Missing out on the job I’ve wanted for five years knocked the air out of my lungs.
The Big Breakup Heartbreak pushed me to the ground and rubbed my face in the dirt. It left me feeling disoriented and unsure of myself.
The Little Breakup Heartbreak gouged open old wounds and left me scared of anything familiar.
A cat died that we’ve had since I was 12. A dog died that we’ve had since I was 13. These were slaps in the face–reminders of the price we pay for temporary companionship.
A hailstorm totaled my car, which really was just the cherry on top of this shit sundae.
All of this, in the first half of 2017. That’s not including my depression or the presidency of Stupid Orange Voldemort, and so I feel like I’ve gone five rounds with Conor McGregor after insulting his manhood.
But none of that matters anymore, at all. And I’m grateful for that, for something coming along and reminding me that some pain is temporary and some will change you forever.
My father took his life two and a half weeks ago.
Our relationship was fraught but I had done everything possible over the past 12 years to be a good daughter and take care of him in any way I could, and it wasn’t enough. I’m not quite processing it, or if I am it’s happening in spurts. The reality of no longer receiving his hateful emails is almost a relief, but at the same time I had always held hope that he and I would find our way back to being family.
I am at all times: devastated, angry, relieved, heartbroken, incredulous, shocked, and, most of all–exhausted. There is no metaphor for this exhaustion, no explanation that can capture just how heavy I feel, how laden to the ground, how I have nothing left to give anyone other than a smile that lasts only as long as it takes for reality to come creeping back into my peripheral.
This blog was, in part, a way to keep my dad in the loop. I know he read it, and I know that often it angered him. But in March of this year he emailed me saying, “I hope you’ll keep writing your blog,” and that was the nicest thing he’d said to me–and the most coherent thing he’d said to me–in years.
What do I do now? The biggest part of my audience was this man who couldn’t find the strength to reach out to me in person but bandied with the words on this page. How do I continue writing knowing that one of the people I wrote for will never read my stupid, stupid jokes ever again?
I am learning to redefine importance. Healing my heart from the BBH and the LBH is unnecessary. The holes caused by those two men are pinpricks next to the wound I’m dealing with now. What is important to me is open, warm connections with people who understand that when I’m with them there’s equal chance that I’m emotionally present as that there’s a mantra in the back of my mind on repeat: mydadisdeadmydadisdeadmydadisdead and I’m holding onto the conversation like a life preserver.
What’s important to me is trying to navigate the waters between my relentless optimism and belief in human connection and the reality that all of the things I wanted and worked for have drowned in the waters of others. How do I keep myself actively seeing the good in everything around me? How do I find the will to care about those who have hurt me and are still here, the ones who’ve tied lines to my heart and tug when the vibrations stop? Is it worth it? What and who do I value now?
I may have felt concussed before: adrift and unsure and shaky. But this instead feels like an emotional lobotomy, a surgical removal of anything that’s caused me pain prior to July 1st, 2017 so I can focus instead on figuring out how to feel about Dad, and how to feel about the things that keep me whole.
And also how to feel about Conor Mcgregor. So attractive and so repulsive. What’s a girl to do.