Saturday, March 23, 2013

Body strength

Interesting side effect of getting my tattoo?  At least for now, there is a calmness in me that has been missing for a while.  A quiet strength.  So the box of wine I got the other day remains unopened and contentedly ignored.  Nothing is easier- John woke up in the middle of the night last night throwing up.  It wasn't the bug Aiden has been down with either, because he does not have a fever- it was  chemo sick.  So I went downstairs and got his antinausea meds, took the trash can liner outside, and lay down to try and rest till the kids started filtering in.

It is hard to believe how much love I am surrounded by sometimes.  Especially since we don't talk much about my issues at school.  Not that I want to, I do not!  Most of the time.  But that is where I am most of the time, and I often feel adrift and disconnected.  I suppose those are mostly coming from inside me and from feelings of insecurity and  loss related to other places and times in my life.  Todaya, some of the lovely ladies from UUCF will bring by the quilts they made for us from John's t-shirts.  That is a venture which John has been dreaming about since I first realized what a CRAZY amount of t-shirts he had, back in 2003...I am so excited to see them!!

It is interesting, too, how people reacted to my last blog.  It is as if each entry becomes the only thing I am, and all I will ever be to some people.  I suppose most of them don't know, realize, or remember all that I have already lived through.  I am not one to toot my own horn, but I have been fighting since I was about 15 to figure out how to get through hard things without becoming hard myself.  Or at least without becoming only hard, too hard.  Which meant that I would be open to all the lovely, sweet things, too.  Unlike my grandmother, who had found a way to live through some horrible things, but was awkward and uncomfortable with hugs, saying "I love you", and showing kindness to her family in general.  That also means I chose, for some of my defenses, the more painful route.  I chose not to build walls, but to forge through the fire.

I was talking with Gordan as he was doing my tattoo.  He and Kelly have a business, I think  he said, that centers on the way that pushing your body to and through extremes can bring a person peace, enlightenment, solace...his examples were about shaman walking over hot coals, dancing for incredibly extended hours up to, into, and beyond exhaustion...I don't claim to be a shaman, or to even be searching for shamanic wisdom.  It just felt right.  It felt good, and solid, painful and powerful all at once.  I found this article that spoke to my heart and will show those of you who think my choice to get a tattoo was childish and immature that no, it was healing, positive, empowering, painful in a way that imparted peace...

Everyone's journey through grief is different.  Remember, you shouldn't judge what helps a person heal.  You can express love, support, concern...if you want to help your friend, open your heart and mind.  I have started my grieving journey while my husband is still here.  I don't know if that is good or bad, but it is what it is.  Some days will be angry, some sad, some lost, some strong.  But I know I am on a journey and that it won't be done for a long time.  I also know that I trust myself to reach out to all those amazing people who have shown the truly care when I need it.  I know I am stronger than even I have ever known.  I know I will fight to have the right to feel each and every step of this because that is to only way to come out the other side willing and able to love again.  I watched my mother and grandmother spend solitary lives.  Neither lost a husband to death, but they lost them nonetheless.  And they never dated again.  They never tried to find love.  John has already given me his permission to not live their lives...I made sure to ask because I love him so much, I needed to hear  from his own mouth that he didn't want that for me.  But no matter what path I choose or who I end up loving later, they have to know that John was my first true and real love.  He is the father of  my babies, and no matter how much I might love whoever comes next, they will not replace him- not for my nor for our children.  If this imaginary he who exists in the future expects to get close, he will respect and love me for that dedication.  I believe our hearts are capable of great love, and that there is more  than one true love for us out there.  I also know how hard it can be to try to find that love, which is what scares me.  Do not, however, assume my fear and pain are signs of weakness.  That would be a mistake.
For me, anyway, ignore the pain, block the light

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

silence, wine, or anger

I haven't been writing because I haven't been dealing so well.  I walk around and do my teaching job okay, somewhat functioning on auto-pilot, guided by the fact that I take the responsibility of caring for the babies of 25 different families very seriously...but at home, my rope is so frayed I don't even know how to hold on, let alone prevent unravelling in anything like a healthy way.  So I have been drinking a lot.  And because I come from a family of alcoholics, that makes me incredibly self conscious, so I keep making sure that, now and then, I take nights off.  Like tonight.  I had a rough day at school, a lovely evening with Cilly at her last dance class, and had no faculties left AT ALL to deal with her whining and crying for me with her little "I miss you!" blah blah stuff...nothing I do is good enough.

How do I smooth the edges of this incredible pain without alcohol?  Without a silence that keeps me up at night and numbness that drinks the oceans of tears I know are swimming just below the surface?  I want to cuddle my husband, not give him shots in the belly and a urinal so he doesn't have to worry about falling on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I want to remember what it feels like to not have a complete and Hyde-like meltdown when my kids push my buttons and just lose my temper at a more human-like level...

I eat too much, drink too much, skip brushing my controlled ways to cause myself harm.  I can't explain why though.  And I don't know how to stop myself, because those things also give me a form of comfort.  Well, maybe not the teeth thing.  But that does get me in bed moments sooner than otherwise, like that really matters...

I guess I just wish there were answers.  Safety.  That I could feel what hope was like.  That I could turn off my brain, or at least switch the channel...I love my kids and I hate my life.  I hate what is happening.  I am trying to not judge myself as I do my best, even when that means I am raging in irrational anger at my 4 year old telling her with clenched teeth that "I.  JUST.  NEED. SOME.  TIME.  TO. RELAX!!"  That I could find a way to believe I would know what it is to be loved again. Not that I don't think John loves me...I do.  He just has a hard time doing so much right now, that even hugging and kissing is awkward, hard, nonexistent.  And I wish I could talk more or just find the strength to shut the hell up.  I get quickly tired of hearing myself complain, not that I don't have things to complain about; be terrified of; worry about...

So tonight, it might have helped to have a couple glasses of wine.  But this evening is dry.  To make sure I can.  To make sure I will. To find ways to hear my own pain, to find strategies for handling the inconsolable rage that wells up in me before it takes over....maybe Thursday, after I get my tattoo of John's idea, with his initials hidden inside, on my left hip so he will always be by my side.  I will drink to that.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

some hard stuff

disclaimer for my husband:  please, if you read this, please please know that my greatest wish is that you were back to yourself, cancer free, and ready to live to a ripe old age- ear hair, poor hearing, and all, hugging all over and making inappropriate gestures and lewd jokes.  Don't think for even a tiny fraction of a moment that I feel otherwise!

To the hard stuff....I am really struggling with watching him struggle.  I read so many little things here and there about how people have faith, stay positive, hopeful...ready to say they will NOT be taken.  I think we have lived there for two years quite well.  I just don't know that we can continue to maintain that line of thought.  Or at least I don't know if I can.

Now, I think that if he "beats it", what does that even mean?  Will he be like this forever?  Barely able to walk or dress himself?  Sleeping most of the time, struggling with the anger created by not being able to help with anything?  That sucks.

I feel like I want to pickle my brain so that I can't think about it.  But that doesn't help him or the kids.  But I don't feel strong enough to let myself cry in front of the kids right now.  I have before and I will again, but I just feel like if I let myself go there and start, then stopping is going to be too big an effort.

I am having strong moments- telling Cilly to cry with her face in the pillow and not giving in to her tears to get what she wanted.  I did let her come in once she had stopped crying, but she had to sleep on the floor by my bed.  And I kept my tone loving which was SOOOO hard!  I am getting better, in moments, with moderating my tone in general.  Which helps.  Like when your dog is chewing something you do not want them to chew, you don't yell a them- instead you tell them what a good dog they are and call them to you.  Works way better than chasing...

and the hard stuff again?  I don't know what to wish for, for him or for me.  I want him well and whole and himself.  I want to be a team again, to remember what it feels like to be more or less happy.  But if I can't wish or pray him well, then what?  What do I wish or pray for?  I don't even want to type any of the alternatives.  Forget thinking about them.

Suffice it to say, how the hell am I supposed to live, love, function, hope, play, laugh, grow, be anything even close to whole after I lose him??  How???