Monday, October 29, 2007

Way to Pull Me out of My Own Head

Yesterday was a tough day for me.

I knew that, with my move, I would eventually need to venture into the storage closet and take out all of my Chris-mementos. I had managed to avoid the task for the past three weeks, but with time running out, I needed to face my demons.

Controlling my tears was not an option, for they flowed like flood waters out of my eyes and onto my carpet, as I laid eyes on possessions I hadn’t looked at since the anniversary of our 1st wedding anniversary.

I moved my hand toward one of the boxes, accidentally knocking its cover off and there, exposed, was the picture of Chris I hate most of all. He sits at the table with no shirt on, head down, writing in his calendar book, completely bald. I hate that depiction of him. That photo gets behind me and shoves me out of my denial with the force of the impact of an eighteen-wheeler striking me from behind. I lost my breath and then I lost my ability to maintain my composure.

I then came across tapes and tapes of documentaries that Chris made while he was in school. I entered a meltdown, crying and screaming, “I don’t want these anymore! I don’t want these!” I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want them and I didn’t want to discard them as though they held no meaning for me, when they always will. I felt trapped.

The two events winded me so that I could no longer see how I was going to take the drive to the Salvation Army with my donations. I only had forty-five minutes to get there and I couldn’t reign the grief back in. I decided to push.

I ran up and down my five flights of stairs five times, carrying arms full of worthy provisions for those who can benefit. I backed my car into the driveway and began loading, using strength derived from all of the anger I continue to suppress. Anger does come in handy. I managed to squeeze boxes, bags and an entire vanity, complete with mirror and bench into my tiny, yet magnificent Pontiac Sunfire. Go Arthur (That’s his name.)!

I continued to choke back tears all the way and when I got there, I pulled up to the front door, turned on my hazard lights and began to unload when a woman began yelling at me for parking there, saying that I was endangering lives. Sigh. I looked at her and very calmly said, “I’ll be out of here in a minute.” My resign softened the blow I would have delivered in her direction.

I began loading my stuff into the building, when a man in his 60s came over and said, “I was looking at your pictures. I hope you don’t mind," to which I replied, “Of course not! Would you like them?” His face beamed and after making certain I was okay with him taking them, he thanked me and went on his way.”

So I donated clothing, furniture and other household items and managed to save this man the price of having to buy my pictures, which sent him off with a smile on his face.

How could I not smile, myself?

When I returned home, I called Bonnie to chat for a while. I mentioned to her that I had been considering leaving Chris’ tapes “on the curb” and asked her if she wanted me to hold onto them, instead. She did. So I did. Sometimes, taking the feelings of others into consideration is the way out of my own feelings.

Now I can’t even remember why I didn’t want to take them with me.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Playing Hostage

I’m feeling sad tonight. Not sad enough to drive in front of the 101 bus as it made it’s way down Mystic Ave in Medford when I was turning off of Route 38, but sad, nonetheless.

I feel frustrated when people don’t understand, or don’t try to understand that I have been forever affected by Chris’ death, forever affected by losing my best friend, my love, my husband. Beyond my own loss, I witnessed some very disturbing events, such as the deterioration of my sweet husband’s body, his faith and his life. I looked into his eyes and knew he would never look at me with the same recognition and love with which he looked at me from our first date, on. I don’t hesitate to say that I have been disturbed ever since and I do believe I will be for the remainder of my life.

I miss him. I always will. I love him. I always will.

The good news is that I haven’t written in quite a while, and my writings are fewer and farther between than they once were. I tend to write when I’m sad, and my life has been feeling nice, lately. I feel happy. I still feel sad, but at the same time, I now feel happy.

I still have anger, though. It’s there. I can feel it, I just can’t get to it. Even at the gym, I can’t seem to get to my anger. What I can do, though, is exhaust myself with my workouts to the point that my anger retreats into remission for a while.

The small part of me that houses the anger, fear, anxiety and sadness is insulated from the rest of my world. I wish I could go there and wrap my arms around that part of me, fill the black hole with love and then wind up and bowl it right down the alley into my past.

I’m too scared, though, and playing hostage is easier for the time being.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It was a nickname my late husband gave me.

Yeah, I said it. “My late husband.” That’s the first time I’ve said that to anyone. Today I said it to my new landlord during a phone call. He mentioned that my e-mail was strange and asked me what it meant. Then I said it. And I feel strange and a bit woozy inside.

Taking this new apartment has caused my grief to resurface pretty intensely. I’m not sure why. It’s not like Chris and I ever lived in my current apartment together. He was eight-months-gone by the time I moved. I fear that every move I make, throughout the remainder of my life, is going to feel like I’m stepping on his memory, pushing off of it with my foot, and continuing on into my future. That’s not a very nice feeling.

Sunday night, I completely fell apart. I couldn’t stop crying for two hours. I finally popped an Ativan and sat myself on the sofa in front of my television until it coated my psyche. And I remembered why I like Ativan so much. Uh-oh.

Last night, I began pacing around my butcher block. I couldn’t relax and my stomach was swimming around and around. This time, I took only a half of an Ativan and began the long process of streamlining any possessions of mine I longer want to keep.

In addition to the move, this time of year wreaks havoc in my mind and memories. It’s the time of year we began to suspect that something was wrong. October through January is still quite a melancholy time for me.

I’m moving to the beautiful city of Cambridge, the city I have wanted to live in for most of my adulthood. This move is going to be great. I’m excited.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Shed Skin

I don’t know why I have taken so long to realize that I think I am just no longer interested in acting in musicals. The admission makes me feel sad, but the fact is that that’s who I was before Chris died, before ugliness, horror and sadness entered my life. I’m just not interested, anymore.

I remember who I was back then. Singing was my absolute priority. I dreamed of becoming skilled enough to sing professionally and vowed to myself that I would take myself to a real Broadway cattle call at least once before I died. My passions were completely wrapped up in performance. That was before everything changed.

Now psychology makes me happy, intrigues me and keeps me very, very busy. The boxing gym makes up the difference.

I wish I still wanted to act. Sometimes I still go to auditions to try to get cast in a musical, but my heart isn’t in it the way it used to be, which is kind of a mixed blessing. I used to obsess about performing, about what to wear to an audition, how to sing and how to move. I ate, drank and slept musical theater. Most of my passion for the stage got lost in the tragedy.

I took this past Friday and Monday as vacation days. I feel sort of spacey, as per usual. Unstructured time still puts me in a strange place, another phenomenon that came with Chris’ death. Yesterday, I felt as though I was wearing a heavy cloak. Even though I went out and socialized and had fun doing so, the cloak remained throughout the day. Finally, last night, I began crying and couldn’t stop until I fell asleep.

Many people don’t understand the impact of losing a spouse, especially at a young age. I don’t know what to say to those people. I don’t write the rules, I just try to navigate through the caves and haunted forests. There’s a part of me that believes I will always be searching for my lost love. That part of me comes out when I’m spacey from too much time off.

I still don’t really feel like myself. At times, I don’t know who this psychology student and exercise enthusiast is. She didn’t exist before Chris died.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m afraid to act in musicals because they remind me of a time I shared with my husband. And sometimes I know that people sometimes shed their skin and grow a new one.