Life Has Fallen Apart Since I Lost My Father

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My father passed away last April. That was a whole issue in itself. I believe he was mistreated at the rehab center where he was staying, but that is another issue.

I was at the doctor when he passed. I was supposed to go to work after the doctor. I didn’t end up making it to work. I didn’t go back to work for about a week.

I work for my husband’s Uncle and cousin’s. I pretty much ran the office for a year while the two cousins were snorting pills up their noses. When I took the time off for the funeral and a couple days after, nothing was done at work. None of them came to the funeral either.

When I did go back to work (or was pushed into going back to work) I was faced with all the unfinished work from the time I was off, and a new employee that I didn’t know. Before this I was the only employee. I was thrust into management and working 90 hrs a week to get everything done. There was no break.

I was having a very hard time. I was falling apart. I couldn’t stop crying, and I was severly exhausted. I was back to work for about 3 weeks when my “boss” sat me down and berated me for every little mistake that I had made. I was demoted and sent home without pay for a week. I should have quit then, but I didn’t. I thought he was my friend. But he took my grief and used it as a weapon against me. How do you punish someone that severly for going through a grieving process?

When I went back to work, I was treated with disrespect. And the employees who used to by below me were now laughing at me. They were never repremanded for mistakes, but I couldn’t make a mistake at all. Then I was laid off for 3 months for the summer and both other employees quit.

I was glad to finally go back to work last fall because I needed the money. I was given some of my responsibilities back. Then one cousin kicked the other out of the office and I was expected to pick up his job too. Then there were changes after changes and I wasn’t being told everything. Then I am still shown disrespect and belittled because I can’t do the job of ten people. I was sexually harassed by the second cousin and moved some of the work away from that building so I could work alone.

It’s just gotten to the point that I feel like my whole life fell apart when my dad died. I feel sick all the time. I don’t even know what happy feels like anymore. I’m unhappy at home and now I hate my job too. I can’t afford to quit right now, but I don’t know what to do.

This may not sound serious to you, but it would take a book to describe everything that went on. Right now, I don’t even have the energy to feel depressed. I’m just numb. I feel like God put me on this earth to be a slave and I should just suck it up. It isn’t meant for me to be happy. Everytime I am, it gets taken away.

A. First and foremost, I’m very sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is one of most difficult challenges most people will face in their lives. It’s never easy but generally speaking it does get better with time. Grief can be a complicated process but most research shows that after about a year most people come to terms with their loss. It’s not true for everyone but it is for most people.

Secondly, I am not certain of your exact question so I can only give you a generalized answer. Regarding your work situation, it is unfortunate that your co-workers are taking advantage of you but it seems to be the reality. If possible, you should search for new job. I understand that may not be feasible but some of what you are experiencing is simply not fair and in the case of sexual harassment, not legal. If a new job is not an option for you at this time, it’s important to develop effective strategies to deal with those individuals who appear to be taking advantage of you. Part of your challenge is that you are still grieving the loss of your father. Psychologically, you are not feeling well. Your co-workers likely sense this and are using it to their advantage.

I would recommend counseling. It could help you deal with your feelings of grief and loss. It does not seem as though you are receiving any support at this time. Having supportive people in your life is very important for both physical and psychological well-being. Studies consistently show this to be true. Counseling is available even to individuals who do not have private health insurance. The local community mental health center is often a place where individuals can access free or low-cost counseling services. I would also recommend a grief and loss support group, if one is available in your community. There are online support groups as well.

Another idea is to find a way to honor your father. This might include volunteering for a charity or a cause that he supported. Volunteering might be an opportunity for you to meet new people, express your kindness and compassion for others and to help individuals in need. Charity work can bring renewed meaning to one’s life.

Another consideration is attending church or a prayer group. Many people find solace in religion. You mentioned your fear that God has put you on earth to suffer. God is infinitely mysterious and we can’t jump to conclusions as to what purpose he has for us.

With your work schedule, following your father’s death, you really haven’t had time to grieve. You also haven’t had help with your grief. Counseling is the ideal way to ease the loss of someone that you love immensely.

I understand that you are struggling but it won’t always be this way. People have difficult times throughout their lives but life can and usually does improve. Right now life is difficult but have faith that it will get better. Don’t hesitate to write back with additional or more specific questions. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Life Has Fallen Apart Since I Lost My Father. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/02/28/life-has-fallen-apart-since-i-lost-my-father/