Well That Was Awful

September is a bad month for me, has been since I was 21 and my daddie died. It used to be my favorite Autumn month to me. But I think that I may have to pick another one.

Well it was awful having an online friend loss through suicide and an extended family member die, I thought that was awful. Then this past week happened, two more extended family deaths, three death anniversaries, one of which was my father, another a beloved doggie, and a beloved adult nephew, and then 9.11 happened. Well that is over with for the next year, but unfortunately, the month isn’t even half over with yet, and the emotions have decided to hang around, so I guess I need to do some more mourning and grieving work. That’s totally doable. Only in smaller doses please.

Sad and Not Sad at All

Someone in my extended family died recently. Someone who never showed me an ounce of love, even when I was still a child. Someone that I have never loved. Someone who did country trips and refused to include me when I was a teenager, but she brought my brothers, so I was all alone at home with my parents. Someone who convinced her partner to not buy my younger siblings and I Christmas presents because there were too many of us in the family, but who still bought everyone in her side of the family presents, even though there was as many family members in her side of the family as in mine. Someone who I can’t recall of a moment of kindness or love that she ever exhibited to me. I saw her three years ago and I was happy to know that I did not have to have anything to do with her, her family, or her husband ever again. And I’m not sad. I’m not sad at all. Not one tear. Sometimes I have to wonder if I am empty of emotions, well definitely empty of emotions for some people and for many of the most egregious family members of mine.

Last night I found out that an online friend, Blah Polar, died. She died through suicide.

I thought that she was so incredibly wonderful and such an incredible writer and human being. I loved her writing ability. It just blew me away, as well as her courage and sense of humor in the face of her life and all that she dealt with.

She was one of those rare finds of mine, an online blog friend who found me, instead of me finding her. It was such a compliment to me that she found me, and my blog, and that she came back here over and over when I didn’t have much to give, because of my health issues, or a decent computer to write with.

I slowly got into her blog and her life and over time I really really found a lot of love for her. I looked forward to her stopping into my blog. She just made my day sometimes. I don’t think she knew that I loved her, how much she meant to me, and now how much that I miss her already. I started trying to tell her in the last few months, cause she was dealing with a lot with her mental health disease and I felt a need to tell her.

So in the past week I’ve faced feeling nothing and feeling sadness and painful loss. And I know which I prefer.

I prefer feeling sadness and painful loss, because that means that something beautiful and wonderful touched my heart, my soul, my mind, and my life, and that I have been changed by another person in a wonderful way and that I get to remember her and hold her in my heart and mind and soul forever.

Saw My New Therapist

I saw my new therapist recently for my first session. It went great, I thought. I really like her.

I like her energy/vibe. It’s not the same as my other therapist, not that there’s anything wrong with that. My other therapist’s vibe came from a very calm, restful place. It gave me the space to do so much grieving work while in the therapy room with her. My new therapist’s energy/vibe is calm, but also more engaged in a intense give-and-take sort of way. I like it a lot. I like her a lot too. It’s intense. And it’s a lot of work, but I think that is a good thing.

We talked a lot about where I came from, trauma-wise, where I have healed, and what areas I have been focusing on and what I want to do in therapy with her. I’ve written about that a lot on the blog. I will write more about the areas of therapy I am going to try to work on, here on the blog, because blogging is a huge part of my healing process.

I talked about the grieving healing work that I was able to do with L, my previous therapist. I’ve really only talked about that a little and each time that I do, I cry. I think once I talk about it some more and am able to process some more of that, I won’t cry anymore. I’ve only really talked about it five times and except for this time in therapy, it was just to mention it. It’s not that I am sad about my therapist moving on and starting her own practice. At least I don’t think that I am in denial about that.

It’s really just the grief, I think, that just needs some more time to leak out of me and talking about all the work and saying how much it has meant to me, that I did it, and honoring that work, and honoring Lauren and her role as my therapist and support/healer is a complex thing for me. But I don’t feel any sadness about her leaving.

I’m not grieving about my life anymore. I did that. Everything in my life has changed because of that. I had a lot of grief to feel and process over my childhood, the trauma and abuse that I endured and how that has continued to affect my life. A huge amount of weight has been dealt with and been moved off of me.

I think it will take some more time of talking about it, and writing about it, and then perhaps I will feel sad about my therapist starting her own practice and leaving the place where I was going to for therapy, but really I don’t feel sad and I don’t miss her or think of her, and for me that is not odd.

It’s that some part of me will always be changed because she held my hand, metaphorically, while I walked that grieving path. And no one else had been willing to be that for me in therapy, in the past and for me this was and is a huge thing, a huge healing thing. In honoring that with my new therapist, tears were leaking out, about the grieving and how important that was for me to do. But I really don’t have any tears about my therapist leaving.

I think that I had one therapist for two years who was what I needed and I have another therapist now, and I think she is what I need right now. But I also think that both of them could have modified to be a good fit for me wherever I was at. I guess that is the thing, when you find the right therapist, they can be different kinds of things for you during the therapy hour or over time. I never had that before. I never had a good therapist before and now I am starting on an adventure and a journey with a new therapist and it seems very right and very good. I like that. I like that I have an adventure and a journey in therapy that I can share here.

Oh Yeah, Anger is a Stage of Grief

Or how I swear out an old man in a scooter, and call him a douche. And how he totally deserved it.

I was biking on a street that was wet from rain. It’s harder to brake when the road is wet and slick. In those conditions it is harder to stop my bike and it takes longer and as a consequence it takes more space for me to stop my bike.

Since moving three months ago, I had learned quickly how necessary it is to watch bikers and pedestrians carefully, because they will step out right in front of you. I watch constantly and carefully, because I have to, because people are idiots and they have death wishes, or act like it, constantly.

I had the green light. Now let me just say that my having the green light means absolutely nothing to other bikers, pedestrians, and sometimes even drivers in vehicles. So I am careful, because it is necessary. Unfortunately that still is no guarantee that someone still won’t almost cause an accident, or almost run into me, or break the law and put me in a very dangerous unsafe situation.

An old man in a scooter was on the sidewalk as I rode up to the intersection. He had the red light. I had the green light. I was watching him carefully. He braked completely, while looking up at the red light that he had. I saw that he realized he had a red light. I saw that he had braked. I did not brake. I had the green light.

Then he zipped out right in front of me going about twenty miles an hour. Fucking scooters. I started screaming and swearing at him. And then he started mouthing off back to me. Here is the thing. You don’t get to act like that and then mouth off when someone bitches you out, when you richly deserve it. So I called him a douche.

And he totally deserved it. He could have caused me an accident. He could have flipped my bike and my bike and I could have both landed on his body or tipped over the scooter. If he thinks that could not cause him serious bodily harm or a back injury or a severed spine, he a bigger fucking idiot than I think he is already. He should never be allowed to get behind a vehicle of any kind, certainly not one that goes faster than one mile an hour.

And yet I realize all this past week how anger is a stage of grief, because I am so angry for others existing while experiencing the loss of my lovely nephew, who was a joy in my life and in my heart. So I get angry more often and I swear more often and I am okay with that.

In Which I Am Snarky

At a family gathering recently a sister in law of one of my brother’s came up to me. A brother that I had told many years ago that I no longer consider him a brother of mine and exactly why. I haven’t had any conversations with her in over thirty years and even then it was more of being in the same room with her kind of thing, once or twice. I probably haven’t seen her in fifteen years and my attitude has always been, so what, my life is fine without you, your sister, and him. They’re not in my life and even before I excluded them, they exhibited no effort in being in my life.

I don’t normally go to any kind of “family” gatherings, but this was in remembrance of my beloved relative who recently died. I had tried to avoid these three witches that day, but each of them came up to me several times. My ex-brothers knows enough to stand about five feet away from me when he says hello or goodbye. He still persists in doing this, even though I know my other brother has told him I don’t want anything to do with him ever.

The sister in law of my brother came up to me and said hello so-and-so and then asked, do you know who I am? She looks exactly the same, just older, with more weight on her. I mean I have no trouble recognizing relatives, even someone who isn’t really a relative of mine, but a relation of relative of mine. I told her, yes you are so-and-so. I’m still puzzling that one out, she’s older than me, if anyone would have memory loss it would have to be her first.

Later in the day when she was doing her rounds saying goodbye to people she came up to me again and wanted to give me a hug goodbye. Okay fine, whatever, she means nothing to me. It didn’t comfort me or help me in my healing process, but what the hell. By the way she was acting she thought she was doing something healing for me. No seeing the three of them is not healing, is not comforting, it is just the opposite.

My beloved nephew died and now I can’t have his smiling face in my life, bitch, so go fuck off, I wanted to say.  I love him and miss him and you think your presence and your excessive inaneness will do something for me? I didn’t say anything because I had promised one of my brothers to be nice at the gathering and he was hovering just behind her and could hear what was being said. He had told me to just talk to those I wanted to talk to and leave the rest alone. I had tried that, but that never works with my family, if you don’t want them, they have to try to invade your space and boundaries.

I about flipped my wig when she continued with her comments.

She said, you look just like your mom. (Yes she just compared me physically to a sex offender, who beat and raped me while I was a pre-schooler. Yes I look like a 70 year old woman, who had white hair when she died more than 15 years ago, thanks for your tact. Obviously I don’t.)

I bent over, stuck my finger in my mouth and made gagging noises.

She said, seeing you makes me think of your mom.

I said, that does nothing for me.

She said, well I always had a soft spot in my heart for your mom.

I said, again that does nothing for me.

She walked away.

About a month ago I had decided that a big healthy dose of snark was an entrenched part of my personality, that I accept that, and that I love that about myself. I’m not some kind of perfect little kitten, some tiny little victim that others can make be nice and compliant, which is what my family has always tried to do to me. I want to be good and kind and caring, more than anything else in the world, but the first and most important person for me to be good and kind and caring to is me.

Their presence in my life does nothing for me. Bye-bye.

A Recent Loss

A relative in my extended family recently died. I love him very much. Having to experience the death and loss of a loved one who is much younger than you is so difficult.

For some years I had really wished that we could be spending more time together. It was an old family pattern that I was not successful in connecting up with family members to spend time with, even those who were not emotionally abusive. After excluding some emotional and verbal abusers from my life about five years ago, and refusing to go to family gatherings because of that reason, I didn’t see some of my extended family at all. I wanted to, but I have only found limited success in those desires and efforts.

So I’ve missed him terribly. And now he is gone. A relative told me this week that he had loved me very much. That I knew. I loved him very much as well. He was a sweet hearted boy who grew up to be a sweet hearted man. His sweet gentleness never failed to touch me and to make my life happier and more healed. What else I got told is that he had always felt a deep connection to me and expressed that to others. I didn’t know he felt that. I know now. It makes the loss feel deeper. I miss him.

My Grandmother’s Funeral

My grandmother died when I was a child. I wanted to go to her funeral. My mother refused to let me. The reason she used with the family was that I was too young to go to a funeral, too young to see a dead body, and that it might make me feel a lot of negative emotions and cause me to have nightmares.

At that young age I knew that I needed to go to the funeral. I needed to see her dead body laid out, to walk up there and see and know she was dead. I knew it was an important part of something for me. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew. I wasn’t a witness to healthy emotions of any kind, let alone sadness and loss, but I knew. I knew what was right for me.

I suppose now I would call it going through a grief process. I wasn’t allowed to go and so there was a part of grief that just wasn’t allowed to happen in my life, in me.

In the last couple of years I have started to remember my grandmother as a sexual offender, just little snippets, though it is definitely sexual abuse against me while I was still a pre-schooler and it is definitely her, with my mother in the room.

At home I would try to stop my mother, and her response was always the same, it was pefectly normal, her mother did this to her, her mother’s mother did it to her mother. I don’t remember her ever saying that every mother did this to her little girls. But the concept was there in her mind, but never in mine. I never accepted that. I never believed that.

One incident was in my grandparents’ kitchen and it was stopped, because of family interruptions. I remember the fear and the expectation and trying to stop them and then the relief. There are more. I just haven’t remembered them yet.

It sort of fits in with everything I remember. I remember the few times that I would go into her kitchen looking for food, because I was so hungry, I would try to hide, usually under the kitchen table where no one would grab me. I remember being little and avoiding the kitchen like someone would try to avoid the plague. I remember the hatred, jealously, and rage swirling around my mother and grandmother while they dominated that room. How they would say they only wanted everyone to get together and when anyone would show up they would bitch about them behind their backs, for not helping in the kitchen and cooking.  

 I remember my grandfather and father sitting in the living room, where I was expected to sit on the couch and behave. I remember everyone telling me to stay out of the kitchen. Them telling me to stay out of grandmother’s way and to say we all had to be careful and not upset her, because she had a heart condition.

I never had a real grandmother. My father’s mother had died long before I was born. My mother’s mother was a sex offender to me. So when I wanted to go to her funeral I don’t think that it was to honor her, it was to honor me and my survival and triumph over her. It was to acknowledge that grief is present even, and sometimes especially, when the other person has given you nothing good, except life, and though they have taken a great deal from you, they can no longer take your body or your mind, and that they will never get your soul.

Today I mourn. And I honor my survival of her.