.... I hate rage the most.
Or at least it's in the top 3.
Pity might be number 1.
It's an exhausting emotion and it leads people to make very bad, very poor choices while they are in it. And you mostly feel worse afterwards.
Rage has been a regular visitor at my house over the last 2 weeks.
I will not bore you with all of the horrid "teenage vs. parent" details. Let me just say that when you add in "grieving teenage boys vs. parent (singular)" ..... it can be more horrid that you can imagine.
I will tell you that at this moment in time, neither of my sons is living in my home.
Both have made bad choices and are now facing the consequences of those choices. One son doesn't think his was a bad choice, and it may turn out that it wasn't so very bad....if he can turn things around and make something good come of it.
I know he can if he wants to. And this is his chance.
At first he cried and begged for me to change my stance (he knew what my stance would be long ago).
Then, he raged at me.
As a mom .... the rage was a lot easier to hear than the crying, so I was relieved when he moved on to that emotion.
Now he is understanding .... and determined to prove to himself, and his mom (and everyone else) that he can do this.
I have no doubt that he will.
The other son made a choice yesterday that is beyond bad.
I don't even have a word to describe the severity of this choice.
But .... he made it.
While in a rage.
Fortunately for him, he made this choice with me, and not with anyone else.
Or the outcome would be very, very different.
And very, very far-reaching.
And, in a rage upon a rage, he left.
Thinking that he was choosing to not live here.
I know where he is. I know he is being looked after by a wonderful friend who has shared these kinds of troubles with her own sons.
Just so you know ...... Everybody has "something". They may try to hide it (most people do), they may even lie about it or try to convince themselves it's not there ..... but they can't fool everybody forever. And they can't feel "normal" until they share it with someone .... bring it out in the open.
There is no perfect person .... and certainly no perfect family.
So I know where my son is.
I know that he is safe.
And I know that he now knows ..... that staying in our home is no longer his choice.
He knows that I love him, but that he cannot live here with the way things are. He has to deal with the choice that he made. A choice that could have ended his future ..... if he made it with someone else.
I'm sure that he is still raging.
But I'm also pretty sure that the rage is starting to ebb ..... a bit.
That's the thing about rage .... it takes way too much energy to keep sustained.
Because last week, instead of writing a post for Widow's Voice, I was raging.
My life has been anything but calm since Jim died.
It has been (and really, you can ask those who've been along for the 4 year ride .... I'm not exaggerating) one thing after another. RIGHT after another. Health issues for the kids (life or death issues and life-long testing for all of them), health issues for me, cancer, surgery, long and painful recovery, depression and suicide issues, more health issues, school issues, behavior issues, military school, rage, drugs, more health issues, a hurricane, another hurricane, trees falling on houses ...... I'd keep going, but by now it's sounding ridiculous.
Suffice it to say that not one single week goes by without an "issue".
In four years.
And last week, was the last straw with my older son.
Or so I thought. (It turns out I seem to have plenty of straws.)
And so I raged.
I raged at God.
He and I are still working on it, but I'm over the rage. Way too weary to keep that up for long.
But before I lost my rage momentum, I turned it onto Jim.
Really ..... for the first time.
I have sometimes joked that I'm ticked at him for leaving me to deal with ...... our life.
And I've sometimes been sad when I've thought about it.
And maybe once or twice .... really ticked.
But last week .... last week I raged. I think I may have even looked upwards (because I know where he is) and shouted "F--- YOU FOR DYING AND LEAVING ME WITH ALL OF THIS!! F---- YOU FOR TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT"!!! Vern walked into my house at just that time, and as he held me in his arms and let me sob and sob and rage, I said, "I HATE Jim for dying! I HATE him!"
He said nothing, as any wise man would ..... and continued to hold and rock me and let me sob and rage until I no longer had the ability.
Now hopefully you all know that I don't really hate my late husband (late .... a rather ironic word because he was late to most everything. Sorry .... just an aside. :)
You all know that I didn't mean those ugliest of ugly words.
Because some of you have had these same thoughts.
Some of you haven't.
Maybe you never will.
It took 4 years for me.
Well, 4 years, 1 month and 20 days.
I have no idea if I'll ever think them again, but I wonder.
Last week I was raging because a son had broken what I thought was my last straw.
This week ..... another son broke a fistful of straws.
But I am not raging.
It really does take too much energy.
And besides, if I'm going to start raging every time something shitty happens in our lives .... I'll have a stroke before I'm 55! I don't believe one can rage, truly rage, once a week and survive for very long. Some blood vessel somewhere is going to burst. And unless it's a painless, one second "she never knew what hit her" death .... I'd rather that not happen.
So there you go .... a very quick run-through of some of the lowlights of my life these past 4 years, and my thoughts on rage.
I'm not sure what the point of this post is. Except to admit to you that I raged at my saintly, perfect (cough, cough) dead husband.
For the first time.
And that we ALL have crappy things in our lives. I mean, crappy beyond the dead spouse, which is about as crappy as it can get ..... until it gets piled upon.
And that even people with very much alive spouses .... have crap. Whether they show it or not ....
Everybody has something.
Which makes us all as normal as normal can really be.
On a P.S. side note, I'm writing to you now as an SSLF Board member. Camp Widow East is right around the corner and we need some help. Even from those of you who won't be going. I know I've asked for this before and thank you SO much to those of you who responded, but we still need more information about grief support resources in the east (the eastern 1/3 of the US). We're creating a data base of as many support groups, counselors, hospices, etc. and we need your help. If you could please send me a list of all of the confirmed places a widowed person could go for grief support that are in your area .... and the surrounding areas, we would be very grateful. We just need the name of the group, hospice, hospital, funeral home, etc. and it's contact information and the name of the person who's in charge. Just collect all the info you can and send it to me in an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All it takes is a little time on the phone. Not too much energy and you'd be helping so very many people .... some who are in desperate need of grief support. Please help us. Please.
I need to collect all of this by February 17th. Don't make me beg.
But if I have to .... I'll give everyone who sends me this info (more than one place, please) and comes to Camp Widow East ..... a dollar!
You got that right! ONE HUNDRED cents!!! And a picture of George Washington!! How often are you going to get a deal like that .... just for some time on the phone?!
Thank you again to those of you who've sent info ..... you can always send more names from other areas, even if you've already sent in one ..... or fifty. More is good. :)
OK, I'm now returning to my regularly scheduled blogging personality.
Let me know if you've raged.
And how it felt.
And for those of you who parent children under the age of 13 ..... bless you.
Hug them tight.
And then buckle your seat belt .......