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BACK DOOR BOY IN A FRONT DOOR WORLD
OUTSIDE OF SOCIETY - THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO BE
Shedding More Old Skin. 
23rd-Aug-2005 06:26 pm
White T-shirt
Today makes one week ago that Robb was killed, and I'm learning to be fine with that. The odd thing about grief is it really does come to you in diferent stages, and they are all varied and random. I've gone through memories and pictures and am still able to hear his voice in my mind, from his little boy voice to his awkward and angsty teenage voice (we were SO alike), to his grown-up voice. I'm at a point where I can think about him without thinking about his death and what happened to him. I've accepted the reality of this situation along with the other family members I've lost this Summer and am working on getting to the point of not feeling cursed and tainted. So that's where I am emotionally/psychologically right now.

Physically I'm still wrestling this goddamned Summer cold, which has made me quite lethargic today. Usually I have plenty of energy to get me through the day during the week, but today I've been lacking. I went ahead and made dinner early so it could be ready for everyone in the event that I get zapped for energy later. I made white chicken chili and have cut the veggies and made spinach dip for Cole's favorite dinner, veggie wraps. Basically you spread the spinach dip over a piece of flat bread or tortilla, then add leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, avocado, and whatever else you want (cheese, turkey, you name it) and make it a kind of fresh, cold fajita with raw veggies. Kind of a salad in a soft taco, really. So that's dinner.

I am feeling better in general, but still a bit on the melancholy side. Mostly I am still just quite shell shocked over everything that has happened these past few months. It's felt like every time I turn around the proverbial rug gets yanked out from under me. It's been a lot to take, and I'm going through bouts of being very overwhelmed and overstimulated REALLY quickly. I'm a lot quicker to being irritated and react out of emotion instead of logic. I've been very shut in from everyone in part as a reaction to feeling shut out, for whatever sense that makes. And it's not just ben a matter of grief over the dead, but relationships that have either ground to a halt or changed in my perception. I've had people I've been very close to suddenly lowered in my estimation, people I've always thought very highly of and trusted with my life that and I've loved so much it bordered on idolatry fall from their thrones. Love blinds you to many things, I guess. In my case it's made me more withdrawn. Certainly has done nothing for my trust issues. And I've been extraordinarily weepy as well. Granted, I do have a lot to cry about these days, but the truth is I'm very reluctant to allow it. It's a lifelong thing starting from early childhood where I was admonished for it more than once by my father. He couldn't bear it, seeing someone sad forced him to take on that person's pain and rather than be supportive as he should have been. I don't blame him for it at all, I understand him now that I'm a man myself having grown up the way he did. I have no "crying is weak" issues, it's just a built in reaction in me that I don't cry - especially in front of people. So as I've said before, if ever you actually see me cry, be cautiously supportive because it means that something is SERIOUSLY fucked up.

So much as forced me into humility lately. So much has threatned to comepletely undo me, and in fundamental ways there have been successes there. I do feel a bigger sense of loss right now than the losses I've sustained externally, I feel like I've lost parts of myself that I'm just never going to reclaim. Some things cannot be fixed, some things are just broken and you have no choice but to accept that. My perception of myself has radically changed as well. A lot of my optimism has diminished, as has my perception that people are generally empathetic. I've been surprised (and not pleasantly, mind you) with the realization that some people really just are not capable of being on the same level as me, and I cannot expect them to be anything other than what they are. You either get it or you don't, and it is a waste of time and energy trying to teach that to people. My mind has been clouded for a lot longer than I've paid attention to, and I suppose I've been fooling myself to that effect. Too much subtext and not enough of what I know best, which is being direct and forthright. I've got enough balls for five average people, and I've felt like I'm consistently being kicked in all of them. A good friend this past weekend said to me "I just decided what you are: TRUE. Lack of bullshit, lies, deceit." It made me feel better and reminded me of what really is important, and made me grateful that I am who I am in spite of all my flawed, outrageous humanity.

Soon I need to just let go and let it all hang out, and soon I will. I know, scary stuff - especially if you're there when it happens. One thing is for damned sure though, I'm through with sparing people's feelings for one more microsecond. The mollycoddling is over, folks. We're each responsible for ourselves and our own happiness. It is such an American thing that we just expect to be happy without doing the necessary legwork to make that happen, which is why I'm so very lucky to have D as a lifemate. He's one of the only people I know that totally compliments my life without complicating it. Dog bless him.
Comments 
23rd-Aug-2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
For all the emotional pain that you've suffered this year, I can still see all the blessings in your life (I use the word "blessing" as a synonym for "advantages"), and I look up to you and respect you from afar for having them. You're a beautifully talented person with a wonderful partner and a supporting social group... not to mention a powerful sexuality that awes even me. There are even subtler blessings you have which I won't repeat here because I don't want to embarrass either of us, but overall, your friend is right — you are true... and that's one of the greatest gifts you have that you can give to others, your complete and utter honesty, something that, sad to say, so many of us sorely lack these days.
25th-Aug-2005 12:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this, Michael - you just carved out a place for yourself in this motheaten heart of mine.
25th-Aug-2005 12:41 am (UTC)
Motheaten or not, you have a heart... and time for another tacky, but true, quote (from The Wizard of Oz, no less): "A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." You and and I are not much more than personal acquaintances (I'd like to elevate that to friendship), but I see how much your friends (virtual and physical) care for you... I get good vibes and warm fuzzies just reading all the comments to your journal entries over time. As emotionally alone as you feel sometimes, remember that you aren't alone, really. ;-) *BIG HUGS*
23rd-Aug-2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
I think our minds can handle only so much sometimes, before we go into full on survival mode. I've been keeping you in my thoughts. We ARE responsible for our own happiness, that much is true, but sometimes I want the hard stuff to just stop already.

Summer colds suck, and the stress surely can't be helping. What I suggest is some funny movies. Much laughter, if you can.

Here's sending you much love, Mr. Biscuit. <3
25th-Aug-2005 12:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, Sharon. My sister's name is Sharon as well, I think I told you that on the phone before. I couldn't say that as a child, so to this day she is Shay to me and the rest of the family.

I love you too, by the way...
(Deleted comment)
25th-Aug-2005 12:29 am (UTC)
When I reach my limit, I am an absolute nightmare. Fortunately I have an internal barometer that signals when the pressure is getting too much.
24th-Aug-2005 12:33 am (UTC)
I wish I could offer more than pagerhugs. I hope they help.
25th-Aug-2005 12:30 am (UTC)
They do JUST fine ;-)
24th-Aug-2005 12:36 am (UTC)
Jude,
I know we are two very different people but those words could have come straight out of my own mouth. My life has paralled much of what you have described. Right down to the raw feelings.

This isn't my journal and I'm not trying to one up you,it's not about that, but let's just say, I feel what you are describing as if they were my own feelings. I have been described as an empath, one who feels others feelings as their own. Right now I wish you lived closer and we could talk. I feel such an emotional connection to you through your words that I am literally in tears as I type this.

Death ( death of people, ideas and friendships etc.) is very painful and when it comes in waves as it has for you this year, it gets to the point that it's like a tsunami. You can't stop it,or outrun it so in the end you can only let it wash over you, and when you see you have survived it, you pick up the pieces and find you are much stronger for having survived. In the process sometimes that tsunami wipes out everyhing familiar and gives you a new perspective of your life and your surroundings.

It is a fresh start like a pristine white sand beach full of possibilities to start a new way of seeing your life and your connection to others around you as they really are. Like before you couldn't see the wall of water (troubles) coming for the trees, so you didn't know how to find safety when it hit.

You also find as in a tsunami that no one can save you, it is everyman for himself despite how much someone wants to rush in, hold onto you and pick up the pieces, they can't. You have to save you, make you happy, give yourself peace of mind and when you do that, you take control over your life and over your feelings.

I think when you got through what you felt you could not survive, you found the real you who always could do this, it just took walking through the fire to allow your mind to accept it.

I hope I made sense and I didn't sound condensending because that wasn't my intention. I just feel such a connection to you right now, I did "get it" through your words and felt I had to post.

I care.

I'm as proud of how you've come through this as if you were my son. You've really go some inner strength and I'm glad you're getting a glimpse of that despite or maybe because of what you've been through.

I hope you get to feeling better soon!

Many hugs,

Christina


25th-Aug-2005 12:32 am (UTC)
WOW. Just WOW.

About the only thing I can add here other than my gratitude is a theory I have had for years that will clear up the issue of making sense - which, for the record, I understood you perfectly.

In order to be aware that you have control you must first lose it. Otherwise, how would you know you had it at all to begin with?
(Deleted comment)
25th-Aug-2005 12:32 am (UTC)
Doing my best, and likewise. ;-)
24th-Aug-2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
I think you are handling all the bullshit you've been thrown with grace and reasonable reactions.

I'm sorry all of this has happened to you and hope it stops immediately.

*Hugs*
25th-Aug-2005 12:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie - much love to you!
24th-Aug-2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
The odd thing about grief is it really does come to you in diferent stages, and they are all varied and random

There's also no definite end to them, either. It's possible to backslide and end up going through a mini-cycle of grief as well. My father has been gone over twenty years now and this happens to me on occasion. I share your sensation that everything I touch gets tainted somehow or that I'm cursed, but it's really not true and I'm learning to talk myself out of that line of thought. It's unproductive. Hopefully you can manage the same thing.

I made white chicken chili

I don't suppose you could be persuaded to share the recipe? I've tried several and haven't come across a good one yet. I'll have to try the veggie wraps sometime. We don't eat much meat and this sounds like it wold be a perfect quick snack or cold lunch.

It's a lifelong thing starting from early childhood where I was admonished for it more than once by my father. He couldn't bear it, seeing someone sad forced him to take on that person's pain

It happens to women too. My father was a medic and extremely empathic towards those he worked on. As a result, he wasn't nearly as tolerant of his family's emotions because he just couldn't take on any more. I have a habit of shoving those emotions down so that I dont' disappoint the other person or cause pain. You'll never see me crying, even in privacy, unless the world is coming to an end.

I've been surprised (and not pleasantly, mind you) with the realization that some people really just are not capable of being on the same level as me, and I cannot expect them to be anything other than what they are.

I think you and I are a lot alike in that respect. This is something I still struggle with. I have trouble processing why people hurt one another in any manner because it's just not something I would think to do myself. I still don't understand prejudice (racial, sexual, disability, whatever) or not weighing the worth of a person based on actions and ability rather than physical looks or some other visible characteristic. I suppose eventually I'll stop expecting everyone to be like me but I'm not there yet.
25th-Aug-2005 12:49 am (UTC)
Thank you for your response, indeed we do have much in common.

For my white chicken chili, I take two or three cooked chicken breasts and chop them up. Open a large can of chicken broth and pour it into a stockpot. Add a couple of cans of diced green chilis, some white corn, any combination of white or light colored canned beans you like (I use cannellini, chickpeas, and navy beans usually) and make sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to the pot. Onions are nice if you like them, cooked or added raw and simmered. Also, 1 tsp of garlic powder and 2 tsp of oregano leaves, then salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, then add the chicken and heat through. HAve fresh chopped cilantro to garnish each bowl with and offer lime wedges to squeeze onto each serving. That's about it! If you want it thicker and less soupy, mash up some of the beans and stir them into the chili to thicken it up a bit.
24th-Aug-2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
I am really glad to see that things are getting back to normal for you Unfortunately it is all stuff people need to just work through and you are doing fine in that process I see so I am at peace as well. I think the very definition of friend is someone who can be available yet let you go through whatever you are feeling by not trying to make it better. I hope I have been a friend for you.
25th-Aug-2005 12:50 am (UTC)
You have been a great friend, Troy - and I thank you for it. Hope you can say the same for me one of these days.
25th-Aug-2005 04:12 pm (UTC)
Indeed and plan to spend some time with you guys very soon. In fact will be home on the second what are you guys up too? Maybe some dinner at our place?
27th-Aug-2005 01:18 pm (UTC)
His work schedule is not allowing for any personal weekday time off until this new project is completed, and who knows how long that's going to be. Plus, I believe we have plans for that weekend, but at the moment I'm drawing a blank on what they are.
25th-Aug-2005 01:57 am (UTC)
Soon I need to just let go and let it all hang out, and soon I will. I know, scary stuff - especially if you're there when it happens. One thing is for damned sure though, I'm through with sparing people's feelings for one more microsecond. The mollycoddling is over, folks. We're each responsible for ourselves and our own happiness. It is such an American thing that we just expect to be happy without doing the necessary legwork to make that happen,

AH HA HA!!
I KNOW THAT'S RIGHT
you take care yo SHIT!

I adore you Jude Bennett
27th-Aug-2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
I'ma handle my bidnezz, and you KNOW this...
27th-Aug-2005 05:22 pm (UTC) - letting go and shedding the old stuff
Ok, I have a confession to make. I have been reading your blogger for some time now. I don’t remember how I found it or who I know that you know or responded too but I do know this…. You have touched my life with your honesty about your life, relationships and most of all your grief…. Something that I have a hard time with to this day… For me, I have tended to feel terminally unique with death and grief. Over the past few years it seems to me that I have lost far more than I have ever had…As you said the “the proverbial rug gets yanked out from under” Death to me has been like the ultimate betrayal. It is like death is my best friend who has repeatedly slapped me in the face… I think I can move on from something yet I can’t seem too… Loosing someone who loved me more than I could ever comprehend has been my own personal tsunami. My relationships too have “either ground to a halt or changed” Someone told me not to go to his funeral because “he didn’t love you …. You kicked him to the curb” which was not at all what happened in our relationship… I stopped talking to that person starting that day… even though he called me everyday I was like get a fucken clue… I have wanted to write to him and say did I say that when your grandma or father in-law or even dog died? Or did I come out and support you and your husband? What do people think sometimes? Last winter I had to come back to Atlanta because I felt it was the only place in my life that I ever knew love without an agenda (well, he always had an agenda but we won’t go there…) Seeing his friends and having them embrace me was well worth the trip… it was a lot more support than I ever got home back in Seattle… I have seen and felt the support of the people in your life here.. Count your self really blessed for that… hot dam you’re loved by many!
27th-Aug-2005 06:08 pm (UTC) - Re: letting go and shedding the old stuff
Thank you for all of this, I feel very honored. I am indeed very blessed by my support system - and I'm glad you found one in these people who embraced you.
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