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February was a complete wash out. I don't know what happened, except that I think I lost my ability to focus, and my time was not my own to work with. I didn't seem to have a minute to spare (on my own) to be able to take some time for writing. And when I did, I was generally too exhausted to really make any sense, or follow a logical train of thought. I feel like my whole body has been taken over by some sort of power that I cannot control. Is this what menopause feels like? Hope not.
The feelings that I have been experiencing have been so varied that I find it hard to believe that menopause explains all of it. Anything I mention these days, any odd feelings or thoughts, or strange occurrences elicit the same chant from everyone. Hormones. Really? Do hormones really have this much control over our bodies and our minds? I believe that my anger and my craziness of the last few days is caused by fluctuating hormones, but the basis of what I'm screaming and yelling about is real. It's just that normally I am not screaming and yelling about it.
I have fallen from grace. I had felt such a strong connection and sense of purpose since the beginning of this year, and then I don't know what happens to me, I just lose all sight of my spiritual connections and start looking at this life as finite and tragic and I don't want to live anymore. Really. It just seems that the magic that I am able to see and touch disappears and all that is left is the ugliness and the emptiness and the futility of our attempts to live a human life on this physical, tangible plane.
I just wanted to yell and scream at everybody in the last few days. When I do not feel a spiritual connection to people, I feel so much that I don't belong. This feeling I have been familiar with since I was a small child. A sort of disconnection from others. I always felt that people did not understand the world of feelings that I lived in, the way I saw the world, and so I felt very alone. I try to talk to people about the beauty and sadness I feel at the things we encounter in our work.
Nobody wants to talk about these things, and I understand that. People just want to get the job done without getting too emotional or thinking too much about the meaning of life.
Yesterday at work I went into the washroom, which is where they post all the important notices, and there was a printed obituary for one of the "mail girls". She had lived a mere 53 years. All that was left of 30 years of her working life was a sad looking picture, and an invite for tea and cake with the other "mailroom" staff. Even that seemed obligatory.
I don't know what I'm missing, but I do. I don't know what I should be writing, but I do. I don't know how I should be dressing or wearing my hair, but I do. I know so much more than I give myself credit for, I just do not hear that tiny little voice. That voice that in 47 years has not been well developed enough. I hear everybody's voice loud and clear, just not my own. I don't really trust myself, but I am too busy reaching out to things outside of myself to give me the answers.
I am re-reading a Buddhist text that I read a few years ago. I have read many, but I was still having difficulties with some of the concepts that contradicted many Western psychological ideas that I had adhered to for much of my life. I particularly had a problem with the idea of egolessness. On second reading, I think it is making more sense to me. The idea always seemed a bit frightening because I always felt that I had a "fragile" ego and sense of self, and if I let go of that,what would there be left?
People often think that unless you are always changing your outward circumstances, you cannot learn or grow. I used to be one of these people. Not anymore. Over a number of years doing the same job in the same environment, I have had much opportunity to grow and change. But either way you have to want to change and to grow. I have known people who are constantly on the move, traveling, changing jobs, changing careers, changing relationships, and they have not learned a thing. Their constant movement and change of circumstance allows them to avoid ever looking at themselves.
Shit. Why do I fart around so much in the morning before doing my words? I do that, then I end up with fifteen minutes left to catch up on 5 days of writing. My avoidance techniques are getting lazier. Now I don't even try to pretend that I am not avoiding writing. This morning I was looking at the Office of Letters and Light website, reading about Script Frenzy, and actually considering doing it to shock myself out of this apathy. I am in a state of torpor. I am either climbing the walls or falling asleep standing up.
Again, I am not sure whether this state of affairs, my roller coaster emotional state and lack of ability to focus, can be blamed entirely on hormones. Estrogen has a lot of explaining to do. Can it, or the lack of it, really make people this crazy? I feel like I am having a real emotional ans psychological breakthrough, and then I start to think, maybe it's just a dip in the old hormone-releasing mechanism. I hate to think that I believe my life is changing in a profound way, only to find out that it's all purely physical.
Don't get me wrong, physical is good, but there must be more than that. I am doing things that I haven't done in years, trying to face demons that have plagued me for much of my life. I have had on again, off again relationships with my siblings for many years now. I have just basically dealt with it by avoiding them. Well, I should say choosing not to be in their company. It has been a very good choice to try and find out who I am separate from the family dynamics. But recently I have tentatively made contact.
Am I ready for this? Not sure. Yesterday was my sister's birthday. She lives in Spain and I haven't seen her for 24 years. I went to see her a few times, but she has never come home, not even for Dad's funeral. Why did I suddenly decide to phone her? I can't really tell you. How did I feel about it? Don't really know. Odd. Sort of happy. Scared. I have never felt good around my family, I have always felt invisible. I was always the "nice" one in a family where "nice" was definitely a four-letter word.
We talked about a lot of things, but nothing really. Her girls as teenagers, my brother's heart attack, our mother's descent into dementia. It would seem a normal conversation, but what about explaining why I haven't written to her or called her for at least 7 years, and vice versa? Is this normal behaviour? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I am a little bit afraid, because now that I have made contact with her, and through her, my brother whom I also have not spoken to for 7 years, does this mean we are part of each others lives again? Does it?
Again I say, am I ready for this? The reason why I say this, is that I have never been able to feel good about myself around my family. I was always the opposite of all the things that "the family" thought were important and interesting. Because of this I just stopped sharing anything with them. And then I started to realize that I did not want to be too involved in any of their lives. There is too much drama involved, and I am the person who always feels that I should be helping when people are in trouble.
I can't believe it is April 3rd and I am working on March 15th. I have totally lost my rhythm as far as any sorting writing schedule goes. I think I ahve written this before, but it is so like me to have a really positive learning experience, like I did when I participated in NaNoWriMo, and then run away screaming. It's like I secretly can't handle anything that is positive. It's not that I think what I wrote was brilliant, or anything. It was learning that if I just have a goal to sit down and write, I can!
And now I haven't written anything for months. NaNo was FIVE months ago now. How can I do that to myself. What sort of warped personality runs away from anything that might possibly be good. Or is it that I think, well, I did that, now I can slack off for awhile, and live off the idea that I can do it if I want to....my oldest brother once said to me that I'm not a real writer like my (other)brother. He writes because he has to (the tortured artist stereotype. I am but a frivolous, amateur, dabbler.
Well perhaps that might give me a little insight into why I am the way I am. My brother's comment I mean. We were so mean to each other, really. There was no such thing as encouragement and support. I think we grew up with the belief that if we gave somebody else praise, we lost some of our own ability. We gave something away. It has taken me 47 years, and reading and studying a lot of Buddhist and other texts to realize that this is a ridiculous notion, and that envy and jealousy poisoned our young, impressionable minds.
I am actually trying to do some "real" writing here (whatever the hell that means), but I have been spending so much time in contemplation these days, that I only seem to be able to write about myself and the things that I am starting to realize about my own life. Sorry reader, if there are in fact any. It is not the most riveting of subjects. But for me, it is truly the difference between living a life that is my own, and a life that is governed by any external influence that can prove itself in my mind.
I am having moments of absolute serene contentment, followed by bouts of distress and anger about being trapped inside ideas that I don't even really understand, but that used to make sense of the world for me. When you lose that, you can have this giddy feeling of freedom, like mastering balance on the highwire, and then suddenly looking down and realizing your time of apprenticeship is over, and the net that you used to rely on to give you courage is no longer there. Now is the time when you have to trust your own body, your own mind.
The problem for me is that I always go back to the net. The safety. If I had the choice, I would never make the decision to say, O.K. now I am ready to try it on my own without the net. I never believe that my apprenticeship has been long enough. There is always more to learn, more books to be read. I still, at my age, look around me and wonder how other people can possibly look so confident about what they are doing. A wise man tells me that they are just as bewildered as I.
Shit, I was on a roll there and then somebody came to the door and started the dogs barking. My neighbours must love me. We have three dogs. One that never says a thing and two little ones that never shut up. My husband used to say that sometimes he wished that the dogs could talk, but he has since changed his mind on that one. I think the fact that they can't talk is one of the things we like about them. sometimes talk is indeed cheap, and actions do speak louder than words. God I love a cliche.
It really bothers me that I am attracted to people who are totally self-absorbed. At east I understand now that that attraction has been deeply ingrained, and that I grew up with the feeling of being almost invisible to those around me. I only began to take shape when I somehow veered into the private worlds of their self-absorption, or if they were accidentally pushed for some reason into a world that I was familiar with. This is what happened with Paul having a heart attack, suddenly my boring job in Cardiac care took on a new significance.
The reason why it still really bothers me about being attracted to those people who are self-absorbed in their own chaotic lives is because when I am around them I have such a familiar feeling. I feel like shit. Like nothing I do matters, and that I am boring and have nothing interesting or useful to say. I would be more adamant about it, but I don't have the energy today. I feel so bereft, like I am lost and I don't know where my anchor is. I literally forget who I am trying to make them notice me.
In that last entry I should have been talking in the past tense. Well, almost. I still find myself falling into that familiar place every now and then. It's funny how you can do that, and start feeling that feeling of deja-vu, but it still takes a little bit before you realize what is going on. You often don't immediately recognize the signs. I will talk to someone, and then afterwards feel terribly depressed, but can't figure out why. Then I start to put myself down, tear my life apart chapter by chapter until I am barely hanging on.
I can really sound like a depressing SOB sometimes. Well, I do suffer from depression, but I do not think it is my natural state of being. I think that the way your mind is can be changeable. That you can work on and train your mind to be able to have more control of your brain and your emotions. I used to think that you were at the mercy of your emotions, and what a roller coaster ride that was. I still am to a certain extent. At least I now I am aided by the light of awareness.
I don't know what to do about my siblings. I feel like I have given them so much in the past, but got very little in return. And I just don't think they appreciate me. I can't believe I just said that, but it's true. I am not really interested in people that are not interested in me anymore. I am finally realizing that the people that stand by my side when I need them are the ones that deserve my love and respect. Not that ones that are too busy to phone me back, or phone me at all.
I am so sick and tired of the crazy form of communication that exists in my family. No wonder none of us can sustain a healthy relationship. There is no belief in direct communication, everything is communicated through somebody else, so there is never any confrontation, but also never any normal, sane dialogue either. This most recent situation with what is going to happen to my mother is a good example. My oldest brother has been overseeing her care in a care home for the last 6 years, and now he and his wife are moving a fair distance away.
Even though my brother's plans to move have been in the works for awhile, he decided to hold off telling us about it until everything was in the works. But word got around through the most complicated of grapevines, and he wasn't too happy about that happening. Why? Well, I guess he wants to be in control at all times of what is happening, and the dissemination of information. So, then everybody is phoning everybody else trying to find out what is going on instead of phoning him. Then he says he will contact us all in "a few days"...
So he leaves us all hanging because he says that he will send out a mass email that will outline some of the options of what to do with Mom, and would appreciate feedback. So, lets us all stew for a few days about what he is planning. But we all just wait instead of saying let's just all talk about this. So then he sends out an email, individually, so we are all thinking "is he sending something different to each person"? Then says, he needs to have our comments on deciding Mom's fate in the next few days!
So I wait a few days, fretting about what to say. I am worried about every word I say and how it will be construed. I also know that he will in the end do what he thinks is best. So I send an email to him saying I can't make a decision like that in a few days. I send a copy to him, and then send a separate one to my sisters and brother. So I am behaving the same way as he is! Then just now as I am writing all this drivel, the phone rings-twice.
Surprise, surprise. One call is from my sister that I called twice in the last three months, and she can't manage to call back. The other is from my brother whom I haven't spoken with in seven years. Hmm...now it begins. The whispering, the triangulating discussions, the "he said, then she said, then they said" discussions that drive me crazy. I don't want to get into a bitching session about my brother. I just want an adult conversation. Not to mention how much it bothers me that, again, I only warrant a phone call when somebody has an agenda.
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