As the months pass, I am becoming increasingly reserved. I used to be a very social person; but, now, I am not overly interested in interacting with the people around me. I am not compelled to engage in superficial conversations because it distracts me from my own thoughts. My identity was intimately entwined with Mike; therefore, when I buried him, a piece of me was essentially buried alive. Seventeen months ago, I lost myself. And, now, I am grasping to redefine my self identity.
In order to do this, I need to withdraw and delve into myself. Now, I am quiet because I am constantly participating in an internal dialogue. As I attempt to re-establish my identity I am endlessly searching my Soul to discover who I am. Countless thoughts swirl around inside my head as I work to redefine myself and rebuild my life. I am completely exhausted from all this thinking. And, most of the time, I feel unsettled in both my mind and in my heart.
Recently, I have eased up on the continuous planning and over-thinking. I have reduced the amount of time I spend arranging ideas in my head because I realize that the best thing I can do is step aside and let the plan unfold. I am more relaxed because I am certain everything will work out exactly as it should - regardless of what I do or don't do. Endlessly shifting thoughts and ideas around in my head will not serve me well in the wake of Mike's death. Finally, I understand that I need to do less strategizing and worrying. I simply need to have faith and enjoy my life as I am re-routed toward a future that is different than I had planned. Thankfully, I am no longer lacking faith. But, now, my latest conundrum is that I am lacking passion...
I’ve been thinking the past few days about Kelley’s Friday post. She talked about how people treat us when widowed, and the frustrations of often being treated like a five year old or misunderstood in some way.
Or how people begin to act differently again once you find new love. That one I can definitely attest to. I wrote to her, saying how it felt like when I met Mike and found love again, all the people who had coddled me and worried over me disappeared, as if to say “Oh thank God, we don’t have to WORRY about her anymore!”
And then the avoiders who had been too uncomfortable with my grief came out of the woodworks to suddenly be more present and express their joy… which really felt more like expressing how happy they were that they could be comfortable with my life again. It’s funny what grief does to those around us... and then to us as a result.
When I moved to Ohio in the name of new love, it felt like a slow exodus I had not intended. Gradually, everyone seemed to just sort of fade out. I got the same sort of story from people over and over again, "Oh I figured you're so busy enjoying your new life, I didn't want to bother you!" Excuse me for being blunt, but that is the stupidest thing to say to someone you care about. Because you think I’m happy you think I’m too busy? Huh?
What the hell does that even mean? And how did virtually no one stop to think that maybe, just maybe, this change was not JUST joyful, but incredibly painful and hard? How did no one see that? Leaving the only place I’ve ever called home… the place where my parents and my fiance are buried, to live 1400 miles away in a totally different culture from Texas. Not to mention how hard it's been for Mike knowing he was the catalyst for my leaving home and for a lot of pain I've experienced by making that choice. Really, truly, almost no one asked at any point “how are you really doing?”. Somehow they all decided that being united with my new love after having dated from far away for nearly a year was all I needed to be 100% happy with no sense of loss whatsoever.
This still annoys me...