Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
This is the sign that is over the front door of Aileen's and my house, our home, going OUT. Meaning that when someone leaves our house they are going into the ACTUAL Mental Ward.

I've always felt that way. When it is considered how much ugliness and killing and hatred there is in the world today, it actually makes perfect sense that this sign is over the door going out of the house.

Because that's where the real mental ward is.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Turning the Corner

I've thought about little else.  Today other than how I am splitting from Claude and Evelyn.  And repeatedly, in my mind, I go over and over the same thing.  When someone loses a spouse it is significantly different in certain ways then the loss of almost any other family member.  Because when someone loses a spouse.  If there are no other family members in the family at the time, meaning the immediate family.  Then what ends up happening is that, to a certain degree, family members who are not part of the immediate family have a certain degree of difficulty of understanding, or relating to, what is actually going on with the family member who has just lost their spouse.  Meaning, that, in some cases, family members who are not part of the immediate family, will not really be able to relate very well to the family member who just lost their spouse because they did not love the spouse in exactly the same way as the family member who was in fact married to them.

This actually might be almost axiomatic with regard to the loss of a spouse.  However, as a result of that condition, there are two slightly different factors that come into play.

First of all, there is the obvious factor that 75% of all those who have lost a spouse in the age bracket that is 50 years old or older and in some cases even 40 years old and older.  75% of those surviving spouses die within seven years.  That is the international statistic.

The other factor is not quite as obvious but is equally as probable.  Meaning that it has almost the same degree of probability or percentile.  However in some ways it actually is more frequent than and the surviving spouse not living longer than seven years.  This other condition is where health issues begin to present themselves in the lives of the surviving spouse.  Often times these sales issues are brought on by stress and by the degree of grief that the spouse is going through.  However, this condition of increased illnesses can also be augmented and actually even increased and made more severe by family members who are not part of the immediate family.  Meaning anyone outside the immediate family was a family member who of course is not someone who just also recently lost their spouse.

And so as a result, there are a certain amount of widowed individuals, both male and female of course.  Who actually get to a point where for their own health reasons, they need to actually separate from family members who are not part of the immediate family.  At least for a certain number of years.  And this is in order to make sure that they decreased the amount of stress being added on top of them.  While they are attempting to deal with their extreme loss.

This second factor, as I said is more prominent.  And it is actually much more common than most people realize.  But it is also the factor that is not talked about very much, because the more obvious factor in the loss of a spouse is the one where the surviving spouse actually doesn't live after seven years or dies within seven years.

With that in mind, I find myself at a point in my life where I am actually experiencing this more frequent factor with regard to being widowed.  Meaning that in actuality my continued association with Claude and Evelyn, at least at this point in time, is becoming somewhat toxic.

Which of course presents me with the situation where I actually have to separate from both of them in order to try my best to eliminate the increase of health issues that have been surfacing in my life.

Obviously, this is not a pleasant thing to have to do.  And the potentiality of misunderstandings and confusion is rather significantly high.  But at the same time it comes down to a matter of survival.  Because for a widowed person to have to separate from family members.  Of course not included in the immediate family in order to deal with the loss of the spouse.  They of course have to sever relations with those members of the family.  You're not part of the immediate family in order to be able to have better control over their life in such a way so as they can minimize any of the health issues that may in fact be surfacing.

And in reality, when you look at the various statistics regarding bereavement, specifically pertaining to the loss of a spouse.  Their are more than enough cases of this condition existing to explain many times over why in some situations after someone becomes widowed they began to become extremely combative with various aspects of the family who are not included in the immediate family.  We have all seen the headlines.

Sometimes the combativeness gets to a point where someone actually gets hurt.  In most cases it's just simply a separation.

In the case of myself with Claude and Evelyn it boils down to hurt feelings on the part of Claude and Evelyn.  And on my part, it comes down to a matter of survival.  Claude and Evelyn are relating to Aileen's loss as a brother and a sister.  So they really don't have any point of reference, conceptually, to identify with, or relate to, the commotion on psychological and spiritual processes that I am experiencing as a result of being her spouse.  Her significant other.  Her husband.

And so as a result, psychologically, my health has degraded to a certain point because in addition to dealing with this tremendous amount of grief.  I'm going through.  I am also dealing with points of friction between myself and Claude and also myself and Evelyn.

Not to exclude of course, that being around Claude and Evelyn bring back all those extremely painful memories of my darling Aileen went through.  Which adds to, and even increases the amount of overwhelming grief I'm trying to deal with.  As a result, my physical health has actually degraded over the last several months.

Being aware of this second factor, as I am.  I didn't recognize it actually was taking place.  Until in reality, a few days ago.  That's how subtle the symptoms of this second factor can actually be.  Which almost requires the bereaved to be superconscious of the various factors regarding their emotions and the psychology and their spirituality that they are going through the changes they're going through in order to be more cognizant of and aware of this second factor.  Because a lot of times people will suddenly get sick with a number of different health issues when they lose a spouse and they won't really connect the dots that the increased health issues are as a result of the grief they are experiencing.

But I have connected those dots.  And so consequently I have gone through the rather painful process of separating from Claude.  However, I plan after the first of the year to communicate with him by mail.  Where I'm going to write out this entire explanation so he has a better understanding of why I am in fact separating from him.  And because I don't really have Evelyn's land mail address.  I'm going to be addressing that letter not only to Claude but to Evelyn as well.

My thinking is that I probably need about five years.  Because it's very well may take me that long to finally start looking at Aileen's picture, whereby I can fully step beyond my grief to the point where I am not in any way being victimized by my grief.  This is the beginning of my third year after my darling Aileen died.  So this year I am not being victimized by my emotions as I was during the second year.  But this year I am being victimized with certain degrees of health issues.  And as a result my association with Claude and Evelyn is really augmenting those issues.  Meaning making them more severe than they otherwise might be.

So in order to regain grounding I am just going to have to separate from them both while I continue to work through my grief.  And while there are absolutely going to be hurt feelings.  The reality is that this separation is absolutely mandatory.  Because the health issues are not surfacing as a result of anything that is consciously being done in as much as they are servicing as a result of the unconscious behavior and the unconscious misunderstanding that family members not part of the immediate family may have had being able to comprehend or relate to or understand the level, and/or type of, grief that the bereaved spouse is actually going through.

So it's a very difficult choice to have to make.  Because somebody's going to be hurt.  At least as far as having their feelings hurt.  But in the end result, or the bottom line.  It falls to the widowed spouse to continue moving forward with their life in order to live for their beloved lost spouse who recently died.  Because that's the object of the game.  That you don't allow yourself to be overcome with sadness to the point where you are no longer able to function.  But that in fact you live for your spouse.  You live for your wife or your husband or your significant other.  And living for them actually means that you are not allowing your body to be victimized with health issues and that you are not allowing yourself to be victimized with psychological or spiritual or emotional issues.  And when it comes to the health issues because they are so subtle.  Or at least they begin so subtly.  It becomes almost imperative that when the widowed person notices their health going south that they actually become as aware as they possibly can be of anything that might be adding stress to their life whereby those health issues are having a better chance of presenting themselves.

And that is exactly the dynamic that is going on with Claude and Evelyn regarding how they relate to me and how I relate to them.  Which means basically I have to do this very much alone.  By establishing all sorts of new relationships that never existed before.  In order to attempt to redefine my own personality in such a way so that I can actually live for my darling Aileen.  But without being victimized in any way physically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually.  As a result of her dying.

And as I said, in about five years.  Because I don't think it will take any longer than that.  I should be able to have a real handle on everything to the point where I will really be living for Aileen.  Instead of being victimized by her death.  And in reality during the fourth year.  I very well may end up being able to reconnect with Claude and Evelyn.  But just a year is presenting itself in such a way, whereby, one of the major effects that is surfacing very clearly and has been since the anniversary of her death on November 20.  What is actually servicing our health issues.  And those health issues are in fact being complicated and augmented by various forms of misunderstanding that are taking place as a result of Claude and Evelyn not being able to relate to or fully understand what I am actually going through having been Aileen's spouse or her significant other her friend but also her husband.

And there is no way for me to really tried to explain to them what I'm actually going through because a lot of what I'm going through can only really be understood by someone else who has lost a house.  Because the dynamic emotionally and spiritually and psychologically is in certain degrees or certain ways, incredibly different than the loss of any other family member, including a child.  Although the loss of a child probably has the closest proximity, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually to the loss of a spouse.

But that's just it.  Claude has never lost a spouse.  And neither has Evelyn Herriot so they don't really have any kind of environmental context to be able to relate to or comprehend or understand what I am actually experiencing with regard to my grief.  Because they have never experienced it themselves.  And they are looking at my grief as being Aileen's brother and sister without any real understanding of the psychological and emotional and spiritual dynamics involved as a result, Aileen being my spouse.  Meaning my wife.

So it's a very difficult choice.  But it's one that actually and absolutely has to be made.  Because I have to reinvent myself.  Reinventing myself means I have to redefine myself not only as who I am individually but who I am as a combination of those 18 years I spent with my darling Aileen.  Whereby as a result, there is so much of me that is her because of the time we spent together.  In addition to the fact that in almost every definition that we humans have.  The potentiality exists that Aileen, my darling Aileen, is actually still in the house and that we are in various ways still communicating.  Furthermore, even merging.  And so that is a rather difficult and extremely solitary kind of journey that the widowed individual has to go through.  And as I said, it is a painful choice to have to make.  Because feelings are going to be hurt.  But the reality is that I would rather have hurt feelings then to have any of the combativeness or conflicts that arise as a result of misunderstandings or lack of contextual or conceptual knowledge on the part of Claude or Evelyn with how to explain or understand or comprehend or relate to the psychological and emotional and spiritual dynamics of what I am actually going through being Aileen's husband.

And in point of fact since I have separated from both of them.  I actually in noticing my health conditions improving.  In reality from the very moment I made the choice to separate from them.  I began to notice my health improving almost overnight.  And because I was so taken aback by this.  I began to research this condition on line.  And I spoke to a number of people who are also widowed.  And remarkably, I find out that the first year.  Did you lose a spouse you are in shock.  The second year you are actually going through this huge emotional roller coaster where you are experiencing all of the unbelievably deep and profound feelings and terrible agony of losing your spouse.  And then remarkably, which is extremely consistent.  During the third year is when these health issues begin to surface.  And for the most part from what I have looked at online and from what I have heard from other people.  These health issues are augmented by or made more severe by interaction with family members who are not part of the immediate family who have no way of relating to or comprehending or understanding the dynamics, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually that the widowed person is actually going through.  It's extremely consistent.  In most of the death of a spouse during the third year is when the health issues come to the surface.

And then I went further in my research I found that during the fourth year he is when the individual is actually able to move beyond not only the emotional but the physical as well.  So that the only other aspect that is in the wings, so to speak, are the psychological and spiritual issues.

Or the psychological and spiritual factors.  But from what I have researched online the fourth year dealing with either the spiritual or psychological factors are much easier to deal with than the physical or the emotional.  For that reason, I am in the process of changing medical facilities over to my HMO facility so that I can have more comprehensive psychiatric and psychological care in order to maintain as much grounding instability emotionally and psychologically as possible while I go through this process.  Furthermore, I am, after the first of the year, going to be seen AGP with my HMO facility.  So that I can in fact identify and illuminate the various health issues that are able to be eliminated so that I will have a better chance of being as healthy as possible and not being victimized physically or physiologically by the grief.  I am experiencing as a result of losing my darling Aileen.

But in order to do that again I have to separate myself from Claude and Evelyn.  So that I can minimize the impact physically or physiologically, that they are actually having upon me as a result of the stress that is taking place because of their lack of understanding or their inability to comprehend the relate to the emotional and psychological and spiritual dynamics and physiological dynamics and I'm going through having lost my darling Aileen.

Furthermore, it needs to be understood that the physiological or physical and psychological and emotional factors also can be present in family members who are not part of the immediate family.  Meaning that a sibling like Claude or Evelyn being Aileen's brother or sister can also experience emotional and then physical degradation or any increase of physical issues in their own lives as a result of losing their sister.  But it is much more differently defined that it is for the actual spouse.  Because the relationship and the emotional linkage is of course much different.  In other words.  Everybody goes through it in their own way.

And as a result, I'm thinking that it really is best for all parties concerned, that we basically separate during this tour year in order to give not only myself but to give Claude and Evelyn the best shot possible.  And seeing as healthy as possible without being victimized unconsciously, in any way, by the loss of Aileen.  Meaning by her death.  Because I have noticed certain elements of physical health issues presenting themselves in Evelyn's life.  And I have also noticed, very subtly, those same issues coming to the surface in Claude's life as well.

So as I said, I plan after the first of the year to communicate just exactly what I have said above, in addition to some other things, too.  Claude in a written letter.  And that the letter will also be directed at Evelyn as well.  And that is not going to be a complete severing of our relationship, but it is going to be a distancing of our relationship while I am fact regain my equilibrium in my grounding, pursuant to these health issues.  Everyone I have talked to agrees.  Including my psychiatrist and every other person I've talked to has lost a spouse.  Fully agrees that this is absolutely the correct choice to make.  And they have also agreed it is absolutely one of the hardest choices to have to make.

That's why it really is unchartered territory.  Because when you move in that direction.  You then have to initiate entirely new associations and new friendships.  And your life actually has to go into a completely new direction.  And that new direction does not have to permanently exclude certain aspects of your past life.  But while that new direction is in fact being established, you do need to separate from certain elements of your past life so that you can more effectively focus on this new direction and have as much success in moving in that direction as possible.

And as I said, the moment that I made this choice consciously.  From that moment within 12 hours.  I noticed a significant decrease in the severity of the different physical issues I'm dealing with.  Furthermore, people who know me and who have talked with me on the phone have remarked about how much different I sound and a much better I sound.  And they have said this without knowing that I have actually made that decision to separate from Claude and Evelyn.  But when they found out I had date completely agree that I'm making the right choice.  Because the effect is that I and sounding better and I'm feeling better and my health issues are decreasing.

This is really a kind of blind side issue.  Because it is almost, conceptually speaking, the last thing you would ever expect to take place.  And yet it is actually happening.  And as I said, this is really a hugely difficult choice to make.  Because of course there are those feelings within me where I love Claude and Evelyn dearly.  I love them tremendously.  I have 18 years of memories with them.  Just like I do with my darling Aileen.  And those memories include tons and tons of love.  But I have also noticed my level of combativeness in creasing as soon as the the second anniversary of her death past, whereby that level of combativeness has basically put me at odds with Claude and Evelyn.  And now I'm really understanding why.

And that's the important thing.  Because I am.  Recognizing what is going on.  And now I am taking the appropriate action to make sure that it does not continue.  So that I will have the best chance to be as healthy as possible.  And not because I'm afraid of dying.  And not because I'm desperate to extend my life.  But because I am committed 100%.  Not only did keeping all the promises I made to my darling Aileen.  But to be what I know she would want me to be.  She would want me to be happy.  She would want me to be healthy.  She would want me to move on.

She and I always believed that it never really mattered how you looked when you finished it only mattered that you got through.  Meaning, if I have to eliminate certain amounts of baggage or certain relationships during a certain time frame in order to continue moving forward and to continue to be as healthy as possible then that is exactly what I have to do.  As I said, it is an incredibly difficult choice.

And that's why I am writing this all down in one specific Journal entry.  Because I intend on printing out this entire Journal entry for the letter I'm going to send along to Claude after the first of the year that will be of course basically, including Evelyn as well.  So that they will have a much better understanding that my separation from them is not really permanent.  And it's not because I don't love them, but it is.  Because I'm noticing things taking place in my life that I have to address.  And I cannot address those things.  When I have the added stress of misunderstandings or confusion or a lack of awareness or lack of knowledge about what I'm going through simply because Claude and Evelyn have never lost a spouse.  Having that extra stress is just making it much more difficult to maintain my health, psychologically and emotionally and spiritually.  And it's not a permanent thing.  But I can tell that this third year is going to be that year.  It's going to be the year that is going to test my health the most.

And because I have always lived my life as a result of my spinal fusion and other health issues by being as aware as I possibly could of everything going on in my life.  Because my survival always depended on that.  So, that of course includes what I'm going through right now.  And it is really quite remarkable.  Since I made that choice to separate from Claude and Evelyn.  My health is dramatically improving.  It's almost like magic.  But you don't want to say that.  Because you know that there are logical reasons for it.  Taking place.  And that is the key.

And because Claude and Evelyn have never really read anything I have ever written.  That is another reason I want to do this Journal entry six singly in one Journal entry.  Why talk about exactly what I'm talking about now.  Because I know that when I print this out and include it in a letter to Claude and Evelyn that they will immediately understand without any difficulty whatsoever.  They are both very intelligent and really good people.  And they very well may not be aware within their own lives of how their physical health is in fact deteriorating because of intrafamily stress.  Because that's really what is taking place.

Which because I am aware of this.  It then falls to me to do everything I possibly can to make Claude and Evelyn aware of this dynamic so that they have an easier time in their own lives of rising about whatever health issues or psychological issues they may be going through.  Claude is incredibly stoic.  And so consequently, he may not be consciously as aware of some of the dynamics he may in fact be experiencing or even aware of how to attribute some of what he is going through to the fact that Aileen died.  But in reality I am seeing signs that Claude is physically, or physiologically, reacting to Aileen's death.  And I believe that some of those changes are as a result of intrafamily misunderstandings or a lack of awareness of or of the lack of ability of to comprehend to relate to how other family members, are dealing with Aileen's death.

So it's almost that it is probably a good idea that Claude separate from Evelyn.  And that Evelyn separate from Claude.  And that I separate from both of them.  So that all three of us in our own very private and unstressed way can actually deal with losing.  Our darling Aileen.  Because that is exactly what is happening.

I mean, that's what I do.  When I have something that I don't understand.  The first thing I do is I think really seriously about what it is that I don't understand.  Then I asked myself what is it about what I'm experiencing that I do not understand.  Then when I finally identify what it is about what I'm going through that I don't understand.  Then what I do is I look up or research.  What I don't understand so that I then enabled to understand it.  And then once I do that then I have the intellectual ammunition to be able to make better choices with how to deal with that aspect that I did not understand until I researched it so that I can minimize the impact of that element that I did not understand until I actually did the research.  And that is again, what I think Claude and Evelyn are both experiencing in their own separate ways.

To my way of thinking, while I don't have lots of money writing this all down and presenting this to Claude in a letter is actually one of the best gifts I could probably ever give to Claude and Evelyn.  Because I'm giving them knowledge regarding their own lives of what may in fact be taking place in their own lives regarding their physical health and regarding the health for themselves emotionally and psychologically as a result of losing Aileen.  And that by them reading this they will actually be able to have more awareness of what's going on in their own lives.  So that they can minimize the effects of whatever may be taking place in the realm lives.  It's the least I can do.  Because of how much I do actually love them.

And as I said, the other byproduct is that I'm actually seeing my health improved dramatically.

And what is also somewhat remarkable as to its synchronicity.  Is the fact that this is all taking place during the week before my birthday.  Which actually makes sense.  Because logically speaking, the two points of the calendar year that have the most significance to me regarding my darling Aileen dying are in fact the day she died.  And my birthday.  With the secondarily extremely important date of the day we met which was November 27.  So it's going to be a brand-new life.

And that's exactly what has to happen.  There is no other way.  But like I said, this is a very difficult choice to have to make.  And it's one where someone has to be incredibly honest with themselves.  You can't kid yourself.  You can't fool yourself.  You have to be as honest with yourself as possible.  And that is a very difficult thing for most of us to do.  Because most of us actually do play lots of games with ourselves and we make excuses for poor behavior without ever really trying to understand why we may act a certain way under certain circumstances.

But again, because I've been dealing with mental illness since I was about four years old.  I have always been very aware of all these other factors that can affect my behavior or my life and just about any way.

To that end, my relationships in the neighborhood are actually changing.  And they are expanding.  And what's even more remarkable.  Is that as I am establishing new relationships with certain people in the neighborhood.  The remarkable thing is that as a result of my establishing these new relationships.  These people in the neighborhood of I'm establishing new relationships with our actually establishing new relationships of their own with other people in the neighborhood that they have interacted with much Erie it.  So it's a really expensive kind of process.

In other words, it's all good.  It's hard.  But it's all good.  And because Claude and Evelyn have never.  I mean they have never really read anything I write.  So they don't really know how I think.  All they know is what I share with them in conversation.  But if they sit down and read this explanation I'm writing now they're going to have a much better understanding of everything I'm going through and in addition to what they are going through as well.  And it's going to make perfect sense.  Because it does.  It's almost instinctive.

Some people might refer to this, colloquially, as taking a break.  And that might be a valid term to apply to this entire situation.  But I think using the phrase, taking a break, is a bit too expedient.  Because it really doesn't articulate what is actually going on.  It's just basically saying, let's take a break.  But that really says nothing, nor does it really explain anything.

So that is basically the tremendous amount of change that has taken place in me and in my life since November 20, 2012.  Which was the second anniversary of my darling Aileen dying.  And it's all coming to the surface where I can actually articulated on the very day before my birthday.  Again, which makes absolute sense.

Thank you very much for listening.