Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Importance of Being Earnest

I've been thinking a a lot about what I'm sharing here in this little corner of cyberspace. I feel like it's critically important to be honest about the emotions we're going through. I know my family is not the first or only to stand in this spot and for those to come and those who have gone before I feel like I should be completely honest. Sometimes that means saying or feeling something not completely rational or acceptable. I hope you as my beloved reader (and I do love you, I can't believe you get enough out of my words to keep coming back, hearing that you do makes me feel justified somehow, bolstered) can understand I am relaying the knee-jerk reactions of grief and a journey to understanding my own feelings. I never know when something is going to strike a nerve or bring me to tears. Or as the man who so unfortunately cut me off and curb-checked his powder blue Lexus wagon in his desperation to claim my parking spot discovered, make me angry. On that occasion I leapt from my perch next to Jackson's car seat and accosted the man in the parking lot, asking him loudly if he got a good spot, if it felt good to cut me off and almost hit my car. Frankly the guy was an asshole, but I'm not usually one to leap out of a (slowly) moving vehicle and verbally assault another driver.

I'm also not the type to spurn the support and kind words I have been overwhelmed with since Jackson's diagnosis, so it caught me off guard when a particular turn of phrase began to touch a very raw nerve. Why would such a complementary consolation make me simultaneously angry and sad?? Why would I have such a reaction to well intentioned words? It took me a while to figure it out- why "you're such a strong person/amazing mother/etc" made me want to climb the walls and scream. And I figured it out when I discovered that what I wanted to scream is "I don't WANT to be strong! I don't want to do this!" I'm angry that I HAVE to be strong all the time. I'm angry that this isn't just something I have to get through to see better times, this is just how it's going to be. This sadness and worry and fear is not something I can put down, and it's not something my son can shake off. There isn't and end in sight to look forward to. The only hope is diligent preventive maintenace, agressive treatment of infection, and a relentless search for a cure. Somehow I began to feel as if 'you're strong' meant someone thought I was handling this easily...and I'm not. I have a very strong habit of not showing my struggles, not sharing any weakness or admitting to strife until after the fact, when everything's kosher again and I can talk about it like it's no big deal. It took nearly two months for me to tell my own mother that I'd left my first husband. I can't do that now, the news, good or bad, won't wait. I am glad though, that I figured it out. I'm not ungrateful for the words of comfort offered by people who care, I'm simply bumping into my own psyche in a dark room and being forced to feel it out.

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