It is NOT the same

word cloud widow

OK – I have got my ranty pants on here because I am So Tired of hearing the following statement:

“You are lucky – my husband is such an arsehole – I wish He was dead”.

Usually uttered by my divorced friends who keep on telling me How Much Tougher they have it due to custody battles and financial settlements.

And I understand that at this point in time, they truly hate the person they once loved.  That they are hurting and feel betrayed by love.  That legal battles are not fun. Disputes over children are fraught with emotion and righteous indignation.   Financial hardship is hurting their lifestyle.
And I feel the hate for their husband emanating from their mouths in steams of vitriolic rage.

But.

Being widowed and being divorced are NOT the same.

I listen to all these reasons quietly, repeating in my head that the do not know what they are saying because they have not walked in my shoes.

I deeply love my husband.  Still.

I  cry myself to sleep every night.  Still.

In my darkest moments, I fine tune my exit strategy.  Still.

I look upon the compensation payout as blood money.
I am sick of the ongoing legal battle for the insurance company to pay out the full amount of compensation.
I am still trying to live day-to-day on a single wage and the entirety of ALL expenses fall on my shoulders.
I am worried about what will happen to my-husbands-now-MY-share of the farm that is jointly owned with his brother who can’t see that I need the money from the sale of said farm more than I need to retain ties with a farm that I am convinced caused the premature deaths of both his parents.
I tire of being the only adult making major life decisions that affect our children.
I would dearly love to find a great bloke and fall in love again …. but   Greg set the benchmark so high that I doubt I will ever meet another soul who is so perfectly imperfect for me.  Even if I was ready.

But I don’t say anything in response to these friends who tell me that death is easier than divorce because their Dad died and they had to put up with their batty mother who went  insane and life was still so much better than being divorced ….  I don’t comment that losing a father is not the same as losing a husband and I don’t say that almost every widow I know has thought of suicide at one time or another and I don’t point out that her mother’s insanity was probably deep grief mixed with depression and terror.

But perhaps I should.

Perhaps I should say the one thing I know to be true:

Death and Divorce are NOT the same and until you have walked in both sets of shoes and reflected on each experience through the distance of time, please do NOT tell me how much harder you’ve got it.

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You can’t fix me

Sometimes I want to scream at people: “You Can’t Fix Me”.

because sometimes, I get so sick of hearing that I need to “look after myself” or “do something for myself” or “make it happen” or “chin up” or “forge ahead”.

Sometimes it’s just too much when friends and colleagues minimise my grief in their misguided belief that they would know how to grieve properly if our positions were reversed.

(The same people that go to pieces if they have a sniffle and won’t make it to the gym that day.)

No, they’d grieve properly, have it together within a year and make rational decisions to take their lives onwards and upwards.

They’d “go to counselling” and “get the help they need” to get on with their lives.

Maybe a tasteful shrine with a few candles on the mantle to remember their love.
A weekly visit to the cemetery: fresh flowers on the grave.

They’d get themselves that new job that fits in with their altered lifestyle.

They wouldn’t suffer the grief fog, the loss of short-term memory, the sudden tears, the incapacitating sadness that saps all energy yet prevents you from sleep.

They quote some random bereaved person their aunty’s girlfriend’s hairdresser’s mother knows who has “coped admirably” with grief…. and cite it as “if they can do it, you can too”.  Never realising that the person they speak of most likely is showing them the brave face  and not the face screwed up in the agony which is widowhood.

NO, not for them this incorrect grief….

I am tired of explaining that life doesn’t work that way.

That “The Secret” isn’t based on scientific fact.  You can’t just wish you woes away anymore than you can make your beloved rise from the dead.

…and I hate that they overlook the incredible feat of strength and endurance I go through on a daily basis Just To Get Through The Day.

I wish they could see the progress I’ve made.

I wish they could know how hard this is without me having to spell it out.

Yes I am helping myself.

Yes I am doing everything in my power to move forward.

…and I am doing a bloody good job of it.

But I wish they’d stop thinking that they know how to fix me.

I have a brain and an opinion. Such a dangerous combination…

I have a brain and an opinion.

Usually I have people’s best interests at heart when I comment on the blogs of others, but I do tend to speak my mind. Sometimes this gets me into trouble.

What I don’t need is for some condescending soul to be Captain Obvious:
I know how my husband died. I’m not likely to forget that in a hurry.

So there’s no real need to point it out to me yet again.

Believe it or not, death by car accident has its own demons for me to deal with.

Different demons to those who’ve lost a spouse due to ill-health – be it physical or mental
.. but demons nonetheless.

I’m still left with the “why”s and the “how”s.

I’m still left with dipshits who try to blame me (or him) for the accident…..
Those who assume they know that speed was involved or that they were hoons in a sports car.
News articles that publicise the wreckage and the body bags on the tv news and in the newspaper.
Car forums where Greg and his offsider are accused of being every sort of lead-footed maniac under the sun….

It’s no picnic.

I haven’t suffered any more than any other widow and I don’t claim that I have.

But please don’t think for one minute that I have suffered any *less* than any other widow (or widower).

So if you don’t like what I say on your blog, feel free to use the “delete” button on your blog dashboard.  It’s called moderation.

Frankly, I’d prefer that to a thinly veiled lecture ….

(….and even as I read over my comment again, I can only see a difference of feeling, not a judgement requiring a condescending reprimand).

On “road safety” ads:

they have no power over me.

I am currently seeing quite a few messages in social media regarding “road safety” ads … well, this may make me unpopular, but I don’t see the point of them.

They just cause distress in people who already try to drive safely.  People like me.

I see the warnings on speeding.

I see the warnings on mobile phones.

I see the warnings on alcohol.

None of it makes a lick of difference when push comes to shove: people will do what they think they can get away with.

It seems to me that most people can only drive properly when they think the police are watching. Ergo – they know what they are supposed to do but actively choose not to obey road rules.

Or in our case, you can be the safest, most experienced driver in the world, but circumstance  / karma / fate/ the fricken “Hand of God” can still fuck you over bigtime.

That’s what the witnesses said:  “It was like the hand of God came and swept them into the truck”.

I’d say it must have been the hand of the devil.

People don’t ever think it will happen to them when the cut off a truck before a red light.

When they speed through a school zone.

When they tailgate.

When they pointlessly switch lanes to gain a 5 second advantage.

So short of getting into a car with drunk teenagers, I just don’t see the point of the big road safety ad campaign.  They only affect the people who already get it.

I’d rather the money was spent on extra police as it seems that the sight of a speed camera or highway patrol car is the ONLY thing that I’ve seen that makes drivers change their behaviour.

Unless you are like me and already know what all those signs with numbers in circles mean and CHOOSE to obey them all the time, whether the police are watching  or not.

Damn Nestle and the horse they rode in on

No, this isn’t a rant about Nestle’s notoriously aggressive and inappropriate marketing of baby formula….

Nooo … now the buggers have gone too far: they messed with my breakfast cereal.

My beloved anti-oxidant lift cereal with all those delightful cranberries and blueberries is now “new and improved” …and noticeably less cranberry/blueberryish and there’s also less of it for the same price as the buggers have managed to make the package look pretty similar to the old one, just a fifth lighter.

Ah well, I spose the up side is that its one less nestle product that I like, so one more I can cross off my list …(have you ever tried to boycott nestle products?  There’s a lot of them to avoid).

I’m currently doing Weetbix with rolled oats, psyllium husk (did I mention the fact that I *need* the  extra fibre), LSA (linseed, soy and almond meal) and a good handful of cranberries to give it *some* flavour.  But its not quite right….

So I need some recommendations for a new favourite breakfast cereal.  I want something healthy, lots of fibre and lots of  fruit (not just sultanas – something a little more exotic please).

What’s your favourite breakfast cereal?

Stupidy McStupid (rant) or why I bloody well HATE rugby league.

So I’ve stopped off at the local Woollies on my way home this arvo to collect some vitals and also some nurofen for our feverish small girl and I’m going through the check out when I look up to see idiot-boy on the checkout again today.

I curse the fact that of the two available check-outs, I pick Stupidy Mc Stupid’s check out.

“Hi” I say as he starts swiping my goods through the machine.

“Whoareyagoingfor” he mumbles.

“Pardon?” I say.

“State of Origin – cockroaches or cane toads” he says.

“Oh – I don’t follow the football” I say and hope he leaves it at that.  I *really* dislike rugby league and the “charming” men who play the game.

“Why not” he says.

“Well – lets just say that I really dislike the sport in general … but you enjoy it”.

Not good enough for Stupidy Mc Stupid.  He still wasn’t picking up the fact that Rugby League is  something that I Don’t Like.  So he says “Whynot?”

So I told him:  “I really dislike the sport because a) I find it the most boring sport invented and b) find the off field behaviour of the players truly appalling and their general disrespect for women is not something I could ever support.”

Well – apparently “Shewazaskingforit” (I believe he was referring to the poor young woman who was in all probability gang raped by a team of professional footballers a few years ago … apparently unproven, but  when 19-yo girl agrees to sex with one player an it is then interpreted as an invitation for a team of players to join in seems like a fairly clear moral and ethical distinction to me, even if mature men can’t see the difference).

but I digress…

The fucking stupidy bloody stupidy mc stupid checkout bloke basically stood there, scanning my groceries and telling me that “the chick was asking for it” and went on to tell me that he’d done a “forensics” course at *high school* so he “knew” that the girl hadn’t been raped because they use *swabs* to magically tell if semen is from consensual sex or rape … or some crazy mixed up shite suggesting that he could somehow prove that the girl was  “just a slut”.

Shoulda slapped the bugger and told him he was “askingforit”.

….and am thinking of doing an old-lady-style  “I’ve got a good mind to write a letter about that” complaint to the local Woolies.