30 thoughts on “Complicated Grief: How to Get Unstuck

  • July 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    My children are not dead, but my family cruelly ripped them from my life. I am not a bad person or drug addict. I never hurt my children in any way. I never even yelled at them. I’m not perfect. I do have chronic TR MDD. I know during my worst episodes that I was not able to function at the capacity they deserved. But even at my very worst even if I could only order take out and stare at the TV; I made sure that they knew they were loved and my sadness was in no way their fault. Despite it all they were always kind, loving, smart, and happy children. They had friends, a solid sense of community, and morals beyond reproach. This is not just my assessment,I was told by other parents, friends,and teachers constantly how wonderful my chilren were.It was also constantly reflected in written school reports. These people were all aware of my issues and never expressed concern for my children’s wellbeing. In fact I was often commended for how loving and involved I was in their lives. Their friends parents always trusted me to care for their children as well. They never turned down an invitation for a play date or sleep over . I was very open about my issues and was able to reach out for help. My first hospitalization was at 14 and ever since then my family has told me and seems to believe that my illness is my own fault. That I am just acting out for attention and my only real problem, to them, is that I am a lazy “taker”. At this point,They will not let me see or speak to my children at all. My daughter is 15 and does manage to sneak in a brief call to me on occasion. She is a very strong empathic young woman whom I am extremely proud of and is literally incapable of lying or speaking ill of anyone. So I 100% trust what she tells me is going on. She says my family yells at them constantly. Tells my daughter daily that she is not smart enough or good enough at anything. Ex:They tormented her multiple times over the last year that she would be lucky to get into any decent high school and most likely they were going to have to sebd her to tech school. She has a beautiful singing voice and she applied to the local very prestegious and competitive art acadamy. She got a call back for a second audition and talked her out of pursuing it. I have directly heard out of my mother’s mouth that it was a “waste of time” because she was not talented enough and lacked formal training. That going to the call back would have just given her a false sense of hope. She also has told me that when my 7 yr old son starts to cry or says he misses his mommy and daddy. They taunt him and tell him to stop acting like a baby, yell at him and punish him if he can’t stop crying. They also tell him that his parents are never going to come get him so he should just forget about us. My husband occasionally gets to visit with him on the rare occasion they ask my mother in law to take him for the weekend. My husband always calls me after his visits very distraught. Our son has become very depressed. And trust me I know depression well! My husband says during their visits he acts distant and sullen, when asked about school or anything he refuses to talk about it and says he doesn’t feel well. When the visit is near end, he will flip to clinging on to my husband’s leg, asking to be carried, begs his daddy not to let them take him back, trys to refuse to leave by running and hiding or grasping for my husband as he is being pulled away. My mother in law has reported to court and dcf and filed motions but has been shot down consistently. My family is very manipulative and controlling and very good at putting on a show and making sure all their bases are covered. So on paper they look like they are perfect and in person they are very convincing and my daughter says they will not allow anyone to speak to her or my son alone and that they are too scared to say anything is wrong. My son sees a therapist weekly but says he just sits and plays with Legos while my sister talks with the Dr. If the Dr asks him a question directly he either doesn’t answer or just says he’s fine. My sister never leaves the room. They insisted on supervised visits but that my husband and I had to keep our visits seperate. My family refuses to supervise my visits claiming that my presence is destructive to my children’s well being. They have back this up by claims that my children become defiant after my visits; therefore I am must be telling them to behave badly. They have also claimed that I was intoxicated during several early visits. I brought letters from all my Dr’s and programs to the court that all state that I have ZERO history of drug or alcohol abuse and take all my medications correctly. I have never failed a med count or blood test! Neither myself or my husband are currently in a position to do much to fight this. We do not have a car presently. Which makes the option of visitation center not viable as it is very far from where we live, not on public transit, and too expensive to take a car service especially when there is a risk of not being able to be in control of or adequately ensure that we will be,able to get there on time. I know I sound like I am just angry and blaming everyone else, but trust me, as much as I am disgusted by my family’s actions, I beat myself up constantly over the fact that I failed my children. I am their mom. It is my only job in life to protect them from harm and because of my stupid brain that plots against me constantly. When it mattered most, I failed them. I was too weak and tramatized to figure out how to convince the court of even the empirical evidence in my favor. How can I be expected to move on or figure out how to get them back when every attempt I have made has been slapped down and thawrted. I have tried so hard to be pleasant, flexible, understanding, and accommodating to my family’s demands but nothing I do or say is good enough for them. When I try to push, they always come up with higher and more impossible demands I must reach before I will be allowed to see my children again. Currently, I weekly see my psychologist, go to day treatment 3 days a week and see my psychiatrist monthly. I am doing everything currently in my power to move forward but I am completely stuck. I barely function. I have crying spells and panic attacks multiple times a day. And have become an insomniac. I feel tired but am so afraid of sleep that I push myself sometimes days at a time to stay awke. I can’t bare the dreams. Either they are nightmares where I am bound and struggle fruitlessly as my children are being take against their will and they are screaming for me to save them;I never get free in time. Or I have vivid memory dreams where we are back at our house happy before any of this happened. These are the worst because they are so real that when I wake up, and it’s not home, I am so startled by my surroundings that immediately start screaming in terror until I remember where I am and what happened. I don’t know what to do anymore. My family and the courts refuse to listen to/ meet with the many extremely educated and experienced mental health professionals who have tried to impress upon them that me visiting and speaking to my children in no way poses danger or harm to their wellbeing. And that they are all in strong agreement that not only will it benefit my children greatly to have regular contact with me; but also at this juncture if they don’t allow any contact they are fairly certain my condition will not improve and is at high risk degrade into a far worse and possibly permit condition and the physical stress of my grief is in danger of causing possible strokes, heart attack, embolisms,or possibly auto immune disfunctions..amongst other things. I don’t see the way through this.?

    • July 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      I wish I had good advice for you. It sounds like you already have a lot of professionals in your life, between the day treatment and your therapist. I imagine that once your symptoms have stabilized, you can come up with some sort of a plan for how to be heard by the courts. I have the utmost sympathy and empathy for you, since you’re clearly doing all you can to get better. That’s really the best thing you can do for your children at this point, I think: secure your own oxygen mask first so you can then give your full attention to the court situation. I know it feels bleak, but the love you have for them and the love they’re maintained for you are both incredibly hopeful. As they get older, they’ll have more and more opportunity to make their own choices, and you’ll have more opportunity to reconnect. Your family can’t maintain this level of manipulative control forever. You can outlast them.

      • April 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Good advice. All I can add is to write your children letters for your husband to read to them, expressing your love for them, your desire for them to come home, even your frustration with the family Court system and all of it’s red tape.
        If reading your letters to them is not allowed he can still verbally express your love to them, and IMO he should gently remind the kids that their honesty with everyone about how they feel and what they really want could have a tremendous amount of influence on those making decisions for them. Write and save those letters even if they cannot have access to them now. It will be therapeutic for you, and when the children come of age, your letters may be of great importance in their healing process.
        Ask for written guidelines from the courts, a road map so to speak, for you to work on as you are able. Never give up the fight, always keep going. You can do this.

        Best Wishes,

  • June 3, 2016 at 8:35 am

    What if you really just don’t know how to get unstuck.. I feel alone and lost and I know I will never have the one person who protected me my whole life with everything in his heart and soul was murdered and taken to soon.. I can’t just say I want to except this .. He deserved a better life . instead all us kids got a bad childhood which leads to why my brother Nd I stayed close for years. I named my youngest son after him. But they never even seen each other. I feel truly robbed and getting bad nightmares of my troubled past. Afraid as if I’m 6 and they want to find me and kill me. I am no longer protected . I just don’t even know how to recover. I’m stuck. Sad and truly devastated. There is just no hope.

    • June 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      I could feel your devastation, and your hopelessness. Dealing with a loved one’s death is hard enough but when it’s through murder, I can only imagine all the feelings that surface. And keep on surfacing.
      I wish I had some way to heal your pain through this response. Since you’re writing, you’re reaching out, which is actually a form of hope. You’re seeking connection, and a home for your pain.
      Are you attending grief groups? Do you have a trauma therapist? Do you have the number for suicide hotlines? I feel like those are the best resources for you, that they can help you feel less alone.
      Often you can find grief groups through your local hospice, and if they can’t help you, they can tell you where to go locally. In terms of trauma therapists, someone who specializes in PTSD and in EMDR might be a good choice. The National Suicide Prevention line is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
      Take good care of yourself.

      • June 4, 2016 at 8:54 am

        I actually didn’t realize how much I had changed from the day of the news to the beginning of may. I was the one who didn’t cry at his service. People showed up who all talked so bad about him. But all said and done when I got in the plane to head home I really should have known it was already something I would eventually need to deal with. He had passed July of 2014 rite after his birthday June 26. Only just turned 31. May 2016 I really just noticed I felt less involved . I really just like being alone and I can’t stop crying . 2 symptoms I should have picked up .. I love to socialize but distanced myself from everyone I just went day to day. My 10 year old daughter got up for school 2 weeks ago very excited about her outfit. I guess while talking to me, she said I looked like I was listening but I never said a word back. The next day I did the same with my 12 year old son who had told me I just walked rite passed him. I don’t even remember talking to neither. I now find myself on my bathroom floor just sitting alone knowing I do need help. But I’m not a weak person I am the cold person in the family . I show no emotions. Finding myself 4 hours hiding to be alone and crying then nightmares. Yesterday your post just stuck out and really gave me reality. Although I really don’t want to let him go. I know I need too. I turned to my husband and told him to get rid of everything that would remind me of him and take his ashes off the fireplace.I really just can’t look at him as ashes. Yup I think I hit the buzzer then. I really just locked myself back in the bathroom. All day long. My heart was racing like it did when I was 5 years old and in trouble with an very abusive stepfather. My husband is trying to help but again I’m so hard on just wanting to leave my hope to the what ifs. Then the famous line of I can take care of me. I feel I numbed my pain and tried to forget that any of it happened. I worked through my childhood and it work great when I was recovering assaults as a teenager being tossed and nobody even cared who u are. So why is it not working now. For strange odd reasons its even brought back memories I thought I buried deep. I feel my brain racing with all these questions left unasnwered. But my body is truly doing something different. I have never felt so much at once. Heart felt like leaving my chest and I couldn’t even begin on how slowly I just forgot about me really. My husband set up a doctor for me. I’m willing to go. For the first time in my life I can’t do something. I just can’t move forward I guess. I’m seriously sadden to see myself so weak. My husband says its the opposite. I’d be real strong to let someone in. So your list was the first time ever in my life I shared my feelings. You posted back. I took it as a sign really. I am so lost. Probably dont even make sense. But your post and my husband not giving up on me gave me enough to take help that I know will save my life. I now just wait for the appointment. I’m nervous . but happy too. All this emotions at once . I really don’t know who I am rite now. So in advance . thank you for reaching out. Sorry for talking to much. I think I’m liking the talking cause I’m still hiding but you can see what I’m writing. I find listening to my husband works good too. He said to just write it down lol. So thanks for taking time for me. It truly is gonna save my life. I really hope to get through this.

      • June 4, 2016 at 9:54 am

        I’m so glad you wrote back! I see a lot that’s hopeful in what you wrote this time. Your family has so much love for you, and that’s one of the best indicators that you’ll get better. Also, you’re reaching out and writing. Plus you’ve been helped before by therapy, and now that things are more overwhelming, you’re willing to see a doctor. I’ve had some clients who were able to make amazing strides in therapy after getting on medication. Sometimes you just need that chemical boost and then you’re able to do the rest. I think that’ll be the case for you. I’ve got a good feeling about you!

  • July 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Hi,I did not know there is something like complicated grief, I have been through it for 26 yrs and only discovered it today,after reading the 5 stages of grief. And I do need help. To heal emotional….

    • July 21, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Once you know what complicated grief is, it makes sense. You can have more compassion for why you might be stuck. Your local hospice likely offers support groups that are either free or low cost for the public. That might be a good place to start in terms of getting help.

  • December 29, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Well I’ll admit I am lost. I love the idea of moving on but have no idea how or the energy required.

    I’ve bipolar and whilst not the end of the world, it was just used as a reason to end a 14 year marriage by my wife. We have been separated 6 months, and financial settlement happened within weeks of me leaving, she seemed to pounce whilst I was in the middle of an unstable episode. Bleh, whatever.

    There are a lot of background details, there always are that lead to this point. However, it ended with her having an affair and finding someone that she described as “making her feel young again”. She just hit 50. I came home from a 6 week holiday and walked in within 5 weeks to my wife and 10 year old daughter telling me life was easier and more fun without me. She’s probably right…

    She knew I was bipolar when we married, and she was incredibly sick when we married. Upon separating, which is amicable so long as she gets what she wants, I asked why she married me, she said because she though she was going to die and had nothing to lose. Talk about a kick in the guts, although given her family’s emotional background I believe her to be telling the truth.

    What has me stuck is being alone. And losing our home and business. And our daughter. What makes this 1000 times worse – this is the second time this has happened in near exactly the same circumstances. The first time I was married for 9 years. Affair, lose house, kids, live in caravan. This time I am sitting in a caravan down the caravan park with one of my three pets I used to have. My life has no meaning. I have lost my identity. Yes that will come with time. But seriously, there are no support groups in my area. My therapist has told me there is nothing more she can do for me. Talking online – great except for the fact that at the end of the night you still go to bed alone and have no meaning to life. And the depression continues. There is nothing to escape it. Then hypomania comes and creates even more problems which then spirals you back into more depression as you have to try and clean up the mess you have just created. The first divorce, I had hopes of having a family again, that it wasn’t me. This time the only common denominator IS me. I have had to relinquish the dream of having a family again. It is only due to hospitalizations that I am still here. That and I am a gutless wonder who wishes he owned a gun but doesn’t. And the other means I have researched take too long. I want it quick and over.

    Lets say I don’t die via my own hands. What is my future. My bipolar is at a point where I cannot work, which has been recognized by governmental authorities. I have had to sell near everything to buy a home. How courts can say that a 20/80 split is fair when I built us two houses is beyond me. I have things between my legs is what my lawyer told me. So whats my future. How will I ever trust again? What’s my drive? Look good, get fit, for who? me? when I don’t care if I live? And friends, kiss that goodbye thanks to the bipolar and not being stable. Yeah everyone wants to be friends when your high, but they never hang around. Eventually everyone leaves. Even those who promise for better or for worse.

    Bring God into the equation. Will He understand if I die by my own hand? If he loves me He will. Am I making Him proud. Nope. Am I able to do anything that anyone else with a belief in God and who serves His purposes is not able to do? Nope. Sure, I have told others they “are irreplaceable”. But who will notice. My parents, brother and daughter. My first marriage I had two children. Neither of them want much to do with me and despite being in their early 20’s are so sick of the whole mess that all they want to do is live for their future. They don’t care who did what.

    So how do I move on? What do I move on to? Where do I find the energy. And really. Who cares?

    • December 29, 2016 at 12:47 am

      I should have added that I am fully medicated and considered as stable as I can be. I am under the care of a psychiatric team. So yeah, I’m med compliant and doing all the right things. The thing is, all things said and done, what’s the point?

      • December 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

        That is complicated, all right. I would never try to write you some pat answers or formula. I can’t tell anyone what makes life worth living, or what the point is. But you do have a ten year old daughter still, regardless of your marital state, and talking to a new therapist might do you good. Finding some wider community, even (or especially) if it’s people who are also wondering what’s the point and what’s next, could be meaningful. I don’t really know, but I know that you reached out by writing, and that in and of itself is the gesture of someone who might not have hope now but would like to. And in terms of community, there are many online bipolar support groups, and in person ones through NAMI. Some part of you wants connection, and I hope that you find it.

  • August 1, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I just want to thank you, Holly Brown.
    My 19 year old son died of a prescription drug overdose six years ago. I was a single-father for 16 years, and then one morning I woke up and found him dead. I’ll never forget that image, or the feeling of complete devastation that overwhelmed my body almost causing me to faint.
    I’ve worked through the stages of grief, but now I have no idea what to do with the rest of my life. I’m stuck. Your article mentions three things that I’ve never thought of, and I’m anxious to explore these new concepts. Perhaps there’s hope for getting myself unstuck after all.
    Thanks again, and take care!
    Chet Knight

    • August 2, 2017 at 7:47 am

      I am so sorry to hear about your son. It’s completely understandable that you’d feel stuck after such a profound loss, and also such a traumatic discovery.
      Finding a renewed sense of purpose and vitality is a key task in terms of grieving, and you’re not alone–that’s where a lot of people get stuck. So there’s definitely hope. I just wanted to mention a few additional resources that may help. Not sure if you’ve ever done grief support groups, and I know they’re not for everybody (there’s no one-size-fits-all for anything in mental health, and especially not grief), but your local hospice can be a great place to start. They often run support groups but also can provide individual counseling for a nominal fee or direct you to local therapists who specialize in grief.
      Another option is trying some workbooks with exercises you do on your own. Don’t think you need to do everything; you can jump around and decide what’s most relevant to you based on where you are in your process. These are two to check out:
      The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith
      Progressing Through Grief: Guided Exercises to Understand Your Emotions and Recover from Loss
      Thank you for writing to me. Wishing you all the best,

  • September 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I believe I have been suffering from Complicated Grief. My brother passed away a couple of years ago. He could be verbally abusive at times. He was physically abusive when we were growing up. I didn’t shed a tear when he passed away. I just felt numb. I was told that it wasn’t my medication but I believe that it was, at least in part. I felt like a bad sister for not crying at his graveside service. Or even afterwards. I thought that the shock of losing him would wear off and I would get in touch with my feelings and cry for him but I still haven’t.

    • September 14, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      It makes sense that you feel a lot of ambivalence, given how your brother treated you. Crying isn’t really the only measure of grief; you might be grieving in other ways. Or it’s possible that you don’t feel much sadness or loss when it comes to his absence in your life, and if that’s the case, that’s okay, too.

  • November 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I am an only child. My Dad passed 35 years ago and my Mom passed 24 years ago. I am turning 60 in a week. I cannot get past losing them. I am crying typing this. They were also my best friends. I cannot see a normal life without them. What can I do? Is this hopeless?

    • November 26, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      You were fortunate to have had such strong relationships with your parents. It does sound like you’ve been stuck a very long time, but finding a therapist who specializes in grief and can help you to envision a different sort of happiness could definitely help. And even if you’ve tried therapy before, you might not have found the right therapist or support group yet. You’re still alive, so there’s always hope.

  • August 19, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    My husband of 53 years passed away. It was only a matter of time and I knew that but I am having a hard time going on, I know I need to get rid of a lot of stuff and take the bull by the horns but I just can’t seem to do it. I am lashing at the ones I love and are trying to support me but I feel so lost. He was not only my wonderful husband but my sole mate and best friend. How do I get through and start doing the things I need to do?

    • August 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      I’m so sorry. I wish I could give you simple steps, but the loss you’re describing is too profound for that. Hopefully, the people you love and who love you can understand that you’re not yourself right now, and that you may not ever be that same self again. That’s what you need to sort through. I’d really recommend getting involved with grief groups so that you’re surrounded by people who are having similar experiences. Your local hospice is a good place to start because if they don’t offer grief groups, they’ll be able to tell you who does.
      Wishing you all the best,

  • December 10, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    My husband took his own life 4 years ago. Our children were 3 and 1 and I was 4 months pregnant at the time.
    I just got into an argument with my mother last night after she told me to quit using his death as an excuse to not move on and that I should be over it by now.
    I can’t move on. I feel so much guilt and heartache and I just don’t see an end to the pain.
    She made me feel like a failure for not being able to get through this. I haven’t seen friends in years and have no desire to spend time with anyone but my children. It just seems like I have no desire to let anyone into my life again.
    I hate feeling like this but I don’t want to stop grieving him. Like I need to hurt in order to feel close to him. That makes no sense does it?

    • December 11, 2018 at 8:59 am

      I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, what you said does make sense. You’re not ready to let go of him, you’re afraid to forget him, and the pain is a constant reminder. But I have to imagine that the older your kids get, the more aware they are of you being stuck, and the more of a burden it is for them to be the sole source of your happiness. So maybe it’s time to start healing, for them? Also, I wonder if any part of this is you punishing yourself, if you have some survivors’ guilt, which is so common after a suicide, so much second-guessing and thinking you should have known. I don’t want to do a whole lot of analysis and theorizing based on your message, but I would really, really encourage you to find a grief counseling, particularly one who’s experienced around suicide. The fact that you responded to this post indicates that some part of you is ready to get unstuck. Wishing you and your kids all the best,

  • February 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    I lost my husband to cancer in October 2017 and I feel the same now as I did at the time. His illness was very short – 6 weeks from diagnosis to me losing him.

    I don’t cry as much anymore but the pain hasn’t let up, it’s just burrowed deeper in. I feel like I wear a mask to work everyday because people expect me to have moved forward by now, but I just haven’t.

    His belongings are still where he left them, I can’t move them because I feel that he’ll need them when he comes home. Don’t get me wrong, my head knows that he’s gone but the rest of me just can’t accept it. His beer is still in the fridge, his coat and shoes are in the hall where he last put them.

    I just want to be with him so much it’s overwhelming. I feel that I’m just marking time until my parents pass on and then I’ll be free to join him.

    I used to be so busy all the time. We had so many hobbies but now I don’t do anything. Most nights I just sit and wait to go to bed, then the next day comes and I breathe in and out until it’s time to sleep again. Even sleeping is difficult though because of the nightmares and night terrors I’ve had since I lost him.

    I’ve been going to counselling for 6 months but it hasn’t really helped. I’ve also been put on “happy pills”. I think they were worried that I’d kill myself, but I pro used my husband that I wouldn’t while my parents are alive. Its an awful thing to be waiting for your parents to die.

    Most weekends I don’t even bother getting showered and dressed, I just like in bed til lunchtime the go and lie on the sofa til bedtime. I hardly clean the house and eat crap because it’s easier than cooking – and I used to love to cook. I knitted, spun yarn, gardened and painted. Now I can’t do any of those things, it’s too painful. I was so happy. We both were. Now I just want it to be over.

    He was my life and, without him, I really don’t have a life anymore, I just exist.

    • February 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      I wish I had some advice for you but I’m sure you’ve heard it all. And I’m sure you’ve heard that grief is a process and it takes time and it’s circular so that you can move forward and then go back to the start and that 2017 until now isn’t really that long though it must feel excruciatingly long. All I can say is, you’re not alone. Other people have felt that sort of agony and eventually they’re able to reinvest in their life and in new relationships. I don’t just mean romantic relationships; I mean all forms of relationships, deeper connections to other people, which are really what make life feel like more than mere existence. I wish there was more I could say or do. I hope you regain your connection to yourself–to what’s meaningful and pleasurable–soon.

  • June 12, 2019 at 4:28 am

    I never thought I would have a complicated grief. To be honest I am not sure of it even now. But I have been angry, angry with myself and with everyone around me. I spoke with the online counsellor yesterday and she asked if I did still grieve? Well, it’s been 8 years since and yes it was extremely hard in the beginning. I don’t know how to explain the whole grieving process but I know one thing – I was deeply surprised that after some years I was actually be able to come out of something. I always remember the darkness around me and the panic attacks when I simply couldn’t breathe. I thought that after 8 years with some battle I have finally come out because I accepted it, I am no longer crying nor sad when I talk about him. I don’t feel a shame in this. But there is something that has stuck to me – the anger. I always blamed my childhood, I still blame my family and my mother for my unhappiness. But there is something that keeps me from trusting people. I was reading about the anger management and how to heal it. I realised that the moment when they asked me to picture the angry me I was seeing the person who was burnt all over the body. And it felt that no matter what people would tell me, good or mad – like even touching with feather, it hurts. So I bandaged myself, I guess this is how you can say. I bandaged my wounds and I refuse anyone who tries to touch me – let it me negative or positive. And whenever I do let someone touch me it is normally just once. Oh and another thing; my fiancé gifted me a crystal shell with a pearl inside. He told me that I was like a pearl inside. Well I’ve kept it wherever I go but after I came back to my family home I have felt extremely hopeless and, well, you guessed it right – angry. Lately though during these anger/ crying episodes I wanted to take the crystal shell and throw it into millions of pieces. I felt like it was all the hope, all the things he said I could be and the promise to never leave me. He did indeed say this, that he would never leave me. But he did, he did leave me. As even now I think about it and I cry. I’ve accepted it, I accepted that he is gone. And I made piece with this but I can’t let go of the promise he made to me. And the hope he gave me. That I am not a bad person after all. But I know I think all those things. I so often want to break that shell, just finish with this, I just have not done it yet because I know it will make me feel even worse – like giving up completely. But at least I know now. Thank you!

    • June 12, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Sometimes it helps to give a name to an experience, and to realize that you’re far from alone in having that experience. It makes a lot of sense that since you finally trusted someone after all the trauma of childhood, the loss of that person would be profound. I’m glad you’re talking to a counselor. Healing really is possible. Wishing you all the best.

      • June 12, 2019 at 11:43 am

        Thank you Holly!
        In a way I am glad I understood that the grief has not completely gone. Even now, when I re-read my own comment I see what a mess it is. Just like my head. But even though the realization feels extremely unpleasant it is a realization.. I suppose a step closer – to something. I am glad I found this page and I hope it will give other people the same help as it has given me or at least some indication. I’ve been reading lots of similar pages etc but reading without expressing isn’t much helping. I guess it has to come out in one way or another.

      • June 12, 2019 at 12:06 pm

        Glad to help! And you are a step closer to feeling better.

  • July 14, 2019 at 11:07 pm


    Can complicated grief come upon someone after 35 years after the end of alove relationship? All of a sudden I started having thoughts abo,ut my first love who for the first half of the relationship was physically abusive.

    • July 15, 2019 at 11:58 pm

      It comes in different forms and at different times. Each loss is unique.


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