I Thought She Was Holding Me Back…

The last ten years of my wife’s life, I was in the caretaker mode. That became a bigger burden as the years went by. Towards the end I started dreaming of being able to use the rest of my life as I finally wanted. But, now that more than a year has passed since her death, I have come to realize that

She wasn’t holding me back, she was holding me up.

In some ways, life seems to get worse as the days go by. I am nowhere near to where I dreamed I would be by now. The two strikes against me (my deafness, and my Aspie traits) seem to be just waiting for the third strike to end it all. That strike might be a depression that I finally can’t overcome.

If I am to survive, I need to quit letting things get in the way of moving my life forward.

Something that haunts me is the unhealed hole in my heart because I failed to react to her somewhat subtle advances. One thing we did until the end was to do the daily dishes together. During those times in that last year, she would lightly rub against me to see if she could get a response. I gave her none. That troubles me greatly now. I think she knew her time was short, and she wanted to get some not physical but mental passion back in our lives. I just ignored her. I regret that very deeply now. I will probably carry that regret to my grave.

The final thing is I have touched practically no one in the past year, and any level of moral support has just never come. Yes, I often need to be by myself, but I also need to be touched once in a while, just a friendly hug and a word of encouragement would do. There is simply no one left to hug me now. I tragically miss that, but I’m not sure if I can do anything about it.

I have to get a handle on these type things. Or, maybe I should just click my red slippers together and take control of my life. More about that in tomorrow’s post.

Just kidding, I don’t have any red slippers. 😎

8 thoughts on “I Thought She Was Holding Me Back…

    1. Good idea EJ. I volunteered for 11 years at a local soup kitchen, the last several years were cooking and serving the meals. Those were some of the most joyous years of my life. I can’t do that anymore due to back problems not allowing me to stand on concrete that long, but I’m sure there are other opportunities around. I will check them out.


      1. I won’t try to tell you not to regret something about your interactions as that would be presumptuous and dumb. I will say that, just when I needed to hear this once, I read that guilt comes along with any death, and that it is a form of denial. Although we’re not aware of the often hidden and impossible belief underlying that unrelenting guilt we can’t move past, we could essentially be telling ourselves that if we did something wrong but can somehow correct it, that person can be returned to us. I can easily be overwhelmed by guilt in normal circumstances, so this possible explanation can help me face my imperfections but then let them go enough that I can grieve more healthily.

        Also, although I hope I’m not usually one who suggests how people can address their needs, I think back to how close you were to your pets–dogs, right? Is it time to reconsider? Not only do you gain the ability to touch and be touched by another being, but they’re a great way to make us seem more approachable to others.


        1. Thank you for your wisdom, Linda. I am certainly against the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” thinking, and you are right that it does no good. Greiving more healthily is certainly a goal here. I am trying to put all this type stuff to rest. It is happening but not complete yet.

          Getting a pet is maybe a viable option, but since I live on the second floor of a pretty big building it might not be practical. But, Sam, my first dog as an adult did keep the loneliness at bay. We were just to bachelors who know each other very well.


  1. Brutually honest, RJ., but filled with self-awareness of what went wrong and what you need to move forward. Those insights show me a person who is not ready to pack it in, but to use those past hurts to build a positive future.


    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Bob. I wrote the post about 10 days ago and have been able to move past my malaise. The next two day’s posts are things that I am now planning to do to make that relief more permanent. My outlook for the future is more positive now that I have a plan.


  2. It’s tough to be alone when you’re used to having a partner. I was single for 10 years between my marriages. One thing I remember reading about was skin hunger — the need you have expressed to be touched by another human. Not sure if you’re comfortable with this (some men aren’t, I find) but massage is a great way to relax, relieve stress and get some human touch. If not full body, maybe reflexology or cranial sacral? (You can tell I’m a big fan of massage of all kinds…)


    1. Thanks for the words, Laurel. I was a bachelor for seventeen years before getting married so I know what you are talking about. Yeah, massages just don’t appeal to me. I will look reluctantly into the other options. 🥴

      As I mentioned to Bob above, I think I have turned the corner on most of these things since I originally wrote this post. At least I am making a serious and active effort to do that.


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