I began this post last fall, and I don’t know when or if I would have posted it, had I not read Prajakta’s post along the same lines.
Just Jot It January brings a lot of inspiration. Today’s prompt is ‘elusive’ and I often elude the prompt. You can find elusive here, but it’s not blatant.
A long time ago, I guess 17 years and some months ago, I took some girly stuff over to my MIL’s house for her dress-up box. She’s one of those mamaws who likes having a miniature preschool for the kids at her house.
There were a lot of hats, and we had fun trying them on.
Except the funeral hat.
You know the sort, black straw with the netting veil you can roll down?
I took it off. Something about having it on made me feel uneasy. As I took it off, I said, “Shouldn’t wear a funeral hat when you’re not at a funeral.”
My MIL hollered up the stairs that my mother was on the phone. Not since I’d been a schoolgirl had my mother called over there. She called to tell me my grandmother died.
My grandmother had been in a car accident in Florida days before. Because of her age, they kept watch over her at the hospital, making sure everything was right as rain before releasing her.
She was due to go home.
Family had just left, she’d been laughing and having a great time visiting. When they left, an aneurysm took her home instead.
Was I sad? Yes.
Was there anything I could do? No.
I went on.
My grandmother gave me all her stories, the best summers of my childhood, and taught me many worthy skills. I was lucky to have one grandmother who loved me so much, and I had two.
Neither death nor sickness prompt typical, normal, expected responses from me.
I am not sure WHY.
I have always been this way.
I will tell you I’m sorry and take in your grief, but I will remain detached and helpless because I am aware that helpless is the key word. There is likely nothing I can do or say to assuage your anguish. There isn’t anything you can do or say to assuage mine. I know this because I have lived.
I don’t have personal issues with my lack of expression, but rather, other people do not like this about me.
Now and again, I’m hit with the mention or insinuation that I am cold or unfeeling, but I am not.
I don’t openly respond the same way most people do. When people are struggling to live, or have passed, I feel sad. I also feel emotionally unavailable to others.
I generally feel emotionally unavailable to others. My feelings, my sadness, my struggles — they’re mine. I’ve been strong for a long, long time. Survivor strong, independent strong, military spouse strong.
I am easily moved and well-up at least once a day, given even the slightest provocation. I can handle all the feelings. I feel emotions unexpressed. I can take it all, but very few people can handle my vulnerability.
Yes, I do have trust issues and abandonment issues, but I don’t think it’s a broken thing, I think it’s a type of person thing. Introverted, high-energy, empathic: Here for others. Need others rarely. DO NOT MIND.
You think I’m not a private person because I have a public blog and I’ll tell you all kinds of things, AND HOW! and so candidly! But honestly, I tell you all the time that 12 people know my life and I mean that. I also tell you just because something isn’t on the blog doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
I seldom blog about anything painful. Are you kidding? When I complain about anything, even the most trivial thing, there’s always one asshat in the group who tells me I’m not entitled to complain about my perfect life, directing me to all the ways in which they hurt. How little one must see, hear, feel, live, to think that so many other humans are without suffering. How self-absorbed they must be to think they have the monopoly on pain.
Tell me, do you need me to follow the prescribed grief rulebook, don a mask, and act like I’m grieving, or can you understand that for me, grief is personal?