the nature of grief.

One week. Nearly a week and a day. I think about beginning to move forward. I even begin to begin to move forward (that is not a typo). Then I look around me, terrified, wondering what on earth made me think I was ready? — Well, bravado. A good day’s sleep (seriously, seventeen hours). But when I am tired again I remember who I am missing. When I am tired I am vulnerable.

vulning: to wound oneself by biting one’s own breast. a pelican vulning is a pelican in her piety, much revered.

I take my medication in the dead of night; I have kept myself too busy at inane things to do so earlier. Maybe then I’ll sleep, except that the bed will be so cold. But it would be cold anyhow. Six days out of seven it was cold. What’s the seventh? The seventh is the difference between someone having my back and no-one. Someone in my life and someone out of it.

How can I think about moving forward when we are both still hurting? I have those gaping holes in me, too. I am overcome at unexpected moments. It hurts to move; it hurts not to move. This is shit, I think. This is the kind of shit feeling that makes me want to run straight back to what we had. It wasn’t perfect, but it was us. Connections like ours don’t happen often. I have had similar that went unrequited because it had to; those loves ranged from slightly immoral to downright dishonorable. Even when one of them dishonored himself, I could sleep easier knowing I had not been part of it. I could despise him and learn not to want him. But I never had him. I’m glad I never had him. I think now perhaps the people who knew us both were protecting me.

Eleven (I erased the word “my”) protected me. He would have been right to veto that, had it been likely.

. . .

I run into the question: am I polyamorous? I was in a polyamorous relationship for six and a half years. Could I even be monogamous?

If this is a matter of orientation — I’m panromantic and demisexual. What’s one more grey area? So it could go either way, so long as I’m cared-for. But the world is binary. You have to explain these things. I will have to explain these things. Fine. I want to be accepted for who I am, and there are far stranger aspects of my identity. Immigrant citizen (subject of a kingdom that does not exist), grown daughter at home, intelligent science-loving believer in woo. The name I call mine is not the name on my birth certificate.

I will always be explaining myself.

. . .

How do I prove to myself that leaving was the right thing to do, even if only to find that it may ultimately be wrong? By putting one foot in front of the other. Standing still is no proof that I have loved, because I have loved before and never forgotten, only learned to despise those who disgraced themselves. Going forward is no proof that I cease to love. And none can ask me to stop loving, because it won’t work. So if I’m only going to keep loving and stand still (which is not the same as reconciliation), all I get from it is pain and neither of us will know any more than we do today.

I would be satisfied at right this moment to undo what I have done. At other moments I see the wisdom in what we talked about weeks before I made the call. I do need to try. I have changed. I need to see how much and in which direction.

. . .

Yes, we talked about it, and I had been thinking about it, but I had feared the pain of even discussing it. Yes, I cried on him. Yes, it was at least a week or two before the actual split.

I do this thing. It has a name: anticipatory grief. I mourn before the loss if I see it coming. Loss in the near future is loss now; emotionally I have a difficult time separating what will be from what currently is. I look back and I was mourning us for ages, even before we spoke. I did that when my uncle was dying. I still missed my uncle fiercely. The loss still burned like cheap office coffee smells: bitter, acrid. I was in the middle of Remeron withdrawal when they held the funeral and couldn’t leave the house. That probably compounded the pain.

It didn’t linger like my grandmother’s death. That death hit me from behind. She was okay. She was doing pretty well, all things considered. One February evening, my aunt called. She never calls in the evening. She sleeps, because she’s in fecking Europe, not New York. I still can’t wear that tank dress without remembering. What followed was either flu or the ugliest fibro flare that calendar year. I know I had a sore throat by morning (we were all awake all night). I can’t fly. I couldn’t go to her funeral, either.

From this I can conclude that anticipatory grief helps, but so does closure, and I can have no closure until there is a real and true end to this story. There will not be an end to this story for some time. (Watch me tempting fate.)

. . .

I need to believe something good will come of this, and not some trite “May learns to stand on her own” pishiness. No, I assure you, losing Eleven is not going to make me independent. Driving, graduating, job, these are what I need. I am not better off alone. I have known literally for half my life that I wanted very much to be part of a close-knit kin group not my family of origin. I have longed to interdepend. I haven’t cared about the number of people, just the relationship. The family I build, that surrounds me and loves me and lets me give love back. I know now that I have lots of extended family of choice. Will that extended family of choice yield a closer one? I don’t know. If they can help me find it, I welcome their help. For a non-Jewish woman, I am awfully enthusiastic about the prospect of matchmakers.

My dad’s finally had some good out of his hell. My mum’s hell is passing. So why is mine ongoing? Why is the very thing I have longed for more out of my reach than ever? Whatever and whoever is listening, can this be fixed, please? I’m doing my bit Below. Now you do yours Above and we’re solid!

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