I again awoke with heart pounding

by P
(Alone in suburbia)

It's been years since this last happened. I retired 3.5 years ago and wish I didn't.

At the time I felt like a trapped animal, in pain and afraid. My therapist pushed me (unethical), my husband encouraged it, and I didn't know where to turn.

Now, in COVID, I have 1 friend I see very occasionally. My husband is gradually retiring so I never know when he might be home which means I have no privacy, for now, ubiquitous zoom appointments. I need a therapist, not the old one whom I have to pay out of pocket because she refuses to take Medicare even though she takes Medicaid. Anyway, I would have no privacy so how would I use therapy.

My marriage is pretty empty, husband of 40 long years says he pays no attention to anything, I say because "You say a lot of things!"

There's no camraderie, no easy conversing because I am always trying to only say that which is necessary. I am so lonely.

Anxiety and depression are coming back. He makes me feel like all this is my fault.

I want a life DO-OVER! Failing that I need to figure out how to fix this one. COVID doesn't help. I need to get out away from him alone.

Any thoughts?

Comments for I again awoke with heart pounding

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Still in suburbia
by: Less alone

Thank you so much Lee! You may have no idea how I appreciate your commiseration, but it helps me a lot.

I am better now - why? I am treating the anxiety with medication and everything is going better. I think that was the problem.

I will not agree that I am copping out, although some may say that.

I am doing something that works for me and I told my husband about it and it is fine. He is happy to have a happier me!

Lee, I hope you find a way to escape that awful feeling. It isn't your fault, and it may even be a result of your strength. You may be a highly sensitive person like me.

I hope so much for you that you find a way to feel better. And thank you again for your validation.

I understand
by: Lee in Colorado

I know exactly how you feel and often feel the same way.

Start by taking care of yourself
by: Jeanne Savelle/Atlanta

Many people retire and then have buyer's remorse. This is because they didn't plan ahead to create a new life after retirement. It isn't too late though.

But you need to start by giving yourself a break. Your feelings are normal. There is nothing wrong. You are absolutely fine, your brain is just in overdrive telling you all kinds of things. You don't have to believe what your brain says. These are only thoughts.

Your thoughts right now are causing you pain, not your husband or anything else outside of you. Our thoughts cause our feelings. Think about that. Why choose thoughts that cause you pain?

Maybe you can try to remember what you loved about your husband. You can be the one to reach out.

You want a do-over? You can have one. Just choose to make it happen. When you are filled with dark thoughts, you can't begin to create a new life. Lighten up your thoughts a bit. Look for something nice every day: a sunrise, a cup of coffee, a flowering plant.

Your husband can't make you feel anything, only you have the power to do that. It is an awesome power. Use it wisely.

Critics not welcome here
by: Learning at home

Perhaps y'all missed the part where I said, "I need to fix this." Re-read the last 2 sentences!

Unhelpful comments that throw blame on the victim are less than the quality I would expect here.
Do you really think I have not tried all those suggested things and more?

We have walked together twice a day most days for 20 years with 2 dogs, we both exercise daily, grow our own vegetables, and I cook most meals myself. We rarely eat out even before COVID due to dietary restrictions.

I made a choice to stay and I am sticking with it. I made promises decades ago and for personal reasons, I am not leaving.

I have had a bushel of scoldings and they are useless so, as I said, and please read this: I need to fix this. For me, for us. Nobody else can!

If you have nothing helpful, kind, gentle to say, say nothing. I don't need any more criticism.

Wendy: I am thrilled you are not leaving. This can be fixed and you sound determined to do just that... and you can!

If you would like to meet privately, online, with me or Jeanne (as we are both Coaches): comment below and tell me who you'd like to meet with and what your email address is. I won't publish this -- we will only use to contact you to arrange a meeting.

Life is Tough
by: John A / Tyler, TX

Seems to me you have made your own bed and chose to stew in your own juices. That makes life pretty tough on everyone.

From what I sense, you need to get off the pitty pot and do something for yourself; to get a purpose in life.

There’s nothing here that people can offer except for advice and perhaps the truth on what needs to be done.

You can only fix YOU...
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

You can't change how your husband is, none of us have that power to change someone else to what We want them to be.

You do, however, have the power to change your own feelings toward him. Your attitude, feeling judged and anxious, makes him what he is.

Consider how you both were years ago, think about how you can recapture even a bit of that.

  • Suggest he goes for a walk with you, silence together, walking together, maybe chat about something that won't bring hostile feelings?

  • Make a nice dinner, make a day trip to another nearby location, have lunch out and some exploring there.

    Think out of the box a bit -- what can you both do together, instead of moping around the house?

    AND if you really truly want to get away, then do just that. You can walk out that door -- go to a park alone, eat lunch out alone, see if that feels liberating or lonely.

    You have choices!

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