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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

winter in my soul

Dan posted an interesting thought. i responded with a comment as to why i write here. here is what i wrote:

i think some of us write because we are, by nature, a narrative species. we have always been storytellers. i also think that we seldom feel truly listened to. blogging is a way to put our words out there for all time. it is a technological carving in stone. we want to be heard, by someone, at some time; hopefully during our own lifetime. it is not lost on me that schizophrenics suffer from a loss of their story.

we write to break the silence that surrounds us, or at least i do. for all i have written of in my own blog, it is truly the tip of the iceberg. so much i wish i could say but do not out of fear. i, sadly, am one who blogs to, yes, see if anyone is out there, and if anyone is listening to me.


i have always been honest; told i have been brutally so. but here is the only place where i can be. i have not had benefit of friends to open up to, nor grief counselors who stay with me for longer than a handful of weeks. i am bereft of anyone to tell my story to. i have things i need to say, my heart aches to speak of, my mind screams to let go of, but i cannot here. not this publicly. and so, i use Beach Bunny, the Ambassador, my photos, and metaphors to try and give voice to what i cannot say/write.

i am tired. i feel used up. i feel like i am living with winter in my soul, and i love winter. or used to. i think in ways i still do though winter here is not like my winters up north with him. winter here is anemic. winter there, winter in Rockport, the nor'easters were magnificent.

winters there were spent walking outside for photos, to feel the cold on our skin and see what no tourist sticks around to witness. fierce winds. blinding sleet and ice that stings. waves whipped up throwing themselves like demons on the rocks around the town. even sunny days, with no storms on the horizon, held a power that kept me in awe.
on sunny days, the cold could be so brutal that it could kill if you did not keep track of the time. the sun seems so far away, smaller than in summer time, as distant and uncaring as a mother's rejection. and yet, i was not alone. he was beside me, behind me, holding my hand, handing me a flask of hot chocolate. always there with me.

and going home, the smells of stew simmering on the wood stove. the dogs needing to have ice balls slowly combed from their fuzzy bodies. the warmth of sitting on the sofa between his legs and leaning back against his chest, both of us reading. both of us warm. entwined physically. our souls essentially melting into one another until you could not tell where one left off and the other began.

such was winter with him.

and then he died, and i was left alone.
only my children but they have their lives. i have tried to connect to widows here, but i cannot. they do not want or need me. and i do not want or need them. after the pneumonia of Jan. this year, and what was said to me, i became angry at the world, angry with people, quicker to judge motives. i am ice cold inside. winter has come and i am alone in it.

there are things i wish i could tell someone. there are things i wish i could sit across from a person and say out loud; say it out loud and witness their reaction, feel some kind of compassion come across to me.

i feel hollowed out. life has taken me and carved me up and then stuck a knife in and hollowed out as much as it can and still leave me breathing. then it said, "there, you bitch, make something of that. make something of yourself now."

so i sew. so i stuff bunnies and bears and wolves, and say words over them, heart ceremonies. and i write. i send a stuffed bunny to do what i cannot do. but do anyone of you who host her know why she is there? really know why? because i need her to be. i live through the photos. i crave the attention. and it is all because i am lonely.

just before Camp Widow this year, a widow wrote to me and asked if she would see me there. i wrote her back and said, "no. i have no money for something like that. and the job i have pays minimum wage therefore i can never take off. i will never have enough money for a vacation."

there is this ineffable sadness that dwells inside me. i feel it all the time. even when i am smiling and laughing at work, it feels like a lie. i do not want to be there. don't get me wrong, i love my job. it is giving me a food in my stomach and gas and paying for my electric and other stuff, but i feel like a marionette. this is where life has dumped me. i am not where i want to be, should be, or with whom.

i am alone in winter. i am knocking on the door, {or am i already inside} the winter of my life. i am older, 53, and i am sad and angry at people. i hurt so much of the time. there are things that are going on that i cannot write about but know that i am hurting over them and it is nothing i can fix. it is something that i will have to let wash over me and fight to not let it drown me.
as odd as this sounds, i miss winter. even though it lives inside me, it is the barren winter of blowing ice and snow, of the distant, uncaring rejection of the sun. i want the winter i knew with him to come back. i want to drive up to the warm glow of my Dragon waiting for me at home. i want to walk into a place that smells of his stew and cinnamon and brewing hot tea. i want to sit on the sofa against his big body and feel his warmth radiating into my back.

i want what i can never have again. him. and i am bereft.

so i will write it and then sit back and wonder if anyone truly reads, if anyone understands what i mean.

i am without solace.

winter is in my soul and i am cold and tired.

10 comments:

megan said...

*

and, boy did you just bring back a flood of the Good Kind of Winter - the coziness and rightness. Without that, it's just f-ing cold.

judemiller1 said...

I love the pictures--especially the header on this post. I have never seen the Big Water in the winter time. BTW you aren't old. I would give almost anything to be 53 again! That age is when the good part of my life began.

Lonesome Dove said...

This post made me very sad. Especially when you wrote "i have tried to connect to widows here, but i cannot. they do not want or need me. and i do not want or need them." I can only speak for myself, but I actively sought out others who like myself were suffering through the loss of their other half, the part that made them whole. And I found your blog. And I found a handful of others that touched me. And I thought there was a connection. I thought I had tried; tried as best as I could or was able. It's sort of like searching through the junk drawer for a replacement battery only to find they are all weak. We have all lost the spark that made us as strong as we once were or were capable and seem to have lost our capacity to be fully recharged. But there is still a trickle there. Weak for sure, but still there.

And I am still here.

abandonedsouls said...

Megan, i'm glad i could call up your own good memories of winter.

Judy, i know, comparatively speaking, that 53 is not old, but it isn't the years so much as the mileage. i'm glad you like the pictures.

abandonedsouls said...

Lonesome Dove, i'm sorry this posting made you sad. i, too, sought out widows here in this town but met with criticism and rejection for my lack of money to "do things" with them like shopping, movies, lunch, etc.

the face-to-face rejection from widows here in this city, at the grief group at church and from another local group was staggering. all anyone ever wanted of me was my sewing. those rejections are the ones i was writing about. the widow who came to my place that night in January, just two days after my pneumonia diagnosis, and who wanted me to embroider 40 handkerchiefs for her wedding in early April was cruel. she had the unmitigated gaul to tell me i should have asked for anti-depressants when i told her that, time-wise, she had asked for the impossible. my anger at the widows here are towards those from the church group and another group. my lack of wanting to try again stems from being used up by all of them and then cast aside like a whore. services bought and paid for. now go away.

you did try to reach out to me, but the timing, for me, was off. when you wanted to come and pick me up and take me places with you, we were newly met online. my only defense for my turning you down was fear. i was still so much in shock from his death, from moving down here, from putting everything that belonged to me in storage to make this move, buying things at Goodwill to furnish this place when i have beautiful old family antiques sitting in storage up north. this place has never felt like home. it is "this place that i live."

i must say that making move too soon after someone dies is, indeed, a bad thing, but it was my only option for reasons that i can never share publicly. i moved the day of his funeral. it had a catastrophic effect that i will never fully heal from.

another reason for not getting in the car and going off with you was that i was/am/always will be living on a shoestring. hand-to-mouth. i had {still have} quilt orders that i felt i needed to keep working on. i did not know how to tell someone that they were asking the impossible of me time-wise for their quilt so i kept working and working. hour upon hour day after day. i buried myself in this work also because i was hurting so much from the rejection of widows who i had thought could be friends here, from their pointed and direct verbal rejections of me. i was ashamed of what had happened to me, of the meager way i am now forced to live. i wanted to try and forget all that i had lost. i did then and still do bury myself in this sewing for others while sketches for things i want to make for myself and my own children sit beside the bed, just waiting for the day.........

abandonedsouls said...

i was also very much shaken to the core of my being and so very afraid to be swept up and taken to the beach for a day, a beach that i still long for and know will be a highly emotional experience for me to go to. the ocean is his very favorite place ~ our very favorite place. it is the place of our dreams.

to be direct with you, for now i have the courage to say what is in my heart, i want the first time i return to the ocean to be with my daughter as company. i wish to be with someone who knew us both so that they stories are not one-sided. i want to hear her words about him with regards to what we lost when he died; the ocean being one of those things.

with a very heavy heart i must now make amends and say i meant no personal insult to you. it was difficult for me to explain all of this to someone i did not know well and a that particular time in my life. i was struggling to find enough money for food. i was always in a panic over rent and electricity, etc. and i was afraid to move around too much for fear that life would find me again and make something else bad happen. illogical but i was in shock for months and months after he died. i was hurting so deeply and i could not bring myself to allow myself to do what you asked. i was scared.

in light of your comment and the tone i am getting from it {and of course, i could be wrong for i am most always wrong}, i feel i must say this:

if this blog entry has in any way hurt or offended anyone who does not live in Charlotte, NC, then i sincerely apologize from the depths of my soul. i should have been clearer. i will try to do so in the future. it is just that, sometimes when i write, and please forgive me, but sometimes it just flows out of me like blood from a fresh wound. this was supposed to be my place to vent, to be honest, to be myself. i cannot seem to get away with it. now that he is gone from my life, i cannot seem to find a way to be myself. i guess i could only be myself with him. this breaks my heart all over again. all he ever wanted for me was to be free to be who i was meant to be and hadn't been allowed to yet.

again my sincerest apologies for not being ready to meet up with you and go places when you offered. my fault and mine alone. and again, i am sorry for not making my posting here more clear.

i will think more carefully before i write next time. i will make a draft and proof before posting again so that this doesn't happen yet again.

Chillin' with Lemonade said...

Susan?! Did you not receive my emails? I know you are speaking of me and the day I brought soup to you when you had pneumonia. I believe whole heartily that we had a miscommunication. I in no way would expect you to make 40 handkerchiefs after you explained to me what that would entail. You are the expert and I had no idea what I was asking. I was just trying to give you work and money. I guess I was trying to share something with you so we could talk about it. CLEARLY my sarcasm about medication was misinterpreted. I was joking. Bad joke and I am sorry. I sent private emails to you regarding this and to apologize. However, I am assuming you did not receive them since you continue to write about this. I am very sorry my actions were misinterpreted. I am not this person and I am sorry my intentions were seen as cruel and hurtful. I feel like everything I do or say hurts you or upsets you, so I stepped back.

abandonedsouls said...

i received no emails through email account or FB. if you continued to read about my hurt and pain over your remarks, i received no phone calls to try and clear this up. your "stepping back" only further alienated and isolated me. after weeks and weeks of reaching out, once i had done what i was asked, i received no further contact from anyone other than Lacey in what i had once thought of as the tribe. i gave up.

a bad joke you call it; at the time of its delivery it was the very worst thing you could have said and it sliced me to the core. the silence that followed of never hearing back either through email, FB, or telephone call spoke volumes. this very public declaration is the first thing that has managed to reach me even though i have always been here where you left me.

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