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    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2019
     
    This is how I feel today, like I'm on a journey to someplace else. It's been a rough few days, and when I feel myself beginning to panic I oft times go back and read through the old blogs to see how someone else handled it. I posted recently how dh went to bed one night and woke up the next day a different person. It's hard for me to keep adjusting when he changes, takes time to find a new path. Found similar stories from back in '07. Was good to read through them and think the person changes but the disease doesn't. Their concerns and problems 12 years ago are the same as mine today.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2019
     
    My 72 hour relationship.

    When my wife passed four years ago I joined Classmates to put her story up so that any high school chums would know. Hadn't heard from a soul for three years now and was coming around to shutting the membership down.

    Until 3 days ago when my first crush in high school sent me a note. She was DIanne's best friend before I knew Dianne and was our maid of honor at our wedding. Of anyone I would be willing to engage with from high school, it would have been her.

    So we exchanged emails and she wrote, and I wrote back, and she wrote back, and I wrote back, and then I got a short email back with no real replies to my comments and no openings to respond to, in contrast to the ones before.

    I talked to my sister about it this morning where she also knew this person back then, and she said I can be overpowering at times and I should just reply with a short, pleasant note that it's been good to talk and let her be. So I asked my sister what she thought of this reply, "Does this mean you're not moving in??" I haven't heard her laugh that hard in some time.

    The odds that the one girl from high school I was pre-inclined to open to would reach out just before I shut that site down are astronomical and pure coincidence; but, that's how life has always been - not knowing what's going to happen next.

    As a result, I'm learning a lot about myself and how I really feel about these things. That'll happen when you suddenly find yourself in the pool like that and just as suddenly are popped right back out. What was that just now? I have no idea. I had no clue my loneliness could do back flips like that. For all I know she just wanted closure on what happened to her friend.

    [Scene One - Wolf is in a state hearing his first crush wants to reach him. "We'll write", he thinks while the windmills of his mind are re-arranging the guest room. Oh yes he did.]

    Oh look! She's gone already. Never mind.

    My 72 hour relationship.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2019
     
    Or she could be in a place — physical, emotional, mental — where she is unable to move forward into a relationship. I read it as she is attracted but has to back off for reasons of her own. No, you haven't lost your charms; she's just not ready. Why not send her reply about not moving in? I l like it because it's upbeat.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2019
     
    Too late! She just wrote back again. So I helpfully explained what a close down email looks like.

    I think you're probably on it Mary. I still think my post was funny (and true). It's not moving in joke's time yet. The thing is to stay in the moment and not get ahead of ourselves which is how things stay real. And if you know what's real please explain it to me.
  1.  
    The thing about witty people making witty jokes is that there are a whole LOT of nice, but terribly concrete folks walking around out there who take everything literally.Jokes fall flat like an egg on concrete. And there is no outward wittiness sign (like having a third earlobe) to know if someone will understand your joke.

    Because I don't have a visual for Wolf, my mind fills in with something I know. I can totally see and hear "Does this mean you're not moving in" coming out of a Bob Newhart character.

    Now tell me what a "close down email" is.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2019
     
    Bob Newhart is perfect for that line. A bit of hesitation and uncertainty at the beginning, with gobs of sincerity, living completely in his own little reality. "Does this...mean you're not moving in?"

    A better phrase than "close down email" is "conversation ending email".

    When you step out there often enough you learn the risks and you learn that some people don't like you no matter what you do, and some like you no matter what you do, and most people don't even think about you; but, most people like a good chuckle, and if you are going to step out there, it's better with some decent material and some ability to deliver. I read that somewhere.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2019
     
    I love talking to you Wolf -- we've just started receiving old reruns of the Bob Newhart show. Took me a long time to really accept this thought ---- some people don't like you no matter what you do, and some like you no matter what you do, and most people don't even think about you.

    Not being a facebookophile, I never have understood how people who haven't seen each other in years and years, suddenly become Facebook pals -- and I personally know of at least one - got engaged to her/got unengaged to her and now is engaged to another one. He's 56, divorced and these are girls he knew in HS but not talked to since. After the obligatory how are you, how's the family etc -- I wouldn't even know what to talk about. Without knowing the full conversation, it's impossible to know what her feelings were after such a long time -- maybe like me, she just didn't know what else to say. I joined ClassMates once just to see what everyone looked like :) wouldn't have recognized many of them. Only spoke to one who was a good friend/boy friend in HS, was nice to learn how his life turned out but neither of us were out in the pool either.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2019 edited
     
    I've been unfair to her. All she did was contact me to see if I wanted to communicate. It's the 50th anniversary of our graduation year in 1969, and it made her look to see if anything was going on.

    But I did tell the story of how balled up I was here fairly. When she contacted me, parts of my apparently very deep needs unleashed without consulting me or having a single idea in the head, except that somehow all was right with the world now. How embarrassing. And in a whirlwind, there I was looking at my reply which was me saying there was no point in communicating - and I suddenly had one of those transformational moments realizing it was all me being more than a wee bit nuts.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019
     
    A chilly morning.

    The main story of these last four years has been to keep going. At the start that was about keeping my head down, not getting too drawn into any of the feelings or reactions, not looking for answers my raw edges weren't in any remote shape to land in, and getting through the moments, the days. I had no real perceptions beyond that - like seasons or years.

    It's a nightmare at the start. Ask anyone who's been through it or is in it. I wasn't lonely my first couple of years the way I am now, because nuances like what I wanted in life weren't accessible to me then. I was surviving through it and that was nearly all consuming - partly because I didn't have the range to invest in those kinds of thoughts.

    After a year and more of that, I began to see that I was feeling a little better here, and this thing was easier, and I had less horrible days - and that was so important, I wasn't distracted by facts like that I wasn't doing enough with my life. The idea of wanting more didn't take root because there wasn't enough of my natural self to think like that. I was getting better (read less overcome, less scared, less horrible), and that was priceless.

    There have been serious rewards that have come in these last two years. That aspect introduced the word 'more' back into my world. I felt more like me. It got easier to navigate. It felt more natural. I engaged with those in my life more. I spent more time thinking about myself in my life. Even time itself and the days passing seemed to continue to become more accessible to me in ways that felt more normal.

    Yet, to this very day, all of this has been me trying to survive, and then cope, and then manage, and then deal with more realistically, always with an underlying effort because the truth is still that that is all I have. I have no goals or desires or plans or solutions that I can believe in and move into. That simply doesn't exist yet. All I know to this point is things I DON'T want.

    The extent of the truth of that got a jolt when my high school friend contacted me and I lunged to a desperation I knew I had, but until then never lived in. Like a panicked swimmer I tried to climb out of these waters onto the fact of her, without any connection to reality - and barely escaped making a complete ass of myself - not to mention barely escaped throwing away a contact that is the exact sort of thing I'm looking for (if I were healthy enough yet to interact with that in a normal way).

    This morning at 5 am, I woke with a start from a dream I have no memory of, but which must have been about all this in some way. I felt so bad it was scary and I spent two, long hours seeing at every turn that, even though I've come a ways from where I was, I haven't actually opened to anywhere or anything I can move into. I cope, and I manage, and I even succeed with specifics, but I have no genuine new foundations I want. After more than four years, I still haven't thought about me in that way.

    It isn't the absence of depression or anxiety or bereavement anymore, and it isn't the struggle to recover from those things anymore, it's the absence of reasons other than survival that I can invest in, and the absence of anywhere I'm going to that I believe in. It's not what I'm coming away from so much, as that I can't relate yet to going towards something I can at least imagine myself really caring about.

    I can understand why. I haven't spent any time truly investing in developing anything about that. I've never looked at my life that way and frankly have no idea how to do that or even in complete honesty what that means.

    I watched for the first time, clips of the TV show Ellen yesterday. Time and again tears streamed down watching her give people things that mattered in their lives. I watched how great those people were in their own struggles and how deserving they were of some help. I watched Ellen and how much she wants to help. She's going to Africa to try and help them with basic needs. Someone donated $4 million to that cause on the show. I couldn't stop crying that so much good was going on. I do have feelings inside, and I need the courage to feel them and keep trying to do more myself.

    My pain isn't more or less than anyone else's, because we're all human beings trying to find our way through life. I hope that I can find my way. I hope that we all can.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2019
     
    I started reading Craig Johnson’s Longmire mystery series. I liked the tv show. The books are better. It is nice to read about Wyoming and the cadence reminds me of living in Minnesota. My best friend is Lakota Sioux from the reservation in the South Dakota Badlands. This book has Arapaho, Shoshone and Cheyenne characters. My husband fought forest fires with a local tribe in Fallbrook, CA. We are not Native American, but we both have connection to them.

    Also Longmire lost his wife, and in this first book, “The Cold Dish”, it is four years and he is going to finish building the house they started before she died, and, perhaps, going to have a date with a woman.

    Anyway, here is what I just read.

    Brandon White Buffalo says, “It is a horrible thing to lose, a wife? ... They say it’s like losing part of yourself, but it’s worse than that?”
    “How so?”
    “When they are gone, we are left with who we are after we were with them, and sometimes we don’t recognize that person?” He patted the table between us to show that no harm had been meant. “You will be all right, Lawman. He’s a good man, this man you are left with?”
  2.  
    I've been off the boards for a while (although I read them every morning) doing a sort of self-imposed grief and loss review. I still find sometimes that I'll get hit with a "bad day" where all I want to do is sit around eating sweets and reading books--or a "bad night" where I can't seem to sleep for no apparent reason, and nothing helps. During the day it's usually a feeling of apathy or lethargy, and at night it's usually a tense, panicky feeling with racing thoughts and what seem like too many trips to the bathroom....like nervous in the service... but why? And sometimes I totally don't do my exercises, even though they're not that hard and do me a lot of good. And I'm a little too quick to click in terms of online shopping. (Realized I have four identical blue tank tops. What is that about!?) And at times there is still such a poignant nostalgia--not just for my husband, but for other important relatives who are gone--and the lifestyle and family life that went with them. So I thought maybe I'm not as recovered from the events of 2014 and the fallout thereafter as I thought I was. Maybe I was trying to be too cheerful and happy while monsters were still lurking in the closet or under the bed waiting to pounce. I bought one of the books somebody here recommended: Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living with Loss, by Jan Warner. I got it on Amazon. It is divided into 52 chapters, so you could take a year and do a chapter a week, or skip around, or do it however you want. I just wanted to breeze through it quickly, merrily checking off the chapters to prove to myself that I'm totally fine. Well, ha, ha, and ha. As any of you could probably guess, I'm not as fine as I like to think.

    As I went through each short chapter, I wrote my thoughts in a school notebook. Some things spoke to me and some didn't--but I took my time and tried to give every topic a fair shake. I couldn't work on it every day: it was just too painful. But I got through it eventually, and the one thing that I came away with is that "Grief is chronic. It's about remission and relapse." So I think there will always be bad days that come out of nowhere and bite us in the toe. The bereavement journey will always go on in its crazy, non-linear, messy way--although it gets easier all the time, there really won't ever be an end. We keep the dear departed close in our hearts--we can live good, happy, satisfying lives even though they're gone--but there will be times when we relapse into grief again.

    So I think this book has a lot to say to us. It isn't 100% wonderful--I thought the little tips and exercises at the end of the chapters called "Becoming a Grief Whisperer" were a bunch of twaddle. Just snowflake New Age silliness. But others may disagree, so take me with a grain of salt.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2019
     
    Bonnie - I like the Longmire series too. I looked into the books when it first came on to see if the library had them, which they did but never got around to ordering them.

    Elizabeth - As I read through what your wrote on grieving, I can agree with it. Other than spouse, something will pass by me to make me think of my grandmother, mother, etc. then tears will come. When hb was home I tried to never cry in front of him - my dad did not agree with crying, it was being a weeny!
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJul 10th 2019
     
    Charlotte, I found a list of titles in order. Need to order some more, but I did find my library has a bunch of ebooks. I can borrow and read on my tablet without getting off the sofa!
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2019
     
    My quasi relationship.

    I mentioned above that my first high school crush contacted me recently and how I reacted to that. I thought I might continue a bit about it for those who prefer their relationships vicarious.

    We've written back and forth a couple of dozen times now and one of the interesting things is that whenever either of us touches on high school people, no explanation is necessary. We were in the same year.

    Her husband passed away seven years ago. She doesn't appear to have had children although she's close with her husband's adult children and just visited her husband's grand daughter who just bought her first house at the age of 30. (her phrasings)

    She has a doctorate in psychology and was a professor with tenure for some time but gave that up to get further degrees and set up her own practice which she still manages part time. She's started dating which she described as a 'surreal experience' at our age.

    Last weekend she went kayaking in the ocean. I'm bragging that I can bend over and pick something up off the floor. I asked how much the kayak weighs - 54 pounds. I compare that to my bags of groceries but they're not in the same league.

    I have to say some of this is odd. It isn't just that after four years I was just about to switch classmates off, or that she's probably the only one I would entertain any sort of relationship with from high school. It isn't that for all I know my wedding ring is still in that sewer in front of the church she (as the maid of honor) accidentally dropped it into just before the ceremony.

    It isn't that I would prefer someone who didn't have children. I would. It isn't that I would prefer someone who's got strongly rational ideas. I would. It isn't that I would prefer someone without a structured religion or someone who's well versed in global issues below the surface. I would. It's the fascination that all of these things have jumped out of the cake into my face, like a gold ring spinning around the carousel asking if I want to reach for it. I already am so it would be good to know that answer.

    In some ways I'm in some kind of take off of You've Got Mail without the youth, looks, or romantic interest - just the need. I assume we'll be chatting about her dating experiences where, once again, I look at myself proud to be recently just walking upright.

    Anyone who thinks they know what's going to happen next in life is welcome to think that. I know otherwise. At this very same time I'm also making more money than we both ever did working. An old investment that looked beat has reinvented itself with a vengance and is going to town. I could easily buy a second house with it now and it's revenues are set to boom the next couple of years.

    Nobody writes this stuff because nobody would believe it. My reaction is "what the heck is going on?" I have very carefully not gone out of the house. But those plans don't appear to be working out because life came looking for me. I can see Robin Williams as the Genie popping out of the lamp, all blue and gaudy, speaking:

    "Look. What are we saying here?? Do you want this girl or don't you? She checks all the boxes except that she's a hundred years old. Nobody's perfect. If that doesn't work out buy a beach house in Maui and go drown in Pina Coladas, or rent a flat in Paris and buy a Vespa, or buy a couple of those Mercedes you're always yapping about. Start wearing Hawaiian shirts like me! Open a Bonzai tree boutique! Buy a Degas! Try and have a little fun!!!"

    I am every movie I've ever seen. My brilliant plan isn't working anymore. It was all so peaceful and quiet and languid. Now I'm being pried out with a crowbar. All the characters are standing with their arms straight out pointing outside. 'Go outside' says everything. All right, all right. Give us a little push will you? Oh that's right, you already are. And where exactly are we going? As usual, nobody has a clue. How anybody gets full of themselves simply escapes me. You would think I'm bright enough to know what I want or what I'm doing. Not a chance. I would know, and I don't have a clue.
  3.  
    I love this. Hooray for Wolf!! (Why not combine the fun? After sea kayaking with the lady, have some pina coladas in the Paris flat while wearing a Hawaiian shirt...with the Mercedes parked outside.) Wow, lots of money, a potential nice relationship--whether a friendship or non-platonic--both are good--Hey, nice to see some cool stuff coming down the pipeline after all the years of caregiving-related misery.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2019
     
    She sounds wonderful. Lucky you. And her. Blessings on you both.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2019
     
    Second both these Wolf!! Imagine, having the interest, the time and the money!! Makes me drool with delight just thinking about it - albeit second-hand :)
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2019
     
    I like to play Words with Friends. Sometimes I play with people I don't know just to get more games going. I was playing one with this guy, was going fine then he started asking questions where I lived, etc. I did tell him a generic answer - Eastern Washington and that I was married. He asked if I wanted to get to know each other better. Told him no and he disappeared.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2019
     
    Thank you ladies. There is no explaining what is going on, but I can live with that I guess. it's a strange planet and that is a fact.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2019
     
    Elizabeth,

    To your recent post about how you're doing, I tend to have mornings some times that I can hardly get through. The only real difference is I know that's there the whole time, but only once in a while am I really feeling it - like this morning.

    I don't have anything substantial that's real and good to build on. I've spent most of these years either in a nightmare or trying to move away from those life eviscerating times. I lost everything I cared about except my cats who are so old they're starting to fall apart.

    It's still an effort to get through these easier and virtually empty days. And that builds up or empties the tank and so every so often, usually in the morning, I get up and it isn't that I'm all out of effort - it's that the feelings that I'm not getting anywhere and might not make it are real too, and if they don't have their day as well, then I'm not sure what would happen.

    Don't let me make this clinical. Days like this aren't just hard to get through, they're scary. They are because those facts about my life are absolutely true. I don't believe in anything, I don't want anything, I won't risk anything - that involves me becoming vulnerable even though believing and wanting mean you have to be willing to be vulnerable to loss and disappointment. My stomach for that is near zero.

    My sister, who I talk to regularly, struggles with this. She wants me to be happy or at least better and even though she's the only person who's faced talking to me about it all in detail including my rants, she wants my pain to go away and so she doesn't forget, but every once in a while she does have to be reminded. When she does, her voice drops two octaves easily.

    That's because she's normal and I'm not. Normal people don't block their memory but unwanted parts disappear nevertheless, and so when those parts rear their head, it's like a surprise or at least a re-discovery. I have no such experiences.

    On this morning, all the 'bad' realities of my life are front and center and where my mind and my fears are dwelling. Those parts are just as real as the facts that it continues to get easier and that I believe I'm moving in the right direction. I don't have a new life. I live better in the bunker. I don't look for meaningful new life any more than I put my hand on a hot stove.

    I can do a ton of things. I can easily have new things in my life including women. But while I don't have the desire or courage to want things, I'm just going to get trapped if I go ahead. And I know that while I can see I'm like this, going ahead into new places I don't believe in, can still swamp my boat. I've done swamped boat and barely survived that. I had to check out for years and then find pieces. No more swamped boats.

    On mornings like this one, I don't control or manage anything - I can't stop these days where every bad thing, every fear, and every worry have complete grip of my thoughts and feelings. I wake up already swept into that where I believe my more genuine feelings come out in my sleep and dreams. Parts of me still hurt inside in fundamental ways and parts of me are afraid of getting older, and parts of me are parched for more substantial belief and investment. I wish I could solve those things but I can't because I don't know answers and I don't really understand what is what.

    How many times have I said I wish I could find my feelings? Well, I'm the one who's hiding them, and until I go further along in understanding why, I won't have these things that other parts of me are so desperately missing. I'm smart enough to know that understanding is not solving and that forcing is going to make things worse for me down the road.

    It's on mornings like this where I know where my real feelings are. They're over here in my deep worries and concerns that come out once in a while - where they need to come out once in a while, and then I need to try and face them and admit them to remain whole.

    I'm scared but not worried because I'm not normal and so I track and remember pretty much everything. There was a time when I felt like this every single day. Now it's once in a while. Draw your own conclusions.

    Celebrate that you don't have cancer today. Celebrate that you need to be reminded that you're not as over this as you would like. And keep going.
  4.  
    Oh, puh--leeeze. What do you mean you're not normal? Define normal. Sounds like you're having a...well, if you'll forgive the word...perfectly normal bereavement relapse. I've found that it comes out of nowhere and bites you in the toe when you're not looking and not thinking about it or expecting it. I don't really understand it, but I know from reading Joy Warner's book that the bereavement--the losses--the grief--is always there, like when cancer goes into remission and you are fine...but not cured. And then it pops up again and zaps you sometimes. It has helped me a lot to think about it in this way. I wondered if something was wrong with me that I sometimes just seemed to be right back at square one--after almost five years. It helped me to read that these relapses are going to happen. Just roll with it and go with the flow--be good to yourself. It just seems to be part of the human condition. Hugs, Babe. I'd fix you a cup of tea to sit and have with me if you were closer.
  5.  
    Oops...should be Jan Warner. The title is Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living with Loss. It's on Amazon Prime in paperback for $13.00. I've already donated my copy to the library book sale--maybe somebody else can benefit. I think I've gotten the good out of it for now.

    Larry' wife, son, and all three of his brothers pre-deceased him--were all dead by the time I met him. You know, none of the deaths were dementia-related, but now that I'm thinking about it, he had some doozies of bad days. It never bothered me that sometimes it hit him like a tidal wave out of nowhere--I just figured it was part of life. How could I feel jealous that he was nostalgic for those old, happy relationships? I get nostalgic for mine, but it wouldn't stop me from moving forward into new relationships...and it didn't stop him. His poor wife was lying dead in the road 20 years before I even met him. And he would always get kind of funky on Sept. 6 every year--the anniversary of the car accident that killed her. I didn't mind--just tried to be extra-decent during those times.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2019
     
    Elizabeth - you mentioned the book by Jan Warner. My husband is living in long-term care, so I haven't experienced his passing yet, but I'm still feeling his loss - a lot. Would this book still be helpful?

    I like the way you describe the relapses - comes out of nowhere & bites you in the toe when you're not expecting it. Although I can still visit him, I often experience those relapses - just when I think I'm doing fine, out of nowhere I feel like crap..... I always think there must have been a trigger & I try to find it, so I can avoid it next time. Usually I can't find it. After reading your post, I realize these 'sad moments' will probably always be there & the sooner I accept them as 'normal', the better I'll feel. I've been feeling constantly down for the past month now - just can't seem to shake it. Usually, I feel crappy for short periods of time & feel OK in between. So, I've made an app't to see my psychologist next week - hopefully she can help. Just wondering if it will be worse after he passes away??
  6.  
    Nicky, I'm not sure. It really seemed to be geared to life after the death of a beloved spouse. I kind of used it to take what I needed from it--for me it wasn't just my husband, it was a lot of other relatives and also the loss of the future I had thought I'd have. So I read the whole book, and tried to think about and integrate what applied to me and helped me--and kind of skimmed over what didn't apply. I don't seem to have any particular "triggers" that send me into the grief relapse of anxiety, binge-eating, online shopping, heebie-jeebies, etc. It just comes out of nowhere sometimes--I really have no idea why. I will say that unfortunately no matter how prepared we are, how exhausted we are, how we long for the hellish marathon to be over...when our loved ones do actually die, it is pretty rough on the one left behind. There's just no way to be ready for it, even if you think you are. Hard to explain--maybe others will chime in.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2019
     
    I ditto what Elizabeth said. Perhaps it’s not worse after he passes. It’s different. But it’s like a tidal wave because you thought you’d be so happy and relieved that it was over.

    Before he died I had lost the good memories. After he died I was gratified to find those memories much sooner than I expected to find them. I just celebrated his birthday with his favorite cake and a solo golf “tournament” with myself. The one year anniversary is coming up. I was a basket case for two weeks leading up to his birthday, but then ended up enjoying the day. Now am back in a grief spiral.

    I recently read “The Friend” by Sigrid Nunez. A guy commits suicide and leaves his elderly Great Dane to his best friend. She’s in grief therapy and the therapist asks her one day if she would be happy to stop missing him. She and I say a resounding no.

    I don’t want to stop missing him. Can’t really do that anyway. He is so much part of me. To combat the overwhelming grief I keep working on our property. Getting things back in order if you will. A lot of tasks were left undone due to Alzheimer’s. Most of the time I can work without sobbing. I’m hoping to get to the point of not constantly reliving his death.

    Had lunch with a friend. She said when she got divorced she felt lost and decided to say yes to everything. Just try all kinds of things to find what you might enjoy. I’m trying that a bit. Going line dancing at the senior center with a widow friend tonight. It’s a great workout for body and mind. And it’s being around people, but easy cause you have to pay attention to the dancing. Not a lot of talking.

    Wolf. Have a cup of tea and rest in the hammock at the cottage on the lake. Like you said, mornings like this are not every morning any more.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2019
     
    So, let me tell you about how my life works. After I lost the only woman I loved, all our friends save one have run away, and only when I've lost my interest in having and doing things, and my body is starting to come apart due to the pygmy lifespan my parents brought to the table -only then - does life back the truck up and dump money on me. "How about some money you won't enjoy as a consolation prize??" If I were younger, I would pick up a stick and express myself around life's decidedly retarded ears.

    "Don't get mad!", life yells dodging the stick, "How about that first girl you liked?", now that all sexual desire is gone, and I can still barely bend over, now that I couldn't run to save my life, let alone gyrate my hips into another person until my poor, seen-better-days penis starts screaming "What!!? What!!? What did I do!!?" I get out the rock salt shotgun and start unloading to properly have my views on this known.

    As Joan Rivers used to say, when the old men take Viagra, their wives run away screaming because they don't want to be set on fire. Young people don't get that joke. But they will.

    "Okay! Okay.", life answers coming out from behind the rock when the shotgun is out of ammo, "How about this? How about your damaged mental state heals up good as new?"

    "Oh yah?", I answer, "And when does that happen?", I ask suspiciously.

    "Right about when your body starts coming apart.", life answers over it's shoulder on a dead run away from me. "AHHHHHH!!!", it screams seeing that I'm chasing it. "Look! You're running!", it points out just as I'm about to get my fingers around it's scrawny, little neck.

    That's when I woke up and realized I was dreaming. And in that dream I had everything right except that life does not have a scrawny little neck you can wring. Which is too bad really.

    I get up to the delight of the cats and go downstairs naked to feed them and make coffee. Because I can. And I think about the idea that when our beliefs hold us accountable, while those beliefs themselves are not held to account - the best idea is probably to make up my own rules.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2019
     
    I can read the cats minds: just feed us and leave so we don't have to look at that old naked body!!!


    I receive 'Word Genius' of the day. Today's word came to mind when I read your post:

    Senescence

    [si-ˈne-sᵊn(t)s]
    Part of speech: noun
    Origin: latin

    1)The aging process
    )In nature, a cell's loss of the ability to divide

    Examples of Senescence in a sentence:

    Senescence comes with aches and pains, but it's also a time to look back on your life.

    The oak tree in the backyard has reached its senescence; we'll have to have it removed before it falls on the house.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2019
     
    Well, I have to look at it so I don't see why the cats don't. Besides, I bet the cats were mostly wondering what was taking so long. I think I might be starting to have a baby. Is that possible?

    Senescence. I did not know that. What I do know is that it happens when the cell runs out of telomere. That's the 'end' of the cell, like a cap, or the plastic tip of a shoelace. It's believed that when cells divide (such as forming new skin on our heals), those telomeres get shorter. It's believed that the longer the telomeres are, the longer the lifeform lives. Unless something eats you or you're shot into outer space for some reason.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2019
     
    Charlotte,

    Because of your posts, I have now watched the Florida eagles and eaglets for two seasons.
    Because of your post today I am signing up for "Word Genius of the Day".
    Thanks for this post.
    It had me laughing out loud! Which reminds me of a story my minister told of closing all her e-mail messages with lol, and not learning her mistake until she did it to a bereaved family. She thought she was sending the message "lots of love".

    Wolf,

    When he was young my response to my son who would complain to me about something not being fair, was that "Life is not fair." I knew it then. I'm forced to know it again now. Because I was raised a straight-laced New England Yankee, I cannot, as you most assuredly can, spell out the gory details of my latest health issues. Suffice it to say POP is the pits and is certainly trying to get in the way of my having a significant after (Alzeimers) life. You sure there is no scrawny little neck? Cuz I'd like to wring it too.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2019
     
    "While you're looking for yourself out there."

    That's one of the lines in the lyrics of a group called Train. They're new for me where one of the things that has come back on and off, is the ability to both find and like new music. I believe that epiphanies do exist for the fortunate, but most of us get somewhere collecting moments.

    I've included two songs. The first entitled Marry Me is how I came to notice this band. If that's too emotional then skip to the second song. That is one of the things about life though, the things that hurt are often also beautiful.

    This kind of music isn't to my main taste. I tend to look for things with more raw vitality than polish, and I consider both videos slightly over polished, but Train doesn't need my advice. The first song Marry Me has 65 million views and the second Drops Of Jupiter has 181 million.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghZt2cILcCU

    Marry Me, Train


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xf-Lesrkuc

    Drops Of Jupiter, Train

    Stay strong people say, but I can stay strong until the sun burns out and it's not going to get me anywhere I want to go. Opening up to where that is means going into the hurt, and if I can't have that, then I want other people to have it, and for myself to die trying. I'm not talking about meeting a woman. I'm talking about feeling the love of life I misplaced.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2019
     
    I've been talking about life having a sense of humor and liking to get up and dance here and on George's thread for years. I don't pretend to understand what's going on, but there's no denying the vitality and sheer fun life expresses itself with. Neon green and tangerine fish. There's no need for that. Ever. Life force isn't so much about why as why not?

    I knew that even when I was down in the abyss and I knew it when I was pining for the fiords this last year or so wondering if I was ever going to feel really connected to life again. I operate fine these days as I've been saying, but whatever this is, it doesn't feel normal to me, yet.

    So life hives over the fence my high school crush who's husband passed away some years ago, and who wants to talk. For good measure, she's a psychologist with both a doctorate and having taught it as a professor, and a licensed and practicing psychologist. If life is trying to make me wake up, that's overkill.

    If that's not enough, after three years of ignoring Classmates, I had decided the previous day I would shut that down, that morning I remembered I was going to look up how to end my membership, and that day her note showed up on it.

    So, I answered the call and at first lunged at her like a starving man, then I became The Grinch and decided, fine, I'll just push this button and end this. We'd barely said hello and I'd already had two sessions on the couch. I thought I was fine. I would have said I'm all better. But I wasn't allowed to get away with that.

    "Fine. Into the pool.", life decided and I was shown that maybe I still need a little work. That's not all. I had just previously hit a flat spot where I felt I may never reconnect to life the way I would like - which is to feel energy and full investment in where I am and what I'm doing. Not crazy - just normal.

    I looked it up. We've been writing for just under two months now and my entry in my notes admitting to myself I might never break through is just over two months ago. And I don't know who or what to thank because I didn't have to try and break through - I was thrown through.

    It's a good thing I don't take either myself or my life that seriously because if I had an ego it would be a ball of something that had the stuffing kicked out of it. For example I told her I had a crush on her most of high school and she answered that she was oblivious that I existed. That's passably verbatim. I told her how I was doing and she told me that was classical transition behavior. Then she told me I was extremely bright and I thought she was going to feed me a bisquit.

    I now know how to cross that Grand Canyon between me afterwards and me before. Just get shot out of a cannon and sail over there like Evil Knievel. Forget the helmet because it's irrelevant and don't bother looking around because it's a blur.

    I realize with certainty that I may as well try and do some magic tricks because I can't lose here. This isn't really about her. It's about one really large kick in the butt from the only person on the planet who's over qualified in every category there is. I like strong, bright women who take no prisoners, think grandchildren are like small dogs, have seen and done tons of things, and who correct me when I make a mistake. Guess what? Life left no stone unturned when it let loose this vixen, I mean doctor, I mean old flame into my chicken coop. That's a lot of work to make such a finely tuned ninja attack.

    A typical exchange goes like this, she says, "You were very good looking. Do you know what happened to Steve Gow? I used to have a crush on Steve Gow." No, I don't know what happened to Steve Gow. What I know is that you're the bridge. We're going to be friends apparently. We both just said that and that's when I told her I'd liked her and she told me she was oblivious to me. It's as refreshing as racing out of a Swedish sauna into an ice cold lake screaming all the way.

    Then we switch to global trade trends, the Hong Kong situation and what's likely to happen, and the behavioral patterns that power creates. Then I tell her the story of so and so without having to explain a thing, then she tells me more about that same story which I didn't know and then the scales fall from my eyes and I realize it doesn't matter how or why - there was a vortex that pulled me in years ago and I went along willingly, and now there was a vortex pulling me out and I should probably do the same. I could call it anything I want because what it's called means nothing. This is happening and I don't mind the luck or the help one bit. I'll just pack a couple of things and join you on board - vicariously speaking.

    Be careful what you wish for. That's all I'm saying. I have as much hope of fitting back into my cocoon as a butterfly - which is really just a bug with wings. You may fire when ready Gridley!
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2019
     
    Love Is In The Air 1979
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    Bhamdave52
    Published on Jun 9, 2009
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    The One, The Only, The Legendary....Tom Jones doing his disco version "Love Is In The Air" . Enjoy.
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      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2019
     
    Sorry, Wolf. I meant to send a neat and tidy link. Maybe if I had pressed on "save?"
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2019 edited
     
    Is this what you're looking for?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2-VGDF4y18

    Tom Jones, Love Is In The Air 1979
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2019
     
    Mary,

    Love may be in the air where Tom Jones is but it ain't around here. She's quite pleased to talk now and to become friends now, but back then she thought of me as furniture. Play out the scene where one person admits fifty years later they had a crush on you, and you answer that you were oblivious to them and move on to the next point. Most audiences would understand that one person is living in the past and the other person has the emotional sensitivity of sheet metal.

    Life has to be cruel to be kind and I have to go through my backed up dysfunctions before I can see them and have a shot at learning that life hasn't given me an object to act out displacement theory on, life has put me back into my old world and offered the exact kind of friend I would like to keep talking to. All I have to do is grow up a little. Now would be good.

    It isn't the lady or the tiger, it's the lady or the money. Parts of me shook that lady door hard even while other parts of me were urgently asking me what I was doing. It was locked anyway. Besides life is always sillier than we like to acknowledge. In retrospect, I prefer to watch Grumpy Old Men, not be in it.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2019 edited
     
    Friends are good, and if there is no romance blossoming here, to have her as a friend would do very well.
    I woudn't take her past thoughts seriously. People change, both of you; it's now that counts.
    From where I stand, she sounds magnificent. Maybe not perfect, which would be unbearable, but a worthy match for you.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2019
     
    Well, I sent off my ms. today to a publisher, and here's hoping.
    I believe in the story. Lots of research and rewrites, but writing has always given me more than I've given it. For that reason alone, it was worth it. But talk about tired — my brain is fatigued. 
    Busy week with a broken water pipe and consequent flooding. Trench has been dug in front garden to locate the faulty pipe. Plumbers coming tomorrow to finish the job. Maybe they can repair the copper pipe, if it's a just a leak. If not, they'll have to replace it.
    P.S. to Wolf, I like the photos better in the first link. The second link makes him look a little dangerlous . Mayabe that's deliberate, sort of the "bad boy" syndrome.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2019
     
    I remember forever summers. They happened in public school and they really did seem to go on forever. I would watch Sky King, and Andy Of Mayberry, and Oh Susannah, and The Lone Ranger, and then go out to play for a month before I had to be home for dinner. And then go out and play again until the street lights came on which meant I had to go in.

    This summer has been like that. It's been a normal summer where, up here, it's already over, and even though we might get a couple of days that touch 90, and a half dozen that are in the 80's, I've already had my windows open for over a week now and my air conditioner and furnace are likely to be kept on OFF until October. There's a string of days forecasted to be in the 70's and the morning dawn has long pulled back, now after 6 am, and in just a few months I will be getting up in the dark and having dinner in the dark, and this t-shirt weather will become a memory.

    This is the best summer of my adult life. I didn't go to the pool every day or go sailing every weekend or go to endless cottages to swim, but arrived in my skin, got interested in looking forward, and returned to looking at life as a menu I get to choose from. Which I did at 7:40 this morning in New Hamburg which was my target this morning.

    And when the kid handed me my McDonald's breakfast saying his "welcome to McDonald's" line and realized he was handing me my order, he rolled his eyes that he'd screwed up and I laughed telling him "It's all good. It's all good." Because it is, and when I pulled over to put the pepper on my breakfast sandwich and smelt the country air and heard the country sounds, I could have been eight or I could have been twenty or I could have been ninety because it's exactly the same feeling of freedom and being alive and nothing else being on your mind except where you are and what you're doing.

    On the way back I drove into the rising sun and it was the perfect time to try out my new $379 Raybans which I ordered precisely tinted to my specifications. My sister thinks I have money because I never spend money, but the truth is I don't have a lot of needs and have never been interested in display. I have a sceral buckle holding together my right eye where the pupil is frozen open and I have a cataract in my left and those sunglasses are designed to help me cope with bright glare. They worked perfectly.

    Yesterday I went for the big walk for the first time in over five years. The under use of my body has been so extensive, I need to invent a new category below 'sedentary' so as not to offend the sedentary. I've done almost nothing but sit in this chair for years where my daily exercise is to get the paper and the mail. It's a morning paper but I got it in the afternoon after the mail person had gone by.

    Last night near midnight, motorcycle man from across the street phoned. He keeps odd hours and wanted some advice about a business he was selling. We talked about that for almost two hours before his phone started dying. We're supposed to pick up on that later today but with him it might be next week.

    My friend from high school wrote yesterday asking if everything was alright because she hadn't heard from me for a week. My email from last Saturday went into cyberspace and even though parts of me worried about her not replying, I'm not listening to that anymore and thought perhaps she'd had changed her mind. I want her in my life but these things are only good if they're good for both.

    My old cat is here right now, skin and bones, and I've had to develop a light touch because she can fall over if I pat her normally. She still goes up and down the stairs, has a good appetite, and plays and purrs - and I'm equal to the task now of going through this pain of knowing what's coming even if she doesn't.

    Why wouldn't I? I've been tortured and beaten and caged. I've lost everything I loved about life. I got serious depression and powerful anxiety and lived in fear. It took me years to walk out of that which is ten times the hardest thing I've ever done. I lost all hope of ever feeling good again and have lived for years worrying that, whatever I did, I might not ever come out the other side.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2019
     
    -2

    Even the high school friend who has psychology degrees coming out of her behind, has been a tenured professor of psychology and then earned the qualifications to run her own practice, said to me that what happened to me (to all of us) is very serious and one of the hardest things to get over in life.

    Yup, and thanks. But there's a real difference between believing your faith and attending your faith. One of the things that characterizes her patients (who hate when she takes a vacation), is that they have transferred their solutions externally. If I had the slightest hope that anyone else could unravel the whacko inside here, I would have fallen to my knees begging for help, but there never was any other road except to work through it all myself.

    I'll tell you what I know. Hiermonyus Bosch, Kafka, and Dante to name some are twits that lived in fear. They never learned what I did which is what I told my sister just last week when she talked about this possibly being her last house because who knows what's going to happen next. "I know what's going to happen next.", I answered, "I'm going to get older and then I'm going to die." I've known that for close to sixty years. Human beings are never going to really enjoy life until they get over their morbid fear of death.

    Watch for my new book, Bozo the clown does all the levels of hell including the basement, buys the tee shirt, and then does something actually interesting. Even the universe itself will have to die in order to live. Yet, it never quacks in fear and instead burns up entropy like it's going out of style - which shortens it's life but means it has life.

    Just like motorcycle man, who I heard ride off on his motorcycle a little while ago. He's legally blind, rode for miles on a bicycle every day through the winter to earn a degree trying to find a way to earn a living, is only 47 years old, and just won't quit. Am I going to help him try to figure out what's best for him selling his business? Count on it.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2019
     
    Part Two-

    The facts that form my core are that I live 93 million miles roughly from a fairly stable, continuous nuclear explosion that comprises 97% of all the matter in the solar system. It sends out solar flares fairly regularly where if one of those is strong enough and strikes earth, it will fry the planet's electric systems - which will take years to replace. A rock the size of the big pyramid is just passing earth and we're going to calculate whether it's very close passing of earth will affect it's orbit in a way that when it comes back in 2038, it will strike earth. That won't wipe out life - only as we know it. Yellowstone is acting up. It's one of the super cauldera's on the planet. It goes off about every 640,000 years best estimate and guess when it last went off? An ice age is due. Humans have now pumped so much CO2 into the atmosphere that it's up to 350 parts per million. The geological records show that the average over hundreds of millions of years has been over 600 ppm. It's normally way hotter than it is historic times.

    It's well understood that earth is in an interglacial period and most people have heard there were glaciers covering much of the northern hemisphere. Those glaciers have been running like a clock for millions of years now. Look up the Malankovitch cycles. There is zero possibility that anything heavier than iron could have been made around here. It takes tremendous energy to force more complex molecules to combine. That's what the sun is actually doing. It's fusing hydrogen into helium. All the copper in our blood and other heavier molecules absolutely comes from supernovas or similar massive energy events. Betelguese is one such star not too far away. It's just 10 million years old and will go nova almost certainly within the next 100,000 years and could explode tomorrow. There are numerous such stars around us and everywhere in the universe.

    Because the glaciers that covered half of north america melted, the seas have been rising for some 15,000 years. Both glaciers melting and sea levels rising are nothing new or man made. We're speeding up what's already happening. Florida was much bigger then and has been shrinking since before history, although it's normal state is 100 feet under water. None of this happens within a single lifespan.

    The Romans ruled the place some 2000 years ago. The Mediterranean is littered with Roman ruins and Egyptian ruins under water like a bathtub ring around that sea. They weren't built underwater, the water has risen that much in just that time. The ordinary human doesn't want to know any of these things and society just wants people to do stuff - not think or be aware or even be happy. We are wired to function best when we think mostly about ourselves in our current situation tackling our current objectives.

    The fact is, I get the same break that the universe does. I get some time to be and by being I use that time up. It costs a lot of energy to make me and keep me together for some time, and after some time I use up the ability for the matter to keep that up. That goes for a bug, a tree, me, the sun, the galaxy, and the universe.

    To be or not to be. That is the question. And it is the only question that is not the trivia of it's own answer.

    Anyway, I just got an email from said former crush from high school. She is coming to Ontario to spend some time with the guy she's been writing with and met for lunch. Well, do keep me informed. She's both helping me to be real and is being completely honest with me and sharing her feelings. I think I hate her. On the other hand I'm probably getting thousands of dollars worth of free psychoanalysis. Well, onwards and upwards. Or just lay in the hammock. With my Raybans. Which have a chance of still being here thousands of years from now. What a place this is.
    • CommentAuthorladylimbo
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2019
     
    My hat's off to those of you who diligently write on this forum and do so regularly. I have had to take a pause, have added very little to the site, it was in my own best interest to give myself a break from the world of Alzheimer's. My husband passed away on Easter Sunday, 2017, so two years plus a few months and I am still navigating the aftermath. I will admit to getting "through it", never will get over it and am making a new life for myself, baby steps. I had started writing a book of my experience with being the other half of the Alzheimer's diagnosis. When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's the ground zero partner needs to be diagnosed officially with a syndrome... I don't know what the name of that syndrome would be or that I could appropriately name it without getting thrown off the site but it would have it's own billing code in the world of insurance forms. I had to step back from the book for a bit, still to fresh in my mind and was getting the panic attacks and physical symptoms just as if they were happening real time. I do, however; jot down thoughts and quips that would be more like a short story or a small article size piece, I seem to manage that better.

    This morning I was grappling with the initial diagnosis that my husband received at the age of 58 (Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease). The neuropsychologist that diagnosed him did so without even completing the entire neuropsych evaluation. My husband was so clearly suffering from this disease, after all the other process of elimination diseases were ruled out, that he didn't see the point in upsetting my husband by putting him through the afternoon session of testing. We sat down in the nicely decorated office, with the required amount of diplomas and certificates on the wall and were efficiently handed a bomb that exploded our lives into a zillion shards of skin shredding glass. My husband sat quietly with the thousand mile stare, the dots not really connecting while I waited for the after shock of the bomb we just received. "We" were told that this disease is unpredictable, younger onset seems to not last as long but in reality is could be 3 to 20 years. We left the office, my husband asked me what it is the doctor said he had, I said Alzheimer's, he said "well at least I know what I will die from" and then when we got in the car he asked if it was time for lunch, I said of course it is do you want Chipolte? Yes. By the time we got there he had forgotton the entire morning. I hadn't though.

    Fast forward to this morning's writing. I was recently working with a financial planner, she was very precise about timelines and timeframes, my head hurts every time I have to deal with her but the small amount of money we are dealing with requires some fancy footwork to stretch it. Anyway, I thought about it that wouldn't it be funny to see her head explode if I gave her a timeframe of 3 to 20 years to try to prepare a successful financial plan. Or even one better, if you had children that were getting married and you asked them about wedding plans, college educations, planning children, all the things you would ask a couple about after they announce their upcoming bliss... When do you think you will be married? Well, anytime from 3 to 20 years. When do you think you will start planning a family? Well, anytime between 3 to 20 years, really? There is nothing, absolutely nothing in life that you would place a timeline of 3 to 20 years to plan on or around but when a diagnosis of Alzheimer's is what you are handed you are really left with those words, good luck.

    I am not sure where this rant belonged in the Discussion Thread so please excuse me if I chose the wrong category but I just had to get this written down. Does anyone else feel the angst of the timeline with no end? Also, the great guilt that I still deal with in being thankful that my husband went for "only" 4 years in a memory care facility. From his initial signs that something was off until his death was about 7 years.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2019
     
    The astounding thing is that the "professionals" who give us these timelines actually think they are being helpful.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2019
     
    I was referred to a geriatric specialist who confirmed the diagnosis and told us that EOAD is a process of about 8-12 years. The problem is that no one knows exactly where it started and while my wife passed 7 years after she said that, she clearly fell into that 8-12 year range.

    It was the MRI that confirmed the diagnosis. The lab technician there went through the results with me thoroughly when I showed an interest to learn. He was unaware that no one at that point had actually diagnosed her as having AD, and that he was the one exploding our lives into a zhillion shards. He showed me in real detail how he knew it was AD that she had.

    Reacting years later to absurd, horrible aspects of Alzheimer's is part of the integration of those events into your life. We had a much less lazy estimate, but it didn't help me one bit either. Spouses with regular AD have no such estimates and they really can go 20 years.

    As far as guilt and a memory care facility goes, if you are guilty of turning his 24 hour care to professionals, then he is guilty of having Alzheimer's. If he is not guilty of requiring that kind of care, then you are not guilty of providing it. That's one of the numerous hard things to get over.

    You're on a journey somewhere else as a result of being an alzheimerspouse. This is the right discussion thread.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2019
     
    Here is what the psychology professor wrote to me last week. "As you gain more perspective on that part of your life, meaning gain more distance in terms of time passing, it can begin to feel like it happened to someone else. I can understand how it would also feel like you were losing your sense of self bit by bit. As you say, feeling like nothing was left of the sense of self that you knew."

    That's my high school friend. Her father was a tyrant so much so that her mother committed suicide by jumping in front of a subway train when we were in high school. Then her older brother died in a car accident a couple of years later, another brother simply disappeared one day never to be heard from again, and her older sister ran away from home to get away from him. We've talked about why she went into psychology.

    I told her that what she went through was much harder than what I did, and she doesn't believe that at all. She thinks what I went through (what we go through) is harder on the human being. She also said most people find their own way through terrible experiences without the need for psychological help. She's opposed to the 'grief counselling' they rush in at school tragedies because it teaches young people that solutions are outside of themselves and that society will move in and help them - which is not the case in real life. You have to go through grief and come out the other end.

    She herself went through analysis for four years and she's explained how that helped her because it eventually gave her a successful framework for looking at herself in her life.

    For myself, I've gone somewhere and done something every day now for several weeks and am walking again, I've quit smoking regularly, and I've come to truly understand that my image of her is from high school, not reality, and my interest in having another real person with me who has their own ideas, their own ways, and their own needs constantly around me isn't real.

    The worst thing for me would have been if she was living her own fantasy about us because I really do have this conflict inside about my need for a relationship to partner up with and share life with - and I've learned I have to watch myself so that I don't grind my needs onto a completely distinct and unknown human being.

    I took another big step yesterday. I faced something I haven't been able to face for years, and got it done. It meant I needed someone to witness my signature and so motorcycle man came over from across the street and we spent several hours where he told me stories about what I'll call the underworld that were simply astonishing. He tells me things because he knows that I'm not going to tell anyone.

    That's been true my whole life that people reveal things about themselves to me and I'm glad to see that it continues. When he left, I told him that he should write a book and that if he needed a ghost writer, I was willing. This man has been out there to places few go.

    That brings into focus for me the boy's weekend that's coming up which, after 40 years of going, I've passed on these last three years and have no interest this year either. It isn't just that I know and can play all the parts - it's that those parts don't deviate from a set norm and nobody wants them to. I don't want that anymore. There are six left from the original eight, and their potential to surprise is about the same as spending the weekend with matching luggage. Great memories. No interest.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2019
     
    -2

    When I started this thread the month after my wife passed, I had no idea where it would go. I didn't know that I had titled it correctly even though the meaning of 'somewhere else' kept changing over the years. I didn't have a clue that I was answering my own question I asked in 2010, even though that's exactly what I've been doing here all along.

    The fact is that it's untrue to think of Dianne as having been short changed. She got everything she could possibly get in her time. And while all the hurt, and pain, and misery is known, I've come to understand and believe that spending my own time defined by the past is a waste of life. My life. It turns out you have to arrive before you can depart - and when I think about that, it makes perfect sense.

    I'm not motorcycle man who seems to have no fear even though we've talked enough that we've also covered that he has feelings and worries and concerns just like everybody else. But I've converted to believing that the only thing to fear really is fear itself - even as I've also converted to understanding that no one wins against time. I might have my faculties for twenty years and I might have them for five, and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn, for the very sound reason that thinking about it at all doesn't mean a thing - while living now is everything.

    Survive, recover, reinvent. I got that one right. And after that, you look back, and I think my psychology professor is right, it almost feels like it happened to someone else. Or saying that another way, I look back, and I know it's all OK. I'm no longer trying to believe. I know.

    I think I know the answer to my thread too. When you go on a journey someplace else and you arrive - you go on a journey someplace else. There is no arrival and there never has been because we spend our whole life in the 'now' and the actual journey is within ourselves. When we finally feel like ourselves and occupied in our lives, we might say we've arrived; but, that's the real journey; one of state - not place, not time.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2019
     
    Wolf, I must say your comments have changed so much lately, it sounds like you are really coming through the tunnel into the light. Makes me feel good to know you've withstood the storms and came out still standing! Congratulation!
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2019 edited
     
    You're right oakridge, and if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.


    Hang in there. I said 'survive, recover, and reinvent'. I could have said suffer, recover, and learn to believe again. The hurt and suffering are as real as the damage to us is real, even though nobody can ever see any of that or touch it, and the time can come no matter who we are that it all comes together again even though we're somewhere way over there. I promise.

    If we want what we had or we live in what's gone, no. If we don't change, I doubt it. If we open to ourselves after some healing, and want our life - then I think yes. That's my experience (and almost five years) in a nutshell.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2019
     
    "No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. Yet I know none, and therefore am no beast." - Runaway Train

    Alzheimer's and then not Alzheimer's have been identical for me in one respect. They both required an absolute ruthlessness to survive. There was no pity for self pity in either. It's a testament to love and to honor and to duty that most commit to the one, and it's a testament to human nature that most have a harder time with the other.

    Some are held captive and cannot 'move on', some become ill either physically or mentally, some accommodate to live with the dread, some become absorbed by new circumstances, and some outlast it's power to affect.

    That is true of all profound experiences in life. Some are affected deeply and perhaps for the rest of their lives, and some bounce off virtually unscathed, and some find a way in time to overcome. The molestation of young girls is an example I have far too much personal knowledge of. I've known women who were forever affected by it, women who were not and completely blamed the perpetrator, women who overcame it, and women who had a close call, were never molested, and who were still forever deeply affected by that.

    I've seen strong people get eaten up by some circumstance, and weak people overcome equal circumstance. Being a certain way seems to have little bearing on how profound experiences affect us. Some experience outrageous fame, and when that wanes bear that well, while other's languish in depression and regret. Some commit suicide rather than live with less than they once had. Justin Bieber languishes, Robin Williams refused to face diminishment.

    I believe judgement is the revelation of a simpleton. Before we judge others as weak or unworthy, we had best judge ourselves as weak and unworthy compared to those around us who do better than ourselves. Einstein was an unrivaled genius who's personal life was a mess. Facts are irrelevant in a world where reality is a personal experience; where killing someone who doesn't share our view is both insane, and the most common action in history.

    There is a formula in virtually all cases I believe, but it requires a team of specialists becoming the 'patient' , because the myriad elements and their import, and their inter connections must all be understood in exactitude, to lay out the unique road map and set of instructions in order. It's as likely there isn't one single formula, as it is that there is one.

    In every case, it will involve the movement of one set of beliefs to an altered set of beliefs. In my case that set included (aside from the obvious shared by everyone), becoming a widower, living in a state of nightmare memories and emotions, being isolated from all sense of normality, being completely alone, hating my life, living in a defensive shell, and being unable to look into my future.

    Pushing five years later none of that is true. I'm not a widower, I'm single. The memories are so well known they've lost their power. I'm now isolated from my old normal and believe this state is normal. I'm connected to new people, I don't hate my life, and I'm actively looking into my future wanting more life in it.

    In all cases I became the enemy. In all cases it changed slowly when I stopped fighting and resisting, and began reconciling and absorbing. That was useless in shock, useless in grief, and useless in healing. During those earlier times I had the sole weapons of refusing to give up and demanding patience while I lived in a defensive shell.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2019
     
    -2

    I know why Robin Williams committed suicide when he found out he had Parkinson's. He refused to live a life in which he couldn't be bright and witty. That's his business, not mine. Justin Bieber is like my x-best friend. He refuses to believe what has happened has happened and until they both believe that, they will continue to hoist themselves on their own petard. They will live in their own trap.

    Dianne is long gone and not because she died long ago, but because I let her go. I would rather jump into a live volcano than do that, but I can't reconcile my memories and feelings for her with living my life afterwards, and so it's those things that I gave up and threw in instead. What did and didn't happen is always irrelevant to what we believe about it - because it's what we believe that we live in, which is one of the singular facts about life that is always true at every moment of our lives.

    I know more about many people's religions than they do. I can hold my own in more subjects than many people realize exist. I'm a millionaire. I've bedded more women than I have digits to count with. I've lived things I can't even talk about. And I'll tell you what I've learned from all that. Nobody cares and neither do I because I'm what I've always been and hopefully always will be - a newbie in what I'm trying to do now. That truth has never changed.

    Anyone who has personal expectations of life is welcome to them. I have one. I expect to die. Until I do, I expect to struggle through my constant state of trying to figure out what to do now.

    If there is a secret to life, I suspect it centers around getting over ourselves and getting over the inevitability of death , while not getting too bitter or overcome by changes in whatever time we have. The facts of that never matter as I keep saying, yet what we believe about them is reality. Ask anyone at any time, and they will immediately start proving that to you.

    I follow Justin Bieber's story because he comes from here. I recall his mother explaining in the local paper that she let her 13 year old skip school to play a concert and wondering whether she was doing the right thing while the street was full of prepubescent girls with signs like "marry me Justin". That dizzying fame ended and he is now married to what sounds like a nice girl, and if he ever gets over himself and what once was, he's going to start feeling a lot better. Not that easy. Not that hard either once we start believing.
    ....

    This is dedicated to Joan. Thank you for all you did.
  7.  
    Wolf ……..

    Again …… I need to thank you for giving my little brain
    something to think about. you certainly have a way
    of getting to the truth on many important issues that
    I would never even dream about.