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Grief's Touch

Posted on 2016.12.22 at 13:37
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Sometimes the human heart amazes me. It seems capable of so holding so much without breaking and even then, it finds ways to move forward.

Grief is no stranger to me. The problem comes when the nightmare you are living never ends. People don't know how to handle that or respond or offer support. So they blame you instead. They stop believing you, they stop trying to support, they stop reaching out with positivity; they give up on you.

And you are left more alone than before, having once felt their support, with the grief that will never leave. I'm not talking about depression; I'm talking about living nightmares. Tragedies that have no closure, that change your life forever, and no medicine or doctor can help you navigate unless you want to numb yourself from life and lose who you are in the haze of mood-stabalizers.

You learn to embrace the little things. You learn to be true to who you are. You learn to value authenticity and honesty over fake pleasantries. You learn to feel guilty for sharing your life. You learn to hate when you become overwhelmed and have to speak or vent. You learn to feel the pain of those who have turned their backs on you through the anger and hurt. You learn there is no such thing as closure, only the choice of standing still or moving forward. You learn sometimes it's okay to stand still--sometimes it's necessary if you want to move forward later. You learn that despite how amazing the human heart can be, many mistakenly believe that you are the exception and different, and push you away.

When I recede from society, it is not a depression. It is to heal myself because no one else can re-establish the balance within me but myself. And I don't wish to talk to those who really don't want to know. Please, though you mean well, if you aren't willing to be there for the long haul, just don't step into my path. You see, I am used to solitude and strife. In fact I don't know anything else. You being there confuses me...and about the time I start to feel safe enough to expose who I really am, you cast me away.

Living nightmares exist. It's not always violent crime, and it doesn't always exist for just the one it happens to. You have not walked in my shoes and you know so little of me, but you judge anyway. You say hurtful thoughtless things meant to help, not even realizing how wrong and misguided your words are. But I can't tell you...I smile and accept them, hide my tears and pain of what could have been. And you will never know because you will never ask why, although you might wonder.

What motivates you? Making this world a better place. What inspires you? Being needed, being believed in, and knowing I am making a difference. While I don't think my answers are exceptional or unusual, I wonder if they surprised you. I am not motivated by things, money, or recognition. Nor are my goals linked to material gain or power. In fact, I do not want power...and therein lies the difference between us. Stop treating me like you would treat yourself. If I didn't trust my intuition I wouldn't even be fighting with you believing you might actually care underneath all this.

Hidden illness, lurking beneath a mask of choices, takes its toll on a person. To not have that diagnosis to wave in front of someone, to explain, to give hope that it will get better. People don't know how to deal with that. Or with health that continues to deteriorate and the doctors can do nothing but wait until you show signs of what the disease is. An organic pathology that escapes modern diagnostic testing until the symptoms are obvious. It isn't a choice that led me here, nor is it one that keeps me here. But here is still where I am and where I will remain until my body gives more information. It isn't in my head, the oncologist was adamant that it wasn't just my normal--something was wrong and will come to light as the condition progressed. He is not the only doctor to say that.

My family, devastated by tragedy sparked by the spiteful and hateful in this country. The ignorant who are so quick to blame and get riled up that they don't even question if they are right or the logic of their words and laws. And when tragedy happens, it affects the lives of many not one. You don't understand until it happens to you, and it isn't something I would wish on anyone. The lost futures, joyous memories turn to shattered dreams, the pain of what could have been, the reality of what will never be...not everyone feels like celebrating holidays. Restrictions left and right, and people mean well when they make suggestions...they don't understand the limitations of your situation and you can't tell them. Either out of fear of more judgement, of not wanting to bring someone else down, or of simple protection from making a bad situation worse. After all, people leave and that hits a bit too close to home to share. The risk is too great so you smile and nod, swallowing the pain and frustration, and return to your solitude...letting them think what they will.

You see your life foiled by so many around you. You smile and delight in holding your friend's child, and feel the horrible loss more acutely of what has been taken from your life as you watch him run to his parents. Yet you are just happy that in a room full of people, he chose you to interact with other than his parents. He came to you, gave you his toys...and as you smile and feel that joy, you are hit with the pain of the son you wanted so badly but will never have.

You hear stories of grandparents and families, having just buried your own. Having just witnessed who people really are...how in a time of strife they bickered and argued rather than rallied together for support. You and your brother felt out of place for shedding tears while the rest acted like it was a party. To approach death so casually, is alien to me but this is also how they approached any challenge in life...and why they never really moved past them.

You hear people talk of their lives and find it difficult at times because of the pathological abuse you have suffered, seen, and bear as the first generation after. You hold the secrets in because no one can know, and watch as your loved ones are unable to break free from it and witness the destruction it can have on a person, all the while vowing to not continue in the same cycles of negative thinking of yourself that you now understand. You see loved ones on the edge of death, trying to offer support and kind words and love, even when it is not what they have offered you because you have stood on that edge and looked into the abyss.

Grief doesn't leave you; it becomes a part of you. It doesn't mean you don't move forward, grow, or that you hold on to the severity of the pain, but it does mean it leaves its mark on you. Someone showing or experiencing grief doesn't make them weak or depressed; it makes them human. It can become your strength or it can become your kryptonite. We can transform our grief into strength and compassion rather than let it harden us and break our spirit, but we have to embrace it first. Or perhaps it is that we must let it break us so we can be reborn from the ashes into who we were afraid to be.

I was once told my soul was like a light and that the darkness would be attracted to it...that person was right. At the time I was thinking in terms of people, but I see now what they meant. It is not our job to fight the darkness; it is our job to be the light.

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