“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be made strong, in fact. But the process is like all other human births, painful and long and dangerous.”

4 Apr

Cranky, pissed off, unhappy, lonely, vengeful, angry, sad-with a dash of hypomania thrown in.

Sometimes the pills work, sometimes, not so much. It bleeds through.

I’m constantly wondering-what is the pills? What is the bipolar? What is just the fact that it’s April and my mind focuses on one thing-my mother, the day she died, her last days-and I see the mother’s day shit in store windows and I think of her face, puffy from treatment, her grey boots, her withered hands, her naked body the day she died, the absorbent pad underneath her.

Am I angry because of this? Am I angry because I have devoted zero time and energy to the fact that this April is our tenth wedding anniversary and I feel spent and unable to care? Am I angry because I’m so lonely right now, because my anger locks me in, makes me a prisoner? Am I angry because I cannot share this, not really, because it needs a reason and goddamn it sometimes I just want to be angry, then sad, then weepy just because I have feelings and some days things just hurt.

I have no real reason to be unhappy, or pissed off or sad, other than a sinking feeling that I’m missing something, and I don’t have the time to figure out what that is.

All I know is that I fucking hate April. Renewal and growth my ass.

I hate this. I hate all of it. This fucking grief, an never-ending cycle of it, this dull throbbing ache that eats away at my every movement, judging me…”Don’t yell at the kids-you might die tomorrow”. The sucker-punch of a little whiny fool inside me, wanting to moan and bitch about her loss, and how hard it was. The knowledge that since I was a little girl I’ve had to suck it up and deal with it while the people around me are free to whine about their perfect little lives and vastly lessened pain.

Lose someone! I want to scream-feel your heart ripped from your chest and forever altered-feel yourself die! Anguish-feel it, really feel something for the first time in your little fucking lives feel something REAL.

It’s not as it was years ago, when as a mute child I screamed why into a sky that had no answers. It’s not as it was years ago when I awoke from a suicide attempt convinced that that day wasn’t a good day to die, and I had only myself to count on, since no one, NO ONE around me was listening. It’s not as it was when the never-ending chorus of “just do it-die die die” played in my head.

But it’s still angry as fuck, harsh and hard and bitter and on days like this it’s a pill I just can’t swallow. Why me. Why the FUCK is this life mine. All the beauty in this life becomes so hardened and pale to me most days, because it’s blinded by a wound I can’t seem to find a way to close.

I can be rational. I can use logic and tell myself that life isn’t fair, and this is how it is. But some-days, I don’t fucking well want to.


The sun is beaming in the sky today, flooding my work area with light, and that slight lift up feeling you get from the first few days of real sunlight, the knowledge that winter has retreated and sister spring is asserting herself.

I hate it. I remember the sun of that month, and it wasn’t healing. It was harsh and white and brittle and it hurt my heart to see.

I’ll never grow up will I? I’ll always be that little girl curled up on a couch in a family room, eating junior mints and pretending her mother wasn’t dying on a cold rainy spring day. I will always be that sad little girl.

Difference is, lately, she’s just angry.

16 Responses to ““Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be made strong, in fact. But the process is like all other human births, painful and long and dangerous.””

  1. Carin April 4, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    You are entitled to your feelings, but for the love of pete, don’t tell others they are not entitled to theirs. You could be telling someone who lost both their parents that they have drastically lessened pain. Look Sweet Salty Kate in the eye and tell her she has much less pain than you. I dare you. I double fucking dog dare you.

    I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m telling you to realize that you are not the only one in the whole wide world who hurts. This is not a god damn contest.

    I hope the month of April eventually gets easier for you some day.

  2. thordora April 4, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    I am entitled to my feelings, despite years of being told to keep it in for the sake of others.

    Why do you think I’m so fucking angry about it? Even now, how dare I try to express anything?

    My point isn’t to minimize others. It’s to try and vent my anger and grief and the fucking unfairness of it all. Of life, of the place we will ALL be.

    I’ve spent my life being minimized. Please leave me this one place.

  3. Hannah April 4, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    Oh man, Carin, that’s out of line. I agree that grief isn’t a contest, that one person’s pain is no less or more than the next ones’. But that doesn’t mean that on someone’s blog – someone’s own little corner of the world – that they can’t rail against life’s unfairness, or express how they are feeling.

    If you can’t read someone’s pain without judging, just click away. Come back tomorrow. Do you honestly think that your attitude and then the passive-agressive “hope you feel better” at the end is serving anyone?

    I hate to get into flame wars over something so personal but dammit, lay off Thor. She’s still hurting. She’s not trying to say other people aren’t. But in April, her loss looms large for her and when you’re grieving, whether that grief is fresh – like Kate’s – or not, perspective is not something you have – or even want.

    I know that my problems seem small to many. I know that they seem small to Thor! But never once has she tried to invalidate me for having them.

    Thor, I know that April is hard for you. I know that when everyone else is emerging blinking into the light after the long winter we’ve had, that it makes you feel even worse to take no joy from that sunshine coming in your window. But I really do hope you feel better as the month progresses and little victories keep cropping up – for you, or your kids, or even your new kittehs. And anytime you need to blow – just do it.

  4. kate April 4, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    Damn, woman, can you write! So many people don’t know how to express their pain, won’t let themselves feel it…better to stuff it away and pretend it’s not there. You allow it in, and in turn you are able to let it out. This post just washed over me. So fucking powerful.

    I’m so, so sorry for your pain.

  5. juliepippert April 4, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    After reading the comment above, I have to start somewhere other than where I originally intended. I really did not hear or read anything in this post about others…I really took it all as the feelings that are slam dancing inside of you.

    And I’m one of the ones doing the whiny narrow complaining (not, Thordora, that I took you to mean me…I’m making the point about myself in a silly way).

    I agree with what Hannah said about comparisons and so forth.

    Now. My original thoughts.

    (Thordora) It’s a rough time. You blow it out here whenever you need to—not that you need my permission of course. Just know you are cared about and have listeners (readers).

    Hang in there, by your fingernails at least.

    Ditto to Hannah’s last paragraph.

  6. thordora April 4, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    Actually Julie, yours put a smile on my face because I have worked with people like that, and I usually want to SLAP THEM SILLY for bitching. They’re usually people without families, or with families they don’t like. They irritate me just as much, because they are very much a threat to your family!

    And they’re fucking jerk-offs.

    I swear when I’m pissy. A LOT.

  7. Deb April 4, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    I know how you feel and it’s all OK. It’s been 10 years since my mom died, and I go through bouts of anger, sadness, depression, grief still.

    I always will.

    When our mothers die, especially when we’re children, we stay in that time and feel the emotions we did then.

    You’ll come to a good place again. It’s OK to feel like you do.

  8. sweetsalty kate April 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    On some days, the perspective that everyone else has perfect little lives and vastly lessened pain overpowers the rational and the logic. That’s just a part of the journey of loss, the self-pity, the rage.

    I remember being in a restaurant through our NICU stay and seeing a family out for lunch. They were all so cheery and stylish and sparkly (even the kids), and at one point one of their two little girls, without prompting, threw her arms around her daddy’s neck and said loudly, “Oh, I LOVE you SO MUCH!”.

    I don’t use the word ‘hate’ often, but I have to say that at this moment, I hated that family. If I’d been queen I would have ordered off with all their heads just for existing.

    That’s how grief manifests itself sometimes, and it’s got to come out. No matter how sensible we are, how aware of everyone getting their due in one form or another. I flail wildly between bouts of intense compassion for everyone else (knowing that many people have it worse than myself), and intense self-pity (wanting to be acknowledged as winning the shit-luck contest).

    You never know what Carin’s got going on in her life that had this rubbing her the wrong way. Perhaps right now she’s going through a medusa phase, and emotionally, she didn’t like you claiming the title. I feel that way all the time, reading blogs. Catch me on the wrong day, and I’ll tell you as much (done recently and regretted it – not here, somewhere else).

    This is still a safe place, Thor, your place, and you do the right thing by venting. If you didn’t release the off-with-their-heads from the black bits of your heart, the self-pity could drown out everything else. And that would be sad.

  9. Judy April 4, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    “April is the cruelest month.”

    Today would have been my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, if my dad was still alive.

    It’s been 8 years since he passed away, and I still mourn, even moreso since I’ve had my sons, who he never got to know and will never know him. He would likely still be alive today if the health care system were different, or we’d been rich and he could afford better medical care. I am angry about it, still. I blame every single person who does not support universal health coverage, and hold them all personally responsible. I consider it close to murder to deny someone care that could prolong their life.

    I’m sorry this month is so hard for you.

  10. thordora April 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    oh Kate, you know, when it gets bad and I’m mentally throwing dishes and screaming I stop and try to think of you-my thoughts run “If she can do it, if she can lose her sweet son, and still get on with her days and love her other sons and her husband and life, then what the hell is my problem?”

    You add relevance and stability to me, a reminder that I don’t have it that bad, much as I’m sure you have your own little reminders on the hierarchy of suckage.

    I hate all of you with mothers, with standard, non crazy, non weird just loving you mothers. So I understand Kate.

    Judy, that….SUCKS. And is why I will never, ever move to the US. I’m so sorry.

    And I’ve had those days where I stumble on to someone whining about being slightly depressed, and I have to click quickly before my ire manifests itself in writing. Because while I’m entitled to my opinion and emotion, I’m not necessarily entitled to give voice to it everywhere. But I’ve felt it, and I’m not very impressed with myself when it happens.

  11. juliepippert April 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Thordora, went to get this and bring it back for you, as a gift that I hope you like:

    The Light Wraps You

    The light wraps you in its mortal flame.
    Abstracted pale mourner, standing that way
    against the old propellers of the twighlight
    that revolves around you.

    Speechless, my friend,
    alone in the loneliness of this hour of the dead
    and filled with the lives of fire,
    pure heir of the ruined day.

    A bough of fruit falls from the sun on your dark garment.
    The great roots of night
    grow suddenly from your soul,
    and the things that hide in you come out again
    so that a blue and palled people
    your newly born, takes nourishment.

    Oh magnificent and fecund and magnetic slave
    of the circle that moves in turn through black and gold:
    rise, lead and possess a creation
    so rich in life that its flowers perish
    and it is full of sadness.

    Pablo Neruda

  12. Carin April 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    Hey, I have no problem with the whole grief thing, and how it comes back unexpectedly. I just hate it when I see someone who thinks they’re the only one who hurts. Meanwhile, across from them on the bus, there’s someone who appears well, but is sucking it up, but they just lost their dad. But you condemn them and say they have no pain. Unless you have the ability to read minds, you don’t know.

    And I wasn’t trying to be passive aggressive when I said I hope some day April gets better. I meant it. I have been reading since 2005. I didn’t just show up, rain on the parade and leave. I don’t often have things to say because I don’t have kids or bipolar. But I read, and hope that things get better.

    Feel free to burn me at the stake if you want. But if you’re entitled to your opinion, I’m entitled to mine. I still think you’re a great person. Just the my pain’s bigger than your pain attitued that I see repeatedly cropping up, well, sucks. But it’s yours. It just gets under my skin sometimes.

  13. thordora April 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    This is the only place in my life it comes up, because it is the only place it CAN come up.

    It doesn’t come up when I’m constantly thinking of others, constantly working with them in mind, constantly putting off my own needs.

    I feel like my voice is unheard in my life, so if it seems especially whiny lately, that might be why. That increasingly, my needs, pains and wants are unrepresented and discounted.

    You are very much entitled to your opinion. I think what gets most backs up is the assumption that I’m sitting here sucking my thumb whining that everyone else has it easier.

    One sentence in which I flail and act petulant about my life. I am entitled to at least that. I have never used anything in my life as a crutch or an excuse. A reason perhaps, but not an excuse.

    I refuse to be discounted in the one place I have that IS mine, the one place where I could, if motivated to, shut the door and be gone, or shut the door and whisper. There are days when it hurts like FUCK, when the memories shatter me and I can barely move, and yes, on those days, my pain IS bigger than the SAHM on a SSRI because she feels, well, you know, weird. When the memories and sounds and touches that I’ve never had free reign to handle or process come pouring in, and I become fragile and scared again.

    I am in no way whole, as many of us are not. I may never be. But I would never feel that I had any right to minimize or mock someone else EXPRESSION of their existance-even if I do not understand what that SAHM is experiencing, I would not stop and point out that she’s being a whiny cooze. Because it is HER space to be whiny, and perhaps she just can’t get into everything, or maybe she hasn’t dealt with it yet either.

    One sentence, one single sentence which burns with the fire of being 11 ir 12 and watching the kids around me and feeling like everything in their world was ok while mine crumbled. One sentence, maybe a few others somewhere else while I learn to process a little something called humility.

    You can continue to point fingers at me, I won’t condemn or pull back. You can call me selfish, whiny, self involved, etc. I know who I am. And I am far from a person who believe she’s the only one who hurts. I know far too many people who do.

  14. OnlyDogsPlease April 4, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    We all deserve the loudspeaker. It’s all relative. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. Someone else in the world would call me a spoiled brat. But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make me want to get out of bed any quicker.

    Thor, you have every right to vent and feel. You have chosen to share. I empathize and when I am in a crap mood one day, may criticize. But….that is human nature. No one else knows you and your situation other than yourself.

    April sucks. It is brown and gross and the days that it looks warm outside you step and it is that stupid cold harsh wind from the north. May is around the corner. And then you realize April isn’t coming for another 11 months. :).

    My month is August. Hate it….

  15. thordora April 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    Once I get past Mother’s Day, it’s all good. 🙂 And it stops smelling like poo.

    My firstborn is August. It’s not so bad for me.

    I think April is also hard because it’s really the point when my PPD with Rosalyn hit the fan as well, and I went VERY off the deep end. A lot of stuff, all in one month. I wish I could just erase it and start over.

  16. Carin April 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    It’s funny how each of us has a month that sucks, no matter what we do. Mine’s February, even though my birthday’s in it. A friend committed suicide one year and Steve and I broke up another year, and then another year down the road, another friend committed suicide as well that year, so every February I hope it will be peaceful, but my mind keeps thinking back even though I don’t want it to.

    Sorry for getting upset. I do care, that’s why I keep reading.

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