Sunday, January 26, 2014

Feeling Dysfunctional

Feeling purely dysfunctional, so what do I do? My center, where the heck did it go? Finding that balance took a lifetime; my demons chased me for more years than I care to contemplate. Harmony not quite attained, but I had contentment even in our most difficult hours, well, for the most part.
Spawned by the dynasty of I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it; I grew up negative. How could such a pissy little bitch have so many friends? Easy, it was the pissy little bitch tribe whining and complaining and being sarcastic to prove superiority. When is the female of the species more snarky competitive than puberty, which seems to last much longer in some than other girls? That’s who I was before Kirt.
They say you don’t really love others until you learn to love yourself. Books have been written on that very topic; won’t say I’ve read them all. The subject matter ruminates still because growing up with low self esteem makes it difficult to look at yourself with anything but a critical eye, which you also apply to the remainder of the world. Do you see all this negative crap lining up?
Positive light and love of God through a dark prism makes the task of attunement most difficult. I have an inkling of how blessed I am to have ever found my center in this life. The loss feels as unsettling as walking through your house during an earthquake.  
With God’s help heading for the light from the dark night of my soul not a second too soon; what the deuce does that mean? It means I have hope again. Finding purpose and bliss would be extraordinary; wouldn’t it?  
Friends, PLEASE, be patient with me.

Love and peace. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Making Connections and Choices

A young woman I met in a widow’s support grabbed a corner of my heart when she wrote about her story of meeting a man online. Emails led to a meeting of the North American man and Russian woman in Prague, where they fell in love. They returned home. He could not forget her. She was afraid to believe in his love. Four times he flew to Russia before bringing her home as his wife. She lived with her love for but a brief time, went on vacation to the platform overlooking the Grand Canyon where they embraced. He dropped dead of a heart attack in her arms.
Love changed everything in her life. When he died she was left alone in a foreign landscape, exactly how I feel. So I've never met this lady from Russia, but her well being has become important to me because I identify with her.
On a completely different note, I’m taking another online course from a web site I recommend. I waited anxiously for the Soul Beliefs course. I had visions of Joseph Campbell type comparisons on the chalk board. During the lecture entitled Intro to Religion, when I heard the professor talking about initiations into street gangs committing murder to get in the gang and comparing this to baptism, I was disheartened to say the least.
When the same scholar belittled the identifiers people use with each other such as, place, or religion, I felt sorry for him; he doesn't understand that these little identifiers provide a foundation for empathy. Yes, it is tribal.  His brutal diatribe made students ashamed that they asked each other where they came from.
Those identifiers the professor thought to be so embarrassingly silly are why we choose one person out of a crowd, whether it’s right or wrong only an arrogant college professor will say.
It was those identifiers that caused me to befriend the young woman, who lost her husband a few months after I lost my husband of more years than most of you have been alive. We’re holding each other’s hand across the globe because we have souls.  
Knowing which chemicals are released in order to make it so doesn't give the answer to what inspired it. Afraid it doesn't tell what’s running the ship, any more than dissecting a ship tells what pushed the start button.
Maybe next time coursera will rerun Joseph Campbell’s magnificent lectures. I’m sorry if your feelings are hurt, but I’m very disappointed in some choices you've made.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Widowed Six Months

My heart is broken; it’s not mending, hurts. Miss my Honey, so badly. No amount of trying gets me past this pain. My head is out on sympathy strike, won’t work beyond basics. Tear ducts operating at full capacity again.
As a kid in New Orleans, I heard an adult say, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!” The ever ready bunny of “we can make it better” is down.  
Losing my constant companion, best buddy, lover was bad enough, but living alone for the first time in my life just put the f’ing cherry on top. My best friend from childhood, Darlene, died adding a new layer of sadness.
My dream of helping the island dogs has amounted to shit. At every turn the problem is bigger, more difficult, tamper resistant, overwhelming. I’m not one to give up.
At this point people want me to buck up and get on with it. Need distance from friends and family who feel disappointed that I’m not doing better. I can’t change how I feel to please them or myself. Trying harder, as someone suggested, caused a backlash of sorrow and more tears. I’m so miserable I could scream, actually I did earlier in the day.
Energetically it’s difficult to be with someone in this stage of mourning. People expend energy being up, positive about the day, working towards a goal. To be with a profoundly sad person drains your charge. You must love that person to hang with them under the circumstances.
Not loving me enough to want to know how I feel somehow gives license to people to lecture me on how I should think or feel. Tolerance for enduring same is at seriously low ebb. If you gave a rat’s ass about me, you’d want to know how I feel, but you window dress and paint your way through the encounter by pontificating. I’m so in awe. Yes, tell me how to feel; I’ll get started with that right away. No, I couldn’t have figured it out without you.
So you haven’t a clue as to what to say if you can’t say what the dead spouse would want or what the widow should do. Sorry for your loss and then zip it. The people whose comments I value most have said, “Sorry for your loss. He was a cool guy.” Or he was a good man. A positive little comment about who he was to them comforts me more than any gas bag crap.
 I apologize for being so blunt, but my fur’s been rubbed the wrong way for a while, I’m miserable beyond measure. My street dogs moved. I need a change.
No, kidding, what a boo-hoo baby! Cathartic, yes, it was.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A New Life Emerging, Eeek

The shock and horror of the last six months begins to ease, and I say begins because that’s about all. It isn’t easing; it’s beginning to ease. There’s a huge difference. A helpless feeling taking hold, I can’t get back many things, lost so much, but for my sake must focus on what I have, how to live with that.
How do I live with going to the movies alone? Or with bike rides along the ocean alone; how do I live alone? How many sunsets can I cry through before I’m all cried out?  
Sitting at home without TV with only the internet for company I wandered to a site some friends told me about, a dating site. I’m not ready for dating, but I have time on my hands, so I signed on to a couple.
Being happy with my husband allowed me to see through rosier eyes, holy shit I forgot how insane men can be. A forty-two year old man began a conversation with me, “Hey, gorgeous!” I wanted to reply, “Darling, what’s your mother’s maiden name? I think I may have gone to school with her.”
A fellow in my age range opened the conversation with, “What do you think of me?” With only a photo and vague biography, all I could think was, HUH? What would you have me say? His next line, “Let’s meet.” Yeah, Dude, you’re so charming I can hardly wait.
How old was that kid? Bio said he’s five foot one, before long I’d be bouncing him on my knee telling him stories, hmm, nah, just kidding.
So biking and a movie for one on a Saturday night, it is.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cling or Let Go?

Should I cling to our love or love you enough to let you go on your journey? Change is the way of the universe and therefore God. Clinging to you the past six months has exhausted me. I hate being away from you! Lesson here is that it my liking or approval isn’t required; you’re gone. You’re gone; I hate it, but you’re still gone.
No doubt, me crying and carrying on the way I do, can’t be easy for you to watch. Sorry. God knows how much I love you, never more another. We were good; thanks for loving me. I don’t need to tell you of the place in my heart; you know.
The threads of the fabric of our lives are breaking: a coffee maker we used, the pillow you slept on. What we did each day is now what I do alone. As our life becomes my life, struggle at each step hurts. Some days it feels as if my life force aligned with death, ready waiting for the command to begin, but that would mean not fulfilling my life purpose. Who even knows what that is?
As Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” It’s time to forgive God for taking you, and you for going. The night before you died, you called, “Mom!” Now, I understand and accept.
Making the rest of my life the best it can be is my responsibility and challenge. After all the certainty of my life with you, I need to be a peaceful center in a world of chaos. Just f---ing great! Love you, honey bunny.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Make Friends or Be Alone

If I don’t make the effort, this new life of mine isn't going to start itself. The women I work out with are a likely source of new friends. Don’t be shy, get out there and get to know someone.
She sat in the corner eating a sandwich. “Hi, are you up for some company?” I said with my best friendly smile. She nodded towards the seat. “Wasn't that a good workout this morning?” My enthusiasm for a nice breakfast conversation could barely be contained, as I looked across the table at a trim woman of at most fifty- seven. “Her workouts are never as tough as they should be; she just phones it in, you’ll see. You haven’t been coming long,” she observed in a voice that sounded like New York.
“How long have you lived here?” I asked. She had to move here after getting screwed over by a pharmaceutical company where she worked in Human Resources for thirteen years, explaining in detail the corporate politics and dirty dealings in the management of big pharma. Tight lips pursed, angry eyes flashed during the forty minute diatribe. Somehow, I didn't think we’d be hanging out.
Being lonely as can be, wanting friends to spend time with at least until I get my act together and handle more time alone, I resolved to venture forth to make a new friend at breakfast after my work out again. After our opening hello’s this woman talked about wanting to make money from her photography hobby; didn't I like her pictures? Yes, I did, so pointed out a couple that I found pleasing. Did I want to buy them? She wanted to know. I informed her that I recently lost my husband, so wouldn't be decorating any time soon. To which she launched into an angry spew about the S.O.B. she just divorced. She had to come to Puerto Rico to get away from him. He kept coming to the house, where they had lived together, but it was her house now, but he didn't respect that because he was such a jerk. My husband and I were happy. This isn't the energy I wish to share.
Is this when alone begins to look good? I’m not ready to think about dating, but I've always had men friends, so why shouldn't I have men friends as a widowed woman? Don’t think for a second that I know enough about this culture to say that men and women here aren't or can’t be friends, but I’m just going to say, I’m not encouraged.  

My best buddy, Chi-Ping walked the promenade overlooking the ocean in Arecibo this afternoon, if she just didn't stop to sniff so much, we’d get some exercise.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Say One Hundred Times

Whatever you do, don’t piss your friends off; remember, don’t be so stupid. Will I ever learn? Being direct to a fault has many disadvantages; how can I stop myself? God forbid you ask my opinion because, by God, you’re going to get it. Diplomacy, finesse, I’m certainly old enough to have acquired a modicum, but I’ll tell you I haven’t seen it lately. My intentions are good, they’re always good, but, poop, it’s about the results.
Oh, to have the measured reaction of my aunt and I don’t mean her sister, my favorite aunt. Before her lips move her eyes reveal a thoughtful mind working. Her sentence begins, well, baby, and then diplomatically you hear her honest opinion. Her sister and I adhere to a more tell it like it is policy. Thought frequently doesn’t slow a word.
To compound problems I have a proclivity to organization which encourages adherence to a schedule. There isn’t much of anything happening in my life at the moment, but Zumba, shopping, dog tasks are plotted out, leaving time for more if I didn’t just screw off so much.
With friends who take the way roundabout route circling the point and mostly never landing, my mind hurts. Simple question, should I do this or should I do that, yes or no, must have a setup so I’ll understand and maybe I’ll think this because in their opinion I don’t understand what I’m thinking. Meanwhile nobody settles on a course of action, stalled. I’m not stating my opinion of that behavior stratagem.  
Oh, yeah, why didn’t I think of that? What were we talking about? This makes me nuts; not in a good way.
Some of my very best friends do this; can you see the conflict? I don’t want to lose my friends, the differences in our behavioral styles are but a facet our relationships. I have fantastic friends, win-win all the way.

Working on me this year, that’s the plan.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Resolution

New Orleans, alone, but New Orleans, magic city where voodoo lives under live oak trees will be my home in seven weeks  for three months, no three months in the states since I hope to attend writers’ conferences in St. Louis and Florida, as well as the Tennessee Williams in March. Traveling alone without Kirt or even my dogs, oh my, I don’t relish either, but I’ve done it before making friends easily, most people are sweet and have a story to tell; I’ll be fine.
Kirt and I travelled the states showing dogs in a forty foot bus, well, not as much of the states as we wanted, but from Illinois as far south as Mississippi across the road from the Gulf of Mexico, where at night we sat on a pier a hundred feet out in the water with six Bullmastiffs, enjoying the colorful casino lights on a foggy night.  
As the pain lessens, I’m beginning to enjoy a memory without balling my eyes out. Emotional pain tires you out like crazy. Being happy seems a chore. I could sit on my porch enjoying the beauty until I die, with my honey, but alone, no, I want to go to see to do. With the New Year my resolution is to resonate with passion for the adventure my life has always been, in honor of my beloved, he’s here; I feel him now.
The road to acceptance is a rocky trek through the valley of the shadow of death. I am thankful for Daily Strength Widow Support Group on line. Sharing the experience ameliorated it, when nothing else made it better.

My life feels like a truce after a long battle, too much devastation to be happy, but glad the torture’s over. So three months of the charms of the south will set well with me. No doubt there’ll be more crying, but I want to find a path for an interesting, productive life. Statistically the surviving spouse of long term couples dies in a year, so I’m going to make it a good one.