Good Grief

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
 H. W. Longfellow

There are phases in our lives that are marked by growth and development and others that are marked by sorrow and destruction. Initially I was in denial about what was actually happening in my life. I was cool, I was good, I was gone be alight! Not only had I ended things with Adrian, within a short period of time I had also ended most of my friendships. I was intentionally isolating myself for a few reasons; I didn’t feel that they were genuine friendships. I didn’t feel understood or supported by anyone I knew. I was tired of trying to justify my choices. I was tired of talking, sick of fake smiling. I was so done with listening and trying to be understanding and helpful to others when I was going through my own mess.  So, the purge was on! I didn’t need anyone anyways I had always handled life just fine so I would handle this as well. I thought it was best to gradually pull away because all the anger that I had kept buried was creating pressure. The hot rage that I had suppressed could not tolerate the presence of the people I knew. To avoid erupting I figured I would find new associates and build new relationships where I wouldn’t have to feel so many emotions.

Like I mentioned before, I had what I called walking depression for most of my life, on the surface I did everything just like a normal well-adjusted human being. But inside there was a deep sadness and a growing anger. Those emotions were amplified after the divorce was final. I was in such a high level of denial that if anyone would have told me that they thought I was depressed I would seriously laugh in their face. My life was great! I was happy! I had my kids and life was good! Never mind that I had taken three trips to Paris in an attempt to reclaim something that I never had to begin with. I totally overlooked the fact that 99% of the new acquaintances I had made were nefarious in nature. I acted as if I was ready to date but had little success in part because I didn’t really know how to date. I simply wasn’t emotionally ready to deal with life but refused to accept it. the pressure was building small clouds of pain were beginning to push their way through the cracks in the facade.

I have never been good at dealing with negative emotions but this stage in my life was by far the pentacle of my rage! Mt. St. Latrice had so much built up pressure that there were pyroclastic eruptions spewing anger and spreading pain in multiple areas of my life. The first eruption occurred when I got so frustrated listening to my mom go on and on about protecting us girls that I finally told her about me being molested. I was so angry that I wanted to break things! I wanted to yell and scream! I just told her that it happened but refused to provide the details. No, she didn’t deserve to know who or where or the how of it. In that moment I knew that if I gave the details, she would somehow find a way to make it about her. It is my story and it need not ever be spoken.

 At work I had to deal with a difficult coworker, and honestly had it been another time in my life I would have just pushed through. I was in full volcano mode lava had begun to flow and there ain’t no stopping that! We clashed a couple of times but really, I hated the fact that I was working in a lab that I really didn’t want to be in, at a school I didn’t want to go to, for a man I was no longer with! So needless to say my patience was thin so to avoid doing something I would regret I Mastered out. I let my PI (my boss) know that I did not want to continue in the PhD program. The real volcanic bombs landed on one individual I had dated at the time. Now don’t get me wrong he wasn’t prince charming or anything close, he was kind of an ass. Things ended and restarted a few times and each time I would pull a bucket of molten hot hatred from my own personal hell and dump it on him! I said things to him I never though I could ever say to anyone. I cursed him out and actually YELLED!! I said hurtful and devious things to intentionally and permanently destroy the possibility that he would even want to be my friend let alone anything else. Don’t get me wrong he had done things to create the situation, lying, games, manipulations, but I didn’t have to be so extra. This was so out of character for me I am literally cool with everyone I have ever dated good or bad! Like I am so levelheaded and cool but not this time. Crazy part was he kept trying to be my friend (and still tries).

The last stage of grief is acceptance. The crazy thing is that it is only in hinds’ sight that I can see myself transition through all of these stages. I never thought there was anything to grieve, I was the one that ended it. I remember the exact day when it hit me. I was at home and my cousins soon to be wife and her family were there, we were all having a great time. It was a beautiful day. In the middle of everything I had a mini breakdown. Just out of the blue! Like we were laughing at something and I walked from the kitchen to the living room and tears just flowed out of me! I quickly turned and went to my room, went into my closet, shut the door lay on the floor and cried like I never had before. That is when I admitted to myself that I wasn’t ok.

“Tears are words that need to be written.” P. Coelho

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