I am stuck today. I am stuck nursing my broken heart. I would love to just not feel this, but if I numb myself to this pain it will submerge itself into a dark corner of my soul and reside there in perpetuity. So here I am crying over my losses again. This grieving is so circular. This broken heart of mine feels different to me though, every time I return to nurse it through another bout of emotions, just a tiny bit less intense each time, just a little less frightening.
Today I just could not face heading out to a Tai Chi class, not feeling like this. So I am here at home, doing a bit of work on the computer, listening to some fingering guitar music on youtube, contemplating solitude, the past, the future, the present.
I have been back to spending time daily on my elliptical machine. I continue to eat well, stay hydrated, and I even slept for almost six hours last night. I allow myself periods of numbness, so that I can gather strength to face walking this path alone, and to keep moving my feet, step by step, into the future.
My family is not a close one, neither my birth family nor my children and their families. They do check in with me by telephone and messaging from time to time to see how I am doing. There is little to no visiting, unless I do the travelling, with rare exceptions, usually only a few times a year. I do not have friends here, where I live at Mist Cottage. My time is spent either with Attila, in this broken world at home, alone, or with strangers.
When I think about what I want, two words come to mind, continuity and companionship. These are not in the cards at the moment. I’ll be out there in the world of strangers again soon, attempting to open up a conduit to the good energy that exists in the world.
At present I am finding it hard to focus on my interests, my attention span has been affected by my grief. I am still able to function, the web site design was initiated and completed after my marriage ended, so my brain is still working. My emotions are intense, few of them are pleasant. There is no place for my soul to rest right now, my world is broken. My soul is a weary traveller.
Date: 10:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 February 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Dew point: 5.8°C
Wind: SSW 12 km/h
Visibility: 1 km
“When griping grief the heart doth wound,
and doleful dumps the mind oppresses,
then music, with her silver sound,
with speedy help doth lend redress.”
1564 – 1616
Maggie, you’re in a hard place. I have no answers. But at least you have us!
Virtual contacts are certainly not the same as people in the same room, but they’re better than not at all. During my troubles, I was blessed to be part of an online community and it helped to know that they thought I had something to offer, even if they were all people I had never met.
What can I say?
I can tell you how I am dealing with feelings I wish would go away, that don’t. I’ve tried to “let them go.” I’ve tried to be “unattached to them.” I’ve tried giving them time to evaporate. They do when I step away from the situation or give them enough time, but they periodically rise up and damn it, I wish they’d frickin’ go away once and for all.
They’re not the same feelings as yours — mine are anger and resentment and bitterness — but when they recur, they’ve got me by the short and curlies and my general contentment with my life disappears and ohmygoodness they are most uncomfortable and unpleasant and there is even a little bit of heartbreak in there too.
Recently I listened to a podcast from Oprah Winfrey, an interview with Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, and she spoke directly to me with her method for living with unwanted, uncomfortable, painful emotions.
I’m going to try it next time my feelings make me writhe in rage.
I believe this is the correct link if you want to listen for some inspiration:
Click on “Listen.”
It seems to me that you are doing all the right things. You’re wise and you know yourself well. Maybe, like me, you just need a little help right now — a little reminder, a little guidance. I hope that Chodron’s will make a difference for both of us.
By the way, I’m not suggesting you need to be taught any of these things Pema and Oprah talk about, or that Pema’s situation was like yours or mine. I’m pointing at her practical directions for “compassionate abiding,” which begin right after the first break for advertising. -Kate
Wendy! I do have you and all the rest of the wonderful, wonderful people who come here; and here I am again this morning, reaching out, and my hand is taken with warmth, understanding, compassion, sharing.
Thank you for reminding me of what I do have Wendy. When I sat here yesterday, Family Day, by myself, the friendships I have here were a part of the blessings I was counting.
Kate, what can you say, yes, what can anyone say, this is my journey. But you do say things, you share your experience, parts of your life, and that sharing is the essence of what friendship and community mean to me. You aren’t here to fix me, and I thank you for that. You are here to share, and I value that.
Thank you for the link to that podcast. It is a wonderful interview. There is no new ground for me in the podcast. There are many points that I have visited before, but that I am currently distanced from, due to the sudden traumatic events of the last months. Listening to the interview has been like reaching out, as I am trying my footing in a tidal wave of emotions, and feeling solid ground underfoot. I found the podcast life affirming, in that all of the ideas and sentiments expressed are meant to support people in their life journey, and respects each persons right, and need, to define and own their own pain. Compassionate abiding is something I believe in, have practiced, and now is my opportunity to take my skills and understanding of compassionate abiding to whole new level.
I am so glad you found that podcast and shared it! xoxoxo
I keep thinking about you and how you are holding up there. I could not stay there like you are doing. When my marriage was over (and I knew it immediately) I had to leave right away, and found a tiny 2 room apt. and just moved my stuff out and in to my new home. It was hard for a while… I didn’t get a car – I had a bike! But in the end, the surgical separation of the two of us cleanly and quickly was what made our final divorce successful I think. I don’t know how you stay there with him, I really don’t. You are so strong but I can see how sad you are. You need your “own” life somewhere now… to build on yourself, and not reminders of how you have been betrayed. Oh my heart breaks for you!
Right now living with Attila in this house that we own together is my best option for survival, financially and psycologically. We have Grandchildren together, a house together, property together, 25 years of enmeshment to dismantle. It is a slow process, navigating through all the fissures to find a way for both of us to survive apart, if that is the outcome. I don’t see the outcome of all this, it is unclear.
And then there is the fact that Attila is still here, has chosen to stay here, and actions speak louder than words. If I am correct in my observations, he doesn’t know what the heck he wants. He is very confused at the moment. I am too, confused about what he is doing. He knows what he doesn’t want, he doesn’t want the relationship that we had together, that much is clear, that much remains consistent, and I know we could never go back to that, I wouldn’t want to now either. I am not entirely convinced that something else between us might develop, there is still love here, underneath all of this confusion and misery. Most of what Attila says about what he wants makes little sense, so am watching what he does.
I don’t know that it would be easier for me if we lived apart, I really don’t. The ending of a relationship that was this long, at this age, isn’t something to be bounced back from in a short time period. Everything is very unclear right now, so until the murk clears, I am not committing myself to any course of action.
You are entirely right though, this is a very sad situation, and I need my “own” life. That is why I am venturing out amongst strangers week after week, trying to establish some sort of connection with the world… not as easy to do as it was when I was a young woman. Being a senior on a very small government pension narrows my options tremendously. I will keep working on building a life for myself, that does not include Attila, in the hopes that eventually my necessary focus on this broken home will shift to something more positive outside of my presently known universe. If at first I don’t succeed, I’ll try, try again.
Maggie I’ve always found that grieving is a 1-step forward and 2-steps back process. On a good day it’s 2-steps forward and 1-step back. Just when you think you’re healed, something brings the grief back. That is so totally normal. It does get better with time. I think you’re doing all the right things. You’re watching your health, getting sleep, meeting people through activities that you like. I hope you’ll make some new, in-person friends but we’re all here for you and we’re not chopped liver 🙂
I understand why you’re living together with Attila. It’s a practical thing to do. The downside is that it’s a reminder of the change in your relationship. But it does provide some companionship and also, you can both still feel safe at Mist Cottage. I do wonder if there’s something physically off with him, just because he seems to be flying full-tilt into changing things but still doesn’t know what he wants. It sounds like midlife crisis but he’s still there. The men I’ve known or heard of locally who have gone through that crisis flew the coop to go pretend they were in their 20’s again. Attila isn’t doing that.
Whatever you do will be right for you 🙂
Those of us who are tuned into what I call “painful reality” seem to be attracted to those with deeply artistic spirits–and then we get deeply wounded when they go all willy-wonkers on us–that being another aspect of those same selves we find so attractive.
Those of us who are planners figure out what we want and then go about getting it, if we can. It seems that they start from the getting end, which I think is kind of hard to do when you don’t know what you’re after. I’ve heard, “How can you really know what you want until you try it?” I’ve learned that it’s non-productive to start talking about formulating a hypothesis and testing it . . . Bet I’m not the only one here who’s had that conversation.
Sandy, your description of the grieving process sounds so very familiar. LOL, and you are right! You are not chopped liver! When I spent Family Day counting my blessings, you were the very people I was thanking the universe for bringing into my life.
Your observations about Attila make sense. He is still here, and unless I ask him to leave, or torment him into leaving, I doubt he will leave. He certainly isn’t pretending he is 20 again, although that may be what the art studio is about. I think he feels he wants to do something with himself, while he still has time, something of great importance to him. Well, I am all for that, I think that his plan of action is seriously flawed. It will unfold in time. In the meantime, while he is chasing his rainbow, I am going to try to rebuild my life around myself.
“Those of us who are tuned into what I call “painful reality” seem to be attracted to those with deeply artistic spirits–and then we get deeply wounded when they go all willy-wonkers on us–that being another aspect of those same selves we find so attractive.”
Oh yes! I think you have an excellent point here. I remember when Attila and I attended the wake for my deceased former partner, a gifted musician. I heard two of my friends talking to each other, later in the evening, and their sentiment about me was “how does she find them!” I am attracted to creative people, and intelligent people as well. I like all kinds of people, but creative and intelligent people delight me, and I am a sucker for that delight.
I’ll bet dollars to donuts that you are not the only one here to have had that conversation about testing an hypothesis, lol.
I’m late to read your journal, but I find myself thinking often of you. I don’t have anything insightful to say, like your other readers do, but I care. I hope each day gets easier. *hugs*
Joan! Being there, letting me know, sending good wishes, so wonderful! ((hugs))