March 30, 2009 by 8junebugs
A favorite passage from a favorite book:
She stared at the finger that had held light. She wanted to argue that it could not be true — she had been too badly hurt — she had too much to overcome. But far inside she felt a tremulous power, a ripple of laughter and joy, that she had not felt before. It was much like the joy she remembered, yet greater, as the light of her finger was greater than candlelight. (Oath of Gold, Book III of The Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy by Margaret Moon)
Apropos of most things, these days.
I do a little emotional inventory every now and then, particularly if something out of the blue makes me cry (Jane Fonda movies, certain episodes of Friends, chopping onions…). Though it seems like the best time to do this would be when I’m too stressed to see straight, I am most likely to do it when I could easily blame it all on monthly hormonal fluctuations. My methodology may be flawed, but I’m still going to take credit for putting my grief spurts under the microscope. Years ago, I wouldn’t have bothered — I’d have unleashed hell on an unsuspecting boyfriend instead.
But it’s been almost five months since Mom died and almost a year since I left Mike. I don’t really need a shrink to tell me that “these things take time” — I’m just using her for the drugs!
(Kidding. Really. I remain, in spite of everything, gloriously unmedicated. But I do check in with a therapist about once a month to make sure I’m not spiraling completely out of orbit. I am not opposed to medication to help clear the fog around pain, grief, or depression. Right now, though, I can still see through the fog on my own.)
Said shrink’s predictions about the stages of grief after leaving a spouse haven’t come to pass. You could argue that G coming back into my life when he did is the obvious reason, and there’s some merit in that. Another relationship could be seen as a distraction, as a rebound. If it were anyone else (or if geography wasn’t such a freaking obstacle), I’d be more likely to agree.
In truth, though, he refused to be a distraction. Everything we talked about or planned was a distant second to Mom and whatever I needed to do with or for her. There was no argument about priorities or what would happen to us if I had to be in Vermont for however long (OMG, without INTERNET)…indeed, he was the most vocal in encouraging me to drop everything, whenever, and go. What we had, what we were rebuilding, could wait, and would. And did.
I will be grateful for that for the rest of my life. It seemed extraordinary at the time, in stark contrast to the one person making demands on my time and attention while he still could. But it’s only extraordinary in comparison to someone else. On its own, it’s just who G is, and always has been. Generally, it’s how we are together, when we’re happiest. I let others’ expectations outside our shared priorities get in the way once… That won’t be happening again.
(This must be what people mean when they call someone their “rock.” The biggest rocks are immovable, I think. They stay in place and anchor your life without needing to be carried or moved to the center of every storm. They’re a source of stability and strength, not an extra bump in the road. Even now, with many choices and decisions left in our future, it’s oddly comforting to know that The Right Thing To Do is just The Right Thing To Do, not a constant referendum on our love for each other.)
And so, overall, I’m okay. A little weepy from time to time and pacing myself on life’s great questions (what makes a life meaningful? what is my purpose here on earth? how will the scifi writing community ever top B5 and Battlestar Galactica?), but okay. In fact? Full of joy and hope.