Perspective

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.

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I have an emotional concussion, is what I’m saying.

 

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.

 

 

Categories:

real shit, Writing

12 Comments

I am at a loss for words after reading this, Whitney. I will pray that the Lord holds you tight and gives you the strength to walk through the fire with your head held high. Love you.

I am so very sorry for your loss, Whitney. I know you don’t know me, but I am sending warm thoughts and virtual hugs your way. Of course, there’s nothing I can say that will improve upon your “emotional lobotomy,” but do know that you still can and do cultivate that “human connection” through your writing. You have plenty of readers out here who enjoy your ramblings and support you through everything you’re going through, even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles away. And if you’re anything like the author I’ve read through for the last couple of years, I’m sure there are plenty of real, close humans who are there for you, as well.

One thing I will say, and I know this will probably not help right now, but there is always good that comes from the bad. Through every awful experience I have endured, something wonderful would not have happened if that experience hadn’t occurred. It often just takes a lot of time to see that good thing or find out what it is.

No like button here! So another reply. I had a similar experience: the first bad blow really hurt, the second knocked me down, but by the third I just laughed because it couldn’t get any worse – but of course it did. We go on because it always beats the alternative. Things do get better, eventually. And, I can still see you smiling. Keep doing that.

For all the pain and trauma in your words, I was encouraged by one sentence. “I am learning to redefine importance.” We never know what that looks like in the midst of our despair. However, Whit, I do pray for your journey and that it leads you to a safe place filled with love and hope.

For all the pain and trauma in your words, I was encouraged by one sentence. “I am learning to redefine importance.” We never know what that looks like in the midst of our despair. However, Whit, I do pray for your journey and that it leads you to a safe place filled with love and hope.

When life hits you, it hits you really hard.
I am sorry to read all the things that are happening to you (or has happened to you) and all your emotions, how you feel is completely natural. From what I have learned, do not fight them but instead welcome them, embrace them. All the negatives, the anger, frustration whatever you have, just let them in and ask them to sit next to all the good feelings (hope, belief etc.) that you still carry. Fighting against them makes the negatives stronger. Every emotion that you have is what makes you ”you” and you are the already best version that you could be. As you mention in your post ”navigate the waters”, it reminds me of a quote by Leonardo da Vinci where he says,”In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.” I know it is difficult but trying to focus on what is with you at the very moment (your immediate task, person you are with, your emotions at this moment….can be anything) is a good step forward. But do understand that you are a human and you are doing the best you can. Go easy on yourself, try to listen and understand your thoughts and emotions, one at a time. All of this and everything doesn’t have to work right away, give it some time, give yourself enough time to recover. Life is not a race but a journey, one moment at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. All the doubts, confusions and questions that you have are just there to guide you to the light at the end of the tunnel (and no the light is not from a train speeding towards you). Set some time aside to reflect on your thoughts and actions, to find your inner self and inner peace but also do not hesitate to reach out to those people who care. Your friends, family, loved and dear ones who can share this (beautiful despite everything) moment with you. It is not a selfish thought to think that ”It is about you and your inner peace” because ”it is about you and your inner peace”. To wrap it up, another quote from Lao Tzu,”mind and thoughts are like muddy water. Let it settle so everything becomes clear”. I know they are overwhelming, but they are also revealing.
Warm wishes to you from afar.

That’s a lot. A whole, terrible lot, and I’m sorry to hear it. Please keep writing. I know it’s hard in the dark times, but the way you talked about feeling so heavy, laden to the ground, was so real and visceral and good. (Not good as in “Hey! You’re hurting! That’s great!” but I think you get it.) Just please keep writing. I’ll still be here laughing at your jokes.

Oh, Whitney. I am so sorry for your heart-wrenching loss. Please know that there are still folks in the world that read your words, support your efforts and big heart from afar, and applaud your ways. Much condolences from here.

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