how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

panic attack

so that moment of feeling okay and thankful didn't last long. i fell off the world this afternoon. i'm scared and sad and worried and unsure of the future. it's the worst i've felt since about two days ago. that should have made me laugh but i can't.

how am i going to make it?

rent increase. they wanted $60 more a month but my daughter got them down to $30 more a month. i am falling apart here. my daughter said she and my son and i will get it worked out. one way or the other. but the dark curtains that don't allow me to see through them to any kind of future seem insurmountable.

it's cloudy and dark. my dogs are sulky and needy. they sense my deep depression. i cleaned the apartment for my Wednesday/Thursday/Friday company. i'm working on Suddenwidow's first quilt. and i keep getting the shivers. i keep getting scared. what if i never get another commission? what if i become an enormous burden for the rest of my life? i'm waiting on the VA and that takes FOREVER. my Dragon was deployed often enough on a moment's notice but benefits? wait your turn.

i have things about myself i need taken care of and there will never be the money to do it. bone chips in my left knee. bone chips in my right hand. my right thumb doesn't bend anymore. my right heel is, God who knows. but i hurt everyday. fortunately the right hand can sew. i have my "special fix." it's a can of frozen concentrate - grape juice - so far out of date. i only use it to hold. when my hand hurts, i freeze it by holding that can for a few minutes. then back to work.

i am pathetic. i'm back to being the insignificant little boat with rotting wood, peeling paint, and no way to patch myself up.

i can't find a grief counselor that doesn't want money. not through the church. not anywhere. i just want someone to sit across from me and talk me down from some of these fears. i want to talk about the Dragon. i want someone to hear some of my dark secrets and know they won't blab to anyone. i want them to tell me it wasn't my fault. i feel like it wasn't my fault i was unlovable for all my years until i met him. he loved me. and now he's dead. how can i go on?

everyone is supposed to be born for something. there should be a reason i was born. i bore my children and protected them. i raised them and they are out and away. i met my Dragon and i nurtured his soul. i made him feel like my hero. he accepted himself and knew/knows how much i adore him. he knows i am in awe of him. but life treated us like crap and took him before he could get us set up. we managed to pay for colleges and medical and stuff for my daughter and son and then he died. there's nothing left.

was my children and soothing his soul, showing him how worthy of love he is the only reason i was born? and now it's over? i got only 8 years of love extended to me and that is supposed to be enough? i don't get safety? i don't get to have a tiny home with a small yard and a way to get to go to the doctor?

i want to know what kind of miniscule stipend the government thinks all his service deserves? oh, God, i'm really not in a good place. all my old sorrows are creeping around me like tendrils of smoke meant to choke me.

i can hear my mother's voice in my head. "you're such a disappointment. you're never going to amount to anything. you don't deserve what we give you."

my father's voice: "don't ever do anything that will shame my name." that was about it for him. he wasn't a talker. he didn't do much father/daughter stuff with me. he was just gone early, home late, and was the second go-round of whippings i.e. "wait 'till your father gets home." all whippings were done twice so the point could be made very clearly.

the voice of my ex: "it's my money. you should have asked permission before buying them new shoes." "you're not going to wear that are you?" "why did you buy a new pair of jeans? wear what you have." blah, blah. right up until he said, "i'll show you what it's like to live without my money. you'll never have any of it. the kids will suffer because of you."

such darkness inside me and no one to hold my hand anymore.

Thanksgiving? i am thankful for my daughter and my son. i am thankful they are the wonderful adults they are. in spite of me or because of me, they are fantastic people. honest. responsible. intuitive. decent. if i influenced them, it was only partially. they came to me like that.

i am also so very humbly grateful that my Dragon somehow, weirdly, (erroneously?), who knows why, but he loved me. i got to hear the words, "you are my whole world and i love you so very much."

i know all your aches and pains are gone. i know you're at peace. i talk to God everyday, multiple times a day. now i just want to be safe for what time is left to me. i just want to feel safe. i don't have to be happy. i don't have anything except my things back from storage that is controlled by the ex and a tiny little townhouse. with a 6 foot privacy fence so i can let the dogs out to play without leashes. wow. i want a lot. i guess that makes me selfish.

well, i also want a car and enough commission work to give me a little padding each month, and health care, and.....and.... hmmmm. i think that's about it.

no, i wish i was on the island with my Dragon. i wish our dreams to live by the ocean had all worked out. i'd be home then, home in his arms safe and warm. i'd be in the light. not in the dark.


Chillin' with Lemonade said...

oh dear friend. i hate that you are hurting. I wish I could make it better. i'm racking my brain for ways that you could find a counselor for free. there's has got to be someone out there!

I hope and pray that somehow you will find a bit of comfort tonight. Something to break the waves for a while.

Split-Second Single Father said...

I just read your post from last night. Thanks for including me in your "sisterhood". It's ironic, but I mentioned you in my post tonight as well.

About your son and daughter... definitely because of you.

I hate that you are going through such a dark place right now. There really are no words, but please know that you continue to be in my prayers.

I will be unable to comment on blogs through the weekend, but can receive e-mails on my phone if you need me. Please don't hesitate. We're all pulling for you and know you'll get through these hard days.

Hang in there.

Widow in the Middle said...

I am so sorry that the waves are rising up again and that the calmer sea did not last longer. You so deserve a break from the constant stress and worry. I think that when we have had a lot of pain and struggle to face, and then we get hit with a curve ball (rent increase) it is very hard not to view the future in a catastrophic way. And once that starts it is a downward cycle that just keeps feeding on itself. When I start thinking this way, I have to force myself to stop it and snap out of that mode.

I can't imagine having to wait for the VA benefits - not knowing and just hanging there for resolution. Can they give you any kind of more definite time line?

Our county provides mental health services - perhaps that is offered where you live. Our police dept. also has a social worker who provides free counseling for residents.

I am telling the poisonous voices of you mother, father and ex to leave you the heck alone.

My own body starts to ache when I hear about the physical pains you have. I pray that all of us facing medical insurance problems will be granted some relief in the future with changes to national health care.

I am praying that you get through the next days - hopefully, your company will provide you with some support and comfort. I also hope that these waves let up and don't keep you tossing very long. Please know that I am thinking of you and wish there was more I could do.

womanNshadows said...

thank you everyone for your words of comfort and advice.

Widow in the Middle, i'l be calling the VA next week to see wtf. i'm still searching out grief counseling. going to hit some of the grief websites that list that sort of thing. see what i come up with.

SSSF, i just read your post and thank you for thinking of me. prayers are what it's going to take, i think. i pray you and your daughter have a safe trip this Thanksgiving, and do check out the Odds Bodkin tapes (CD's - at least i didn't say 8 track). my children loved listening to his storytelling on those longer drives.

chillin' with lemonade, thank you for stopping in. you are always in my prayers. since i'm not going back our paths may never cross again except online so i'll read about you here and on FB. take care of yourself. as always, peace.

Boo said...

oh my dear sweet friend, I don't know what to say because I know that this is what it is - an extremely dark day for you. They are awful... you cannot see the light because you are in abject darkness.

After SuddenWidow's quilt you have mine to do ... it is always hard to work for yourself (Cliff did) because you don't have that guaranteed income each month, but more so when you have taken the biggest knock that life could have dealt to you. I understand the panic attack. And tomorrow is Thanksgiving ... wrap yourself in your Dragon's love and the love of your children. I will be holding you in my heart <3

womanNshadows said...

oh, Boo. thank you. i'm so happy i'll be making your Cliff quilt. these quilts always allow me to be connected to you all in a way. i think about who is going to embrace the quilt. what is their relationship to the one who wore the clothes. when i'm working and night is falling hard, i can stop for a moment to reflect on what i'm really doing. i've called it tangible solace.

i look so forward to connecting to Suddenwidow and you this way. thank you both for the honor.

Boo said...

and thank you for using your love, empathy, compassion and your magic needle to bring us comfort.

judemiller1 said...

I am thinking of you this holiday and knowing that no matter how many people you are with, you will still be lonely. I often wonder why some of us have an entire life that is hurtful and some just go along happily through life. To start out with abusive parents and then on to an abusive husband--I know all to well--and finally to find the person to make your life so full and then to have him gone. IT IS NOT FAIR!! I am sorry and I am thinking of you.

womanNshadows said...

Boo - you always make me =0}

jude, for some of us, life's a *itch and then you die. for others, like me, life is a horrible, scary thing, until you meet a Dragon who protects you......until he no longer can. =o{

i'm thinking of all of you today. 4 AM Thanksgiving right now. i'm obviously up and thinking of something. him. all of you. my life. my children. *sigh* i'll try to take a nap.

Suddenwidow said...

I just got back to the computer as I'm finally feeling up to it and I'm so sorry to read that you are/were having a rough time. You are in my prayers, and I wish there was more that I could do.

I hope that today with your children brings you at least one moment of peace. I know your Dragon will be with you all today, watching over you, smiling at you and wrapping you in his love (as he does every day). By the way, your children are the amazing people they are because of you. Don't ever doubt the significant part you played and continue to play in their lives. You are an amazing woman. When you hear those old, abusive voices in your head, tell them they're banished and they cannot control you any more. And in their place, hear all of our voices sending you love and cheering you on.

Sending you love and hugs. Now, it's time for me to go and lay down again :)

Daniel Cano said...

Friend, I am responding here to your comment on my blog. I'm never quite sure where to place my responses, but wanted to be sure to received it...

Thank you for sharing the language of flowers with me. I now can look to them with deeper meaning.

I'm sure you realize this, but when you are up through the night in pain, there are many of us doing the same. I rarely fall asleep before 2am. What I am saying is, you are never completely alone in your grief. I will make it a point to say a prayer for you whenver I find myself in the same position.

I also remind myself that if I am in such pain, then I know I was also in such love. Part of my thanksgiving focus today is in thanks for all of us who grieve, giving thanks for the love that we had. I pray that our loved one's can find a way to remind us of that message today.

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