How to grieve

They always tell you that nobody grieves the same way. It’s absolutely true. It’s also true that you don’t really have a lot of control over which way will be your type of grieving.

Some people cry a lot and get it out of their system. Some get really drunk. Some just feel overcome by a depressive state.

Mine is by mostly trying to avoid my feelings because I don’t have a safe place to put them. I enmesh myself in the other things in my life. Distract myself with tackling problems that are easier to solve. I don’t think anyone is able to deal with the intensity of my emotions and so, in my heart they tend to stay.

Of course, that isn’t to say they don’t come out in other, unexpected, ways. The other day someone close to me said something to me, and all I heard was the voice of my father coming out of his mouth. And for a moment I snapped. I just snapped. I looked at him with fury–which was merely disguising my hurt–and he looked at me like I was a stranger.

A complete stranger to him.

“You’re so unpredictable”, he said. “I never know how you’re going to take anything anymore. I can’t say anything to you.”

Yeah, well, that’s how I feel too. I feel unpredictable and I just want to go back to when I was… Reliable.

But ain’t nobody got time for that. Right? No. They really don’t. Nobody has time to put up with my grief. Because watching someone unravel is hard. You’re helpless to help them. And nobody wants to feel helpless. So, they push me away. Keeping themselves safe from my storm.

I get it. I do. My mind understands it’s not personal. By my heart feels rejected. I could really use knowing that if I go crazy for a while, I’ll still have something left. But, the evidence is that I won’t. I will have nothing left at the end of this. Absolutely nothing. I’ll be forced to completely start over and I’m not sure I will have it in me.

It’s a scary reality I am struggling with facing. Where do you beging again? How do you begin again when you’re whole life falls apart?

Ah, but life is a bitch and you just don’t get what you want so much of the time.

The second best way to avoid your feelings is by processing them through others. Finding someone else who is also hurting and put all your care into them. Make their tears your tears. Their complaints your complaints. Live vicariously through their meltdowns, because you know you aren’t allowed to have your own.

You subconsciously think things like, maybe if I’m a source of loyal, endless support to these good hearted, hurting, people, then I will earn the right to have my own meltdown. And maybe someone will look at you and say, “hey. This girl usually has her shit pretty well together. She’s done more good than bad, at any rate. She’s been there for me. And I wanna be there for her now. I want to make her feel safe.”

But that never happens. Instead you just grow attached. You fuck your head up real good by loving them so much that it physically hurts you. And maybe it even hurts them. Somehow. Maybe you’re dependant on the distraction and when they no longer need you–and I assure that times always comes. Always–you find yourself faced, once again, with the depth of your own sorrows. By then, of course, the socially acceptable time frame under which people will put up with your mourning will have ended.

I’m a good listener. I give really fucking good advice. But, I rarely have any for myself. Or maybe I’m not ready to face my inner therapist. Because I resent her for knowing what to do and not knowing how to do it.

I’m a fixer. And I can’t fix myself.

It’s a curse.

Intensive Care

I observe death,
painfully.
Watch it
overcome,
slowly.
Praying, loudly
with passion,
and conviction,
for it to make a turn
and come back to me.
To us all.
Silently wishing,
as time continues,
dragging on and on,
and still I see no signs
of recuperation.
Or restoration.
And without the element of
surprise,
or miracle,
or even dumb luck,
on its side…
That it would just give in.
Quickly.
Peacefully.
Compassionately.
It its sleep.
Like a true victim would.

Crazy-making Heart

Heartbreak will make you sleep for hours more than any human ever should need to and stay awake longer than anyone ever should be able to.

Heartbreak will make you cook for hours at a time but not let you eat a single bite.

Heartbreak will make you stand outside someone’s house just waiting. Hoping you’ll see them walk out and catch their eye. And that they will meet your gaze and come running back to you… Even though you know it will never happen.

Heartbreak will make you drive to the gas station and sit in the parking lot for hours just because the last time you remember truly feeling happiness was in that very same spot.

Heart break will make you needy and messy and annoy the shit out of everyone around you.

Heartbreak will make you spontaneously burst into sobs over dinner because the taste brings back a long forgotten memory you want to either relive or never have lived to begin with.

Heartbreak makes you rethink eveything you have ever done or said or thought or wished for.

Heartbreak makes you regret you’re whole life in one single moment.

Heartbreak makes you obsessively think about how to stop obsessively thinking.

Heartbreak makes you angry and mean and bitter inside.

Heartbreak makes your heart feel so full of sorrow that you can’t imagine there will ever be anything in it but that.

Heartbreak makes you weak and wobbly. It makes your arms seem heavy and your steps seem shorter.

Heartbreak makes you want to run away from everything, especially yourself.

Heartbreak makes you sit in the porch and smoke half a pack in one sitting until you develop a headache so bad that you can justify the pain you’re in.

Heartbreak makes you want to break someone else’s heart and someone else’s trust and someone else’s mind.

Heartbreak makes you want to be anyone and anywhere but you and here.

Heartbreak makes you cry ugly.

Heartbreak makes you say things so cruel just so someone else feels as shitty as you do. Because you don’t want to be alone in that feeling anymore.

Heartbreak looks like puffy, red-rimmed eyes and long sleeves. Like hoodies and avoidant glances. Like sweat pants and slippers and bathrobes.

Heartbreak makes you smell like hot tea and Benedryl. Like greasy hair and unwashed clothes.

Heartbreak gives you bed-head all day long.

Heartbreak makes you suddenly aware of every heartbeat you’ve ever taken for granted.

Heartbreak makes you wish you didn’t have a heart so that it could never have been broken.

Heartbreak makes you a crazy.

Lov(E)

First things first. And first, this: you just want to be. Be normal. Be happy. Be healthy. Be–Oh god. Do I even say it? Do I dare put it out there?–loved. *gulp*

Love; the word you find the easiest and the most difficult to say. You say it the least cautiously to the people you love the least. You say it without thought about movies and books and songs and commercials.

You just love chocolate!

You just love those shoes, ohemgee!

You just loooove getting stuck behind a slowly moving tractor on a back road. *eyeroll*

You hide it in love ya!s and XOs and <3s to make it easier to sneak past the cautious boundaries of your own heart. Clothing it in casual sounding pleasantries and friendly little waves. You bleed your wishy-washy heart in emojis. You make it everything, but make it look like absolutely nothing. You're love is a covert operation to sneak past your own good senses. It's a private detective to your emotions.

Love? You don't love them!

You luv them.
You heart them.
You ❤ them.

Lov(E) with out E. That's your protection. Your armor against Everyone and Everything. Against Emptiness. Your refusal to waste Energy on Emotions. Your Expression of Empathy without showing your Eagerness. Your secret way of Emoting without Ever Exposing your hEart.

Oh, but one day… One day you will be tired. And giddy. Maybe a little drunk or weedy. Maybe you’re high on life and just heard the best song ever. Maybe you had a really good day or a really good sandwich or really good sex. Maybe you will have just realized that you look really fucking good in hats. But, you will say it.

You will say, I LOVE YOU. And you will forget to not mean it. You will forget to hide it. You will forget to not let the warmness your mouth link up the deep redness of your heart with the raw calico of your mind, and you will mean it with every breath in your lungs, every beat of your lashes, every sweat bead forming on the small of your back.

You will mean it. And the oxygen in your lungs will turn into an army of angry restless soldiers and the blood vessels that run down the pinky side of your hands will throb in this painful, frustrating way that nobody but you seems to ever experience. In a way that makes you scared by just how much you don't want to be alone anymore.

You will mean it. And the past will meet the present like future in-laws at an engagement party. Awkward. Forced. Unfamiliar in the most familiar setting. Turning the dial to "on" and the cycle to "rinse and spin". Turning the switch to "signal"

You will mean it. And you will wish to God you didn't. You will try to swim away from it but the current will fight you. And when you start to escape, a dangerously powerful undertow will grab you around the back of the knees and pull you down under until you are swimming in love. Sinking in love. Drowning and suffocating and choking to death on love.

Drunk on love.
Hung over from love.
Fucked up with love.

You will think to yourself: this is why. THIS is why you don't love. THIS is why you Do
Not. Love.

But, it will be too late. You'll find that you can't save yourself. Once an I LOVE YOUer always an I LOVE YOUer. An I LOVE YOUer for life. So you fashion your life into a public service announcement on the dangers of uncovered love. An exposé on the pyramid scheme that is love. You will preach to anyone who will listen about the trap that is love. And you will write books and create seminars and run an institutional rehabilitation center for addicts of love. And you will strive with all your might to help others break the bonds of love and to free others from the bondages of their own hearts.

And finally, one day, when you are old and tired and plentifully bitter. When you are isolated and this anger inside you has cooled down to an even and steady burning inside your chest. When love starts to seem no different than hate or hunger and sickness or cold. When the words I LOVE YOU stop evoking pictures of any particular persons in your mind, then you will truly find a long and lasting bitterness. Then, and only then, will you know for sure that you are free of love. Forever. And that nothing will ever be able to jeopardize your self-control again.

Not Now, Not Ever.

I was standing under this tree– some kind of oak tree, I believe–pulling off leaves one by one. Tracing their veins. Absentmindedly considering if their fluids were like the blood in my own. I decided they were and I shredded the leaves into a wet, sticky pile by my feet.

I was thinking about you with my heart. Minds have a way of occupying themselves with the strangest little oddities and an assortment of bizzare behaviors, otherwise unaccounted for, unexplained, whenever the need arises. It’s how humans get by. Push past. Plan. It’s how we fashion futures out of nothing but bundles of empty, hopeless feelings and burdensome regrets.

I walked up and down that dirt road, telling myself I was looking for stones to skip or feathers to take home for washing, drying, and pressing. But, under the moon light all I could see was this twinkling fire of a million fragmented diamonds peeking out beneath the gravel, from the corner of my eyes. And it was all that I could do to stop myself from wanting to give all that light right to you. Delivering to your doorstep, wrapped up in a big red bow, with no card attached. I imagined your face as you saw it. So I scooped up handfuls of the mirrored moonlight and shoved them deep into my pockets. Some moondust remained on my fingers still when I pulled them back out. I licked them and it tasted much like the most unimpressive dirt. Still, I knew the secret of its beauty, so it rejuvenated me for a moment.

They say the only way to cure a broken heart is to break another heart. Though it’s possible I made that up. I do that sometimes. Just make up things to fill the gaps between things I know to be true and the things I’m still considering about life and people. Temporary stepping stones. Baby teeth that hold the place for stronger, more solid ones that come in later. They are very useful until they are not.

I suddenly became angry. So very angry. I don’t know why. But, I went home annoyed. In a generally fussy mood. Feeling betrayed by some part of myself it seemed I couldn’t reach even with my own internal whispers. That part of myself which seemed to grow deaf at any moment that my mind happened to be making nothing but logical sense and sound discovery or observations of the most reasonable and truest sort.

I opened the door, first with my fingers. Then my hand. And like in any real dance, I continued in with a tap of the hip to complete. I led and the door, like a stiff partner, squeaked and jarred but finally gave into my will in one smooth, fluid motion.

It was just as cold inside as it was out. And so I felt my way around in the evening dim for the lamp. The place was old and smelled even older because of the rotting wood around the window frames. The electric outlets were oddly spaced and nearly ridiculous by modern standards, but I had grown accustomed to them by that point, the way one gets used to any mild annoyance or inconvenience.

My hand slapped against the lamp, and I pulled the string to bring light to either the room or the situation in which I found myself. As it turned out, it was more of a lamp unto my feet than a light unto my path. But it did shine faintly on the small bundle of firewood in the corner, so I suppose there was a gray area to be had there.

Minutes later, as I sat before a roaring fire, simultaneously counting both crackles in the fire and cracks in the hearth, I remembered the way you crack me up. Then I cracked my knuckles. I cracked the spine of the book I had left there hours before when I had suddenly decided what I needed most of all was a walk to clear my mind. Then I felt something inside my chest, in what I couldn’t at that moment, and still cannot even now, think of a better way to describe than, being cracked open.

I looked at the clock and saw that it was late. So, I yawned forcefully to convince my mind I was tired. To convince it to give in for the night. Which it didn’t, but my eyes fluttered and closed out of instinct and allowed me, at least for a little while, to enjoy a few moments alone with you before morning.

Only in those few moments between eyes down and sun up, do I surrender to you without fight. Without anger. With out resistance. Only, only, because even warriors have to sleep simetimes. Even they have to give in to the battle just to win the war. And for no other reason than that. No. No other reason than that.

But, I will never tell. Not even if you ask me. Because that’s not who I am. Not now. Not ever.

That One

You hide, inside
A solitude of your own mind
A place devoid, divided, devised
Of hopeless hoping
Of moody, mellow, moping.
You hide, deep inside
Your mind
A cave of your own creation
Where it’s spacious
And there is nothing but time
To run out of
To run out on
You’re clicking and clacking
And believing your own quackery
It’s painful to see
You crack up
Right In front of me
You hide, inside
Because misery loves company
And folly, and melancholy.
Like twisted branches of Christmas holly
You feel misinformed
Deformed
Detached
Unattached
So you watch and wait
Because you gave up on praying
And think of it now as
Quaint little sayings
That keep you feeling safe
Or safer.
Maybe saner.
But you disdain it.
So you hide. Inside.
Your mind.
Where you are judge, jury and jailer
Living in
The safety net of your own failure