty that I could of done more for him I was busy with work now I have to live with it and then on the 13th November we lost our great auntie to alzhiemers and old age but I feel I lost her twice one to the disease and then death I feel that death naturally was so cruel to watch,, I havent said goodbye to my dad and I cant I feel I have to go on but I cant feel lifes not real

BrighterLight Mon 05-Dec-16 18:09:01

Hi Bluebell
I agree that traumatic responses are a little different from other emotional responses and sometimes support for that is helpful. The EMDR is really helping me, I think I only needed 3 or 4 for each situation. The core issue was my fathers death and my responses to other 'shock' events after that were dealt with in a similar way by me. So my therapy has included some talking therapy and the EMDR for each situation that I responded similarly.

So, it may not take many sessions to see an improvement in your ability to stay within a more comfortable range of 'stress'. Finding someone you trust and can feel comfortable with is important I think, I hope you can find some support through your CBT lady or maybe the GP?

Wishing you well x

BrighterLight Mon 05-Dec-16 18:10:21

Hi Kay Willow
Have you spoken to anyone about how you are feeling? It isn't long since you lost your step father and then to lose your great aunt, it's natural to feel a mix of emotions. Do you have anyone you can talk to? A GP that you feel you could speak to maybe?

Kaywillow12 Mon 05-Dec-16 19:09:58

Hi brighter light I spoke to my doctor 2 weeks ago and they said it was to early in the grieving process,, I feel I cant talk to my family as my mam is going through the same and makes it difficult if that makes sense sad

Bluebell66 Tue 06-Dec-16 05:39:06

Thank you Brighter. I asked my GP about it yesterday and he had never heard of it. I am going to contact the lady who I was having CBT with and see if she can point me in the right direction.

Many thanks for all your support xx

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