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Grieving loss and frustrated at the lack of support

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one Grieving loss and frustrated at the lack of support

  • This topic has 10 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 4 months ago by VM-willowtree.
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  • #27723

    Although my husband is not physically dead he is gone from this world. He´s been diagnosed with extreme depression and was even hospitalised with psychological amnesia. He just slipped away from me mentally. I tried to get him help but he refused saying it was too late and that the man I married was dead; so last July I took him to his moms hoping she would help me convince him but she blamed me and convinced him to divorce me. Part of his condition makes it impossible for him to make simple decisions so me fighting her was only tearing him up. As I thought of it as only a piece of legal paper anyway I went through with it she also kicked me out and I was refused to ever return. We continued to talk for a bit first by phone but she would glare at him so he only wanted to text then suddenly he just went offline and I had no way to reach him; I tried calling, emailing, social media, snail mail, calling his mom nothing. That was in august and I didn’t hear anything from him didn’t even know if he was alive or not until I tried to call his mom on his birthday Nov. 28. I didn’t get through but my mom did and she talked to her, She said that he was a bit better putting on a little weight. I emailed him happy birthday and he actually replied it was just a couple of sentences but he replied every two to three days and told me about the hospital admission but didn’t hold out any hope of getting better or even facing his feelings at all let alone coming back to me. He says he hates it at his moms but refuses to leave. Then about a week before Christmas even the brief infrequent messages stopped. As every message had said that he loved me but couldn’t face future or past as it all was too painful for him to face and he wouldn’t answer most of my questions or give me any indication that there was any hope of an improvement in his condition or possibility of me ever being allowed to see him let alone anything more ever again, I decided at NYE to let go as at least I had the opportunity to say goodbye which I was denied the first time believing that I would return and see him physically again. Then on Jan.2 my birthday I got an email from him the subject was Happy Birthday and when I opened it it was completely blank not even signed. So I sent him a very nice email in response thanking him for the wonderful 11 years together and telling him that I couldn’t just keep holding on to hope that it was too hard to wake up every morning with hope that he had written even a few words for me to hold onto but that I love him and will reply if he writes but won’t initiate any further contact. I told him that I still believe in miracles and if he does get better to please get in touch as I still consider him to be my husband in my heart and as we are in different countries anyway the legal paper really means nothing. I have not received anything from him since so I have to assume that whatever happened to his brain that it is just too difficult for him to face. I wish I knew of a trauma or really anything that precipitated this the doctors he said checked him for anything physical that could be causing it including dementia and found nothing he just slowly slipped away and there doesn’t seem to be any thought or hope that it will at any point reverse.
    We were living in Spain, and we had 32 goats, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 6 chickens on the farm that I own jointly with my mom which was supposed to be my inheritance early so that both her and I could enjoy it while she is alive. I had to find someone willing to take care of all of that on very short notice and not having any idea of timeframe not knowing what was happening it was very difficult. The people that agreed to do it with a very clear contract, training and mutual benefits actually ended up getting rid of over half of my animals without my knowledge or permission, stripping my house bare of almost everything of value and making it uninhabitable by removing all fabric including mattresses, blankets, rubs, curtains etc. So being a stone house heated by a wood stove and coming into winter in Spain it is almost impossible for someone to stay there and look after the few remaining animals and what’s left of my property. I can’t return to Spain because we were there with my husband’s monthly pension and I can only get a tourist visa so could only go for 3 months out of 6 which isn’t helpful for animal care as well as being devastating to be back alone in the home that my husband and I remodeled together and lived in together. So on top of grieving for my husband I am grieving the loss of my animals 14 of which I don’t even know if they are alive or dead and where they are but I do know that families were split and the parents are the ones missing the teens are at my place frightened and without their families.
    I understand the grieving process and I have been doing a lot to take care of myself, focus on moving forward (I’m here starting school to become a naturopath), but I’m alone most of the time as I just moved here and most meeting groups took the holidays off and with school on vacation and work was as well its been quite a bit of time of trying desperately to distract myself and some days are way easier than others. Saturday was a very hard day and I did everything I could think of to self care and it wasn’t working so I tried to find someone to talk to and I called one of the 24/7 helplines and waited almost 30 min on hold until I got to talk to someone. I told my story which helped a bit just to be able to say it out loud and then she said that they only have 20 min to talk so we needed to come up with how to move forward after that. Everything she suggested I had already done on my own that day and she got frustrated with me and said that our time was up. I said I understand that they have policies that she has to follow but at that moment it really just felt like one more abandonment to me. She got angry and soon ended our conversation which just made me more upset and depressed and as it was late on a saturday I didn’t really feel I had any support at all available to me or really much desire to try another support line. I booked a GP visit for the nexxt day and because I said I wasn’t suicidal she didn’t give me anything except a link to the same online service that I had talked to the night before. So I was feeling really upset, like because I do understand what I am going through and I’m not suicidal that I’m not ¨sick¨ enough to get support and I wasn’t even asking for free or low cost support just wanting a referral so I could actually have someone to call when I have really bad days.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #27726

    im so sorry to hear about your husbands depression. i understand how it feels to have lost touch with someone you love. my father had dementia for quite a few years and visiting him was hard. he would look at me as if he knew who i was but couldnt put the pieces together. i know that this is not as similar to the issue you are facing but when i read this it took me back to the relationship i had with my father. it is very difficult to understand what you are dealing with. i think what i would like to say is keep up the contact with your husband even if you arent getting much response. i would hope that he would be reading your emails, but it maybe too painful to respond. i feel if you keep in contact with him you are keeping the lines of communication open.


    Thank you for your response; when he first started to reply that is what I thought as well but the more I messaged the less he replied and although he said he does read my messages over and over it really began to feel like it was all too painful for him. I suggested all kinds of topics unrelated to past or future that we could talk about and he just replied that he couldn’t. I’ve left it open I will absolutely reply if he sends anything at all even an empty email but it’s really hard to talk to thin air and I think it reminds him of everything he’s lost (I haven’t even told him about the animals it would break him as he would blame himself). If I tell him what I’m doing with school etc then its a reminder that he’s not a part of my life and that I’m doing ok without him. I don’t know how to make it better for him as he says he can’t face anything it just hurts too much so I fear that I was making it worse hence the communication getting steadily further apart. I asked him a couple of times if he wanted me to stop and he wouldn’t say yes or no but then he can’t make decisions so I think this is the only way I can avoid hurting him and pushing him back into the hospital. I have everyone that knows him sending him positive energy and I put him on a prayer list at my church so hopefully he improves and is able to communicate a little bit at least. It’s so hard to know what to do since he’s not capable of saying what he wants and his mother is absolutely against him communicating with me at all so if she finds out she admonishes him and he’s paranoid that she will kick him out and he will be homeless as he’s not capable of caring for himself though he has plenty of money.
    And for me it’s hard to move forward with hope that things will change and I start to think it’s just the denial part of the grief process that makes me want to keep pushing him to communicate which keeps me stuck in that phase as I had gotten a bit of acceptance before I heard from him and then hearing from him sparked hope and now I’m starting over with the grieving process so do I really want to keep doing that to myself when there’s no medical opinion that this will ever change? I think it would be different if I could see him then I could judge his reactions but he won’t even call so I have only words and I can’t even hear tone or see body language. And there really is zero hope in his meassages he says things like “we are broken and can’t be fixed”, “theres no future for me” etc. 🙁

    VM-The Old Oak Tree

    Hi scrystaal,

    Reading what you’re going through it really seems like this situation is very difficult and complicated for you to say the least. I hope it is helpful for you to have a space to explain whats going on.

    Part of what you’ve explained can be referred to as a living loss. Meaning that even though your husband is alive, there is so much that you have lost, that you used to have with him. Please feel free to call our Helpline on 1300 845 745 between the hours of 8am – 8pm, AEDT, 7 days per week. Our Helpline is another way in which you can explore what is going on for you. We also have numerous resources relating to Grief and Loss within the resources area of our website, which you can access here

    It sounds like you’re really doing all you can, and I can appreciate the frustration that you’re feeling about it. I gather that you feel concerned about your own grief process as well, which is perfectly understandable. Hopefully allowing yourself to explore how you feel will be helpful as you are doing here on our online forums. Please know that we are here for you, you are not alone. I wish you all the best as you do your best to cope with everything.


    Both you and the griefline counselor that called me suggested that I write without expecting a response just kind of like journalling but then send it to him, so I did, and he actually responded. He’s sent me two short emails with a little more piece of the mystery. He said he stopped talking to me at the suggestion of his doctor because he thought I was eager for the divorce. (I got nothing out of divorcing him I lost all access to any income, lost the ability to return long term to my farm in Spain and had nothing relationship wise to gain from it either) I asked him why he thought that I wanted it as his mother practically demanded it of me in his presence and we had discussed that the reasons she wanted it had no merit. He hasn’t answered that question so I guess he doesn’t know why or it was just his mental state that created that idea and it didn’t have any factual evidence to support it except the awful people that I trusted my farm with told him (he told me) that I was taking him to the USA to abandon and divorce him and he could “see the writing on the wall” (he said) though he won’t go into more detail about why he would believe an almost complete stranger over me. It’s so difficult as I am dealing with extreme depression, paranoia and anxiety and he seems to believe the worst possible scenario no matter what I say. He thinks I’m trying to “rewrite” history and convince him of its validity to make myself feel better and he says constantly going over “the narrative” is too painful for him. I don’t want to further hurt him I just want to understand things from his perspective, and I don’t know if that is a possibility with his current mental state so I don’t know if writing is beneficial to either of us but I do know that I need support this is too hard to figure out and face all alone.


    Thank you for your message of support it is greatly appreciated as are the links for resources that I had yet to explore. I did the strengths test and the support visualization and realised that I am severely lacking in support and really at a general loss as how to get more. I know that I can book calls and I did one which did help and she suggested that I book them every day if necessary but I would really prefer to have some more consistency as like you noticed my situation is quite complex and the telling of it even in brevity takes a lot of time and energy and I’m finding now that I have told it a few times I am reluctant to set up further calls and retell it all again. The counselor that called said I didn’t need the GP to refer me to get a counselor as I had been told by the 24/7 support service I called before I found your program, but I am unsure how to access a one-on-one counselor on my own as when I go to my insurance it says there is coverage for mental health but doesn’t offer any more information and the GP I contacted just referred me to the 24/7 online service I talked to first that referred me to the GP. When I google grief counselors, I get your service so I am at a loss as to how to find a counselor to schedule regular conversations with. Any help would be greatly appreciated

    VM-The Old Oak Tree

    Hi Scrystaal,

    Regarding finding a counsellor, you can search for a grief counsellor using Griefline’s ‘Find a Grief Counsellor’ page. Here is the link

    Medicare does not provide rebates for all counsellors. You need to ask the individual counsellor. You may be eligible for a partial rebate on your private health insurance, depending on your policy. Many of these counsellors provide Telehealth and in-person sessions, so hopefully you will be able to find someone who is suitable for you.

    VM-The Old Oak Tree

    Hi Scrystaal,

    Thank you for sharing on the online forums. It sounds like what you’re going through is somewhat complicated so it is understandable that you are wanting some support at this stage. I’m glad that you’re able to share and start to explore your thoughts and feelings.

    From what you’ve said so far, it sounds like a great difficulty with this situation is not being able to communicate very effectively with your Husband? I think its understandable that that could be very difficult as you have many things you need to discuss with him, but his mental state makes it quite difficult.

    It’s great that you’ve started to use resources as well, to help you along with your journey. Please feel free to continue to makes posts and comment on other posts with our online forum. I hope it is helping you to engage here. We wish you all the best with your journey and our Forum is here for you anytime.


    I have a suggestion with wanting connections with your husband. Would it be earlier to have a conversation about general topics. When it is time to have a big conversation is it possible to ask him how big was his day? Would that make him opening up without you suggesting to talk about feelings


    Thank you for the suggestion he doesn’t want to discuss anything big or small. I’ve asked about neutral things; he says he’s listening to spiritual YouTube videos so I asked him to send me some of what he’s listening to so we could chat about that and he didn’t respond for a week and then just sent me a link to an instrumental music piece. No hello no explanation as to why he sent it nothing not even a subject line. It was beautiful but held no significance for me so I messaged back asking why he sent it and he said it was beautiful and it reminded him of me and I sent a message back saying that I would have loved to have had that message with the music so I understood the intent behind it and have had no response since.
    I’m lucky if he does that once a week and he says his days are all the same and thinking about me makes him sad because he misses me so much and hates his life where he’s at but he won’t do a single thing to change that. I did ask him if he still considers me his wife and I got a one word email “yes”.
    I just don’t know how to wake him from this and the doctors say there’s nothing physically wrong he’s just very depressed; he says the medicine makes it less but also dulls his mental capacity.
    I find it really hard to keep fighting for a relationship when I’m the only one wanting to communicate and do something. All he seems to want is to not think about how much he misses me and how sad he is to be where he’s at with his mom.


    Hi @scrystaal

    Just wanted to check in and see how you’re going? Were you able to find a counsellor or some kind of more consistent support?

    Thanks for sharing your story. I cannot imagine what you must be going through.
    I know it doesn’t make much difference but know that we in this online community support you. I am in awe of someone with your compassion and resilience, and I really appreciate you sharing. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your story. You never know who will hear it.

    Keep holding that hope for yourself scrystaal.
    Much love x

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