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After losing my marriage, 6 children and my unborn child everyone abandoned me. Now I feel disconnected from life and from people - please help.

heart to heart The questioner's philosophy
Right now I don't go to church and haven't for a year, except once in awhile. I feel no need to. I think religion has its good parts and believe in treating people with respect and in being good.
The questioner's hopes and aspirations
To move on from being a bus driver. I really don't mind it just means I am alone a lot - I mean a lot - my children are at a distance since my divorce 11 years ago and I have no real family or someone to confide in without feeling I will be judged.
I have been divorced for nearly 11 years and when I was going through the divorce it was very ugly. He was emotional verbally and was physically abusive. I started to fight back verbally and at times physically, the last year of our marriage. He was very manipulative. I was out of the house the last couple of years. Before the divorce he had got an order of protection. I have children, six of them ages 30 to 17, since then they have had little or nothing to do with me. He got the children when the divorce was over.

I was a good mother and never abused any substances - in fact he hit me with the last baby and I lost it. After that my anger grew. While going through the divorce pretty much everyone abandoned me and if there was anyone there they were there to criticize me.

To this day I find it hard to confide in anyone. I find many people are very opinionated. I know I don't have as much confidence as I would like, but as the years have gone by I know my confidence has grown. Someone once said I wasn't successful enough. I would like to find another love. I have given up hope of finding another love but find this difficult. I don't like to talk about my background as I find many people are judgmental.

I am a decent loving person but could use more confidence to attract what I want. Sometimes I think after all I have been through it's amazing I am not worse off. A lot of times I feel so disconnected from life and from people.

Wallace's reply
Wallace You have been through a huge amount of trauma and have done very well to hold your life together. Times have not been easy. However now that you have some distance between your current life and what happened 11 years ago, you can begin to heal the wounds.

I sense from your letter that you carry a great deal of unexpressed and unresolved grief. That is why you feel so "disconnected from people and from life." Dealing with your feelings of grief has been difficult. You don't like to talk about what happened because you are afraid of being judged. Your life will be on hold, to a certain extent, while you carry these unresolved feelings and do not share or express them. This is because so much of your energy is going into keeping all your grief in, very little is left for a happy, light-hearted and joyful life, advancing your career or finding a loving relationship. Talking through your experiences, sharing them with others and learning the lessons that are there to be understood from what happened is now essential to effect healing.

I want to encourage you to find a support group near where you live that will help you talk about, express, come to terms with and understand your grief. Such groups are in every town and city. They usually cost very little or are free of charge. You might feel a little nervous at the thought of joining such a group but remember you will be among people who have suffered difficult life experiences - just as you have. Most of these groups have a non-judgmental ethos - their only desire being to help you understand and come to terms with what you have gone through.

In my own life I have gone through extreme feelings of grief which in my case led to a crippling depression and a long period of loneliness - so I have some understanding of what it must have been like for you to have gone through such difficult times without someone to confide in. You have done and are doing very well. Please realize that it is possible for you to heal these feelings of grief and sadness. I encourage you to commit to the healing path by joining a local bereavement support group. By joining such a group, working through your feelings of sadness, loss and grief, and learning the life lessons from your experiences, there is every chance you will feel connected to people and to life once more and find a new life of happiness and joy.

Further Help and Resources
To find a local bereavement support group look on local notice boards in community magazines, churches, shops and community centers near where you live. If you would like to read about working your way through difficult feelings of grief, learning life lessons and, by doing so, discover your relationship with your higher self and your spiritual nature, then I recommend my book Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off.

Also you could get some more information about recovering from loss and the feelings of grief with these resources on The Grief Process by Peter Shepherd, and what the late James Harvey Stout had to say about grief.

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