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Re: overwhelmed and alone

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@Nora1955 NO WORRIES! These forums are kind of tricky. I worked at a web design agency for a couple of years where my full time job was to read the forums and ask questions about the emerging field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Even with all those hours of past experience, I find I get lost in the AARP Forums.Smiley LOL

 

Have you ever heard of Maslow? He created a global human heirarchy of needs, listing from the top down:

  • Self Actualization
  • Esteem
  • Love/Belonging
  • Safety
  • Physiological

 

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg#/media/File:MaslowsHierarchyOfNe...) lists Physical Needs (Room Board etc) as just 1 of 5 things a human needs to feel complete. And without that baseline of Physical Needs, the idea is it's hard to move into the second level of Safety. And once you have Safety, you might begin to experience the third level of Love/Belonging...and so on. (Not aun exact science, but you get the idea?)

 

So while you say you do have room, board and food--all the physiological needs available to you-- that may not really be all you need. And it is certianly not wrong to want, ask, or work for more. Especially after surviving this planet for more than 50 years!

 

In case you are interested, here's another article about Maslow's Needs: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html This one is a little on the academic side, but knowledge is power, as they say. There's even a video!

 

I did send you a Personal Message (PM) on the email boards through this AARP site. Some days it is easy for me to find that link, and others not. Have you been able to find it?

 

And by the way, Nora1955, chatting with you has helped me tremendously! So thank you! I had forgotten some of the things I knew about Maslow's Hierarchy, and re-reading articles to post for you, illuminated a lot of similar things I am having to work on!!

 

So I will leave you with this:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose under heaven.

 

 

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Re: overwhelmed and alone

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I wish to apologize for overacting. I know this forum is important to a lot of people for a lot of reasons. I used it as a life line for someone/anyone to tell me how to survive long enough to have at least a semblence of an existance. When I went just a little while without a response I panicked and erased the majority of my last post. I have trouble trying to figure out how this whole forum thing work so if you saw the original one then I am sorry for the tirade. I may be sick, alone and sometimes afraid but I have food, shelter and money to pay the bills. Others are so much worse off and I will try counting my blessings and try to help a lot more people worse off than myself. I will try to ask specifics questions and offer what support I can to others.

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Re: overwhelmed and alone

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 @Nora1955: You did not share too much. And I am not sorry I asked!

 

I am sorry however, it took me so long to respond.Smiley Sad

 

The computer, and these forums ate my original response. Somewhere I found a draft that the forums saved, but now I can’t find that either.

 

So I will just say, that your additional post added a different flavor to your experience. I cannot remember all that you said, but will go from memory, what my original post wanted to say.

 

It is a WONDERFUL thing to assist someone in the journey of leaving this earth. And you did that for your husband, which makes you WONDERFUL! You might be surprised to know how many can't or won't meet their Beloved in that space.

 

However, while you do the assisting, your own life is put on hold. (speaking from personal experience here)

 

When the person finally passes, there is no time to grieve! There are funeral and estate things to tend. It might be 2-3 years before any sort of “normalcy” returns.

 

And about that time, your personal grief may feel it’s safe to show up! (How fun is that?)Smiley Mad

 

In the meanwhile, several holidays, birthdays, annual vacations and other routine things have happened or not happened as per usual.

 

All of this stacks up. Makes everything more charged, while your grief may be Smiley Mad trying to get processed.

 

And then you add in relationhips: your own relationships, shared relationships with family members of the deceased. And all kinds of hell gets stirred up.

 

All that to say, what you are feeling is most likey very normal, but also very annoying. (Again, speaking from personal experience.)

 

I am trying to rewrite my own life. Both parents are dead, all siblings are scattered across the US. The nuclear family that held me down to the earth for 5 decades, is dispersed. I didn’t do anything much but family stuff for those 50 years. There’s a lot of holes and time in my day-to-day experience, now.

 

I really need to create a new way of joy and being down to earth for myself…not for my family or my spouse.

 

It’s like a whole new degree program, but no curriculum currently exists.

 

I imagine you may be in a similar space. I’m just going to suggest you be kind to yourself. And that includes if you are feeling angry, express it! But do no harm to others in the expression, as much as possible.

 

It’s a whole new world now, without your husband. It’s been decades since it’s just been you. This was very hard for my Mom. The local church really helped her create a routine that felt fulfilling. (I know you have fur-babies, and rural location restraints.)

 

My own Christmases since 2012 when my Mom was dying, have not been the same. Have actually been something of a real disappointment. My Mother made them very special, so I didn’t have to!

 

Now I am finding if I don’t make it special for myself, no one else will. And then I find I don’t really know what will make it special for me....because for 50 years, I let my Mom/family define “special”.

 

So it’s back to school for me, and everything is brand new and annoying and unfamiliar all over again.

 

I just keep the faith that if I keep moving, things will keep moving, and eventually I will reach good enough.

 

I don't know if any of that will help you. But I hope it will! I hear you! I am frustrated for you! Keep plodding along...and post whatever, whenever you need to.

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Re: overwhelmed and alone

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I can never put into words how much it means to me to have somewhere to express my concerns and get any responses.

I will try and follow any advise I have received to get my life back on track.

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Re: overwhelmed and alone

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@Nora1955 Iwas moved when I saw your post a few days ago, but new to the AARP site and unsure how to post. Now, I am more sure, so I wanted to ask how did your Christmas go? I am sure there are some of us here that would like to know how you managed.

 

My own Christmas was better than last year, but not exactly where I want it to be! I am setting an intention NOW to have more of what I desire next Christmas 2018.

 

I can see that you are already getting there, by knowing you want to move, and knowing that you need some help. Also, it was really smart of you to post here on AARP for some help and/or emotional support. When you are feeling alone, any connection, even internet connection, can become a place of solace.

 

Keep sharing here, and looking for help there. Don't lose hope! One step at a time...or one bite at a time is how you eat a huge elephant of a situation, right?

 

Feel free to private message me if you like. I am not always online, but during this fun holiday downtime, I have managed to be quite regular.Smiley Wink

 

I took particular notice of this paragraph of yours:

 

"His cancer reoccured a couple of times but I got him through it at the cost of not making connections. I may not find friends wherever I move but if I can be warm, unafraid and make use of my resources to help others it may bring me peace."

 

First, I just want to say that I know what it is to come back from getting someone else through it "at the cost of not making connections." I believe in honoring the decisions we have already made, owning what we did or did not do, and then peacably, without condemnation to ourselves or others, moving forward into where we want to be NOW.

 

In other words, you could chose to start making connections now, while you continue to prepare to move to a warmer climate.

 

And it seems clear to me that you already know quite a bit about what you want! Some of us, myself included, are not that clear. So you are already a couple of legs up! Let me break it down what I heard you say in your paragraph:

  1. I want to be warm.
  2. I want to feel safe.
  3. I want to be resourceful.
  4. I want to use my available resouces to help others.
  5. When I help others, I feel at peace.
  6. One suggestion: I would change the thought, "I may not make friends in the new location." I would say, "I long to make new friends and am open to seeing friendship wherever it shows up." You might be surprised what a difference the attitude shift can make.

Happy New Years! You have a wishlist all ready!!

 

There are many ways to BE WARM. Not to sound trite, but you could spend some money and get some tech gear like long johns or fleece. You could again spend money, and turn the heat up a degree or two for an hour or two, or all day! You could take an overnight trip to a warmer locale, just to give yourself a mental break from all that overwhelms you. (I hear San Antonio is usually warm in December, but this year did have some snow.)

 

Feeling safe is harder, but not undoable. There are usually Bereavement Groups at local Hospices, or Senior Centers or local hospitals. You may have to drive a bit out of your locale and meet some new people, but courage is what helps you feel safer. And Courage is defined as being scared and doing it anyway!

 

Finding a bereavement group like that addresses feeling safe, being resourceful, helping others, and finding peace.  When you share of yourself and your troubles to others, they are informed, and may also not feel so alone. It's a nice redundancy loop for all concerned!

 

I looked for all these things when my Mom's passing was happening. I ended up in a support group and had a personal Cognitive Behavior Therapist. It got me through. Later I found out there are weekends workshops around the country that deal with just that kind of thing. I called about maybe a dozen, actually tried to a get a couple things locally to work, but calendars never quite synched for me.

 

These are some practical steps you could chose to take when you feel ready, but only if you want! Don't let me or anyone else make you do something that doesn't feel natural or timely.

 

Keep us posted how you are making out! Try to find that private message button on the AARP site, and send me an email, if you like.

 

SaucyKicker

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I am so sorry to hear this for you. I am like you in that I never ask for anything. I just feel so sad to hear your story. I have to run and catch my bus but I will try and write something longer for you soon. Nicole
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I currently live in sevier county,  Tennessee. I tried to find a senior moving assistance and there isn't one for my county. I looked up the AARP office for my town and it did not list a phone number. 

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Nora,
What state do you currently reside? It is difficult being alone. I am sorry for your situation and hope things will improve.
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Hi,

I have two grown children who I have not seen in several years and 5 grandchildren, 3 of whom probably have no idea of who I am. So I know the pain that you are going through.My mom used an auction company to sell a lot of my grandparent's things before she moved them from Missouri to Florida. She then had a moving company come in and pack/move the rest. This was 40+ years ago but it might be an idea.

Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you get the help you need and the peace you deserve. 

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You are so kind and resourceful. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer so I told him to find where he wanted to live and what he wanted to buy. He could do anything except cancer research. He had wanted to move to Arizona but I pushed him to move to Tenn to be around family. We had adopted our grandkids when they were small and when we moved they were teenagers. It is a beautiful place on a dead end road and no neighbors. His cancer reoccured a couple of times but I got him through it at the cost of not making connections. I may not find friends wherever I move but if I can be warm, unafraid and make use of my resources to help others it may bring me peace.

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