Monthly Archives: September 2010

Dismantling Illusions

I am exhausted.  Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  My sleep has been even more sporadic than usual, and I even when I get sleep, it doesn’t make me feel refreshed.  I know it’s because as my therapist said, I’m doing some fucking heavy psychological work here.  No, she didn’t say fucking, but she implied it, I could tell.

When I walked into my session, I was heavy with grief.  I have written about it before, but it’s lingering.  I have never had someone close to me die.  I have never felt this kind of grief before.  I am not sure what to do about it.  My body is heavy, physically.  I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open, even when I’ve had relatively enough sleep.  I have been crying on and off and at the silliest things.  My emotions are battered, and my spirit is frayed.

As I was recounting my feelings to my therapist, my voice was low and a bit deadened.  I have numbed out somewhat in order to take the edge off the pain.  She asked me where the grief was and what form did it take.  I said it was raw, pulsing, and almost a sentient being, and it was residing here.  I tapped myself on my chest where my heart is.  And, I immediately teared up.

In the days when I was depressed, I prided myself on not crying.  I hated to be seen crying in public, and I tried not to cry even when I was in private.  Now, I can’t seem to stop myself from crying–and I am deeply ashamed every time I do it in the presence of someone else.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a trusted friend; it still feels shameful to me.

I see it as a weakness.  I hate being weak.  Correction:  I hate looking weak.  And, many of the things I excoriate myself over fall into that category.

In the session, I was saying how I know that I could not keep living the way I had been (using the term living very loosely) and that the changes I have made were not conscious choices–I just could not do the same old shit any more.  I know that the changes in my family are a good thing, but it’s so fucking hard.  She pointed out that I am dismantling the whole fabric of my family’s dysfunction.  When I refuse to do the same old, same old, I am demanding that my family change with me.

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Killer Compassion

It has been noted that I have not blogged in a bit.  Yes, this is true.  I have been dealing with some really heavy grief since my father’s last phone call.  That happened Friday morning, and I let the machine get it because I just couldn’t handle it.  He said he had made it home safely and not to worry.  Well, fuck me.  I hadn’t been worried.  And that, of course, made me feel guilty.  His voice had that new tone–the one filled with hurt, worry, and uncertainty–that he’s acquired since his visit here.  I do not think he’s being manipulative (and believe me, I know how he gets when he’s manipulative); he really is hurting and trying and wondering.

And, again, I could give him nothing.  I did send an email to my mother telling her to let him know I got his message.  He doesn’t have a personal email, and he got home on a Saturday.  He probably went into the office, but I wasn’t sure.

At any rate, I started reeling again.  I feel like the clock is running out (he does not look good at all), and I would really like to give him a moment of peace before he dies.  I feel some pity for him, and I want to have some kind of grace for him–but I do not.

Now.  I have had two disparate ideas running through my mind, and I realize they are tangentially related, so I am going to discuss them both here.  Even if they weren’t related, I would still tie them together because it’s my blog, and I can do what I want.

The first is the idea of compassion (closely linked to the idea of forgiveness).  TNC wrote this lovely piece on compassion on Thursday.   He’s writing a book on the Civil War, and he wrote many thoughtful, engaging pieces during Confederate History Month (April).  A shout-out to dengre at BJ who also wrote many thoughtful, enraging pieces on the South during CHM.

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The Long Hard Road

The visit from my father is over.  It was really difficult to get through, but it wasn’t impossible.  Until the airport and dropping him off.  I will get to that in a minute.

The night I went to get him, he arrived around 11:30.  We got home after midnight.  We chatted some, and then I went to my computer room to hop online.  I had the door mostly closed (but not all the way so the kittehs could come in if they wanted), and I was startled the fuck out when he entered without knocking.  He said I didn’t have any food.  I said I did.  He said there was no milk or bread.  I said I don’t drink milk any more because of my dairy allergies, and I did have bread–it just wasn’t made of wheat.  He half-laughed and repeated that I didn’t have any food.  I repeated that I did.  I had just gone shopping that day and had plenty of food.  He left.

During the night, I heard him get up around two, go to the kitchen, rattle around the fridge, and then return to bed.  When I went to bed at 4:30 a.m., the light was still on in his room.

The next morning, I got up around 8 a.m.  He told me he had only two hours of sleep because he’d been so hungry.  I said that was too bad.  He had an  appointment in the morning and came back for lunch.  Then he started in on me about something, but fortunately, my brother dropped by.  My brother is seen as an adult because he’s married, and, quite frankly, because he’s a man.  Even when my father is lecturing my brother, he (my father) doesn’t demean him (my brother).  Oh, and my father asked my brother to fix a closet door.  My brother said, “You didn’t try to fix it yourself, did you?”  He and I exchanged conspiring eyerolls and grins because my father is horrible at fixing things.  He also has a magnetic field that kills all electrical things, but that’s another story.  It was nice to have that moment with my brother to lighten the mood.

Then, after my brother left, my father took a nap because he was ‘so tired after only getting two hours of sleep because he was so hungry’ before going to his afternoon appointment.  Then, we went to my bro’s house and to the Olive Garden for dinner.  Wouldn’t be my choice, but the kids aren’t very adventurous in their eating–nor is my SIL, actually.  Or my father.

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Quietly, She Weeps

This is more like early-morning (pre-sleep) musing, but whatever.  In the past few weeks, I have tried to change the way I do things.  I did a few of the things I planned (like submitting fiction to contests and a bit of cleaning), but for the most part–not so much on the hopey-changey thing.   And, quite frankly, it’s bringing me down.  I hate the fact that it’s so difficult for me to change my behavior, even when I know it’s for the better.

I have realized that I can’t just have a general schedule because I will push things off until later, with later being postponed indefinitely.   Because I have such a fluid schedule, I keep thinking, “Oh, I can do that later.”  Then, of course, it doesn’t get done at all.  I have realized that I need to make an hourly schedule in order for me to really get anything done.  But, something inside my rebels from making the schedule.  Then, I metaphorically kick myself in my flat ass for being such an idiot.

Putting that aside for a minute, though I will probably get back to it, I’m quietly starting to freak out about my father coming.  11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.  I have to clean the house, which is the least of my worries, but which I really don’t want to do.

My aunt died about a month ago.  She was my father’s favorite sister.  In his family, you don’t talk about death, so no one told her she had cancer (same with his other sister when she was dying of cancer as well).  To make matters more complicated, they are Buddhist and follow all the folk traditions of the religion.  The son decided that now was not a good time for a funeral because it’s when the ghosts are out.  The daughter had no say in the matter (she’s a mere girl, after all), so they delayed the funeral until September 13th–after my father is leaving the country to come here and to go to a conference in Canada.  As is the custom there, someone is sitting with the body 24/7.  This is costing a shit-load of money, which they do not have.  My father is distraught at losing his favorite sister as well as not being able to go to the funeral.

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