So, I feel completely unjustified being so sad/depressed about this situation, but here goes:  I have never known such a feeling of despair in all my life. I’m in a catatonic state. I haven’t even felt this bad when close relatives have passed away, which again, makes me feel like this is completely unjustified.  About a month and half ago, two of my closest friends (a couple that have been together 6 years) just announced they are pregnant. Originally I was just friends with the guy and knew his girlfriend only by extension. Once we all started hanging out multiple times a week, I became really good friends with her. When they would fight, I would tend to be on her side. When he didn’t want to do what she wanted to do, or watch what she wanted to watch, I’d usually take her to do whatever, or watch whatever, etc, etc. After a long period of playing the surrogate boyfriend (as I began to view it), I developed an unhealthy infatuation with her: dreaming one day, he’d mess up, or she’d wise up and they’d split up, and I’d be the natural candidate to fill the void. What a fool I was, to let myself get so attached! When I realized I was having feelings for her, I immediately tried everything I could to get over it. I didn’t talk to either of them for 6 weeks, and started dating randomly out of desperation. 4 women and lots of empty sex later, and I still had undeniable feelings for her. Finally, I just accepted that I must love her on some level and I’d just have to hold it and convinced myself to bide my time.  So when the inevitable pregnancy occurred, I was and am currently devastated. I absorbed the fact for about a week and then I spilled my guts to the both of them. Nothing like professing your not-so-secret love for a woman pregnant with another man’s baby to make you feel bad about yourself. I had an emotional meltdown in front of them and let it all out. Understandably, we haven’t talked much since my confession. I haven’t had a single night’s sleep since they told me the news. I wake up at least 4-5 a night with a horrible feeling of dread, panic, anxiety, heartache (name a bad feeling, and I’ve been waking up to it.) The first week, I stopped eating for 4 days straight. I’m finally eating again, but still not well, or even on a regular schedule. I started smoking cigarettes after having quit for the past 11 months. I feel like a zombie, a shell of human, just going through the day-to-day motions of life. This is the worst feeling I’ve ever imagined. After a month and a half, the whole situation still kicks me in the guts 50 times a day. I’m on the verge of tears at work, and constantly just shaking my head thinking about the situation. (It doesn’t help that I work in a baby garment factory with wall-to-wall cute babies every time I stand up.) People tell me to forget about it and move on with my life, but I can’t seem to shake it. I don’t know what I’m going to do to get over this. I’ve sought counseling, which is what brought me to the term disenfranchised grief. I know this seems simple, self-made and trivial to some folks, but it’s real and it hurts like hell.

 

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I have not posted anything on this site yet. This is the first. I want to tell you that your feelings are your feelings! Not trivial at all! As I'm reading things on this web site Im thinking I have disenfranchised grief also. I cannot confide in anyone how deeply I am hurting. So many of the same things as you. I lost the love of my life Thanksgiving day. I am going to be judged by this, but I am married. I have been married to someone I do not love for over 30 years. We got married too young and I was in love with being in love. I thought I loved him at the time. He does love me. We have two wonderful children, live pretty comfortably and he really is a good man. But I fell in love with a man that I met 20 years ago. Knew there was something back then, but never really saw him again until a couple of years ago. We started talking and just totally fell in love with each other. He had a lot of health problems, but it didn't matter to me. We were in the process of leaving our spouses and getting a place. Then he died..... I am devastated. I cannot talk to anyone about this. I have decided to stay with my husband for now. He was in the military and was just buried at Arlington last week. I couldn't even go to the funeral. His wife received his flag. She treated him horrible. He lived in their basement and slept on a couch for 16 years...
I'm sorry, I got off your subject. Please do not beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. Your post is from December. How are things now?
Geez Jen, that is a really sad story.. I'm sorry for your loss.. and yes, that is exactly disenfranchised grief you've been experiencing.. nobody knows exactly how you feel because of how unique your situation is and it seems nobody can be sympathetic.. people don't recognize it as a "traditional" loss, and so you end up feeling even more isolated in your grief/pain.. it is a very bad place to be for sure.. yours is worse because of the double-loss of love and life.. I can't even begin to imagine.. I find these discussion groups and seeing a counselor rather cathartic.. I'm seeing him tomorrow, actually.. it helps just talking about it.. I've been doing better in some areas and other areas I'm in the same very dark place.. I've been coming to grips with the acceptance of the pregnancy and the fact there's nothing I can change, however it still kicks me in the guts every day.. I really love her, and I don't think I would be so upset if I thought she was actually with a good guy that had her best interest in mind and going to do right by her and the baby.. He isn't a good guy and it really bothers me, but again, she made her choice and there's nothing I can do.. All I can do is just shake my head in disappointment. With all this going on, I've been clinically depressed.. the doc wants me to go on meds, but I'm trying to resist at the moment because I'm also taking chantix to give up the cigs that I started back when my life took a downward spiral in late October.. I have gotten my appetite back, but I'm still not sleeping all the way through the night.. I will sporadically laugh and movies and jokes, but I'm generally walking around in a state of melancholy. In an attempt to feel better about myself, I've joined 3 dating apps and I've been getting a good bit of attention.. been out on several dates, but no real love connections.. every woman seems to compare to her, and that's really not being fair to those women.. I've got to snap out of it, but I don't know how.. it's just one day at a time and lots of emotional ups-and-downs..It's just hard.. I can't watch "our" tv shows any more, I have to turn the channel every time I see a pregnant woman or a sonogram, every time I leave my desk at work it's wall-to-wall baby pictures because I work for a baby garment company, so I tend to walk around staring at the floor. I'm determined to keep getting back on the saddle and not let this series of events dictate my life/emotional well-being. The sadness is getting less severe and less frequent, but it has been my constant companion for 4.5 months now.. I know if I just keep dating I will find someone that will make this whole thing not matter as much any more.. I just have to keep my chin up, even though it feels like I'm constantly treading water.. Please share your experiences/progress.. Like I said, it helps just talking about it.. take care.
Oh wow...thanks for understanding. There are only two people that know of my loss. One is my husband and the other is a female friend of his. Neither know just how serious we were. Neither know just how deeply I loved him, how deeply I am hurting. I'm just walking around in a fog. We have two children, their two spouses and two grandchildren, with another on the way. I have to put on a happy face around everyone. It just kills me inside. How am I going to go thru the rest of my life this way. I never really knew what it was to be truly happy, you know, that feeling in your heart, until I had him in my life and fell in love. I know I should leave my husband for various reasons, but for various reasons I feel I cant. If I was on my own by myself then if I wanted to spend all evening curled in ball crying, I could. I wouldn't have to pretend to be ok when I'm not, but I just can't do that, at least not right now.
As for your situation. Don't Rush yourself. Don't "settle". It's good you are keeping busy, but just make sure you take care of yourself and your feelings first. There is someone out there for you. It's only been 4 1/2 months. Give yourself more time. Do you still see them at all? I imagine it would help if you thought she was being treated the way she should be, if she was with a decent guy, but, like you said, she made her choice.
Sorry, I rushed thru this. It's my husband's bowling nite and I wanted to respond while he wasn't here. Thanks again and you take care also
Hi Jen,

I’m sorry it took me so long to respond.. lots happened this week.. I'm also sorry you’re going through all of those simultaneous emotions.. your situation is so unique.. it has got to be awfully weird living with the husband you don’t love, although you say he is a good man, but there’s just not that special love.. and then with your special love for the “forbidden” lover that passed, you’re not getting to properly mourn the loss because you can’t get comfort from your friends and family and be open with your grief, while you also can’t get that from his friends and family either.. that is truly a lonely feeling when you want to just scream at the world and you feel helpless because it won’t make a bit of difference.. So you have grown kids that new of the secret lover? Were they accepting of the (for lack of a better word) affair? I would think adult children would be a little more open-minded to the scenario than if they were young kids.. people deal with grief in their own ways and nobody needs to judge or criticize.
I know the “fog” feeling.. People at work thought someone had died and they asked if I needed to take time off.. I was pretty catatonic.. it felt as if someone had died, and in a sense, she did.. that person I so idealized and enjoyed hanging out with every other day and chatting on the phone every day is no more.. and once the kid comes, it’ll consume so much of her world, that I won’t even take up one iota of space.. I understand that fact and I’m coming to grips, but it still feels like mourning.. At my lowest, my parents were thinking of having me locked up for fear of self –harm (I’m 34 by the way).. Back in college I used to be a “cutter” when I started getting depressed.. eventually I stopped that and began self-flagellation.. I don’t know why, but my mental pain was so intense that I had to inflict physical pain that was so much more intense just to briefly distract me..(if that’s the form your grief is taking, then it is time for someone to intervene.. otherwise your own unique grief will just need to take it’s natural course.).. this go-round, I had been beating myself with a stick again and I had just completely gave up taking care of myself.. I’ve had a 60 lbs weight fluctuation since all this began: lost 40, now gained back 20.. it was time to see a counselor.. I haven’t beat myself in a couple of months and it’s not an ongoing issue at the moment (another reason I was resistant to getting on meds if I was able to get better on my own).. hurting myself is not going to make anything better, not going to make anyone feel sorry for me and not going to improve any of the issues causing my depression in any way.. currently with my counselor, I’m listing wants vs. needs and creating achievable goals for self-improvement.. I just gotta take it one day at a time and keep of the self-affirmation..
I haven’t physically seen her since my emotional meltdown at the beginning of November.. I left a letter and Christmas gifts at her place, but got no reaction.. I have talked to her a couple of times via text, but nothing of any real substance and we play a regular game of words with friends every couple of days.. that’s about all the contact I’ve had with either of them.. He was particularly cruel to me, and I honestly could care less if I ever see him again.. they are a package deal now, however, and I’ll have to accept his presence if we’re ever going to see some form of normalcy in the our future relationship.. As humiliating as the whole thing is, I still want to be around here so much that I would go through that personal degradation every time just to see her.. I miss her a lot..
I get off work before her on Friday’s.. I plan to go up to her work to see her one last time before I cease contact for a long while.. I just have to tell her a couple of things that are almost as important as it was to tell her that I love her: On the day she announced she was pregnant to me, I had the day o
off and he and I were just hanging out when she came home for lunch.. my world crumbled as I told them both congratulations and gave her a hug.. she then went back to work, and he proceeded to tell me his despicable lazy plans.. the first thing he mentioned is that they don’t have the greatest relationship in the world, but he still thinks he’ll make a good dad, and that he may put a ring on her finger just to make her happy, but this baby doesn’t mean they’re going to get married.. then he’s tells me he should marry her because then she’ll inherit half his debt and if things go south, he can split with half of her money! It makes me so angry that he is that lucky already and I’d give anything to trade with him, and he’s scheming about he can financially come out on top in this baby situation.. There is a human life and a wonderful woman involved, man! What a piece of crap.. We all admitted that we knew I had liked her for a long long time, and so after telling me his horrible contingency plan, he then proceeded to tell me intimate sexual details of how they had never had protected sex and how he wasn't surprised she got knocked-up because he "hadn't even been trying to pull out and that's what happens when you nut-up in something for 6 weeks straight." That's what did me in.. that's what made me snap. Knowing that I felt that way about her, he felt the need to torture me.. Yeah true, I had inappropriate feelings for my "friend's" girlfriend, but what he did was like pulling the wings off a butterfly that's flopping on the ground. That's pretty damn cruel and sadistic, let alone completely disrespectful to his potential wife and mother of his baby. Nobody should hear those details of their sex life, much less me. He's no friend of mine, now (if he ever was.) That's what I wanted to tell her during my emotional meltdown, but couldn't articulate everything at the time because we were both on the verge of tears. I just want her to know what a cruel, lazy, despicable man she chose and that's the kind of man that's going to help raise and instill morals in her baby. I don't want to tell her these things to be mean in any way, but rather to warn her that if she's dumb enough to actually get married to him, that I hope she's smart enough to get a prenuptial agreement. I even thought up a great line that would definitely stick in her head, but it may be a little too mean: “I never knew what a talented musician Matt was until I saw him play you like a fiddle.” I don’t know.. I just feel like this is something I have to do that will give me some closure so that I can quit the daily worrying about her and move on with my life.

Woo.. talk about cathartic and letting it all out.. sorry to ramble on, but there’s just so much pent up emotions.. feel free to do the same.. that’s what this place is for.. hope it helps.. take care.

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