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.

Friday, December 18, 2009

because Dan said it was okay...

and i've finished the wine.

i zapped the last enchilada - i can get four meals from the enchilada meal i make. anyway, i'm appropriately tipsy and will have morning after regrets but hey, what is life without a few of those. BORING. and i've always been boring. i'm the good girl but that is my public persona. my secret dark side is - drum roll - the one who says what she thinks. i've never had that moment of "and then i heard myself say." well, i'm properly (or improperly) fortified by old wine so here it is in all is tacky, witchy glory.

Resentful - by me. *takes a bow* (i shortened it and didn't repeat myself from the shorter thingy about my daughter's mother-in-law.)

this has been festering for quite some time. it needs to be expunged.

i am resentful of certain people and i have to be honest and admit i am a bit envious of others. i wish i had some good fortune come my way.

first off, i need to go on my knees and humble myself and say i have gotten some gifts of cash for food that i sorely needed, and the enormous gift of being allowed to go to Camp Widow next August. when i think about it, i still cannot wrap my mind around the how and why of it. i cannot understand what i have done to receive such a blessing. i can never repay this gift; not unless i sell my books and become a well-paid author. i will never see enough money to repay this opportunity to go be with people. and by that i mean get out of my apartment and actually see other people that aren't scanning my groceries or embroidery floss purchases. i am so grateful and honored and in vino veritas, i do not feel i have earned it. but i want to go so much. i want to be part of something once, be in a group photo, to have my name on a list. i'll figure out how to handle the embarrassment of being the poor country mouse later. i just want to take some time to thank my fairy godmothers and God for this chance to be included.

not for the poison that i need to expel. i know of a lot of widows and widowers from online and from the group who are going away for Christmas, going other places that they have chosen to go to. and i want them to all have lovely vacations of peace and renewal of their souls. they all deserve it so much for what they've been through. i'd just like to go somewhere to. if i had the money, i'd take my dogs and go to the beach and stare at the vastness and collect shells and think about my Dragon.

my daughter has to work Christmas Eve until 6 and then go to her in-laws for some big do. i covered this in the precious =0\ post. read it and weep. i did after the phone call today. why she wanted to reinforce this, i don't know. and after having two coffee mugs of wine, i know i don't want to know. i just know there's an invisible line in the sand and i have to wonder if she doesn't like me, yet she keeps telling me how creative i am, artistic - hear the sucking up? does she want me to make her something for free? did i miss the giant hammer hitting me on the head? i'm tipsy here. i don't know. i'm just killing time until "Ghost Adventures" comes on at 9. the most un-Christmasy show i could find.

i think it was her reference to her son qualifying her reasons for not inviting me that got really confusing. "We'll have couples here. A woman alone at a party of couples isn't right."

i'll be alone on Christmas Day until around 4. i'll wake up alone. eat breakfast alone. i plan on sewing until my daughter is allowed to break free from her in-laws to come get me for our own private time together. my son-in-law told me that he and my daughter will leave as soon as they possibly can. he has never been fond of his mother or her behavior and now less so. we'll have our own supper together. Mexican food. my son-in-law's dad will be there as well. i don't know how i'll be feeling but i won't have to put on my "game face."

my son will be in New England to keep the peace. we think of him as our UN ambassador. he was claimed early on while my daughter was ignored by her dad. since the divorce, i have had him once on Christmas Eve. he was allowed to come see my Dragon and me in our house by the ocean by 5 PM and then he had to leave by 10 AM Christmas morning. it was full dark by the time he arrived. his father interrupted us 5 times with phone calls reminding him of his duty to his "real family." the next morning, 4 more phone calls demanding to know when he was leaving to "come home." it was a tense Christmas. my son felt pulled. i told him it was okay to go. i could not allow him to have that kind of pressure on him. he is my child. i want him to have peace. he knew that and was relieved because his father knows exactly what part of the body to set the stones on and stack them up. i didn't cry until after he left. my Dragon and i went for a long, long walk on the beach of our cove. we had been very firmly put in our place. that's when we first started talking about when we had money, that we would be able to have a little bit of power, but we would use it "only for good." for all his skills as a Marine, for what he did when he went off on missions, my Dragon was (is) a gentle soul. he can pulverize you in an instant but he'd hate himself in the morning, unless he felt you deserved it. we would never have made demands of our kids. we were considered the "happy, relaxing home."

i resent my ex for this. i resent that he took all the money out of the bank accounts, took the stocks, the 401K, and the house. i let him because he made assurances that i needed to. pointless to go into details. accept that it was the a prudent move, the safest one for me and my kids. my Dragon and i took care of my kids. he was in international business and i've been waiting on the release of money from a deal he worked on very hard. his associate that brought him in is now under federal investigation by both the US and Canada for it being a ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme. i turned over all the documents to the feds. they came back to me with, "we're sorry but your husband was lied to. there is no money. at best (this person) will get 25 - 30 years in prison." my poor Dragon. i'm glad he doesn't know. only for this one reason as i glad he died before we found out.

i resent my ex's wife. she has the lie. that's all she knows about me. lies. of course i could be lying to all of you but then i'd certainly be living better, have some place to go for Christmas, and wouldn't let people talk down to me. if i had all the money he told his new wife i had, i'd have a lot more friends. and if i was lying, i'd be able to pay for my own trip to Camp Widow. she came to my daughter's wedding and talked of her own daughter's wedding plans. her daughter is getting married in 2011. they have hired a wedding planner and a dress designer to create her dress. i begged for $500 for my daughter's dress (his daughter, too) and i essentially remade the dress to fit her and to be styled like she wanted. i made everything. "so homespun, but it's nice. i mean it's as nice as you can make it. my daughter is getting....." la de da. on the other hand, she has all the money. his money. she won't let him hold out on her. she's already gone through 3 other husbands. my ex is her 4th so i guess i'm lucky to get from him what i do even if i do have to write submissive letters and present my monetary needs in bulleted copy format.

see? i am resentful. oh, and i looked terrible. "you look so tired. i guess you're not over losing (my husband)." no. it was barely 7 months then.

i am resentful of my daughter's mother-in-law. she is Facebook friends with my ex's wife. i see it all on Facebook. i roll my eyes but it stings. i don't know why. i would not want to be friends with either of them. they are neither one very kind. being in their circle would be risky for my feelings and i can't spare mine right now. i still feel left out to see their little back and forths. i am very lonely.

sadly, i am a bad person. i am resentful. i wish i had a friend. i wish i had free therapy. i wish but all i'm told is to keep looking and working to be a better friend. i'm told it's my own fault. i was told to "make some freebies." oh, God. really? is that all it would take? for me to provide free labor in trade for someone to be nice to me? and as for a grief counselor, "you really have to want it to find it."

i went to the widow's group one more time. i caved. i'm not proud. i was so lonely. it was okay. the facilitator recognized, finally, that i'm in a bad way. she saw the "loneliness in your eyes." she admitted she'd read my emails to her. she also admitted that she had not written back because she couldn't help me. if you don't have money, you can't get help. it made me like a loser. i walked away.

i had received an email from an unknown person who told me to go through Social Services. i did some checking. if you cannot pay, they put you in the system and then you lose quite a bit of freedom. they assign you a caseworker who will come out to spot check and "help" me "allocate funds for housing, food, and mental health." they feel that if you need something for free, then i need to be watched as if i were a criminal or an idiot. if i go into the system, i become a non-person and all because i asked for free grief counseling. i don't want someone to take control of my life. my ex did that. still does. i just want someone to talk to. i believed the person who i talked to. she works for Social Services.

i cannot find a church that has a priest that isn't too busy to just sit and talk to me. i sort of resent that, too. the priests back in Rockport, MA weren't too busy to make an appointment to meet with a parishioner. i guess churches down here are bigger and the priests are more isolated. they all have staff that protect them. that's sad. i feel very small and unimportant in a place where even the poorest of the poor should be able to be seen and heard.

i am having a bad day. i realized that i am back to where i was before i met the Dragon. i am unseen, unheard, and uncared about. i am no one's friend (online friends excluded). i am talking about real people. human contact. i have no one to tell little stories about my Dragon to. my daughter doesn't know what to say. she wants me to be better. she wants her old mom back. she wants me to be strong again. she remembers me standing up to her dad and deflecting all his rage onto myself. she remembers me going toe-to-toe with him during one of his rage binges over $5 spent on crayons and sidewalk chalk. she wants her lioness mom back.

but i am so tired. i am lonely. the woman whom i thought might be my friend doesn't have it in her, or i'm not someone she wishes to spend time with. she has too many other friends who have money and cars and can go and do things with her. she didn't exactly say it like that. she said, "i have other friends who have cars and can meet me. you're a bit out of the way." and "well, i didn't think you'd want to spend the money so i didn't ask you." i have to admit that it hurts to be spoken to this way.

i have fallen through the cracks. i hope i get the VA benefits so i might be more of a person in the eyes of people who need me to have money and transportation to be seen and cared about. i resent them for this though. i am a human being. whether or not i can pay for movie tickets or fancy meals out doesn't lessen what is in my heart and mind. i am a decent person. i have never been vicious or cruel. i have a soft heart. i am a sensitive soul. i am a good listener. i have an offbeat sense of humor. i am very well read, intelligent, and intuitive to others feelings. i can be a fun girl. my Dragon thought so and he was very much from the popular table. everyone wanted to be friends with the Dragon. i became cool by proximity. now that he's gone, i feel like Penelope, Odysseus's wife. people want things from me and do not care for my feelings. only Odysseus came home.

i cry easily now. i have a store of tears i never let go of while i was married to the ex. it would have been detrimental to let go. but now, i cry. i miss my Dragon in whose arms i had found such love and comfort. i miss his smile and his deep voice. i miss his friendship. i miss seeing the love in his eyes. i don't see that anymore. no one touches me except a hug from my daughter, and my son when he's allowed to come. my Dragon died but i became the ghost. my presence is felt but i am not seen.

i resent life being so cruel for the last 5 decades. i've had things but at an awful price. from a mother who would strike at a moment's notice and criticize and berate me to a husband who echoed her behavior. then to a man who means the moon and stars to me only to watch him died, stricken, gasping for air. the horror of being unable to save him haunts me. the terror of being left alone in a world that does not care very much makes me feel like i'm drowning.

but then i find out that strangers care. i get kind comments and mail. i get to go to Camp Widow. and i am heartsick to hear me tell myself, "it's because they don't really know you. after 30 minutes they'll be glad to go into a workshop to get away from you."

well, i'm exercising to tone up and i'm changing my hair. i'm going to sew some new clothes and hope i look bohemian and artistic rather than "homespun." i'm going to keep a lid on my loneliness so i don't talk too much. i want to be someone my fairy godmothers don't feel like they wasted their money on. and that's the kind of time i've had, that i would say that to myself, that enough people have treated me that way that i would think of it. i almost want to check the comments box to keep this uncommentable to protect myself. i'm fragile and afraid of what others will say to all this. but then

1. Dan said it was okay.

2. i've had two coffee cups of wine.

and 3. best of all, my Dragon would say, "*uck'em." and then he'd smile his dragon smile.

8 comments:

bokallolie said...

if there were one thing i could do right now, one thing, it would be to walk into your home and hug you, and not let go for a very, very long time. i know i am young, i know i am a stranger to you, but how my heart pulls towards yours. your dragon was a marine, my soulmate was a soldier too. you do not know this but i see the woman in your writing, the woman that you fear you have lost. by breathing you are fighting. each one of us has the easiest choice in the world, sitting right there in front of us - and everyday we (you) choose not make it, and keep going. keep living. even when it feels like you are only dying more. i know there are no words, so i'll end here, in hopes i haven't gone too far. you inspire me. i come here everyday to read your raw and beautiful words when i cannot put my pain into such eloquent expression.

you, like your dragon, are a warrior. just like him, that is why he chose you. knowing that your love would be enough. it will always be enough.

all my love and more,
kim.

Dan, in real time. said...

LOL. Well, I will take part of the responsibility here. I have to say that I was holding you in my thoughts all afternoon at work. I truly understand the darkness and pain. Unfortunately many of us here do. What I have been spared is the cruel isolation you are experiencing.

I can't change this for you, but I can let you know that I am in your corner. I see the wonderful pictures you post here of your Dragon. The love in his eyes, and the joy that his face conveys, was directed right at you. It was no mistake, it was not by chance. He chose you because of who you are.

Please remind yourself that you were worthy of his love, and you continue to worthy of that love.

Whenever I feel that I cannot bear anymore of this pain, I go look into the mirror. I look at the person that Michael fell in love with. I look at the person he turned to when he needed love and care the most. I let Michael speak to me in those moments.

We need to find affirmation where we can get it, and sometimes it needs to come directly from ourself. You are a strong woman, even in your time of weakness. Remember that you can be both, and together you are whole.

I hope that you will look at yourself, and see the dignity of a woman emerging from the shadows.

Others may be uncomfortable with your grief, they may be unable to sit with your sorrow, but remember there are many of us here that will.

womanNshadows said...

bokallolie, you may be young in years but grief gives you insights beyond them. thank you for your kind words. we all have bad days, and days where we think we'll pull through. it is a process that shapes us and we are what we make of it. i am facing each day of pain to get past it, to be done with it. i do not want something coming up behind me that i've tried to ignore. in this way i can fully grieve for my Dragon, and then come out the other side in total joy at the memories of having been loved by such a man. as i know you will, too.

Dan, thank you for recognizing my feelings of detachment from the world yesterday and being there. you don't know what a gift it was. kind of a tough day after that pleasantly snippy little phone call. i can't really look in the mirror as you can. not yet. all i see is an exhausted woman. right now, i look at my Dragon's pictures, his smile, and the love i do know he felt for me. in my darkest moments i talk to him and i can almost hear his voice say, well, you know. his irreverence will get me through. thank you again for being there. which suddenly made me think....i love the movie with Peter Sellers, "Being There." maybe i'll see if i can rent it to inspire myself.

Widow in the Middle said...

You have every right and are entitled to feel this rage and resentment. It needs to come out. At least here, you know you will reach people who know and care about you enough to offer their concern and constructive feedback. All of us to various degrees feel resentment. Just the other day, I sneered at a woman ahead of me in the grocery checkout line based on her not being very attractive. She pulled out her Super Gold Plus credit card and the keys dangled from a Lexus keychain. I felt jealous and asked, "Why does she get the goodies? I'm 10 times more attractive..." I felt low and mean-spirited about my reaction. I had to tell myself that even I, conscious of thinking of and about others can act like this sometimes.

For what it is worth, my childhood was one of neglect and numerous kinds of abuse. I found that after my husband died and especially with the divorce, that the dam just burst. Grief started to come out that had to do with all of the unresolved childhood losses. They truly cut at the core because they go back so far and are so deep - from when I was a baby and dependent on my parents for safety and love. You mentioned that you have a store of tears from the marriage to your ex. I think the grief you are experiencing is far more profound and painful because the past losses combine with your intense feelings of grief about your Dragon.

That you have the strength to acknowledge your resentment and at the same time plan to tone up and do something new with your hair is pretty amazing to me. I know you keep hearing that you are strong and a survivor. So I will say that you are doing what you need to do - to really and honestly feel the unfairness, rage, resentment, grief, exhaustion, fury, torment, disappointment and loneliness. It is true that you have to walk in the extreme darkness before reaching the light. Yours is such an encompassing pain and grief. But you are still living and even able to crack a joke or two.

The people who will meet you having already gotten to know you here, will love and embrace you because they know the inner you and no one will care what you are wearing. It is far more likely that people would want to miss a lecture to keep talking with you, than to run into one to escape you! We are all better people for knowing you.

Boo said...

I am glad you posted this post my friend because you needed to ... and you should feel no regrets at all. As your Dragon would have said, "fuck 'em" if they don't like it - LOL. Everyone else has said what I would have said ... I really do despair of people sometimes, and it is harder without him here, just as I know it is harder for you without your Dragon here. I love you.

womanNshadows said...

Boo and Widow in the Middle, i have no words to type other than to say thank you for caring about me.

Suddenwidow said...

I'm glad you were able to get out all that you are feeling. Everyone has already shared more wisdom than I have but I just wanted to let you know that I count you as my friend and though we aren't able to get together in person, I am always here to listen. And I look forward to spending a great, healing, fun weekend together in August! There's no need for any embarrassment. We all have different things to offer each other. You have so many strengths and talents that enrich us. You are a powerful wordsmith, a talented seamstress and artist and one of the strongest supporters of all of us. Let's just all feel good about what we offer each other to help get us through each day.

Sending you hugs,
Debbie

Lonesome Dove said...

Thank you for posting this. There are things you said that I feel on many days as I'm sure others here do as well. It comes with the territory I guess. Membership in that exclusive club sucks, doesn't it? The other comments were so right on and way more eloquent than I could muster and it just shows that you have a great bunch of folks here who care about you. I check in on you every day or two to see how you are getting along. Hang in there, we're all here for you.

smooches

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