Circa 1985. Back yard of my childhood home in Manassas, Virginia.
I needed a semi-formal dress for the Prince William County honors choir. I was a vision of loveliness in this bubble-gum pink taffeta bubble-hem puffy-sleeved dress (bubble hems are back, ahem, by the way tyvm) white patent kitten-heeled shoes, winged hair, and Mom’s pearls.
What more does a high school gal need?
How do you deal with grief?
“This?” I thought. “This is the opening question from the therapist who I had sought to process marital problems?” I looked at her and blinked. Blinked again. Sat there what felt like 30 minutes before I realized…
ANGER. Anger is how I grieve.
My parents divorcing? Anger.
I’m unable to conceive a baby? Anger.
My marriage falling apart? Anger.
Not getting my way? Anger.
And not just “grrrrrr I’m angry” anger. Ugly angry. Cussing-like-a-pirate angry. Two-year-old-tantrum angry. Acting-out anger.
My awareness since that day in therapy three years ago has helped me to process grief, disappointment, loss since then. Oh, I still feel anger; I’m just getting better at noticing it sooner and “dealing with it” in, hopefully, more healthy ways.
How about you?
I’ve been pouring myself into my hand-written journal these past few weeks. Writing long-hand is an entirely different experience than typing a blog post. I’m sure a Ph.D. candidate has studied this…I’ll google that later.
Handwriting is a full-body experience–the physical act of handwriting, moving the hand across the page, turning the page, sitting and adjusting positions to write more easily on the page. I have many tear-stained pages. I am tired at the end of writing, much like the finish of a good run, and while the situation hasn’t changed, I find myself more at peace.
I have journals and diaries dating back to when I was in 5th grade. I have an arrangement with my bestie that, when I die (and she’s still alive), she will get to my journals and burn them. No posthumous reading and/or publishing pleeeeease!
Do you keep a hand-written journal? What’s your experience?
May 20, I left a long term relationship with “T.” I called her baby. The sweet term of endearment came easily. We had said if we ever were to break up (didn’t seem a reality at the time), we didn’t think we could ever be just friends. We said we were each other’s love of our lives, too much in love, too close, too intimate, to be buddies.
(Other than my ex-husband, I am not in touch with anyone I used to be with. I’m not sure if that says something unsavory about me, but there it is. Most breakups have had bad endings, or it was an unhealthy relationship, or we weren’t close enough to matter if I kept tabs on them.)
But..the thought of never being in touch again with “T” makes me very very sad. I loved her and still do love her. We have talked about this. We acknowledge that being together is not the best for us. Those damned irreconcilable differences would always exist.
So when I say I love her, I mean: I want the best for her. And it’s not me. And she loves me and wants the best for me. And it’s not her. It’s an odd feeling, to love someone so much, yet it not be “enough.”
Now is definitely not the time for a friendship. We need to be apart so we can prepare to connect with another intimate partner, when that time comes. Much like trying to remove wallpaper, regardless of how skilled you are, the wallpaper is destroyed and the wall is never the same. Being friends now wouldn’t allow for any of that necessary repair and re-engagement.
Calling her buddy instead of baby feels foreign right now. In time, however, I hope that is possible.
I’d love to hear your thoughts: have you ever transitioned from baby to buddy?
Live big. Love deep. A blog by Stacey Valley.
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