Friday, June 24, 2011

odd out

I want to not do this anymore.

I can see on fb that my step-son is tagging himself in a photo album entitled "best of my dad." My step-son is MIA in part due to age appropriate non-adult fraternizing, and also largely due to the fact that I am a huge painful reminder of our life. Our contact is sporadic. It doesn't matter that we are family. We are painful family.

I was reprimanded by someone today for being a non-responsive friend, which is fine, and accurate. The problem is that this person thinks we have been close friends for 15 years, and that is not an idea I share. Clearly, we have very different definitions of "close friendship." I am tired of peoples' expectations of me that aren't based in truth for me. Which only really blows because the person who would totally get that, who had himself experienced those wayward expectations from others, is fucking dead. It used to be awesome to be me, and I was loved for exactly me. Now, being me irritates and wounds people.

I am thinking about leaving this state. I am thinking again of those vows of silence. I am tired of the effort of interaction I find exhausting these days, in a million different ways. I am thinking that, clearly, humans and I are just not well suited to each other, and I should just bake them things and be on my way. I had my people. I had my family. Matt's mother calls to tell me she doesn't think she would be surviving this is not for her new partner, that no one could survive such a thing without a good partner by their side. I want to, but do not, say the obvious. Ages ago, my father-in-law's wife told me, "I know he is staying alive for me. I know he is only trying because I am here beside him and with him." Why is it that I am meant to survive this, the one closest, the one without. That's rhetorical and ridiculous.

I have no point, and I am just bitching now. Just bitching because this is insane, and I am tired, and I want my love back, and I no longer want to survive this shit at all. Wait. I never wanted to.
Enough. I have things to do.



  1. While not advocating that you do otherwise, I have come to the conclusion that it is very difficult to stick around in a place after your spouse or oatner has died. I know that I could not do it. I would have found it too weird to keep dealing with people who don't know how to interact with me, For example, after my first winter away after Don's death, I returned home with the intention of selling our farm. A few days after my arrival, I was standing in a store speaking with a neighbour who I had just run into. My husbsnd's youngest sister rounded the corner of the display racks with her shopping cart, gave me a shocked look, then a quick forced grin, turned her cart and quickly fled. I had waved in a friendly way abd was left thinjing WTF just happened? None of my husband's family called or dropped in that summer whle I worked my ass off getting the house ready to sell. None of his or our mutual friends called, I felt like a ghost or a pariah. I have ti say that I am so glad that I decided to hit the road and start a new life elsewhere. Weirdness is not something I need at this point in my life. Anyhow, my onoy advice is to keep an open mind and listen to your soul. Give yourself permission to fantasize other possibilities in other places. Think about where you thinj you might feel most at home, what plce you might learn to love, revisit any heart's home you have ever experienced, think about where you have met people who are the most like yourself. That is what I have done and have managed to find two places thousands of miles apart, that have offered me the opportunity to rebuild from the wreckage. This past week, when I have been watching the disastrous fires in southwest AZ, I have heard a few people interviewed about whether they will rebuild their houses on the charred landscape. A couple have said outright that they don't want to build in a scene of devastation, It will take too long before the land recovers. They will go elsewhere. In a way, The fire and destruction seems a good metaphor for whata has happened to some of us. We have lost all. Do we want to rebuild in a landscape blackened by an inferno? That is for each of us to figure out.

  2. Bummer of a day for intjs. The majority don't understand, I don't think they're physcially able to-- on the other hand, there's nothing wrong with a change of scenery. Maybe it's time?

  3. i feel your words deeply. Bev's, too. i moved the day of my husband's funeral. not a good choice for me personally. wish i could have stayed. i knew a few people, just a few. leaving so soon after his death, i did not get the chance to see if they would have been supportive or not. now i am here and it's been 2 years 4 months and i cannot make friends. i think i read their intentions wrong. they wanted me to cook for them when they stopped by. they wanted to use my bathroom in a hurry. they wanted me to make them things in a very short time. or i was their last ditch, always available person to walk with if they wanted that. but i was never ever told i had a chance to be a friend. i have stopped trying.

    i agree with Bev. follow your heart. do what feels right. my two cents? as widows someone is always going to disagree with what we do, say, don't do, don't say. follow your heart. keep searching for peace. it was what i wish for you. it is all i wish for any of us.

  4. bev - the problem with leaving, for me, is that this place is evidence of our life. I can walk around here and say HE WAS HERE, and the buildings say yes back to me. Most people won't talk about him, and don't acknowledge when I do. My whole life disappeared in a flash. With my step-son also gone, and my inlaws gone, and no one else talking, I can feel incredibly crazy. Like maybe I only imagined my life. But then I go to the places we've been, and I say he was here. So leaving here kind of freaks me out. And, I have lived here in this house for 6 years, which is longer than I have lived anywhere.

    "Heart's home," though - that is what to carry around with me.

    Ferree - yes. Massively bad interactions for an infp. And, thinking about it more, this particular person is hurt that I don't "confide" in her the way she thinks I do with others (as she said), because she has known me for so many years, and they have not. Arrogant. Weird.

    S - That's why I really don't want to leave, and certainly not on someone elses' timing - this place was our home. He was here.

    C - word.

  5. I would not let other people's weirdness drive me out of my home or any place if it means much to you to stay. In my own case, I was never truly part odpf the community where we had our farm for over 30 years. Whatever community we had when we moved there as part of the back-to-the land movement, was pretty much gone - we were about the last of that group and found ourselves surrounded by people who had little in common with us. Compounding that, I have always been an artist, and there were precious few of those within miles, so I always felt apart from the community - I would actually say that some people probably thought I was too "out there" as it was a pretty conservative town. Add to that the way that cancer works to slowly make you hate everything within sight, I think it made sense to go. In your csse, you may already be in the kind of community that provides what you desire. Only you can answer that. Regardless of where we go, or even if we stay put, I think we will have times when we feel like we can't run far or fast enough away from our lives, and other times when we want to return to ou "home" and find our lives the way they used to be. For myself, that has been one of the hard parts - to go away and sometimes feel tired and so sad that I think "I want to go home.". But the "home" I want to go to is the one where Don is still alive, my older dog is young and well again, my garden is filled with flowers, and our two horses are sleek and shiny and grazing in the pasture. Unfortunately, even had I stayed, that "home" is gone. I cannot tell you how unspeakbly sad that makes me, but I think all of us know. Moving elsewhere has been an incredible challenge. I can't recommend it for everone, or even a few. I think that, to be able to "go", you have to be very sure that you can find what you need within yourself. I followed other people's advice when I left the first time, and returned to find that Don wasn't waiting for me when I returned in the spring. If he was anywhere that winter, he was with me in the mountains and desert of the southwest. It might help you to try to go away on a trip, even for a few days, to see how you feel while you're away and when you return. Perhaps you will find that time away will clear your thoughts and allow you to return, ready to settle down to rebuild on a.good, strong foundation. Whatever, don't allow other people to make you feel like a refugee in your own community if it seems like the right place to be.

  6. thank you bev. Matt and I were planning to move out of state. We had actually just planned out first house hunting trip two days before he died. I haven't ever had a community here, really. But I wanted to go with him. I wanted the adventure of new places and new things with him. Someone wrote on their blog awhile ago about how when it feels calm and right to leave, but certainly not "good," then it will be the right time. Know what I mean? When leaving is still hard and sad, but it is not violently, soul ripping wrong.

    That is the home I want, the one where matt is alive and normal, and my stepson is annoying and my father in law, too. The one where heading out to the river was normal, and everyone came back alive, as you would expect them to. Matt built a lot of peoples' houses around here, but had not yet built ours. He built a lot of my folks' house, and that is now on the market. Evidence disappears. Places I can put my hands on and say "he made this," they disappear. I feel like when it is right to leave even this house, it will feel right. Or at least, it will feel - righter. No out of the frying pan into the fire type movements. No lateral moves to something else. To remember that I need to be responsive to myself, rather than wildly reactive to others.

  7. You will know when it is the right time to leave your house - if indeed you decide that's the best thing to do. When I left my place abou 5 weeks after Don died, I knew very well in my own heart that I was doing the right thing. I received so many warnings from family and friends that I shoukd not go - that I should wait at least a year - but I knew what was best for me and did not let the opinions of others sway me. One thing that I think we learn from this crappy experience is that the only one who can make the right decision for us - is we ourselves. I have learned to listen to and trust my inner voice and it has not led me astray even once.
    It may take awhile before you build up the strength and confidence to make any major changes to your life. That is fine - I don't think any of. us need to hurry to do an ything unless we feel we need to. I think that a lot of factors come into play when we are mapping out the road that we will follow. For me, I am 55 now, and there is much kess road ahead than that which I have already traveled. In some wyas, that is kind of limiting, but in other ways, it is liberating. I feel less need to figure out what the hell I am going to do for the rest of my life - like to grow up and be a fireman. I have soet of done most of what I need to do, so n ow it is more a case of tyoing uo the loose ends of my life as I move into that stage everyone now refers to as being a crone - and Sometimes I have a little trouble seeing how being a crone is such a wonderful thing! BUt, in fact, in many ways it is. There are a lot less pressures on me to "make something of myself.". I already did t hat and was a orett kick-ass woman at one point. Now, I don't feel who I am, what I do, or how I look, matters too much to anyone, and especially not to me. All that matters now is to be kind to others and try not to be too much of a burden to this already over-burdened earth. If I can do that for the duration, that is good. For you, there are more things ti be done, more adventures that need to be made. You'll know when it is time to saddle up your horse and hit the trail. (-:

  8. ha - I think that way about myself too, that I was kick-ass at one point. At many points. Now - yeah, whatev. Actually, I was at that shrug and whatever point in the Before, now I have just added apathy to it! And exactly the same - I have a note on my fridge I wrote maybe the week After that says "kindness counts, everything else is arbitrary." I don't know that there are more adventures, or that it matters. In this moment, I can be kind, and try not to make a mess of things, most importantly, for myself. Being widowed at 38 (now 40), it freaks me out to think I could be only half done with this life. But then I think, well hey, early death could happen. Snort.

  9. LOL, with all the driving I do, I have almost been wiped out several times. First there was the larger than bowling ball sized chunk of frozen mud that flew off an ATV in the back of a pickup truck on a freeway in Idaho - smashed up the front of my van pretty good before it flew just above the windshied and over the roof. Next was an out of control tractor trailer comng down the long grade behind me into Needles on my way from California into Arzona 2 trips ago. Last autumn, it was the boat that flew off a traler onto the highway in front of me in Northern Ontario. A full can full of gas slid along the highway and skidded to a stop right under my front bumper. Y'know, sometimes I get to wondering, "Dammit, what's it gonna take to get a break, eh?". (-:

  10. Yep.
    I am lucky that my Mum gets it. My BFF gets it. and I have a few other widow friends (girls I went to school with) who get it. Nobody else does and my capacity to tolerate other people's stupidity is getting lower by the day.