I apologize if this entry ends up being cranky AF (see above). I have taken ibuprofen, which now allows me to complain. As I have said before, in my family you are not allowed to complain about any malady until you’ve done something about it.
My stomach hurts.
Have you taken anything for it?
Has it kicked in yet?
Well, you can’t get tachyphylaxis from nothin.’
The cranky is not all from pain, though. I’ve started panicking about Sunday, my mom & Dana’s birthdays. One grief compounds the other- in both directions. Even after two years of not speaking, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that Dana still knows me better than anyone on earth… more so than my mother, but that grief is obviously more devastating for two reasons. My mother has known me my whole life until now, and there will never be a chance in which those roles are reversed… that my mother will know me better than Dana as I grow. I certainly never gave my mother as much blackmail information. 😛
I feel I am making progress with the distance and time I’ve had to think since Dana and I separated, but there are distinct moments in time that I’m in love with her ghost… memories that are fixed points in time and visit me in the night. They don’t come to me nearly as often in the daytime… although some do. Generally, when I’m writing about a memory with Dana on this blog, it’s because I dreamed it the night before.
Speaking of which, the last birthday that the three of us spent together was in Portland, at Jake’s Grill in The Governor Hotel. I called ahead and got a reservation, then arranged for their menus to read Happy Birthday, Carolyn and Dana at the top. It was an evening to remember, something good in the middle of this garbage dump of a situation.
For the rest of my life, Jun. 11th will represent both death and loss, because I can’t remember one without the other. I have been divorced from Kathleen for over 15 years, and I still occasionally remember her birthday, because I have no anchor for it every year. Dana having the same birthday as my dead mother are the two points buried in the sand.
I am still so angry and lost about how Dana and I let it get so bad… yet another therapy session, I suppose. The one thing I’ve finally given up thinking is that it’s all my fault. Even if it mostly was, that doesn’t mean I need to take responsibility for anything and everything.
The thing I’ve learned over the years is that even if you only own five percent of the blame, you have to OWN THAT FIVE. It stops the victim mentality and shows you the way you participated and not how everything “happened to you.” Believe me, I am not in any way saying that I only own five percent of the blame for the end of that relationship, just using it as an example of my point.
It always takes two to tango, the dance of intimacy undulating between closer and further apart.
I think the reason it’s on my mind a lot is that I don’t ever want to repeat the same mistakes. There will never be a time in my life when I am blameless for a problem involving me, but there is merit in at least working through old “stuff” to be able to make room for something new.
Or perhaps reframing things altogether- they are not problems, but challenges to overcome. Hearing there’s a problem tends to make me fold into myself… but never dare a Lanagan. I am always capable of rising to meet an obstacle with the business end of a hammer. It may not dissipate altogether, but at least it’s in smaller, more manageable chunks.
With grief and loss, it is challenging myself to hammer away at my isolation, because I cannot continue to be afraid of social interaction. There will always be people who accidentally say really shitty things to me regarding my separation and my mother’s death.
There will always be people who think that my emotions are too intense for them. There will always be people who seem to be trustworthy and aren’t, or vice versa.
There will always be times I have to wonder which one I am… and not to stop striving for excellence in all areas of my life, not letting the times where I fall short stop me from reaching upward and onward.
Part of that challenge is also to stop beating myself severely for past mistakes as if they define who I am now. I must realize that past trauma, anxiety, and chemical imbalance are contributing factors when I make the wrong decision, but are not indicative of my true personality. Bad decisions do not define bad people, ever.
I was just beginning to emerge from the desert of that line of thought when my mother died, and drinking water became a mirage.
I have been through so much, in a relatively short amount of time. I am so ready for peace and prosperity to rule over chaos… or, at least, in the words of David Ashley White, “spirit, moving over chaos.”
The prayer I pray the most often (second to “SHIT, God!”) is to let chaos swirl around me instead of inside me.
Even when I’m cranky AF.