Mercy

When I was pregnant with my first born, there was a point in which tests were run to determine whether any abnormalities were present. As with damn near every medical evaluation I’ve experienced to date (and believe me, I’ve experienced more than I care to recall), there was an excruciating span of time between the actual test and news of the results. During a particular day among those spent waiting… hoping… fearing the worst… agonizing over what I may have done wrong or could have done better… I had met a couple of gals for lunch. I can only imagine I must have exuded the anxiety coursing through every vein in my body as they attempted to keep the conversation light and distracting. Finally one of the girls interrupted the obligatory ramblings and turned to look at me with a disturbing sense of urgency; “You know God only gives us what we are strong enough to handle and you are the strongest woman I’ve ever known.”

“I don’t believe in God,”
No, I didn’t say those words out loud…. I suppose I may have as my memory of the event ends there, but I can piece together enough of later interactions with her to safely assume I must have put on a gracious and receptive face in response to what I hope were words spoken with the best of intentions.  Still? I wouldn’t recommend keeping that as any sort of go-to phrase of comfort should you ever find yourself attempting to soothe the innate fears of a first-time Mama-to-be.

If there were a god, news of my perceived strength clearly leaked out as I have had my resilience tested far beyond my actual means. Where I used to go on scavenger hunts for silver lining and baby pandas, now I am utterly hollow. Broken. I have nothing left to give. I simply  grasp that proverbial thread out of reflex and more accurately, out of an immeasurable amount of love for my boys. Those same boys deserve worlds better than I’m equipped to provide, and that knowledge pushes me deeper down into the darkest of pits.

This is not a cry for help as those cries slipped out long ago only to be met with deafening silence. In isolation and I suppose in some sort of auto-pilot, instinctual sense, I come back to the only outlet I’ve ever known. My own words, I’ve come to realize, are the only thing I can’t be stripped of so long as my brain continues, tirelessly, to buzz. Day in and day out. I stare out the smoke-stained windows of this garage at the blackness beyond and see myself reflected in it. Nothingness that was once teeming with life.

My eyes are tired and etched with scarlet webs. Every so often, I’m aware of tears streaming down out from them and somewhere inside, there are whispers furiously trying to hush the vocal sobs so as not to continue frightening those sweet boys inside the house. Guilt wrestles Despair and eventually wins the bout, but Despair perseveres in furious waves as the sun rises and sets and the days all run together.

I only leave the house, now, to drop off and retrieve my boys from school. Those boys are my world, but I have fading memories of a world I wish I could expose them to… the one that was once kind and fascinating and full of experience and hope. I wonder if this is the definition of “handling” that the girl’s god had in mind for me. Is this where I’m expected to scream “MERCY!”? I’m afraid I don’t know the rules of that game.

When The Aperture Shuts.....

"You will soon learn that only by hastily skimming the errors of the past can we hope to mostly avoid repeating what we dimly remember them to be in the future."

Vulnerability is a foreign, tricky sort of creature. One I'm torn between viewing as a positive and the catalyst of my demise. I don't let my guard down easily... Until very recently, not at all. I find myself envying those who aren't affected by the opinions of others. Is that something learned or owned? Both? 


From the time I was young(er) and naive(er), I was reminded to be ever-vigilant of what I portray and how that's perceived.  I was taught etiquette and social grace... The subjects to avoid in civil conversation and those to be altogether suppressed. Taught that black is slimming and certain hairdos will "add pounds". Everything I was - scrutinized at length and a red-lined report card handed out accordingly. I knew shame and humility. Fitting in and neither being seen nor heard. And all was right in the world. 


As time went by and experience piled up, all of that seemed a load of rubbish. I began questioning and venturing outside those isolating walls. Pushing limits. Boundaries. Buttons. Questioning. Discovering. Growing. 


It was so entirely liberating shattering the status quo. Rebelling merely by being. 


Still... there were always those nagging little insecurities tattooed upon my DNA. The what ifs and what thens leading to what nows. Consequences for my actions, even if only carried out within the confines of my skull. Self doubt and loathing. The pity tea parties I've referenced time and time again. 


As evolution tends to dictate, there was a period of adaptation to my environment. Of falling back in line and tucking the unsavory bits deep down inside. I found I often defaulted to the path of least resistance as a result of my years teeming with trial and error. All of this is to say the character I portray is merely the result of the traits met with the most positive response. For several years, now, this calculated effort has proven to be the sweet spot of an existence. For several years, now, I have been slowly, methodically and unwittingly killing myself. 


To have a taste of freedom... That delicious moment following an elaborate performance when you run off stage and strip off all the layers of this facade... Off with the wig, the makeup, the shoes, the dress.... the corset falls to your now bare feet simultaneously with the moment the stockings are tossed aside.... When you run naked through the emergency exit and the cold, night air hits the sweat of your scalp, sending chills racing across your flesh,... Forcing you to exhale for what feels like the first time since birth. Your eyes slowly adjust and focus in on the expansive ceiling of twinkling stars above. THAT is a freedom so exquisite, you can hardly contain the smile emanating from somewhere within your soul! 


In that single, perfect moment... To so much as consider doing it all again in a matter of hours... Well, let's just say fleeing the scene and going permanently on the lam doesn't seem the slightest bit unreasonable, irrational or insane. Yet every day, for bloody YEARS, I wake up, rinse and repeat. Despite resounding cries of "everyone LOVES Annie", my anxiety has been at an all time high. With disturbingly rare exception, I'm shielded from any negative remark or harsh word. The worst insults seem to come in the form of basically pointing out the obvious.... About my tendencies to flake out on plans or the fact that I'm never on time anymore. Even those criticisms are softened by excuses of "that's to be expected, you've been through a lot". I'm living a pretty sheltered existence, here, folks. 


But something has changed.


Actually, a LOT has changed.


Too much exposure? Perhaps the perfect amount. 


The stars are blindingly beautiful tonight.













From Out Of Nowhere

"You could spend hours just watching people, but it’s nothing compared to the time and money that certain people have spent watching you."

An email arrived at 1am from a ghost. Someone I haven't heard from in years:


"You ok? I think I feel you. From miles away. It's not good. What's going on? Something is going on.


Sigh. "

I read it around 3:40am...


I don't know how you did it... you knew before I did.... I'm about to share something very eerily personal.... something you just had a premonition about hours before it took place... I'm actually physically shaking....  I had read a blog post... the private message I wrote to the author directly after:


Damnit. Oh Honey, I love you...I just read your blog.... I'm sobbing my eyes out.... through blinding tears, I carefully selected the first link taking me back to the curb appeal house post... the red door, your emotions overwhelming me like blood soaking the crisp white of the page. YOUR blood... YOUR heart. Pain. Suffering. Sadness. Your attempts at reaching out. To strangers. To me. Unreturned. I thought the previous bout of as-yet-unending sobbing was monumental... Now I'm actually wailing and sobbing... that deep, hysterical sobbing that echos from the depth of the catacombs containing absolutely countless numbers of lost souls... I select the second link... The door is blue. 

My instinct is to shut it all down, grab my keys, crudely scribble a note of brief explanation to Brian and the boys, and hit the road hoping to reach you as quick as possible to just hug you and hold on for dear life. Some small ounce of common sense... or sanity... no, probably fear... stops me dead in my tracks. I'm not coping. My grief is so different. It comes from a different place. From a different situation. So how is it so very similar? Your words are more than familiar. I selfishly see them as my own. I want to email just about every last person I've encountered in the past six months and somehow broadcast your words at deafening volumes, over-dubbed with my own voice shouting "DO YOU FUCKING GET IT YET!!!!???? THIS!!!! NO, I'M NOT OK!!!!" I'm thinking that possibly wouldn't be received well. Even worse? At all. The file wouldn't even be opened. Yet again, there would be no validation. Shit. I'm an awful person. But I'm hurting. 


Goddamnit, I may be hurting more today than the day it happened. I'm "supposed" to be over it. That's how I feel every time someone.... ANYONE.. asks how I'm doing. They're not even referring to THAT so I try not to respond from a place of THAT. THAT is where I'm at, though. And they're tired of hearing it. Maybe they don't even know? I almost feel that would be worse... they have no business in my life, no, not even simply to hand me change for the pack of smokes I just bought, if they don't understand it was the biggest, most excruciatingly devastating event to ever happen to me!! It's not getting better. Why the hell isn't it getting better? I don't know. I'm fairly positive grief counselors don't exist... they're the proverbial men behind the curtains, but these curtains are fabricated from heartless drones working the phone trees. What a sick thing. I've shut down because I've long since lost the strength to reach out into the emptiness for help I've decided will never come. I'm in a dark place while the sun is shining on the rest of the world and the birds are chirping, which further invalidates my very existence on this planet. 


I think I've been waiting for this poignant moment to commence where I recognize the beginning of truly entering a set phase of grieving I know I've needed all this time. And it will be precise and tangible and I'll come out the other side healed or fixed or at peace. That point where I actually CAN email or text or call or just utter the words "I'm all better now! It happened! It's over!!" All that while smiling ear to ear. It's just not happening. 


This is supposed to be a letter filled with sunshine and eloquence and baby pandas and rainbows, but I can only be honest with you and that is to say you moved me and I'm here. I'm grateful for you and not a day has passed where I don't think of you. Not a single day, even through my selfishness, where I so desperately wish I could take away your pain and shower you with gifts of happiness and peace. You have forever touched my life in ways I never could have fathomed and I really just need you to know all of that. 


For once in my life, I'm not in need of validation... I just needed to tell you. I love you, Honey. I don't have all the answers... I don't even have one. But I'm here. That is to say, I'm there. Right there next to you because you're not alone and now I realize I'm not either. Thank you.


How did you know????? I'm shaking. 

How To Shout Loudly When There Is Nothing To Say

“The stars don’t understand how you can sleep at night after everything that you’ve done, though they’re mostly just referring to all the napping.”


I was catching up on one of my beloved writers when I came across…. Well… a good half dozen moments of brilliance. Funny thing about it…. aside from the general hilarity of the site as a whole, there was the sentiment resonating with me which would normally dictate another day without a post:


“Make a new friend. Learn to chainsaw juggle. Read a book. Go hang gliding in your underpants…. If you have done all of these things and you still don’t have anything to write about, then you shouldn’t be a writer. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have anything to say, then you shouldn’t be talking. And if you don’t have anything to write about, don’t write.”


And I don’t…. have anything to say or write about. Yet here I am, simultaneously mumbling out loud and typing furiously away. I chalk it up to what feels like months of silence. It can be tough keeping everything inside while experiencing a complete lack of an interested audience. I suppose to that end, I finally “get” Twitter and social networking as a whole. Society, at large, can magically toss every last thought out there without running into a wall of “Shhhhhhh!”. But that’s a lie. I still don’t really get “it” or much else, for that matter.


Each day, I arrive at work (I’ll leave my punctuality up for interpretation on that one) ready to say something. Anything. Desperate for camaraderie. Socializing. Interest. Something. I often find myself preparing little anecdotes for that first break of the day. Those few minutes where I can fill the silence with something meaningful, charmingly witty or at the very least amusing. I’ve spent many years of my life listening. And I mean REALLY listening. Hanging on every last word as though taking sips of the finest wine. Being present. Engaged. PRESENT. That’s a difficult trait to find in another. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not assigning blame as there is none to be assigned. I’ve often found there is a force at play far more powerful than words when two can sit in ethereal silence. Still…. There comes a time for words too. When it feels cozy to be heard. Not just casually acknowledged, but heard.


It’s no government secret that I have very few friends. That can be a treasure too…. I’d certainly prefer the gift of a few extraordinary creatures in my life than an overflowing cup of acquaintances. But backing that train up – I question whether the precious few have any patience for me anymore. Perhaps not even patience so much as interest. I seem to be increasingly irrelevant as I age. That’s a tough pill to swallow. What happens when I cease to have anything, tangible or otherwise, to offer? I’d like to think I’d spontaneously implode so as to at least clean up after myself.


This all most likely boils down to a good ‘ol fashioned helping of loneliness. In the past, I took great pride in maintaining a sense of happiness within my walls. Man oh man, never place that meter in the hands of another. If you aren’t happy alone with your own thoughts, there isn’t a person in the world who can fix that for you. Yet solitary confinement can have its limitations on healthy balance. “Fuck balance”. A phrase from one of my truest friends. I love that. In lieu of that dirty little word, perhaps I’m looking to be more well-rounded beyond the roundness of my own physique. I’ve thought about going back to school for something. Not sure what. Or when. Or how, exactly, I plan on paying for that. So I read. A lot. Too much, I think. I don’t believe I learn much. A lot of it is noise. Noise. I think I need to stop filling the silence with my thoughts when they are quite possibly exactly that.


I need a hobby. Then, perhaps a nap. Or a sandwich. A sandwich and then a nap? Shake things up a little? For now, I just need to go quietly.

Unfinished.


“You're beginning to wonder exactly who is in charge of quality control for all those treasure maps”…

So it seems this whole writing business is coming in handy when it comes to sorting things out and getting over those pesky hurdles. Chicken soup or some such nonsense, yes?  I jest. I’m well aware there’s something very rewarding to being able to express oneself, be it through music, art, writing or kung fu. 

We all need an outlet. There won’t always be a shoulder to cry on and experience has told me, we aren’t by any means owed that.  When we do find ourselves fortunate enough to find a sounding board in life, it’s not something to be taken lightly and most certainly not for granted.

I’m not an easy person to know.

I struggle with that as I don’t think I’ve ever uttered it aloud. Something happens when you’ve spent so much time and energy crafting a pleasant persona for those you have no intention of letting in. The struggle between the outer and inner creatures results in constant torment and grief. Often the persistence of those who sincerely care for you becomes maddening. You earnestly try shooing them away….gently at first.

That rarely works.

You fool yourself into believing perhaps they’ll just forget about you so you can quietly mourn and proceed to make precisely zero changes.

Their stubbornness is almost impressive.
 
Finally the wall begins to crack… to erode… and everything once contained inside comes pouring out. I can only imagine the utter shock on the receiving end, though the facial expressions do much to aid the translation. From there we both find the battle has just begun.

My gut instinct is to apologize. That is rarely received well. After all, they accomplished what they clearly set out to do. And I applaud their bravery. Still, it hardly seems fair. All that work and this is the thanks they get?  Seems like anyone who hangs out with this riff-raff is getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop!

All that said, I’m eternally grateful for those few amazing souls. Not a day goes by when I don’t marvel at my fortune. At these people who inexplicably formed a nest in my heart. In my soul. Who know EVERYTHING they NEVER wanted to know, and still answer my calls or smile in response to my gaze. Awestruck.
My questionable self esteem dictates I will forever feel the scales are tipped. That I have little more to offer up than myself. But there is a protective nature to my beast. I will fight for them until the end of time. I will be there when it feels like everyone else has left. They have taught me their persistence. An unconditional love I didn’t think I was capable of feeling, let alone receiving.  They soften the hard lines around my being and open my mind to experiences I was too afraid to know. It is my hope they realize their value to every cell in my body even when I’m too caught up in __________ to express. They are loved beyond words.

Excuses, Excuses


In a rare moment of solitude, I sat down with my phone, pulled up my post from yesterday, and just quietly read. I was fully expecting to stumble on a rat’s nest of misspellings and incoherent babble. I was almost disappointed to find it contained little more than vagueness. As prone to do when trying to kick myself in the ass to keep up on my writing, I eagerly begin clicking through the posts of some of my favorites. It can feel like catching up with an old friend over drinks, despite entertaining the company of only one. 

Often I find that the further I walk down that road, the more insecure I become of my own writing. The world is an intimidating place, overflowing with real talent. Talent for words. For storytelling. For painstaking detail, thought and love poured into each line. I flash back to my own words, and they seem hollow. They make sense to me, and perhaps that’s all that matters, but the substance…. It’s missing.

When I do find the time, the inspiration, god help me – the motivation, I can only contain the flood of thoughts bursting forth from my skull. There is detail up there. It’s not that I don’t recall the entire story I wish to unleash. Rather, I feel haunted by the permanence of the words splashing out before me. I’m afraid of my own words. My own thoughts. Afraid of who might read them. Those who may map out complex interpretation resulting in perceived malice. I’m terrified of that level of exposure.

Now here’s the real pickle: Unless I’m willing to free the story in its entirety, I will forever feel imprisoned by my own thoughts.  This tends to lead me to believe I need therapy (who doesn’t, right?). I need safety. I have been offered that safety by one person who means the absolute world to me, yet I can’t even seem to push myself past the barrier of embarrassment to release all the poison. Inhibited. It can be a miserable sensation.

Looking back on these words, I find I’m doing it again. There’s vagueness in my words. I suppose it’ll come when I’m ready. But what am I waiting for?

Kitty

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mercy

When I was pregnant with my first born, there was a point in which tests were run to determine whether any abnormalities were present. As with damn near every medical evaluation I’ve experienced to date (and believe me, I’ve experienced more than I care to recall), there was an excruciating span of time between the actual test and news of the results. During a particular day among those spent waiting… hoping… fearing the worst… agonizing over what I may have done wrong or could have done better… I had met a couple of gals for lunch. I can only imagine I must have exuded the anxiety coursing through every vein in my body as they attempted to keep the conversation light and distracting. Finally one of the girls interrupted the obligatory ramblings and turned to look at me with a disturbing sense of urgency; “You know God only gives us what we are strong enough to handle and you are the strongest woman I’ve ever known.”

“I don’t believe in God,”
No, I didn’t say those words out loud…. I suppose I may have as my memory of the event ends there, but I can piece together enough of later interactions with her to safely assume I must have put on a gracious and receptive face in response to what I hope were words spoken with the best of intentions.  Still? I wouldn’t recommend keeping that as any sort of go-to phrase of comfort should you ever find yourself attempting to soothe the innate fears of a first-time Mama-to-be.

If there were a god, news of my perceived strength clearly leaked out as I have had my resilience tested far beyond my actual means. Where I used to go on scavenger hunts for silver lining and baby pandas, now I am utterly hollow. Broken. I have nothing left to give. I simply  grasp that proverbial thread out of reflex and more accurately, out of an immeasurable amount of love for my boys. Those same boys deserve worlds better than I’m equipped to provide, and that knowledge pushes me deeper down into the darkest of pits.

This is not a cry for help as those cries slipped out long ago only to be met with deafening silence. In isolation and I suppose in some sort of auto-pilot, instinctual sense, I come back to the only outlet I’ve ever known. My own words, I’ve come to realize, are the only thing I can’t be stripped of so long as my brain continues, tirelessly, to buzz. Day in and day out. I stare out the smoke-stained windows of this garage at the blackness beyond and see myself reflected in it. Nothingness that was once teeming with life.

My eyes are tired and etched with scarlet webs. Every so often, I’m aware of tears streaming down out from them and somewhere inside, there are whispers furiously trying to hush the vocal sobs so as not to continue frightening those sweet boys inside the house. Guilt wrestles Despair and eventually wins the bout, but Despair perseveres in furious waves as the sun rises and sets and the days all run together.

I only leave the house, now, to drop off and retrieve my boys from school. Those boys are my world, but I have fading memories of a world I wish I could expose them to… the one that was once kind and fascinating and full of experience and hope. I wonder if this is the definition of “handling” that the girl’s god had in mind for me. Is this where I’m expected to scream “MERCY!”? I’m afraid I don’t know the rules of that game.

Monday, May 16, 2016

When The Aperture Shuts.....

"You will soon learn that only by hastily skimming the errors of the past can we hope to mostly avoid repeating what we dimly remember them to be in the future."

Vulnerability is a foreign, tricky sort of creature. One I'm torn between viewing as a positive and the catalyst of my demise. I don't let my guard down easily... Until very recently, not at all. I find myself envying those who aren't affected by the opinions of others. Is that something learned or owned? Both? 


From the time I was young(er) and naive(er), I was reminded to be ever-vigilant of what I portray and how that's perceived.  I was taught etiquette and social grace... The subjects to avoid in civil conversation and those to be altogether suppressed. Taught that black is slimming and certain hairdos will "add pounds". Everything I was - scrutinized at length and a red-lined report card handed out accordingly. I knew shame and humility. Fitting in and neither being seen nor heard. And all was right in the world. 


As time went by and experience piled up, all of that seemed a load of rubbish. I began questioning and venturing outside those isolating walls. Pushing limits. Boundaries. Buttons. Questioning. Discovering. Growing. 


It was so entirely liberating shattering the status quo. Rebelling merely by being. 


Still... there were always those nagging little insecurities tattooed upon my DNA. The what ifs and what thens leading to what nows. Consequences for my actions, even if only carried out within the confines of my skull. Self doubt and loathing. The pity tea parties I've referenced time and time again. 


As evolution tends to dictate, there was a period of adaptation to my environment. Of falling back in line and tucking the unsavory bits deep down inside. I found I often defaulted to the path of least resistance as a result of my years teeming with trial and error. All of this is to say the character I portray is merely the result of the traits met with the most positive response. For several years, now, this calculated effort has proven to be the sweet spot of an existence. For several years, now, I have been slowly, methodically and unwittingly killing myself. 


To have a taste of freedom... That delicious moment following an elaborate performance when you run off stage and strip off all the layers of this facade... Off with the wig, the makeup, the shoes, the dress.... the corset falls to your now bare feet simultaneously with the moment the stockings are tossed aside.... When you run naked through the emergency exit and the cold, night air hits the sweat of your scalp, sending chills racing across your flesh,... Forcing you to exhale for what feels like the first time since birth. Your eyes slowly adjust and focus in on the expansive ceiling of twinkling stars above. THAT is a freedom so exquisite, you can hardly contain the smile emanating from somewhere within your soul! 


In that single, perfect moment... To so much as consider doing it all again in a matter of hours... Well, let's just say fleeing the scene and going permanently on the lam doesn't seem the slightest bit unreasonable, irrational or insane. Yet every day, for bloody YEARS, I wake up, rinse and repeat. Despite resounding cries of "everyone LOVES Annie", my anxiety has been at an all time high. With disturbingly rare exception, I'm shielded from any negative remark or harsh word. The worst insults seem to come in the form of basically pointing out the obvious.... About my tendencies to flake out on plans or the fact that I'm never on time anymore. Even those criticisms are softened by excuses of "that's to be expected, you've been through a lot". I'm living a pretty sheltered existence, here, folks. 


But something has changed.


Actually, a LOT has changed.


Too much exposure? Perhaps the perfect amount. 


The stars are blindingly beautiful tonight.













From Out Of Nowhere

"You could spend hours just watching people, but it’s nothing compared to the time and money that certain people have spent watching you."

An email arrived at 1am from a ghost. Someone I haven't heard from in years:


"You ok? I think I feel you. From miles away. It's not good. What's going on? Something is going on.


Sigh. "

I read it around 3:40am...


I don't know how you did it... you knew before I did.... I'm about to share something very eerily personal.... something you just had a premonition about hours before it took place... I'm actually physically shaking....  I had read a blog post... the private message I wrote to the author directly after:


Damnit. Oh Honey, I love you...I just read your blog.... I'm sobbing my eyes out.... through blinding tears, I carefully selected the first link taking me back to the curb appeal house post... the red door, your emotions overwhelming me like blood soaking the crisp white of the page. YOUR blood... YOUR heart. Pain. Suffering. Sadness. Your attempts at reaching out. To strangers. To me. Unreturned. I thought the previous bout of as-yet-unending sobbing was monumental... Now I'm actually wailing and sobbing... that deep, hysterical sobbing that echos from the depth of the catacombs containing absolutely countless numbers of lost souls... I select the second link... The door is blue. 

My instinct is to shut it all down, grab my keys, crudely scribble a note of brief explanation to Brian and the boys, and hit the road hoping to reach you as quick as possible to just hug you and hold on for dear life. Some small ounce of common sense... or sanity... no, probably fear... stops me dead in my tracks. I'm not coping. My grief is so different. It comes from a different place. From a different situation. So how is it so very similar? Your words are more than familiar. I selfishly see them as my own. I want to email just about every last person I've encountered in the past six months and somehow broadcast your words at deafening volumes, over-dubbed with my own voice shouting "DO YOU FUCKING GET IT YET!!!!???? THIS!!!! NO, I'M NOT OK!!!!" I'm thinking that possibly wouldn't be received well. Even worse? At all. The file wouldn't even be opened. Yet again, there would be no validation. Shit. I'm an awful person. But I'm hurting. 


Goddamnit, I may be hurting more today than the day it happened. I'm "supposed" to be over it. That's how I feel every time someone.... ANYONE.. asks how I'm doing. They're not even referring to THAT so I try not to respond from a place of THAT. THAT is where I'm at, though. And they're tired of hearing it. Maybe they don't even know? I almost feel that would be worse... they have no business in my life, no, not even simply to hand me change for the pack of smokes I just bought, if they don't understand it was the biggest, most excruciatingly devastating event to ever happen to me!! It's not getting better. Why the hell isn't it getting better? I don't know. I'm fairly positive grief counselors don't exist... they're the proverbial men behind the curtains, but these curtains are fabricated from heartless drones working the phone trees. What a sick thing. I've shut down because I've long since lost the strength to reach out into the emptiness for help I've decided will never come. I'm in a dark place while the sun is shining on the rest of the world and the birds are chirping, which further invalidates my very existence on this planet. 


I think I've been waiting for this poignant moment to commence where I recognize the beginning of truly entering a set phase of grieving I know I've needed all this time. And it will be precise and tangible and I'll come out the other side healed or fixed or at peace. That point where I actually CAN email or text or call or just utter the words "I'm all better now! It happened! It's over!!" All that while smiling ear to ear. It's just not happening. 


This is supposed to be a letter filled with sunshine and eloquence and baby pandas and rainbows, but I can only be honest with you and that is to say you moved me and I'm here. I'm grateful for you and not a day has passed where I don't think of you. Not a single day, even through my selfishness, where I so desperately wish I could take away your pain and shower you with gifts of happiness and peace. You have forever touched my life in ways I never could have fathomed and I really just need you to know all of that. 


For once in my life, I'm not in need of validation... I just needed to tell you. I love you, Honey. I don't have all the answers... I don't even have one. But I'm here. That is to say, I'm there. Right there next to you because you're not alone and now I realize I'm not either. Thank you.


How did you know????? I'm shaking. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

How To Shout Loudly When There Is Nothing To Say

“The stars don’t understand how you can sleep at night after everything that you’ve done, though they’re mostly just referring to all the napping.”


I was catching up on one of my beloved writers when I came across…. Well… a good half dozen moments of brilliance. Funny thing about it…. aside from the general hilarity of the site as a whole, there was the sentiment resonating with me which would normally dictate another day without a post:


“Make a new friend. Learn to chainsaw juggle. Read a book. Go hang gliding in your underpants…. If you have done all of these things and you still don’t have anything to write about, then you shouldn’t be a writer. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have anything to say, then you shouldn’t be talking. And if you don’t have anything to write about, don’t write.”


And I don’t…. have anything to say or write about. Yet here I am, simultaneously mumbling out loud and typing furiously away. I chalk it up to what feels like months of silence. It can be tough keeping everything inside while experiencing a complete lack of an interested audience. I suppose to that end, I finally “get” Twitter and social networking as a whole. Society, at large, can magically toss every last thought out there without running into a wall of “Shhhhhhh!”. But that’s a lie. I still don’t really get “it” or much else, for that matter.


Each day, I arrive at work (I’ll leave my punctuality up for interpretation on that one) ready to say something. Anything. Desperate for camaraderie. Socializing. Interest. Something. I often find myself preparing little anecdotes for that first break of the day. Those few minutes where I can fill the silence with something meaningful, charmingly witty or at the very least amusing. I’ve spent many years of my life listening. And I mean REALLY listening. Hanging on every last word as though taking sips of the finest wine. Being present. Engaged. PRESENT. That’s a difficult trait to find in another. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not assigning blame as there is none to be assigned. I’ve often found there is a force at play far more powerful than words when two can sit in ethereal silence. Still…. There comes a time for words too. When it feels cozy to be heard. Not just casually acknowledged, but heard.


It’s no government secret that I have very few friends. That can be a treasure too…. I’d certainly prefer the gift of a few extraordinary creatures in my life than an overflowing cup of acquaintances. But backing that train up – I question whether the precious few have any patience for me anymore. Perhaps not even patience so much as interest. I seem to be increasingly irrelevant as I age. That’s a tough pill to swallow. What happens when I cease to have anything, tangible or otherwise, to offer? I’d like to think I’d spontaneously implode so as to at least clean up after myself.


This all most likely boils down to a good ‘ol fashioned helping of loneliness. In the past, I took great pride in maintaining a sense of happiness within my walls. Man oh man, never place that meter in the hands of another. If you aren’t happy alone with your own thoughts, there isn’t a person in the world who can fix that for you. Yet solitary confinement can have its limitations on healthy balance. “Fuck balance”. A phrase from one of my truest friends. I love that. In lieu of that dirty little word, perhaps I’m looking to be more well-rounded beyond the roundness of my own physique. I’ve thought about going back to school for something. Not sure what. Or when. Or how, exactly, I plan on paying for that. So I read. A lot. Too much, I think. I don’t believe I learn much. A lot of it is noise. Noise. I think I need to stop filling the silence with my thoughts when they are quite possibly exactly that.


I need a hobby. Then, perhaps a nap. Or a sandwich. A sandwich and then a nap? Shake things up a little? For now, I just need to go quietly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Unfinished.


“You're beginning to wonder exactly who is in charge of quality control for all those treasure maps”…

So it seems this whole writing business is coming in handy when it comes to sorting things out and getting over those pesky hurdles. Chicken soup or some such nonsense, yes?  I jest. I’m well aware there’s something very rewarding to being able to express oneself, be it through music, art, writing or kung fu. 

We all need an outlet. There won’t always be a shoulder to cry on and experience has told me, we aren’t by any means owed that.  When we do find ourselves fortunate enough to find a sounding board in life, it’s not something to be taken lightly and most certainly not for granted.

I’m not an easy person to know.

I struggle with that as I don’t think I’ve ever uttered it aloud. Something happens when you’ve spent so much time and energy crafting a pleasant persona for those you have no intention of letting in. The struggle between the outer and inner creatures results in constant torment and grief. Often the persistence of those who sincerely care for you becomes maddening. You earnestly try shooing them away….gently at first.

That rarely works.

You fool yourself into believing perhaps they’ll just forget about you so you can quietly mourn and proceed to make precisely zero changes.

Their stubbornness is almost impressive.
 
Finally the wall begins to crack… to erode… and everything once contained inside comes pouring out. I can only imagine the utter shock on the receiving end, though the facial expressions do much to aid the translation. From there we both find the battle has just begun.

My gut instinct is to apologize. That is rarely received well. After all, they accomplished what they clearly set out to do. And I applaud their bravery. Still, it hardly seems fair. All that work and this is the thanks they get?  Seems like anyone who hangs out with this riff-raff is getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop!

All that said, I’m eternally grateful for those few amazing souls. Not a day goes by when I don’t marvel at my fortune. At these people who inexplicably formed a nest in my heart. In my soul. Who know EVERYTHING they NEVER wanted to know, and still answer my calls or smile in response to my gaze. Awestruck.
My questionable self esteem dictates I will forever feel the scales are tipped. That I have little more to offer up than myself. But there is a protective nature to my beast. I will fight for them until the end of time. I will be there when it feels like everyone else has left. They have taught me their persistence. An unconditional love I didn’t think I was capable of feeling, let alone receiving.  They soften the hard lines around my being and open my mind to experiences I was too afraid to know. It is my hope they realize their value to every cell in my body even when I’m too caught up in __________ to express. They are loved beyond words.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Excuses, Excuses


In a rare moment of solitude, I sat down with my phone, pulled up my post from yesterday, and just quietly read. I was fully expecting to stumble on a rat’s nest of misspellings and incoherent babble. I was almost disappointed to find it contained little more than vagueness. As prone to do when trying to kick myself in the ass to keep up on my writing, I eagerly begin clicking through the posts of some of my favorites. It can feel like catching up with an old friend over drinks, despite entertaining the company of only one. 

Often I find that the further I walk down that road, the more insecure I become of my own writing. The world is an intimidating place, overflowing with real talent. Talent for words. For storytelling. For painstaking detail, thought and love poured into each line. I flash back to my own words, and they seem hollow. They make sense to me, and perhaps that’s all that matters, but the substance…. It’s missing.

When I do find the time, the inspiration, god help me – the motivation, I can only contain the flood of thoughts bursting forth from my skull. There is detail up there. It’s not that I don’t recall the entire story I wish to unleash. Rather, I feel haunted by the permanence of the words splashing out before me. I’m afraid of my own words. My own thoughts. Afraid of who might read them. Those who may map out complex interpretation resulting in perceived malice. I’m terrified of that level of exposure.

Now here’s the real pickle: Unless I’m willing to free the story in its entirety, I will forever feel imprisoned by my own thoughts.  This tends to lead me to believe I need therapy (who doesn’t, right?). I need safety. I have been offered that safety by one person who means the absolute world to me, yet I can’t even seem to push myself past the barrier of embarrassment to release all the poison. Inhibited. It can be a miserable sensation.

Looking back on these words, I find I’m doing it again. There’s vagueness in my words. I suppose it’ll come when I’m ready. But what am I waiting for?