Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"I'm angry with him"

One of my favorite movies is Pretty Woman. Many of you may know the part I am referring to in the title. There is a scene when Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are in the bathtub and he is talking about how it has taken him a long time to get to the point where he can say those words about his father, "I am angry with him." Every time I recognize something I'm doing either with or without thinking is coming from a place where the fires of fury burn, I think of this scene. Strange, I guess, but usually I take a deep breath, unclench, and think "I am angry with you."

I have written, read, talked and thought a lot about anger. What am I feeling? Who am I feeling it toward? What is the appropriate way to express it? Today with Karen we talked through my feelings that I've been ignoring. My anger with God. I've started to ask a few others who I trust about their feelings, their religious beliefs, their view once their spouse was taken, and I was struck by some of the differences. I think this is a time that I can feel comfortable exploring. That is a strange thing to think about if you have had a close personal relationship with your spirituality and never had to question things. I was very comfortable with what I believed before Mike was killed. Losing him initially caused my relationship with God, my comfort with religion and my belief to grow apart.

One difference that I have noticed is in the matter of trusting God. I often talked with Mike about how we trusted that God would bring him home. We believed that would happen with such strong conviction. When he didn't come home, I didn't know where to turn. I had done what I thought I was supposed to and it didn't work out. I held up my end of the bargain, and God let me down. How do I get that trust back. Several of the women I have discussed this with told me that they didn't necessarily believe that way. (hopefully I am correctly representing my friends here) Many said they hoped and prayed that their loves would come home, but they didn't really trust that God would bring him home safely. They were very real about the possibility that God had a different plan. This is something that has caused me to think, and I love hearing other's opinions.

So anyway, for now, I am angry with him. I struggle with what I believe. I am trying to sort through it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Opening the flood gates...

I talked with a friend I trust deeply today and I said something I haven't said out loud at all. Now this may sound bad or incomprehensible, or good, or whatever but for all that I've been through and all that I'm going through and all the thoughts that constantly run through my head I had not said this.

"Hey I've been meaning to call you. I think you'll understand. Is it bad if I say that they are equal? Because it scares me."

I'm being very honest here, but I think I've come to a point where I've been taking small steps backward by keeping a lot in. I've been all hot and bothered about many things lately, and it's because I'm used to getting out, here or in my journal or talking with someone or whatever. All this has just been sitting inside.

When I met Nick, I was not looking for anyone. I didn't think I was ready, I didn't want to find someone, but I was lonely. 15 months without someone was just giving me a physical loneliness that I hadn't experienced. I was lucky (read: SO VERY LUCKY) that the person I met in this time was not a crazy psycho killer, stalker, or just a run-of-the-mill craziness, but instead was the (mostly) sane Nick. I was comfortable in the setting I met Nick. I was comfortable talking about Mike to Nick and after seeing his reaction, I was comfortable knowing that Nick knew Mike and experienced him as a person without knowing me. I believe I was open to the possibility of finding someone to be close to. That was really it, someone to be close to. Someone who somehow could understand even a minute amount of what I had felt and sympathized with those feelings. Someone to talk to and tell everyday things to. Someone to lend a little support.

Things progressed and I just flat out had a great time being around him. We had fun together, and I told very few people about him so that all I had to think about were the fun times we had. I knew I could have some fun. I didn't want anyone's opinion or thoughts and I didn't want to dive into more myself. Then we stumbled through telling my friends, his friends, some of "our" friends and my family. It really helped me to be open with Nick about what I was feeling. I have a natural instinct to bottle it in when I'm upset and hope that miraculously the solution will just unfold and things will be better. I fought this and told him when people reacted and made me mad, or sad. I explained to him the sticky stuff about always loving Mike, about feeling like I'm losing Mike, about worry that I affect people's opinion of him.

So back to my friend, she responded by saying that it may be the first time I let myself realize that truly one isn't in front of the other. That my love for Mike and my love for Nick are completely different, and that's OK. I've always had a difficult time remembering that as my relationship with Nick grows, that takes nothing away from my love for Mike. She reminded me of that. I was not given the choice to continue life with Mike or move in a different direction. I did not wake up one day and realize my love for Mike was gone. He was taken. And I woke up and realized that for me, I need to live a full life with another person. I am strong enough to live alone, and I am confident I could live a life full of purpose that way. I don't want to. I hate being alone in the way that losing Mike made me alone. Mike knew I hated being alone that way. The relationship that Mike and I had led to a connection between us and although we never discussed what to do if something were to happen, I know with everything in me he wouldn't want me to be alone. That may sound very cliche especially to people who have been there and heard others say things like this to you, but if I go past the cliche words and rely on the feelings I know behind them, I can feel the truth. I know he wants me to be happy, just as he always has, and be filled with as much as I possibly can.

We also discussed that the hope between all of us "widows" is that we support the decisions each of us makes for ourselves. We each keep the relationship alive in our memories, what it gave us, and what we took and continue to take from it, and support each other. I've been so worried sometimes about judgement-- but people judge everyday! The ones that matter to me are people who have done this, who have lived this journey in part, or who have lived with me in the past, who are in my life now. All of those people are so supportive of me and of where I am that I see there is no reason to worry. I see others choices as valid choices for them, all of them, and they see mine the same. That support (from widow friends, high school friends, college friends, military friends, etc.) is what makes it worth anything at the end of the day.
So, everyone, thanks for your support. You truly help keep me sane in this insane world :)

Unemployment is for losers

Ok guys, I think I'm over it. Officially I'm out of money, and bored through and through, and spending way too much time inside my own head. I need to be around other people. I've been telling myself that as I study for the GRE and try to clean up and clear out this place that I should be plenty busy, but I don't have any pressure to actually do it. As I was cleaning everything out I went through a stack of things from my last few jobs and I remembered what it was like to feel like you had a purpose. To be working towards something, to be refining a skill. To practice something, fail a few times and then make it work. To set goals. To work with people you look up to and want to be like, and respect. I miss that part. I miss the people that make the day go by. I miss the random things that would happen to make a day a day. I miss getting ready, hurrying through a day, coming home exhausted with other things still on your to do list, and finally sitting down on the couch exhausted. Weird things to miss I guess, but I do.

I've applied for a few things and we will see how it goes. The last time I job searched I applied for a bunch of stuff and then had trouble tracking what I had and hadn't applied for and why. This time I have applied for 3 jobs and I'm going to wait and see what happens. They are all part-time, and one is something I could do from home, regardless if I get the others or something else. We will see.

Wish me luck :)