The Widow Monster Inside of Me

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Photo by Dom J on

I’m a horrible person. No, I am. No arguments. My friend, Laura, tells me I’m just a person in a horrible situation. Laura is a kind person. And I used to be until Peter’s death happened and I turned into a jealous, unhappy person. See, I get sad and angry and yes, jealous, with people, even my friends, even family, who are going on with their lives, especially when they go on with a vacation, an outing, an event.  I told you I’m a horrible person.

I know how it all started.  It started when the one person I did so much with – go on vacations with,  go to an event with,  celebrate with – died. With him, died all the used to be’s. Peter and I, we had comfort in each other’s company. I suppose like most married couples. With us, it may have been even more. Of course, everyone probably thinks they have the ‘even more’ part.  But with Peter, a quiet, talked-when-he-had-something-to-say person, we spend so much time not talking. It was a good thing I was comfortable in the silence from jump because there was a lot of it.

So, days and nights, and nights and day, at home, in the car, on vacation, at an event, Peter and I never had awkward moments. Not even when we were dating. It’s just how our natural rhythms flowed and it felt good. But you know, now that’s gone, like so many other things in my life including enjoying what everyone else has, and yes, I am jealous. And yes, it is unfair and wrong and unkind. But I feels what I feels.

My best friend, Beth, went on vacation with her husband to meet some friends, and it ripped me apart. The same best friend who dropped everything and came from five hours away to spend the week with me after Peter died.  I told you, not a great person here. I talked to her on the phone and admitted my jealousy and anger because, you know, we are best friends and little goes unspoken between us. Beth, because her empathy and compassion are her two greatest strengthens, admitted to feeling guilty while vacationing.  She assured me she felt that way before I even told her any of this. As they say in the South, bless her heart, but I’m sure she felt my vibe. I mean my texts to her were short. I didn’t want to talk to her. And, answers to any questions she messaged me were curt. I tried to tell myself my replies were short and I didn’t want to talk with her because I didn’t want to ruin her time by coming across as a bitch. Only, I already came across as one, as much as Beth tries to convince me otherwise. I am sure I am the one guilting her with my words or lack thereof. Yup, horrible.

My daughter told me she may not come in this weekend. She has other legitimate plans that can only help her. In my wallow of why can’t I move on and feeling miserable, I told her “well, I can’t make you do anything”, like in a real snide way. Sure, I felt awful. Sure, I want her to move on with her life. Sure, she should never, ever, feel obligated to ‘take care’ of me, her mother. That’s not her job or responsibility.  I get all that and yet, I couldn’t stop the words from falling out of my mouth before I could jail them shut. Yup, horrible.

Finally, social media has been the worse thing for me. I see pictures of weekend getaways, vacations, pool parties, concerts, outings and celebrations and the monster in me, the jealous, unkind, angry monster called Widow comes out and I can’t control her. I know it’s unfair and wrong. I mean, not so long ago, when Peter was alive, I posted pictures of all those things mentioned without thought of any of it hurting anyone. No one tries to hurt with their shares. No one I know anyway.  Social media is a place to share snapshots of your lives. Only in my life’s snapshot, a person has been cut out of it forever and I don’t know how to deal other than with anger, jealousy and being horrible.

I know I have to be kinder to myself. I know I have to trust my true friends will understand this is not who I am, who I once was. I know my jealous Eeyore persona is temporary – how temporary is another question – and those who love me will remain. I know I am asking a lot of them. I hope they realize the steps I’m taking to rid me of this Widow monster. Therapy and support from others with dead husbands should help destroy the monster or at least maim it.  I hope they hand in there for a new and better me emerges, no matter how long it takes.

Maybe I am just a person in a horrible situation, albeit an unattractive person right now. I don’t know. I do know Peter’s death has taken so much away and out of me. I guess that happens when half of you has been ripped away.  So much horrible is exposed.