Now I've become Her Burden

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Staying strong

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It's been close to 2 years since My Liz was taken from us after a 5 year ALS battle. And yes I have started a new life with a wonderful new Wife. The last 3 months have been horrible. I can't shake the feeling I'm cheating on Liz and shouldn't be happy. Thankfully my 2 children are not only learning happiness is OK and so is missing Mom.They have found a very healthy balance and enjoy talking about Mom with Dayle ( my new wife ) who knew Liz. I really thought I had survived the years of caregiving pretty well. But it would seem as though I had a delayed reaction to it possibly. I've become a completely different person. Very needy and clingy and overly jealous. All things the old Me wasn't. I've become a huge burden on my wife, I can tell. As much as I love My Wife I just want my old life back. Or at the very least as strange as this may sound I need Liz's permission to be happy and continue moving ahead.
 

lgelb

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Strong,

Sounds like you need an evening conversing with your kids as they have the right idea -- maybe they can help reassure you that Liz wanted only your happiness and would not want you to be self-sabotaging your marriage for any reason, especially because of her.

Anyway, why would you ever think you need Liz's "permission to be happy?" When did she ever say anything to the contrary? Don't be silly. The next time Dayle and the kids talk about Liz, join in, celebrate her life and love, and celebrate what you have now together, as well.

You have not "become a completely different person" and you do not need to be a burden to anyone, least of all to yourself. It is not a matter of "deserving happiness" after Liz. It is about deserving happiness always, as we all do.

Best,
Laurie
 

Narrowminded

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Strong,

I’m wondering if it’s not that you are cheating on Liz, but you feel Liz got cheated out of life. Now you are struggling to be happy because you got something she didn’t. I think you need to give yourself permission to be happy. Yes, Liz was taken too soon, but you are in no way responsible for that happening. I have a hard time believing Liz would not want you to be happy.

Hugs

Sue
 

Staying strong

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Thank you Both for the kind words full of wisdom and points to ponder.. My therapist has me going to a Shrink in 2 weeks to talk about Meds. I have mixed feelings about the Meds part but can't continue living this Rollercoaster much longer. Fair to say it isn't a healthy way to start a new beginning. Thank you again.
 

Manhattanite

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I am glad you are seeking help Staying Strong - hopefully the meds will get rid of the negative thoughts.

One thing I have learned as a fellow survivor, is that we have to learn to compartmentalize the pain, otherwise it is impossible to go on living. You have to keep your life with Liz in a separate area of your soul and not let it interfere with your new life. It is easier said than done but it is something that can be done. I'm not talking about forgetting, just about keeping things separate. I myself am trying to figure out how to achieve this.
 

gooseberry

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I have just started dating. It is surreal but.....it is nice to have someone to share things with and hold an adult conversation. I never thought I would be willing to date but I am enjoying it.
 

Neilswife

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You said, "I need Liz's permission to be happy." I wonder what that would like like for you right now? You may want to write Liz a letter. Allow yourself to say whatever you want to in the letter and see if you can't find some answers in the process of writing, but just let your mind go wherever it wants to go without deliberately looking for answers. I have always found that just writing things down helps clarify what I really want and yes I have written letters to Neil since he passed. I have found this process helpful. I hope you do too. I do wonder what part of your old life you miss the most, since you said you wanted it back. I hope you find the peace and happiness you deserve.
 

Atsugi

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Strong, have patience. The meds might need time to be adjusted, but they will work. Mine worked immediately.

Writing a letter is a wonderful idea. Literally, that involves a different part of the brain, so you'll see things differently when you read what you've written.

There is hope. I happen to know of a long-time CALS here who met a wonderful match, dated, traveled, and now will marry. Happiness happens when you let it.

I have no doubt that Liz wanted you to be happy.
 
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