Sunday, January 13, 2013

Reluctance and Reason Behind It?

Goodness where to start ?   Once more I am truly overwhelmed at the support I received on a post I actually had no intention of posting.  I started writing my previous post to see if I could figure out what the heck was the matter with me.  Not only did so many of you take the time to comment, the majority of the comments were WilmaSized!  I am truly humbled by your generosity of time, thoughts and concern.  In addition to the comments you left on my blog,  many of you emailed, google chatted or even phoned to see how I was making out.  I am touched truly touched.

I had a difficult time posting my previous post because in a way I had an extreme amount of guilt surrounding my feelings.  It has been so long since my father had passed away that I felt almost unjust in my reaction this year.  I was truly blessed with a wonderful father, and a spectacular family growing up, (um, might have given you a different opinion if you asked me when I was 16).  I also felt this guilt due to the fact that even my own father said his life ending was not a tragedy.  Therefore I should no longer mourn for him.  He was not robbed of his life.  He himself said he had led a full life.

I am aware  that I most likely will get comments concerning my above paragraph, but that is what ran through my mind, when I was focused enough to have a clear thought.  I do suspect, as I mentioned in my previous post that ttwd brought all of my emotions surrounding last week to the surface.  And truthfully, I absolutely detested it.  I couldn't  figure out a way to function, in quiet times, with these overwhelming emotions.


I took all of your advice to heart.  I reflected and pondered the possibilities of each suggestion.  I felt your embrace through your written words.  All of this helped me.  I want to thank Catrinka,  a new blogger who has a wonderful writing style.  She wrote a post entitled Empathy ( click here to read it), sharing her journey, with grief and ttwd. I am most grateful to her.  

My emotions were, well crushing?  Paralyzing perhaps?  They were flowing out of me at warp speed and I couldn't control them- something I had always been able to do in the past.


There was also another emotion mixed in with the sorrow, and guilt.  ( Looking back I think the guilt might have been my way of trying to surpress the sorrow...didn't work worth a darn...sigh)....fear.  I was so fearful if I let go.  This time I had envisioned a box, much like the one above. If I let it empty, what would be next?  This has been something I have obviously held onto for so long.  The grief had become part of who I am.  There was not a fear of loosing myself, I could see the importance of moving past this.  I'm not expressing myself properly here.  I suppose I thought expelling THIS would be the ultimate in exposure.  In vulnerability   Yet there was also this feeling


The feeling that this was a new level.  The feeling that once this box was emptied, that the ones below might contain amazing gifts, but some will contain contents I would rather not look at.  I expressed this fear to several people.  One who, said, after many questions,  ( and much confusion on my part)



You don't need to be...just let your heart stay open, let God creep into this painful place and love you a little bit.
It's one of those sort of neat things...you don't really have to think about it...just open hands if that makes sense.


I don't think it is any secret to anyone that I am Catholic, I have mentioned it many times.  I was raised it, and today I sit here as a 'Pick and Choose Catholic' .  I participate more out of tradition at times.  I am more spiritual as opposed to religious.  Since starting ttwd, I have found myself thinking, and reflecting and actually asking for guidance more than I ever have before in my life.  ( Sorry I don't mean to scare anyone off with that)  Does it work?  I'm still here chugging along...but I don't know.  I have found peace in various situations over the past 3 months.  Fear not, I am not going to change my blog, I am just being honest .

Anyway I was laying in bed on Friday night, Barney was at work.  Once again I found myself staring out at the trees in our back yard.  Over and over again as the tears streamed down my face, the word mine, kept popping into my head.  It finally occurred to me my reluctance to share, or my stubbornness to go this alone.  Every child has a different relationship with their parents. Each relationship is unique.  Hopefully  every child feels their unique bond with their parent- despite being one of many, you know  your bond is different.


Grief is unique.  Everyone deals with it and expresses it differently.  It became clear to me this was my reason.  My grief for the loss of my father was unique.  Although I shared the same reason for my grief with my siblings,  some of you , with Barney, the grief is unique to me.  I have been holding on to this, because it is the last relationship I have with him that is exclusive.  Our last connection.  I feel this way, because of my feeling of loss  for him and only him.  Letting go doesn't mean forgetting him.  That is not what this was about.  Sharing my emotions with my husband seemed to be trying to pull him into something that was between myself and my (feelings surrounding) my dad.  I'm sure to some of you this makes no sense.  I have no other way of explaining it, and I am sorry for that.

Barney came home after I was in bed.  We did not talk.  My stupid  little dog decided that night to join the conspiracy with the rest of the universe to ensure I have a horrible nights sleep.  Once again I found myself, with HER on the couch and not in bed with my husband.  It is a long story - with a smart dog who can open the fridge, and teenage boys that in a hunger haze forget to put the child lock back on the door.  This resulted in a poor nights sleep and coupled with a husband that had to work in the morning, there was no room for conversation.

When alone I was still very tearful throughout the day, yet I was no longer paralyzed or fearful.  I was begininng to become more analytical.  The box seemed to not be emptying, but slowly the particles of emotions that were streaming out of it were settling.  Some, perhaps in the box, some outside.  It was a calming feeling that began to come over me as the day progressed. 

I didn't have an opportunity until late that night to talk to Barney due to a social commitment I had. ( Oh side note, when I was preparing to leave the party - ( only 3 drinks) a few of my girlfriends were trying to convince me to stay.  To call Barney and ask him to pick me up later-which he would have- I said, that he had to work the next day and an hour here would be fun but it wasn't fair to him, even if he did say it was okay.  One of the men announced in a booming voice - NOW THAT IS A GOOD WIFE! ...lol) 

When we arrived home, Barney told me he read my post.  He said knew that the day  was approaching. He hadn't forgot.  He also pointed out that he didn't see my behaviour as distancing, merely that I had a strong desire to figure out something on my own.   I barely moved when he was at work. He never mentioned the lack of things accomplished during the day.  There was no denying I was crying throughout the days while he was at work or during the night.  I looked horrid.  He told me that he hoped in the future that I would come to him, but if this is something that I feel I can't share with him that he understands that too.

Today is 'the' day, and aside from the odd stray tear, I am fine.  Do I feel distant ? perhaps, but I truly don't know if it is a result of the past couple of weeks. On Saturday if Barney had been home, I do believe I would have turned to him, but that has passed.  The particles are tucked away, back in the box, and there is no way to force them out.  I do feel disappointed in a way that I couldn't allow myself this break through.  Perhaps as some of you suggested I am not ready yet.  Perhaps it may never happen.  Perhaps it has- although I doubt that.  There is a blockage in there, I can feel it..  Maybe there always will be.


 Time will tell I suppose...as ttwd does seem to be the adventure of a lifetime

41 comments:

  1. Hugs Willie :) Just hugs, many, many, many hugs!

    (seriously? The adventure of a lifetime? That would be going to Disney or Hawaii or the Himalayas or to visit the Seven Wonders of the World! Oh alright...I concede...it is an adventure of a lifetime...a whole lifetime!

    Hugs again and much love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I said adventure of a life time M3, not THRILL of a lifetime.

      Thank you for the hugs

      Delete
  2. Willie,
    I read your post yesterday and have been thinking about you throughout the day. I am here whenever you need to talk.

    I am continually amazed at the wonderful, compassionate people her in Blogland and so happy that your many other friends were there for you. You are loved.

    Your deep insights and ability to face this very unique grief over the loss of your father has me awed, frankly. I am so proud of you, for facing these raw feelings with courage.

    Your Barney loves you so much. He is there, holding your hand even when you don't know he is doing so. How wonderful that he is always there, ready to take you into his arms, when you are ready to go to him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many benefits to blogging, but the friendship are by far the best.

      No need to be in awe, please. I'm just a blubbering girl who has nothing but time on her hands to think, as I wasn't an actual functioning human being for days

      Delete
  3. Hey Willie - My heart goes out to you - anniversaries are hard - 1 year, 21 years or 121 years - doesn't matter.

    I sent my thoughts regarding the previous post in an email so I'm not going to repeat them here.

    Just know that I'm sending you lots of healing thoughts and warm hugs.

    Hugs, Love, and Blessings,
    Cat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your email, and kinds words Cat.

      Love
      Willie

      Delete
  4. Hi Willie
    So glad to hear you so strong and sounding like your old indefatigable self! LOL As Cat says anniversaries are tough - my Dad's birthday is on Thursday - he will be gone for 13 years, my Mum died 5 years ago on my Dad's birthday - I just have to spend the day remembering the things that make me snort with laughter....
    hugs
    lillie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strong? I'm not so sure about that adjective. Who knows maybe the power of suggestion will work here :) AS for indefatigable, surly you jest!

      After finding out about your father and mother and all that has been going on in blog land this month, I declare that next year there will be no January! February has longer, sunnier days anyway.

      Love
      Willie

      Delete
  5. I have a little blockage of my own. If you've read back on our blog where I talked about my childhood, I always thought iw as around a memory that was too bad to remember. I know that it is there, and when I get close to it, I feel small and scared...really scared, and kind of creepy. But recently I have been wondering if that place is a place of anger, I never expressed anger over what happened to me. Or maybe it's tears because I never cried over what happened.

    I don't know, Willie, I can't give you any answers, just some food for thought. Have you allowed yourself to feel anger at your dad for leaving you? It's a normal part of grieving. Have you allowed yourself to cry for being the little girl left? (You were right in your last post - 19 is still very much a child). Maybe it's that you have to give yourself permission to feel those things. And maybe it's knowing that you have a soft place to land if you do, because if it feels like my dark place, some days I'm afraid that if I start crying I might never stop.


    (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The truth of the matter is I think there is a whole lot behind this barrier and I am too afraid to face it.

      As I have said many a times before, I think in pictures. My life's timeline in my head is similar to little ramps laid out in decades, that start to angle after 20. Prior to that, the timeline is straight. Even before ttwd, there was always a large cardboard box on 20, as a barrier.

      I have no proof, no memories, merely a feeling, and it could be something very simple that made me uncomfortable, but I have little doubt that there is something behind 20 that I don't want to experience again. It terrifies the living day lights out of me. So much so, I'm not sure I want to move forward in this.

      I can relate so very much to the fear of starting to cry and never being able to stop on some days indeed.

      Delete
    2. That's a strange thing...I can use visualizations about my life now, but the past is largely about feelings, and sometimes they are feelings that I cannot articulate...I only know how they feel...I have a hard time trying to communicate what it feels like.

      I understand the no proof, no memories thing, same here, and everyone besides me is gone...not that they would have owned what happened anyway...and the memories I do have I am disconnected from, I feel numb for. If I read them in a story I would feel empathy for the character, I feel nothing in relation to my own life.

      That in itself is scary. When I probe there, my heartbeat accelerates and it gets hard to breathe...do you ever feel trapped by it? Damned if you do, damned if you don't ... do you need to purge it or could it destroy you? sometimes it's right there, sometimes I can stuff that box in the back of the closet & almost forget it.

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure about your last paragraph. I felt like I was on the precipice of something. Like I was about to walk off the stop step and something sucked me back, and the box closed...Yes I realize how completely looney that make me sound :)

      This is as close as I have ever come to facing whatever is there. It was quite frightening.

      Delete
  6. : ) I am glad you are feeling better.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Willie,

    I read your last post and have been thinking of you. I'm glad you have been able to process your emotions. Anniversaries are hard. I understand what you say about letting Barney would be bringing him in to something that was between you and your Dad. I get it.

    How wonderful of Barney being so understanding. Giving you space but also letting you know he is there. He loves you and is there for you if and when you are ready to empty that box.

    Huge love and (((Hugs)))
    Roz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Roz

      These emotion things will be the death of me I swear!

      Thank you for your thoughts and support.

      Love and Hugs back

      Willie

      Delete
  8. I have to say....yes, he may have lived what he considered a full life....but your life was not full of him in it...if that makes sense. And, it does not matter how many years have passed....he was still....and will always be your dad....so feeling whatever you feel is completely normal.

    There is a lot Ryan does not know about my dad....and I get what you mean about that being "yours" and hard to share. Giving that part to someone else...to me, I dunno....is just hard.

    I have thought of you a lot this week....and I am with Lillie....this sounds a little more like YOU....and believe it or not...that makes me happy :D

    Much love my friend....

    ~Lucy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a good friend Lucy. Really.

      I have no problem sharing just about anything with Barney, but needed him for this didn't feel right. Perhaps that in itself is not right, but that is how I felt.

      Love You

      Willie

      Delete
  9. Lots of hugs to you Willie. I think the above comments are wonderful and show what lot of friends you have here in blogland. There are so many caring people in the world. I know I feel very fortunate to have met some of them here.

    Opening the box isn't really going to be scary my love, and as you rightly said, there are some 'real' wonders inside if you ever get up the courage to do so.

    Many, many hugs, Ami

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right Ami, there are so many wonderful people that surround me here in our safe haven, and outside of blog land. I am truly blessed. I count you as one of them.

      I know that as more of these tough emotional boxes open, it will give way to the joyous ones too. Sometimes though, it is very difficult to see that while unpacking.

      Hugs across the pond
      Willie

      Delete
  10. Catholic here, too. I'm not a good catholic though, lol. I go to a different church since my priest moved away and I just can't connect with the newer one. I figure, church is church lol.

    That catholic guilt gets me and I think reading some of your posts, it can get you too.

    Hugs,
    Elle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Good Catholic? Is there such a thing? LOL. I understand I stop going after a total disconnect with the parish priest. I almost walked out during Mass, and if it hadn't been Barney putting his hand on my leg and telling me to sit down I would have. You should have seen me 'firing' stuff into my diaper bag! Of course the boys were little and we HAD to sit up front. I go back in spits and spurts now.

      Yeah, Catholic guilt, via my mother! lol

      Willie

      Delete
  11. You seem better which is good. Getting over those anniversaries is always tricky. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One foot in front of the other is what I am managing right now.

      Thank you Zoe.

      Willie

      Delete
  12. Losing parents are never easy, no matter your age. Just be glad that you had such a wonderful relationship with your dad, can you imagine the grief if it had been otherwise. Just keep focusing on the good and keep remembering his teachings which are with you now and always will be even if his physical self isn't here-he's still in your heart and mind forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sunny. You are right of course. I don't have regret mixed in with my memories so that is definitely something to be grateful for.

      The little sayings and things he did that used to make me laugh and roll my eyes at him, bring a smile to my face now that he is no longer with me.

      Delete
  13. Told ya so. :) Listen to Barney.

    Adding self-blame to grief might seem like a good idea, but all it does is deplete our resources for dealing with that grief.

    You are what you are. Needing some space to deal with things is not the same as hiding from Barney that you secretly broke his rule on purpose because it was fun to get spanked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ana...ARGH...no body likes to hear 'Told ya so'- lol

      Annnnnnnnnd I'll follow that up with your are right, about the guilt and grief. Much like using anger to mask hurt.

      Space is one thing, internalizing is another. I still have yet to figure out all of that.

      Delete
  14. I am praying for you today and thinking of you as you remember your father. Maybe you were only meant to open the box a little this year so a little comes out at a time...that's ok. Maybe you should look at your box as the memory box that it is...open it up every so often...sift through a few things and close it back up again for later. I hope it hurts a little less each time you do it.
    Love you!
    Bea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I have to say, my Dad would not be too happy with me...lol. Actually he would just tell me I am emotional like his Irish mother.

      Thank you my friend for your thoughts and prayers. May you find what you are looking for while you are sifting through your memories.

      Love you too
      Willie

      Delete
  15. Willie my heart goes out to you… grief is a difficult feeling to come to terms with. Maybe you need to forgive your Dad for leaving you to early in life and his belief he had lead a full life as you were left behind without him. Forgiveness is a wonderful gift for the one letting go to the grief. Stay strong my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Willie,
    Facing this at any level is really hard. It's so easy to put it away, to not share it or feel it or even begin to figure out where all fears and grief lay. Your processing out here right in front of us is amazing. I loved all the stories in your last post about your dad and they made me think of my own stories (which is a sign of a very good writer BTW :).

    Barney knows you so well. To not pressure you but to realize that ttwd has opened your heart in a new kind of way, to give you that opening to come to him. I hope it feels like that takes some of the pressure off and that today and in the coming days when the grief feels real, you'll have a place to go if you need it.

    As is becoming quite usual...:) I'm really quite proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Once again Susie you are very generous with your multiple compliments.

    Here I thought processing in front of everyone was a little self centered, of course one would argue it is MY blog...*wink*

    We do indeed both know each other so well. The difficulty can come when you fight the internal battle of your instincts verses what you read off of each other.

    Thank you for your help and support Susie

    Love
    Willi(kins)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Catholic here! Lol.
    I do not think there is any right or wrong way to grieve. We just manage, and try and focus on remembering them always. We keep them close to us through stories we share with our loved ones, laughing and crying.
    I agree that Barney knows you and what was best for you.
    That was ttwd at its best.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ah Minelle you didn't add WHAT kind of Catholic you were. I'm just going to say, Catholic High School Girl complete with kilt, and I do indeed have plenty of things to feel guilty about *wink*

    I'm not sure either one of us were at our best last week...we shall see what this week brings.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sweet Willie!
    Yet another Catholic girl here too. Boy, do I know about GUILT!! That's a whole other story for a whole different forum. (Wink)
    All that aside, what a great Barney you have! I love that he gave you the freedom to share or process in private and at your pace.
    The vulnerability of communicating some things can be a bit overwhelming, especially when were still sorting out all the stuff in those "boxes".
    Remember barriers are sometimes in place for a reason. Sometimes, we need to remove them one block at a time. Blazing through isn't always the best course. Some things are best handled at and in their natural time.
    Find peace in the process if not the resolution.
    Sounds like you're doing just great!
    Big hugs to you!
    Catrinka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow...people are so NOT going to be happy with me and my next post. sigh. Something else to feel guilty about.

      I do agree that communication has to come at the right time or nothing but frustration may result. Forcing the issue is not always a good thing.

      I suppose the issue is to figure out if those barriers are helping or hurting. Not such a simple task

      Thank you for your hugs and enthusiasm!
      Willie

      Delete
  21. Ah, hugs, Willie. I think the fact that you are exploring your feelings and trying to sort them out is a good thing. It is so hard to just BE with the feelings sometimes. It sounds from you writing that you are already starting to let go a bit more.

    I'm another Catholic chiming in who happens to believe that you shouldn't feel guilty (not that we have any control over that...lol) but maybe just sorry (I'll bet your right about the the sorrow coming out as guilt). I didn't go to Catholic schools which seems to be a good thing, along with never having met a nun until I was in college. I hung out with the priests who became good drinking buddies as I got older. That is probably why I have no problem finding another parish when I don't feel the connection with the priest. Not sure what kind of Catholic that makes me, but I was good friends with Andrew Greeley if that gives you any indication. We tended to argue, A LOT, but it was a great education for me.

    I even wrote a post on confession on my blog, yeppers!

    I know you'll be kind to yourself as you continue your journey through this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow what conversations you must have had with Andrew Greeley! I grew up with priests at the dinner table, and Brothers as well. My (step) Aunt is a nun. When I was a teenager my Dad told me if I didn't get married in the Catholic Church he wouldn't go to my wedding- not that I didn't want to get married in the Church, and not that it mattered in the long run.

      Confession...ACK..I have only been twice in my life ( hence Pick and Choose Catholic) although I have been to a few general absolutions. I learned very young, again Catholic school, if you waited in the back pews near the confessionals until the front pews were half full with students doing their penance, you could move up with the 'done' crowd, and not have to confess. I mean REALLY what does an 8 year old have to confess anyway? Oh, well maybe lying about going to confession! LOL

      Thank you for your continued support...Oh almost time for McGarrett!

      Willie

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure you could really call most of them "conversations" (giggle) maybe debates would be a better word. He is a brilliant man, extremely well informed and educated. There were times when I would get tired of the debate and tell him he just needed to accept that he was wrong. He was gracious in defeat ;-).

      I can totally identify with your confession story!

      Delete