i have not written because i really haven’t known what to say. i wanted to let the dust settle, too, and give myself some time. or maybe give everyone else time. i did put a photo on Facebook notifying the virtual world that i was going to look inside myself for a bit.
Bunny checks out herself during a moment of self-evaluation.
i have been reading, keeping up with everyone, checking my emails. a couple of people have kept up with me, keeping in touch to make sure i am okay, and that gave me the warm fuzzies. thank you. one gave me a surprise gift of a box of floss. i loved it. it came on a day when i sorely needed to be remembered.
it's like rolling around on money but a lot more colorful.
i haven’t had more than that check in on me. my absence has largely gone unnoticed but then if someone falls by the wayside while walking with a crowd, they can go unnoticed. i read in a book recently that if you are trekking through a jungle and step off the trail for a moment, no one will miss you until they camp for the night, and then they won’t go back to look for you during the night, but wait until the next day. people keep their heads down most of the time and since i did get handed my head a couple of weeks ago i am betting the respite from my thoughts was a breath of fresh air.
i do see how busy people are. i see that some have faced the depression of coming back to their particular reality after having been with people they had a great time with. it is an understandable feeling. i see some have problems with the paperwork that comes after a death. i can commiserate as i have been waiting for, getting close to a year now, on the VA. he wasn’t killed in action and my children are grown so i am relegated to waiting. one widow of a veteran posted to an online bulletin board that the “widows of veteran’s are the new MIA’s. children grown? no rush. he wasn’t KIA? no rush to honor his service. widows of older veteran’s go MIA in the system no matter the medals or their poverty.” i tend to agree with her. i live a life in constant fear, so yes, i hate paperwork and dealing with bureaucracy, too. but i have mentioned it before. in my case it has become rhetoric rather than a battlecry.
one day during this public posting embargo of mine a very kind younger widow offered to take me out to supper. i could not go because of it being a really terrible day. it was a day i did not know if i would survive. no, not Hamlet. think King Lear. the only two things i can mention for not thinking i would make it are my terrible fear for my future and being panic stricken at needing to talk to my Dragon about everything. i was in a very bad way and felt very alone. she came over and brought food. i needed the food and yet my stomach could not take it all in. it was more than i’ve had at one sitting in a while. i ration my food and i ration each portion for each meal so when i have a lot on a plate, i simply cannot eat it all. but we ate and talked. she does not understand the delight some have taken in putting me in my place. she thinks i'm okay. she read between the lines and saw my despair, and for that i am grateful. i haven’t had much of that other than my daughter’s devoted presence. saying “thank you” to this young widow is anemic for the time she gave to me.
i came back from San Diego to more stress than what missing my Dragon brings to me. there is no point in elaborating. it means nothing to anyone but my two children and me and there is nothing anyone can do for me. i do know i need to find a way to alleviate this amount of stress before i have a stroke or a heart attack; neither of which i have the money for and it would be the worst hell on earth to be that kind of burden.
while i have been invisible online i have been sewing and looking for a job. still. i also let my imaginary Virgil take me on an inward journey, sort of like my own version of the Inferno. why have i met so many odd people during these 18 months without my Dragon, people who have no qualms about hurting my feelings? the string of characters has been extraordinary. the young widow who came over for a while thinks she and i need to collaborate on a book. i think my emotions need a new filter. i had only opened myself up for my Dragon anyway so i should go back to the old ways of being polite and unreachable. one woman wrote that i needed to get laid. i loved that one. how do you tell someone you don’t know, but for a few words online, that they need to get laid and that will “fix you right up.”
if you are reading, i only want my Dragon.
when i read that one i realized i was internalizing all the criticism coming my way as i had done with my mother and my first husband. it’s my fault. something is wrong with me. there is nothing wrong with me beyond the flaws all of us carry. my children like me as a person as well as their mother. they think i am very nice and decent. (they actually expound quite a bit but they are my children. we have a great history together so there's the loyalty thing.) and of course, my Dragon loves me. and that can be enough. i can live the rest of this life on that love alone. i do not need validation from anyone else. i never had it before. i’m just weak right now, still, because my Dragon died. it has knocked me off my feet and people mistook me for a doormat.
no one is near enough to come visit even if they wanted to. i will never have the wherewithal to ever go anywhere so San Diego was my one shot. i finally don’t feel like i blew it. i may not have a lot of photos of people hugging me, but i did get to have a couple of quality conversations over on the sidelines of everything. i don’t think i am the failure i was lead to believe.
and if it appears i have been abandoned, it is only because everyone is busy, and hurting, and dealing with things in their own lives, and reaching out for their own support to help them through. everyone is sad and handling it as best as they can. for the people who say it is solely up to me to reach out, i have. i had a nun tell me she found all my emails when she was deleting her “spam.” that’s where mine could have gone. i had a day of computer problems. maybe they went to spam, or maybe they went out into the wild dark of cyberspace and are bumping up against top-secret files or songs being downloaded. i hope my lost emails close their eyes if they run into any really bad porn.
no one really knows me. you can’t get to know anyone from the words they try to crowd in at a conference. you cannot really know someone from the words they chose to post online, and yet, i do write as honestly as i dare. i hold my secrets but what is here is from my own mind. whether i’m damned by some or supported by a few, i write for me. i have written this whole time. i just did not hit “publish.”
Bunny laughs at the button that says, “publish.”
iwrite because it is my voice. it is the only way i can be heard in a noisy world that forgets i am still living. and even though i feel that way, i still write. so many have been angry with me that i do not know if anyone still reads until i push someone’s button with my honestly. c’est la vie. i have had so many hurtful jabs that i feel like my tomato pincushion.
Bunny takes a moment to commiserate with her pincushion.
i will still write even if i no longer have a public who reads. i’d rather that than write what people what to hear and no longer be sentient.
after this time of introspection i know that i am damaged. but i was damaged long before i met my Dragon. he was damaged, too, and in each other we saw the love and means to heal each other. so what am i worth now that he is gone? it depends upon whom you ask. i am worth my hands that sew and can make almost anything. i am worth my empathy to anyone who needs me. i am a sensitive soul. i feel your pain.
yet what i write over and over may sound like “wolf.” over and over, the same things. “i miss him.” “i love him.” “he’s all i will ever want.” “i am lonely for him.” “i wish i could sit with someone and tell his story to them, see their eyes see me.”
but sometimes the wolf is real. the first time you hear that cry from the distance, someone should go see. but they also should go again and again, every time they hear it. someone should go check on that person because there are real wolves out there. sometimes it really is as bad as someone says it is. sometimes the wolf is on the balcony of your apartment, staring at you through the glass of the sliders, and his teeth are large and very sharp.
not every person thrown to the wolves becomes a hero. sometimes we emerge so scarred that we are unrecognizable. we can emerge blind and deaf, unable to do anything more than reach out with our hands to feel around, to see if someone came to check on us. it is the ultimate act of cruelty to slap their hands away. some, like me, can do no more than eek out a meager existence with as much dignity as our battered spirits let us. no matter how good the filter, words still wound. but i need to write so i will keep checking my filter. i’ll keep cleaning it. maybe I’ll open the sliders and smack it on the head of the wolf; blind him with all the filth.
would you believe me if i told you that my Dragon was THE one, the ONLY piece to my puzzle? what if i said i will survive this but i know i will not make it all the way to grieving? what if i told you i will mourn him for the rest of my life? will you argue with me? will you tell me to go get laid?
i am working hard and looking for more work. i smile and laugh for my children. i can be happy over the gift of a box of floss. i can engage in a healthy conversation with someone who cares to stop by. but i am in mourning. still.