Saturday, September 14, 2013

I fucking hate feelings

Disclaimer: I realize that the things I bitch about are things that others would give anything to have as complaints. There's a man in Rocklin who is unable to use his arms and legs as the result of a freak accident 2 weeks ago. I know a 20-year-old girl who is dying of cancer. But because writing helps, here goes.

This morning I wanted to put some pictures onto my computer from the good camera. But I couldn't find the cord that connects the camera to the computer. And that was all it took. "I hate that I can't do the things I want to do," I whined to Tim as I handed him cords from the junk electronic stuff drawer. He said, "You give up too easily," as he found the right cord.

I was furious. I went upstairs and considered why. I wasn't angry with Tim. In fact, I was only angry because what he said had a ring of truth to it. And as I puttered around, I got angrier and angrier. I wanted to punch the walls or throw anything or just claw my face off. (Can you tell that I don't do anger often or well?)

It feels like I've spent my life perfecting the art of learned helplessness. You know how they teach baby elephants to stay in one place? They put a collar on them, attach it to a strong chain, and attach that chain to a metal stake in the ground. And the baby elephant pulls and pulls, but after some time realizes that he is chained in that one spot. Once the elephant has learned that, for the rest of his life you can practically tie a string around his neck, and attach it to a dandelion and he'll just stay in that place, because he believes he's unable to move. Yep, that's what being me feels like.

For almost five years I've made my life smaller as my parents have gotten sicker. It's not what they asked me to do, nor is it what I've wanted. It's just that I haven't known how to do it any other way. Things went from really bad to practically intolerable in April, and they stayed nearly that difficult until just a few weeks ago when my mom died.

So the anger? It's about a lot of things. About being unable to run because of chronic hip pain. About watching my brother and his band as they make music and enjoy life. About wanting to teach yoga, but not even practicing any more. About fighting a fight that I never wanted to even know about, but because of my oldest child responsibility issues, couldn't stay out of. So the anger? It's at me. And the anger feels wild and frightening and filled with possibilities. Because maybe the anger is appropriate if it puts me right at the beginning of something new, or as I've heard it expressed
This shit has got to stop.

3 comments:

Brit-Man said...

Hi Leslie.

Firstly I wanted to say I am sorry about your Mother's passing, but I'm sure that no matter what the both of you went through in those final weeks and months, she would have never stopped being proud of you for the wife, Mother and success you have become, no matter how often she said it.

There are people going through hard things some of which I wouldn't wish on anybody, or want to experience, but that doesn't mean that we as people are not allowed to feel negative emotion, for things that seem incomparable to the worst things people go through, because sometimes we have a right to express negativity, without feeling selfish or without deliberately trying to hurt, offend or upset others.

The best thing is you have found some kind of rationale for how you feel. I would not tell you how it must feel to have emotions in you that you can't understand properly, because I've not been you and don't know what it's been like to live your life, so I wouldn't be crass enough to tell you I understand you completely on this matter and recognise how what you feel is like, because I don't.

However I can see someone who I think in their own way is lashing out, but not at the world or others, but at their own perception of self; as if it seems from my perspective of your words, like you want to tear up part of the script you have been writing throughout your life and rewrite some chapters, or write a few new chapters and a different ending.

Unfortunately you cannot change the past and that's not meant to sound patronising or to state the absolute obvious, but you can find comfort in the feelings and emotions you have experienced all those years, by using them as a guide to help you give yourself back more of the time and attention you've deserved to give yourself.

People like you are not a dime a dozen. That sort of humanity, beauty and personality is a precious commodity in today’s world and you should be proud of what you represent and mean as a person and you should be proud of fighting that fight you never wanted and probably will never look back on with fondness, but you did it, because that's the beautiful part of your heart shining through and reaching out to those that couldn't do what they wanted with their lives and who needed someone to help them get through some of the tough times and to remind them of whatever they needed to remember about their lives.

You might feel like your life has gotten a bit unproductive and unrewarding, but you're a Mother, wife, businesswoman and someone who has been through a lot and those things will always stand out and shine, as part of what makes you who you are.

You're a human success story and you should never stop being proud of yourself for that. You've been through so much recently and taken on a lot, but however much you wanted to do that, I don't doubt for a second that you never stopped proving your own self worth and character, every time you stepped up and made a sacrifice for one of your own family, even when sometimes you must have wished for a moment of thanks that I imagine didn't always come.

Brit-Man said...

This is a chance however to use the experiences of the past to remind yourself what you ARE worth and what you deserve more of in this world. You've got a couple of fine young boys who are now old enough to not need all the scrapes kissing better and the bad moments hugging away and you've put a lot into others and now I think you've earned more time to be just you; not by sacrificing others so they feel disengaged from you, but by being able to connect or reconnect with things you feel make or will make you more whole and happy.

I'm sure you'll find a way to show yourself more of the love you have deserved to give yourself, because you are one of lifes truly unique individuals, in your own wonderful way and whatever you've gone through before, you can learn from these things and use them as a stepping stone to more good things and more good times and I wish you every success trying to do that.

It's obviously not been easy, but it can feel like it's getting better, now you are starting to embrace a different vision or outlook of yourself, which I think this outpouring has perhaps started to help you do.

You might not necessarily achieve everything that you want, or have done everything you wished, but you will always be the person you are in your heart and always the person who raised two great kids and helped to create a long lasting marriage, ran races, did a fitness contest and became a business woman and other great things besides and I'm sure you will still show the world what you are capable of, because you still have plenty of time left and still have plenty of time to continue to blossom and whilst you do it, show the world a whole cornucopia of different emotions, because despite everything, being you is the best thing about you and it will never stop being your right to feel a million and one emotions whatever other people in this world go through, because you are human and you have a right to express yourself in as many of the right ways as you want to :-).

Have a great day Leslie and best wishes. I'm proud to live in world that has people like you in it. Be proud of yourself, because you've earned that

:-) :-).

Matt

leslie said...

Matt, THANK YOU! Your words brought tears to my eyes, and made my heart so happy. Thank you for taking the time to write all you did. I will be re-reading it when I feel like I need a lift.