May 16, 2009

Out on the fringe

Well another session at The WARM Place and once again I find myself walking in the door with no expectations and unprepared for what may happen. This whole week I’ve been behind the curve. I missed two appointments and just ran late in general. Just remembering to get the kids out there for the group sessions was a win in itself. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable in the setting despite my early resistance and each time I seem to open up even further.

Our facilitator started to pass around a good sized bag full of random objects and instructed us to pick an item that reminds us of our late family member. As the first man rummaged through the bag I kept thinking maybe there would be some artsy stuff, or maybe some reference to tennis or sewing. As the bag gets to me I pull a cowboy hat off the top and it jumped out at me. A prescription pill bottle is sitting right there in the bag. I didn’t give it a second thought I just went into the vivid memories that have been haunting me all week. There were times Mindy and I argued over these little bottles. Then she began hiding the pills and the bottles separately. If you’ve been through this type of addiction you know that the bottles are important to keep track of refills. Soon arguments turned away from the actual pills or prescriptions because there was no way I could keep tabs on them. The best way to assert some control, some attempt to curb the addiction was to watch over the money. That too  proved to be ineffective and just caused more arguments. These memories have been waking me, chasing me through the week. At first it brought on guilt; guilt that I couldn’t find any good way to help her. Now I just feel helpless. Husbands are supposed to care for and protect their wives, but what can you do to protect her from herself?

At least this time when I was finished speaking there wasn’t an awkward silence. I got a few quick questions and then we moved on to the nice woman sitting next to me.  As the bag made it’s way around the room there was a lot of discussion about in-laws and family relationships. I am very fortunate that Mindy’s parents have been so wonderful to me. There are more than a few families that have just abandoned any relationship to the surviving spouse for reasons they can’t seem to reconcile. Mindy’s parent’s invite us to come over regularly and while they really want to see the kids I still feel like part of the family. I need that.

Mindy would’ve hated me talking about our issues in a group, much less posting them on the internet but this week is the first time that I’ve really been bothered by them since she passed. I’ve chosen to seek out more appealing memories and when I’m conscious about my thoughts I’m okay. It’s just these waking memories that catch me off guard. Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about what she would have me do for our children. Since the adoption was finalized I’ve been spending a lot of time wondering about my kids future. Maybe it’s the coming trip my Teen will make to see her paternal grandparents out of state. I don’t know for sure but it did feel a little better to blurt it all out loud to a room full of adults that I won’t see out in the real world. People that feel like they are just as crazy as I am for having similar thoughts and stories to mine. Until this week I’ve really been able to related to other widow/er bloggers and real life people in group. Even a few at Church and work that have lost a spouse at some point. But tonight as I try to find a way to express my thoughts and fears, I can’t help but think that I’m out on this branch alone. Well maybe not all alone…but it doesn’t seem crowded over here.

I’ve been taking anti-depressants for a couple of weeks now and I haven’t really noticed a change in the symptoms that prompted me to see my doctor in the first place. But to make sure I knew I was taking something I did still get to enjoy some of the side effects of the pills. I guess it’s time to ask the good doctor for a different script. Maybe these pills are tied to the odd waking memories. In any case a woman in our group this week did make mention that she was on something as well. Key on was, as it appeared to be in the past. Her actual comment was that this Mother’s Day was the “…first one [I] spent not being heavily medicated..”. I guess they worked for her so I’ll just try something else…maybe the next one will work. For now I’m just trying to focus on the fact that I won the adoption, my kids are (for now) all healthy, and my wonderful family has stepped up and helped me out with scheduling the kids events for the summer. I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for it just takes some work sometimes to remember that.


  1. You are doing a great job! Things will get better with time.

  2. I totally understand the grip of husband is an alcoholic. It is a daily battle that I just pray we win.

  3. Hope all is posts from you in a while. Still praying for you and your family!

  4. Haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is ok with you and your family. Still praying.