Gransnet forums

Bereavement

Loss of confidence after bereavement.

(36 Posts)
MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 20:30:00

Please would anyone mind sharing if they found that they lost confidence in themself after losing a loved one?
I'm a quiet person, a home bird, but had always been fairly confident in my abilities.
I seem to have lost that confidence, and I'm having a hard job to scrape any up.
I'm not sure how to deal with it, because I haven't ever dealt with it before.

gmelon Thu 27-Sep-18 20:32:18

flowers flowers

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 20:33:52

Ah, thank you. smile
I know I will get sensible advice here.

MawBroon Thu 27-Sep-18 20:37:41

Yes MissAdventure I do empathise.
Not that DH and I did everything together, for the last year before he died he was pretty much housebound (when not in hospital) so I can cope with going to family things or friends on my own, but, and it is a big BUT, while I used not to hesitate about asking around friends if I wanted to go to the cinema or theatre , now I find myself hesitating in case nobody wants to!
I live in fear of talking too much on social occasions because there’s “only one of us” if you see what I mean. I also dither and have to FB friends about what to wear!
Despite feeling I was a competent, independent person all my life, it is very very hard to get over being half of a couple, isn’t it? flowers

GrandmaMoira Thu 27-Sep-18 20:49:56

Yes I agree. I'm planning to move and having panics about all the complications of buying and selling. It seems so much harder having to make all the decisions by yourself, even though I was generally the one dealing with all the finances.

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 20:51:37

It must be a terrible sense of loss Maw; I can't even imagine losing a husband. (I've never had one!)
Apologies to people who don't like 'lose', but I do.
It was my daughter who died, Maw.

MawBroon Thu 27-Sep-18 21:07:22

Oh goodness I am so sorry and send my sincerest sympathies flowers
I think any bereavement cuts the ground out from under our feet, reminds us of our frailty and leaves us vulnerable.
I sometimes think the Victorians had the right idea of official mourning - Black, the touches of white, then grey and finally pale lilac. It was a form of shorthand to the people one met out and about - saying “Treat me gently, TLC needed, be patient”
Although it was 45 years ago I remember vividly losing it with an unhelpful shop assistant in the old Army and Navy in Victoria St when I was trying to buy grey tights for our baby (30 days old) son’s funeral. sad

bikergran Thu 27-Sep-18 21:13:16

Yes deff loss of confidence..
I would be the pillar the one that did everything organised everything, drove everywhere, sort stuff out (any stuff) go off on my own into town or where ever, drive anywhere no where would phase me.I would chat away quiet confidently etc etc etc .

But now (even 4 yrs later) I easily retreat into my safe shell.
Although I work on a checkout at big supermarket chatting to a customers all day, once home I feel safe, I don't have! to talk to anyone if I don't want to.

I have to force! myself to do things every day.

Driving! or going on a bus/train etc well..its like organising a Himalayan mountain treck.

I have bought a sat nav, but no! I still have to do the AA route map,I recently took my parents to Llandudno (a journey we used to do with our eyes shut)

But no! I had to go on google earth and actually travel down the motorway looking at the road signs.

5 yrs ago I was up scaffolding (I'me soon to be 63) sanding and painting all the front rendering (up about 30ft)
now I quiver at going up the ladders to change a light bulb.

I stutter and stumble my words in fact I think Im quite a mess, and yes I put it all down to bereavement and grief.
I hope that one day I will wake up and be back to my old self..4 n half yrs on, I'm still waiting and hoping confused

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 21:15:56

My lovely counsellor and I talked about the black armbands, and we both thought they had some merit.
I think I may have worn one in the first.. well.. weeks? Months? Years?
Just to let people know I'm not myself anymore.
Not for the foreseeable future, anyway.

Anniebach Thu 27-Sep-18 21:31:39

MissAdventure, I was widowed young , never lacked confidence and when my husband died my confidence increased, 5 snd 7 year old daughters , parents evenings, illnesses , holidays , days out. All one does for and with children.

When my daughter died last year , confidence slipped away, now reached rock bottom and still drilling! Have you lost confidence with socialising ? Choosing what to wear ?

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 21:35:55

I haven't been out for about 3 years, Annie blush
Its everything, really, particularly paperwork, sorting things out, making a start on things..
The simplest of things feels like a mountain to climb.

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 21:38:23

Oh, I mean I do go to work, but that's a huge deal every day.
I have to do breathing things on the way there to keep myself 'together'.
I lose everything, forget where I put my keys, my purse..

Eglantine21 Thu 27-Sep-18 21:42:47

Yes, I’d given up work to do the nursing and then had to go back into the workplace.
I felt I had to be grateful that anybody took me on, past my prime, looking dowdy, absence record. New girl having to prove herself.

Looking back I can’t believe how I let myself be sidelined pushed around and generally belittled.

I can sympathise with Maw too. The not wanting to ask anyone if they wanted to go out or come round. I felt they might feel obliged to say yes! (Whilst sighing inwardly)

Anniebach Thu 27-Sep-18 21:44:55

May I ask? The breathing, do you panic ?

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 21:49:02

I've never had a panic attack, Annie, but quite often I feel that things are 'rising'.
I don't even know what 'things' they are, but I feel that I'm on the brink of something (a panic attack?)

Anniebach Thu 27-Sep-18 21:54:03

Could be you feel out of your comfort zone my love

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 22:04:39

Oh yes, most definitely it could be that.
Well, I suppose i'll totally find a new comfort zone..
Please, just let it be soon ish!

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 22:05:19

Totally? I don't know why that appeared mid sentence.

Eglantine21 Thu 27-Sep-18 22:13:38

Oh I was all over the place for about two years and then gradually regained some sort of balance.

I don’t know if this will help. A nurse friend told me:

When you are under stress your body produces excess cortisole. It’s the fight or flight hormone and one of its effects is to shut down non essential body functions - like hunger, sleep, reproduction etc

It also coats the brain cells that are involved in memory with a kind of “Teflon” that means nothing really sticks there. This is why people can’t remember being in an accident or lose days when they are very ill.

It’s your body being kind to your mind except when the stress goes on and on it stops you remembering ordinary stuff like where you put the keys or whether you filled in that form.

And all the time the cortisole is going fight/flight/fight/flight. Which is the things are rising or I can’t breathe feeling.

Maybe medication can help. I found thinking this is just my body doing stuff, not my mind, was a help to me. Just a physical thing like being cold or out of breath. Not that I was totally useless and losing it altogether.

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 22:32:07

Well, I have started on anti depressants.
Then I have the problem with sweating.
I'm a really bundle of laughs these days.
The works buffoon!
I seem to always be saying "I'm sorry, I should have thought of that", and furtively searching for my glasses, my paperwork, my pen.
I bet they hate me! grin

morethan2 Thu 27-Sep-18 22:32:35

condolence to you all. I just want to say you are all amazingly brave women. I’m not sure I could face the daily challenges that you do and carry on or be brave enough to share my feelings. Loosing a child or husband/partner is too frightening for me to imagine. I hope sharing your experiences between yourself is a small comfort. It’s not fair is it... life can be really cruel. My thoughts are with you all tonight. Your posts have really touched me.

MissAdventure Thu 27-Sep-18 22:36:54

Thank you, morethan.
It does help, and what eglantine says makes perfect sense.
The fight or flight reflex is all messed up, I think.
It doesn't know if its coming or going.

bikergran Fri 28-Sep-18 18:59:21

my head used to seem like a nice tidy filing cabinet..but grief seems to have ransacked my filing cabinet, opened all the files thrown them around the house/out the window.

Then they have all been hoovered up/mixed up/shredded then put back inside my head confused

dustyangel Fri 28-Sep-18 21:12:17

I can totally identify with you all. My son died about the same time as your daughter MissAdventure.
I know I’m in danger of becoming agrophobic and as for phoning friends to just meet up for a coffee or something, I make up so many excuses to myself that I decide nor to.

MissAdventure Fri 28-Sep-18 21:33:34

I'm sorry to hear that, dustyangel
I suppose I'm surprised at how all consuming it is.
It seems to affect everything, all at once.
Its quite frightening sometimes.