Does grief cloud your judgement? You betcha.

Two years ago, my life was settled, peaceful and secure. One critical mistake, a terrible car crash, and everything changed.

When someone you love dies, you don’t really understand the trauma that grief causes. That is until you snap out of it and come to the realization that every major decision you make is based purely on emotion and not sound judgment. It’s terrifying.

Is it too late to go back?

While it might be too late to turn back the page, you can still come out on the right side of it.

Photo by Pedro Figueras on

For me, the fog rolled in two summers ago when my husband died in a terrible car accident.

I had PTSD for the longest time and was unaware of it until someone pointed it out. Acknowledging it was the first step to recovery.

Finding out I was adopted and losing my father at the same time, at a young age, caused abandonment issues and autophobia; losing my husband put them in code red. What is autophobia? The fear of being alone. I am absolutely terrified of it. When I first started working, I developed anxiety and panic attacks every time I had to take mass transit. This was autophobia on high alert. As a result, I took taxis to work so often that it almost cost me more than I got paid. This was the secret hell that I had been living with. Fear of abandonment and autophobia go hand in hand for adoptees.

“I could get hurt on my way to work, and no one would know.” These are the silly things people with autophobia think and fear. It can be debilitating. Oddly enough, when my husband died, I wanted nothing more than to be left alone. For the first time in my life, I wanted to be alone.

Grief has a funny way of rearing its ugly head.

The autophobia crept back in, and I did whatever I could to surround myself with people because I would break down whenever I found myself alone. Keeping busy meant I did not have to deal with my sadness.

Masking pain is not dealing with it.

What happened after that is disheartening and why I am writing this blog today. As I always say, writing is my own personal therapy.

I spent the past two years trying hard to create a legacy for my family, buying a trailer, running a restaurant, starting a liquidation business and renovating two houses. Everything kept failing because I wasn’t thinking it through I was just going with the flow. I was getting angrier and blaming others for my own mistakes. This is not a great way to invest. My daughter finally confronted me to remind me that I was running around in circles and not getting anywhere. It woke me to the realization that I nearly lost my savings and my mind. The legacy I was trying to create was at risk. I knew I had to do something to secure what I have left. My survival skills kicked in. I think that is one very positive aspect of being adopted, I have a unique ability to survive and I am really strong.

I finally turned things around.

Like every personal blog I write, what may start out as tragic usually ends on a positive note. I am going back to the moment before all this happened when I was happy and content. I restarted my freelance writing business, took some road trips and faced my fear head-on.

I was put in this situation to deal with my grief and my fears. My husband would be the first to say, you know you got this right? He had faith in me. I never did. I think somehow he was always preparing me for this moment. Pushing me to be independent and strong. I miss that.

Things have changed so much in the past two years. I guess because I had no choice but to accept my fate, my fears are diminishing. I am a whole new person. Now, I just want to be alone. I like the peace it affords me. In this new world, there is no drama and no compromise. Maybe it is selfish. I am ok with that. For the first time in my life, I choose to be selfish. Why not? I brought up my children, I was a great wife and mother and now it is my turn to live.

I do believe that once you stop feeling guilty for living, then you can truly begin to live. This is where I am now in my life. I choose to do it in peace and quiet. just have not figured out if this is just another step in the grieving process and what happens next? Stay along for the ride.


Published by Madeline Foster

I am a senior digital marketer, product manager, and consultant but I also like to write about trendy things. My passion has always been writing, my mission is to help the world become a better place through socially responsible social media because I believe that everyone needs a voice.

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