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  • FIRST POST
    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
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    kittie
    A support thread for the bereaved
    • #1
    • 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
    A support thread for the bereaved 27th Feb 15 at 5:29 AM
    I started the thread when I was very suddenly widowed, early 2015. Since then in 20 months I have lost another two much loved family members, so I have been through the mill, everything looked so very bleak at the start of my journey

    Please use the thread if you need help in coping with a close bereavement. That is exactly why the thread was started
    Last edited by kittie; 08-05-2017 at 7:06 AM.
Page 185
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Jul 17, 10:49 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Elona.....I think you are right about my sister. I don't think she actually realises just what she has done.......hate to say this but she's not as smart as I thought she was and she's definitely not as clever as she thinks she is.

    Hope you get on ok with your knee x-ray. Hope it's good news. Mine are very sore and stiff today however, I have just trailed round the shops (before it gets hot) and I shall go for another walk later when it cools down again.

    I am going to aim for 5k steps today. I know it should be 10k but I'm going to have to work up to that gradually. I am determined to get fitter and more flexible.

    It's glorious here but I can tell it's going to be a scorcher later.

    Broke the back of the paperwork mountain last night, will finish the last few bits today.

    Hope you all are well.

    Ps. I think the withheld numbers are usually cold callers trying to flog something.

    Oh......a warning.....

    .I got an email that purported to be from HMRC, telling me I was due a tax rebate, would I send my bank details so they could credit my account. I was suspicious so I rang HMRC. They told me they dont send emails and that they would never ask for bank details that way. Come to think of it whenever I have had a tax rebate it has always been a cheque, it has never been paid directly into my account.

    When we are first widowed there is a lot of financial stuff to plough through, especially with bodies such as DWP and HMRC. I think it is very easy to be distracted and lose focus when we are in the midst of grief and fall prey to scammers. So I just thought I'd pass this one on to you.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 17-07-2017 at 11:01 AM.
    • elona
    • By elona 17th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
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    elona
    LL

    There is also a scam going round where an unasked for card reader is sent out with a letter. When someone phoned back to say she did not want the card reader she was asked to use it so it could be cancelled IYKWIM. Her account was then cleared out but fortunately she got her money back in the end.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • irishjohn
    • By irishjohn 17th Jul 17, 5:00 PM
    • 1,240 Posts
    • 1,927 Thanks
    irishjohn


    .I got an email that purported to be from HMRC, telling me I was due a tax rebate, would I send my bank details so they could credit my account. I was suspicious so I rang HMRC. They told me they dont send emails and that they would never ask for bank details that way. Come to think of it whenever I have had a tax rebate it has always been a cheque, it has never been paid directly into my account.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    Hello Ladies - its hot even here in N Ireland so it must be a scorcher.

    Just a bit of feedback on the scams mentioned.

    If you get a call from a withheld number around the same time every day and no one speaks - you can bet its a cold calling computer - the computer calls loads of numbers automatically and as they are answered the computer then links them to one of the poor sods sat waiting to read out their script. The reason why no one speaks and the call disconnects is because the computer calls far more numbers than there are people to answer the calls so that they can keep everyone very busy.

    If you get a supposed HMRC email look and see if you can see the actual email address - on Outlook it will look like this.

    "HM Revenue Gov.uk" <aev1-xDuwrtk.0f49b.7522@uthscsa.edu>

    As you can see the actual email address is the gobbledygook bit after the HM Revenue Gov.UK and it is an obscure email address from some educational establishment - it is likely to be an email set up by a dishonest student.

    I did get a notification of a tax refund this year but I was offered the opportunity to log onto my personal tax account and claim it and give details of where it should be lodged. This is a very safe way to manage it.

    Hope that helps
    John
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Irishjohn. Thanks for clarifying that HMRC info. I did find the tax advisers comments a bit confusing because I know you can operate your tax affairs online.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 18th Jul 17, 11:27 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Good morning ...just touching base.

    Wanted say "Hi" to Julie.....hope you are doing ok (well as ok as can be expected).

    It's blisteringly hot here. Makes me feel very lethargic if I'm honest. Going to finish decluttering the kitchen cupboards whilst it's hot and then hopefully do a bit of weeding in the garden later when it cools down a bit this evening.

    Good news is.....I have lost another 1.5 lb Getting there - very slowly.

    No other news, just keeping busy and trying to stay focussed on the good stuff.

    Hope you are all well.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 18th Jul 17, 10:32 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Well today the oddest thing happened.

    I had sorted out the last few final bits of paperwork relating to my husbands business and was putting it through the shredder.

    All of a sudden I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and my scalp started to tingle.

    Was it my husband supervising me..

    He always hated dealing with the VAT.
    • dorothy52
    • By dorothy52 19th Jul 17, 5:29 PM
    • 436 Posts
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    dorothy52
    Oh LL, how lovely that you felt his presence, how comforting. After I read about 'sistergate' I could see why it affected you so badly, I was horrified. You're right, she doesn't really think that she's done much wrong, and no doubt struggles to see why you are so hurt and upset.


    I believe that she believes that your dad loved her more than you and therefore chose to give her a larger share of the inheritance, and that she somehow deserves it. The underhand and deceitful way that they colluded was just so wrong on every possible level. I honestly can't really believe that people behave in this way.


    So she has finally done the right thing, sort of, and I understand that you have chosen to still have a cordial relationship with her for the sake of the wider family, but my God, you are a better person than me. I too will put up with all sorts for a quiet life, and am so non confrontational, but honestly, LL, I couldn't forgive her - I really couldn't.


    Going back to your 'feeling'...........I think he came along to let you know that he is still here with you, and chose to do it now that you finally live alone.


    Many will laugh at my fanciful ideas but I care not a jot. I believe yet have yet to have one of these feelings, despite losing both parents. My sister, however, has felt our mothers presence very strongly when her DGC were born, so much so that she said aloud, 'Great Granny's come to say hello'. I was so jealous when she told me that...........
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 9:16 AM
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    lessonlearned
    I was telling my DS2s girlfriend about my "feeling" the other day. She is a nurse and she says that lots of nurses and medics have tales to tell, especially when patients are terminal. She was very matter of fact about it. But none of us knows for sure, we can only go by what we experience ourselves.

    The poor girl buries her father on Friday, full catholic mass, the works. She was very subdued last night and a bit tearful. I cooked her a nice meal and she managed to relax a little. My son is so gentle and tender with her, drawing on his own memories of how it felt to lose his dad. It made me very proud to see how supportive he is, how she gets comfort from him.

    Re my sister.......I don't know that I forgive her......that is probably asking a bit too much from me. I certainly won't forget. All I can do is not bear a grudge or seek revenge, it's about all I can manage right now.

    There's a saying. "In time you may forget what was said and done to you but you will never forget how you were made to feel".

    It has filtered back to me that the spending has already begun. Expensive landscaping to what was a perfectly acceptable garden, all it needed was a bit of TLC. BIL is not a diyer by any stretch of the imagination and having a son who works in a garden centre I can well imagine how much they have spent.

    Still it's not my business and if it gives her pleasure to sit in her garden and enjoy her legacy then it's money well spent. However, knowing BIL it was done to "add value" to their house so he can sell it. Again, none of my business really.

    Raining here so today I am going to start prepping the bedroom ready for decorating. I have bought the curtains and paint. DS2 will get cracking next week. I will help as much as I can so I will make a start with the pollyfilla, masking up and undercoating the woodwork over the next few days.

    It will keep me out of mischief.

    Hope you all ok and have not suffered too much from the storms.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 9:23 AM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Jul 17, 9:49 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Re my sister.......I don't know that I forgive her......that is probably asking a bit too much from me. I certainly won't forget. All I can do is not bear a grudge or seek revenge, it's about all I can manage right now.

    There's a saying. "In time you may forget what was said and done to you but you will never forget how you were made to feel".[/I] ......

    .
    by lessonlearned;72863278

    ........I
    That sounds pretty much like forgiveness to me. xx
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 20th Jul 17, 10:28 AM
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    thepurplepixie
    LessonLearned, I'm sorry I haven't followed the whole story with your sister but was the unfairness because of money he gave her when he was living with her? I think you said he moved in with her at the end. If so would it help you to not think of this as not inheriting equally, he may have wanted to feel he was "paying his way" as old people don't want to feel a burden or beholden. Maybe the money he gave her was spent on his comfort, I don't know and it could be anything from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands.

    I think sometimes being able to step back and look at from the other person's point of view, your father not your sister, can make it more understandable. Reading what you have said I can imagine my siblings thinking my mother spent more on my family than on their families but she lived with me for 10 years and saw my children growing up on a day to day basis. It was strange because obviously she was closer to mine in many ways, a second mother, and would give them money for new trainers or a day out or whatever. On the other hand their cousins were honoured visitors and never got the sharp end of her tonuge, I don't mean that in a nasty way but if you live with children sometimes you tell them off in a way you don't with visiting children. My siblings have never said anything but it makes me wonder. Of course the other side of it was she had more disposable income because she was living with me.

    I say this as I can see this has caused alot of hurt and maybe it wasn't meant and if it wasn't it is so sad that it has caused this rift at a time when you and your sister could support each other.

    I hope the hurt and the rift can heal.

    Just wanted to come back and say I hope this isn't intrusive but what you said about you can't change how you were made to feel just made me think that maybe another perspective can help you to feel another way.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 12:45 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Not intrusive at all PP.

    However, it really isn't about the money ........ even though she initially waltzed away with over £50k more than me.

    I have money of my own, plenty for my needs. If I had thought she was in genuine need I would have given her the money, with my blessing. I have done so in the past. I gave her a car when she needed one, I allowed her to stay in our holiday home free of charge, I have showered her with gifts, too many I now realise.

    There is 11 years between us. When I was a child my parents had little money, because my father spent most of it on cars, women and gambling. When I was a twenty something earning good money and my sister was a teenager I shared my good fortune with her, buying her clothes, records and treats. She lacked for nothing,

    No it's definitely not about the money.

    It is all about the lies, the deceit, the dreadful things she said, the accusations she made. The money was the Icing on the cake.

    As for my father - well let's just say I spent 65 years understanding him only too well. It's not nice to criticise your father, especially one who gave his best years to the service of his country but in all honesty he just wasn't a nice man. I dont think his war time experiences helped of course but apparently his brothers and sisters always found him "difficult", even before he went to war.

    I spent my whole life making allowances for him, apologising for his monstrous behaviour at social gatherings, pouring oil over troubled waters, smoothing everyone's ruffled feathers and building bridges, rescuing and patching him up after he had been on a bender (fortunately that was rare - must of the time he did have the sense not to drink, but when he started he couldn't stop). I helped my mother financially when I could and looked after her when she went to pieces because he was having one of his extra marital affairs.

    Whenever mum was wrapped up in her misery and retreated into her shell I looked after my sister. My sister nearly died when she was 1 year Old and suffered from severe asthma as a child. I was the one who nursed her through bouts of sickness (she always wanted me close then, would creep into my bed etc)

    Even when mum was ok I was still the one who looked after my sister most of the time. I was the one who could get her to eat, who took her for her check ups, took her to have her feet measured, picked her up from nursery or school and looked after her after school and during the holidays, who helped her with her homework. I think over the years I was more of a parent than a sister. I even accompanied my mum to my sisters parent teacher meetings because dad couldn't be bothered.

    Then to have all that thrown back in my face and have my father make me the scapegoat. My sister basked in the sunlight of my fathers affection whilst I was ignored, nagged, yelled at and occasionally beaten ........

    So to have my sister turn on me so viciously - well of course I was hurt and angry. I am no plaster saint.......

    Of course the hurt was not deliberate, at least not from my fathers point of view. He was a totally self absorbed narcissist, who always put his needs and wants first. That's what narks do. He only ever gave out for what he could get in return, using and manipulating others to further his desires, never even realising that he hurt people in the process.

    If you tried to tell him he would just look at you in astonishment unable to comprehend the damage he had done or the pain he caused. He genuinely thought that if he apologised then he would be forgiven and adored again. That's what mum did, over and over again. I couldn't. But thats what narcissists are like, they have no thought for anyone but themselves, no one else exists but to serve and adore them. That's the definition of narcissism.

    My sister was the family beauty whose stunning good looks he was able to bask in. She reflected well on him, his Echo. ....."Look at my beautiful daughter, look at how she looks like me". All narcissists need their echo.

    I didn't look like him plus of course I was the one with the birthmark, In his eyes I was damaged goods, deformed and ugly. I was not perfect so was deemed unworthy, beneath his notice, beneath contempt.

    My imagination??? - alas no I have plenty of evidence and witnesses who will attest to the truth in all this. The day I was born, he took one look and turned away unable to hide his disappointment.

    You have to realise that narcissists only "love", in as far as they are capable of love, those who can reflect back well on them. An "ugly" daughter would never do.

    I'm not telling you all this to gain sympathy but just to answer the points you raised. I have no self pity. I came to terms with my face decades ago. It didn't stop me having two husbands and my fair share of lovers. nor did the birthmark ever hold me back in life. It faded over the years and I learned how to camouflage it and cover it with make up.

    Although plain as a child and plagued with a birthmark I did eventually bloom. Once I hit puberty and "the equipment" arrived I did finally blossom. The ugly duckling did eventually turn into a swan. And without being too cocky I have aged surprisingly well. (I often think the less pretty ones often fare better in the ageing stakes). And now of course I no longer have a birthmark. It became cancerous and was removed. So in a funny way I have had the last laugh there.

    Without wishing to sound too vain I actually scrub up quite well. I learned early on how to make the best of what I had been given, height, a slim figure, good boobs, long legs, nice hair and good skin. I learned how to dress well and move with grace, I learned to "talk proper" and apparently have a nice voice. I guess all the things that develop and improve over time.

    A true story.

    When my son got married, as mother of the groom, I pulled out all the stops. I got myself dolled up, full slap, killer outfit and a big fancy wedding hat. When my father saw me he literally gasped and he was visibily shaken. He said "Oh My God, you look fabulous, I had no idea you could look so beautiful. Seriously I Didnt know you could look like that". He was trembling and he kept repeating it over and over, until I managed to quieten him. I must add he had clear signs of early dementia at this point and was becoming increasingly more unstable.

    But for him to actually say he thought I looked beautiful - well I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After all every daughter wants to feel she is beautiful in her fathers eyes. He had never once told me I looked pretty let alone beautiful so it was an odd moment.

    Still he's gone now. My sister has said sorry. Whether she truly means it I really don't know, only time will tell. Perhaps she has had time to reflect on the harsh words she uttered and untruthful allegations she made. The problem is once something has been said it cannot be unsaid, it hangs there in the ether.

    Anyway I have rabbited on and monopolised the thread quite enough.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 4:04 PM.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 1:04 PM
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    lessonlearned
    That sounds pretty much like forgiveness to me. xx
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    Ah thanks. But I'm afraid there will always be a part of me that now "hangs back" and who will be watchful, so not really true absolution......
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 20th Jul 17, 4:23 PM
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    thepurplepixie
    Ah it is the history, not the money. That makes it all harder.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 5:14 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Yeah.....that's why it hurt so much. Money is nothing really, we need it of course, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't amount to anything really. She'll learn. Just hope the lesson isn't too painful.

    Well I didn't get much painting done. My little man came to sort out the guttering. He's lovely but he can talk for England and drink enough tea to sink a battleship.......
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 5:18 PM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Jul 17, 5:59 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Ah thanks. But I'm afraid there will always be a part of me that now "hangs back" and who will be watchful, so not really true absolution......
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    Well whether or not it is forgiveness (I still think so), you have proven yourself to be the bigger and better person.

    When my husband had his first (terrible, terrible) breakdown, a person we thought was a good friend behaved treacherously towards him, whilst my husband was at his sickest. I felt anger and hatred towards that person for a long, long while. I knew as a Christian that forgiveness was key, and I prayed for God to not only give me the strength to do it, but the will. For ages I didn't even want to forgive him.

    After a few years, I was able to want to forgive the person, and after a while longer I was able to get rid of the anger and hatred towards him.

    Years afterwards (about fifteen) he unexpectedly turned up on our doorstep, saying he was sorry that he had behaved that way, and at last I was able to fully forgive him, because it must have taken a lot for him to do that.

    BUT....our relationship has never been as it was before (can't be), and although we are in touch there is no friendship in the way I would want to be a friend. Just acquaintances.

    You can't forget, and I think part of the experience is learning from that, coming to terms with it, and getting on with life in that context, even if the relationship is no longer the same.

    Hope this helps.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 6:34 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Yes it does help...thanks.

    Oddly enough I really haven't missed her. I thought I would and yet all I feel is peace and a sense of relief. I actually feel that a burden has been lifted and that I'm finally free of the worry. I am no longer the "little mother" - a role which should never have been placed on my young shoulders.

    I havent felt so free and light of heart in a very long time. I feel that I am finally finding the old me, the real me, the one who lived before the darkness fell, before my husband got sick.

    It's coming up to three years now since Bobby died and I can thankfully say that all the sad memories of his illness and all that he suffered are receding. In their place I now remember with great fondness all the good times and all the happiness we shared. Yes I miss him of course I do but I am really quite happy now in my own quiet little way.

    It's taken a long time to get to this stage - perhaps because I also had to contend with both my Parents dying as well as my husbands death but I do really feel that finally the black cloud has lifted.

    My old joire de vie has returned and I am no longer afraid of whatever the future has in store for me. I can handle it!!

    All I need now is to get fully fit and regain a bit of the old va va voom.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 6:38 PM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Jul 17, 7:35 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Yes it does help...thanks.

    Oddly enough I really haven't missed her. I thought I would and yet all I feel is peace and a sense of relief. I actually feel that a burden has been lifted and that I'm finally free of the worry. I am no longer the "little mother" - a role which should never have been placed on my young shoulders.

    I havent felt so free and light of heart in a very long time. I feel that I am finally finding the old me, the real me, the one who lived before the darkness fell, before my husband got sick.

    It's coming up to three years now since Bobby died and I can thankfully say that all the sad memories of his illness and all that he suffered are receding. In their place I now remember with great fondness all the good times and all the happiness we shared. Yes I miss him of course I do but I am really quite happy now in my own quiet little way.

    It's taken a long time to get to this stage - perhaps because I also had to contend with both my Parents dying as well as my husbands death but I do really feel that finally the black cloud has lifted.

    My old joire de vie has returned and I am no longer afraid of whatever the future has in store for me. I can handle it!!

    All I need now is to get fully fit and regain a bit of the old va va voom.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    The bit I've underlined in your post shows that your forgiveness was the real thing.

    I'm so glad you can remember the good times you and Bobby shared, that in itself must be healing.

    Wishing you well xxx
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 9:35 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Really.....maybe I don't understand what it really means to "forgive" after all I'm not really a Christian these days, so maybe I should go back and read my catechism.

    I sometimes think it would be nice to be a person of faith, to be able to put my trust in a superior power and not worry so much. Life would be easier.

    My husband was....well in his own perculiar fashion. He had his own version - a cross between humanism and some bits and pieces of other religions all cobbled together.... he even flirted with the Moonies at one point in his search for enlightenment.

    He was such a character. Always curious. He just left work one day and disappeared from view enrolling into Moonie camp or whatever it's called. Three weeks later he decided it wasn't for him and waltzed back out again. He sauntered into work the next day as if he had never been away. His boss was so astonished he promoted him.......you couldn't make it up.

    This was all before he met me but he remained curious all his life.

    One day I arrived home from work to find him drinking tea and eating cake with a couple of jehovahs witnesses. They had knocked at the door, he was on his own and bored with his own company so he invited them in for a chat. They must have thought they were in for an easy conversion. No chance - he was simply at a loose end, waiting for me to come home so he thought a theological discussion would pass the time nicely thank you.

    But the funniest one of all was a trip to Dublin.

    My husband had been in a pub in Birmingham when a bomb planted by the IRA had exploded. Luckily he was unhurt. Anyway we gets to Dublin and my husband sits next to the taxi driver, myself and two of our friends in the back.

    Himself starts chatting to the driver about the troubles, asking loads of questions as was his wont and getting into a deep philosophical discussion. Our friends began to get really nervous thinking he would upset the driver but they needn't have worried, my husband was always very respectful. He could charm the birds off the trees and always made new friends wherever he went.

    He was just naturally inquisitive and curious about everything, learning about religion was just something he enjoyed. He said that religion wasn't important, what mattered was whether someone was intrinsically good and decent.

    My dad was a catholic and one of our bones of contention was that I had turned my back on the church. He never bothered going to church himself and he broke most of the Ten Commandments but yet he had the audacity to criticise my life choices.

    Atheist I may be but at least I never broke my marriage vows the way dad did......And I never fleeced my fathers bank account the way my sister did.
    • elona
    • By elona 21st Jul 17, 10:41 AM
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    elona
    LL

    Your sister would be gutted that she is no longer regarded as a gilded treasure but as a millstone that has been removed from your neck.

    DH could get on with anyone and was genuinely interested in everyone and everything. We have a get together tomorrow with some of his cousins who were like brothers to him and their grown up kids and it will seem so odd that he is not there as he would have been in his element.

    Youngest dd arrives around tea time and am planning on making her favourite lamb sheema kebabs with actifry wedges and stir fry.
    I might also make a chicken curry with lots of veg around lunchtime and portion it up for later.

    Bedding is changed and have lots of laundry to hang out.

    Hugs to all
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 21st Jul 17, 10:45 AM
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    margaretclare
    LL, your description of your late father reads almost like a case study from a Behavioural Sciences textbook.

    When I was researching into family history 15 or so years ago I asked a lot of questions about my late illegitimate father. A lot of the things I turned up that seemed to make no sense, only made sense in the light of the fact that he also had narcissistic personality disorder. Why did he volunteer to give evidence for the defence in the Stanley Setty murder trial - he had no need to. It was all lies anyway, but he got a mention in the press of the day and got his face before the media as it existed then. Why did he volunteer to take command of the British Free Corps in its last stand in the last days of the war? Why did he make so many additions to his given name and tell so many porkies in the early days of the SAS? And why, much later, did he get involved with the anti-Vietnam war movement in Australia? I think once you realise that there is a thing called narcissistic personality, a lot becomes clear. They just cannot help pushing themselves to the forefront of wherever they happen to be at the time. It's all 'me, me, me'. A man like that must have the most beautiful wife - arm candy - and the best-looking, cleverest kids. He'd never be happy with a simple village girl like my mum.

    Of course, narcissistic personality can also affect women as well as men.

    As for forgiveness, I think you have to forgive to a certain extent, for your own sanity and peace of mind. You just cannot go on holding a grudge for ever, rehashing old wrongs. It's for yourself, not for whoever has injured you. Trusting them again - ah well, that's a different story.

    As for things that are not known and can only be felt, DH is a believer because of an experience he had while coming out of a coma in ICU. He nearly died of septicaemia from an infected knee-joint. He says that he had a horrible vision, like a gargoyle, a threatening face looming at him and felt he was falling into a pit or off a cliff. He then felt warm hands on his face and his body and a voice that said 'Not today, my son. Come back with me' and he gradually regained consciousness.

    That experience can be explained scientifically, logically, in all sorts of ways, but DH believes what he believes. Given that he's a very down-to-earth sort of character, a mechanical engineer, not given to flights of fancy, I tend to believe him.
    Ær ic wisdom funde, ær wearð ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
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