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Fear of loved ones dying

(17 Posts)
Trapped01 Mon 16-Oct-17 09:23:03

I'm really hoping someone can help me, or just to know I'm not alone.

I lost my mum to breast cancer when I was 21, we were very close & I have struggled over the past 10 years to cope with such a tremendous loss. I had my first child a year ago & since she was born I have developed a huge fear of losing her or my husband. Or even of getting ill myself & them having to lose me. Knowing the pain they'd go through brings me to tears & I sit & cry regularly at the thought of the possibility of losing my husband, I just can't see how I'd live without him. I'm guessing this stems from losing my own mother, I just don't feel like I could ever handle a pain like that again as even now, 10 years on its so painful that my mum isn't here.

I just want to keep the 3 of us safe forever & I know I can't. I just feel powerless to protecting them. If my husband is late from work I feel sick with worry until he gets home. He has to text if he will be late & if his battery goes I make him email me. If he forgets as he's busy, we argue when he comes home because I've worried so much.

I feel ridiculous for feeling this way, I just want to relax but I can't seem to stop feeling this way.

Mishappening Mon 16-Oct-17 09:27:09

The sad fact of life is that we all die and we cannot totally protect our loved ones from harm because they live in this imperfect world.

We all feel concerned at times about this, but mainly succeed in keeping it in proportion and getting on with our lives. If your anxiety about this is disabling your enjoyment of life, I do think you need to see your GP.

My OH is dying - slowly from a neuro-degenerative disorder. It is immensely sad, but I am out and about and living my life as well as caring for him. There really is no alternative. I have a little provate weep now and again then pick myself up and plough on.

silkpyjamasallday Mon 16-Oct-17 09:57:57

I think it is quite normal for it to take a long time to process your feelings when you have lost a parent at a young age, it is intensely traumatic and even happy events like the birth of a child can be tainted with sorrow and manifest as anxiety. DP lost his mum at 23 while I was pregnant with DD, he admitted recently that during my labour he was petrified the whole time that something would go wrong and he would lose me and the baby. I knew something was up and ended up sending him on errands to keep him busy, but I was obviously distracted by the impending task of pushing a baby out to tackle why he was feeling awful. It continued with anxiety about dd and is still present to an extent even 13 months on from her birth. He really struggles with the idea of losing us and being powerless to stop it. He is having therapy weekly to help him to process his feelings, have you thought about having some talk therapy OP? It may well help to have a professional guide you through the grief, which you maybe haven't fully processed yourself.

So sorry for your loss flowers

Trapped01 Mon 16-Oct-17 10:00:32

I know it's a fact of life & I "ploughed on" through my mothers illness & death as I have done for the past 10 years.

I'm so sorry to hear of your OH & well done to you for being so mentally strong to continue as you are but I can't help but feel like your response is like telling someone with depression to "cheer up" or someone with a phobia to "get over it" in that, for some people, anxieties etc aren't as easy to control. When you have an anxiety, you know how disproportionate it is & to hear people describe things as you just did just makes us feel even more stupid & like we should be able to "pull ourselves together" which we would of course do if we felt we could.

I cared for my mother during her illness & I "got on with things" as you have to, as there was no alternative. However seeing what happened to her, watching her suffer then her loss devestated me in such a way that I'm scarred by it & it's only become apparent how much, since becoming a mother myself.

Hopefully you won't have any similar feelings in the future.

Trapped01 Mon 16-Oct-17 10:03:16

Sorry your husband has had similar feelings.

I had counselling & various therapies in the few years after losing my mum but nothing since my daughter was born.

May I ask, is your husband finding it helpful?

Thank you.

Mishappening Mon 16-Oct-17 10:39:39

I did not say you should "plough on" - I said that is what I try to do. I know how hard it is. I am sorry that ir seemed that way - not what I intended. flowers

I said that you should consider seeing your GP, because normal levels of anxiety do not interfere with daily life, as this is clearly doing for you. For a daughter, losing a mother can be very traumatic and painful and I am sorry that you are struggling to recover from this. The grief is normal; but the anxiety over your family sounds as though it is of a degree that is spilling over into your ability to enjoy your life. and into your family life. - that is why you need some help from GP.

The feelings of concern for our families is shared by all; but we are not left as distressed and anxious as you sound. Believe me, when all my family are off and away in the same car I do worry - all my chicks in one basket!! But I am able to rationalise my fears and get them in proportion - when you are suffering from anxiety, you cannot do this.

You are not "stupid" and no-one is telling you to "pull yourself together" - when you have anxiety, it can be impossible to do that without outside help. Your mother died 10 years ago - sometimes we "plough on" until something triggers a particular reaction - for you the birth of your child. When we give birth for the first time, it often makes us think about out own mothers and how we related to them - and often makes us think we might have undervalued what they did, now we know what hard work it is! So, the fact that your thoughts have turned to your mother at this time is unsurprising and to be expected.

But anxiety at a level that interferes with your life - and could potentially make you over-protective towards your own DC needs help - and help is there.

It is hard I know - many of us have been there - but please get the help you need.

Mishappening Mon 16-Oct-17 10:41:16

By the way - my own mother died slowly and horribly too - you never really get over that; but hopefully you do reach a point where you can hang on to the good memories before the illness took hold. I hope that this will happen for you. x

HorlicksBunny Mon 16-Oct-17 10:52:41

Some very wise and kind words there from @Mishappening, thank you.

OP I have those exact same feelings too since my mother died. It's not rational, it's part of grief - I can acknowledge that. For me, the only way I can deal with my feelings is to stop thinking about it, distract myself and remind myself that I'm not being rational.

This may not be the healthiest way to deal with my grief, but I'm not ready to deal with it in any other way yet.

As others have said, if your anxiety is impacting on your every day life, I too would urge you to seek some help flowers

TheLegendOfBeans Mon 16-Oct-17 10:55:53

Oh love. I know how you're feeling as I have the same anxieties too but it doesn't dominate like it used to as I had CBT after DD was born early 2016.

Please find yourself a good CBT. It transformed my life when my rampant catastrophising was sucking all the joy out of it.

It won't zap the feeling in totality but it'll certainly massively ease the mental strain x

misscph1973 Mon 16-Oct-17 11:39:25

Dear OP, becoming a parent makes you very aware of your own and your loved ones mortality. I am personally quite capable of getting myself really wound up over the thought of any of my loved ones dying.

Of course it is worse for you as you lost your mum so young. It sounds like becoming a parent has restarted your grief? How was it when she died, did you get support from your family? I am wondering if you got what you needed at such a young age?

Trapped01 Mon 16-Oct-17 12:51:37

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I felt extremely lonely during the period after my mums death as everyone else appeared to be getting on with their lives seemingly fine. ( know that's not the case & they were carrying their own grief) I was suicidal. Had a very cold dr that told me to just "accept your mum has gone" & wanted nothing more than to give me antidepressants & send me on my way. I tried counselling at the time & didn't find it a great help so I just don't know what I would benefit from it now.

I do have a lot of resentment towards family/Drs over various aspects of my mums illness & treatment.

I feel like it's a pandora's box scenario where if I start dragging all of that up-there's so much I have issues with I don't know where it would end. I don't think I could deal with going back over all of that.

I can sometimes put my anxieties to the back of my mind but other times the thoughts just take over, Quiet moments like when I'm putting my daughter to bed, times where I feel such overwhelming love for her are when my anxieties creep in & terrify me with what 'Could' happen.

Can I just say I do get on with life because I obviously have no choice. I'm not just sat home worrying all day but the anxieties are very intrusive throughout my day.

misscph1973 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:21:44

I think you would benefit from counselling now. Your mother's death became even more traumatic for you as you felt so lonely. At 21 you were only just an adult, and I think you probably still needed your mum a lot?

It's not the same at all, but when my parents divorced when I was in my late teens, I was very alone about it, no one to talk to. I was 5 years NC with my mum after the divorce as she was so horrible. Becoming a parent 12 years ago ripped it all up again for me. It's only now in my mid 40s that I have finally seen a counsellor and it really helped me.

I think you need to go back to that 21 year old girl and give her the support she never got. It will keep coming back to haunt you if you don't deal with it.

I feel so sorry for you. It must have been so very hard, and it still is, isn't it?

Trapped01 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:39:19

Thank you for your response. I'm glad that you're now feeling better after having counselling.

It is hard, I think about my mum every day & hate that my daughter will never know her. My whole family has fallen apart since her death due to me finding out about some abuse that went on between some other family members, which I was only recently told about. I feel like my childhood was all based on lies, only my mum could answer the questions I have relating to that, so it makes me wish she was here even more.

I suppose having felt so distant from the rest of my family just makes my husband & daughter all the more important to me. I realise in saying this that I probably do need to speak to someone professionally...

It's just all such a mess!

UnbornMortificado Mon 16-Oct-17 15:41:32

That's very young to lose your mam. I'm sorry flowers

My friend went through similar and really struggled, as PP have said if it's impacting your day to day life you should talk to a professional.

Summerswallow Mon 16-Oct-17 16:22:00

trapped hugs to you. Having a baby is such a difficult time emotionally anyway, I feel, the responsibility, the stress, the sleepless nights, it all conspires to amplify any feelings of anxiety or worry anyway, and given your experiences and the death of your mum, no wonder this has just hit you so hard.

Can you just explain to your husband what is going on at the moment for you? We all have times where we are our less rational and not perfect selves in marriage, and this may be one time where he can cut you some slack. Yes, ideally you wouldn't be worrying over every missed text, but you have a small baby, were bereaved young and are carrying around a whole lot of anger and grief about other issues in the family- so actually, texting you and listening to you even though it may be a bit 'irrational' at times to him might help you feel heard. My husband listened to me warble on about something upsetting in my past and it helped me so much just to have someone listen. Perhaps he doesn't realise that not letting you know where he is is triggering your anxiety so much and that's something he could help with for right now.

Then, of course everyone is right, you can work on your anxiety as well, but these things take time and it may take time, better sleep, perhaps speaking to someone professional/writing it down/a bereavement counsellor/whatever works for you, and they are not instant.

You may have a touch of PND as well, so going to the drs and talking to them, or to your health visitor could be a starting point.

Good luck with it all.

Mishappening Mon 16-Oct-17 18:05:13

I am sorry that the GP you went to was cold and unhelpful. Try another! There are various ways of helping you with all this - some therapies do go back over the things that have caused you to feel anxious; some completely ignore that (like CBT) and just teach you how to reduce the anxiety when it happens. And sometimes a small dose of an anti-anxiety drug can be a part of the treatment. But you are in control - you listen to what is on offer and choose what you think will suit you best.

It is worth researching some of these things online so you will know what to ask for.

You can also do a CBT course online if you prefer; though, when you are feeling vulnerable, it can often help to be doing it with an actual human being.

The fact that your Mum's death brought up past family problems that cannot now be resolved, and that you felt unhappy with her care are factors that make it totally unsurprising that you are feeling as you do now. That feeling of overwhelming love when settling a little one to sleep is something I am sure we can all identify with. Our children are very precious to us; as I am sure you were to your mother.

You must be kind to yourself just now; and above all else you must seek help.

Trapped01 Mon 16-Oct-17 18:14:32

Thank you. My husband does listen to me, he's actually great at trying to understand why I'm like this but I can't help but feel a distance because I don't feel like I can ever make anyone truly understand how I feel.

I'm going to speak to my dr (a new one) & take it from there. Thank you to everyone for your understanding & advice.

Take care xx

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