He passed away mid December. Having already grieved some 30 years ago for the parents I never had, I felt only relief.
I didn’t have a funeral or memorial because I didn’t want to pretend to be comforted by all the stories of “what a good man he was.” After more than 50 years of “keeping up appearances,” I was afraid too many truths would leak out.
And much to my surprise they did. But they didn’t come from me. They came from neighbors, friends, aunts, and uncles who realized I was “not treated right.” Cleaning out his house was as cathartic as cleaning out the untruths of my mind as people stopped by, all of them sharing that “there wasn’t a certain wrong, but things were not right.” I have to admit the tiniest, evilest part of me reveled in the fact that people saw through his act. Sweet validation.
In one month, I emptied the house of possessions, selected very few mementos for myself, and sold the house. (The neighborhood enjoys the reputation of only 1 out of every 5 homes making it to a realtor. Tell a neighbor; sold!) I hugged my tree, said goodbye to my room, figure-eighted around the basement poles, and I was free.
And now, I am relearning that I am not on a strict time line, I don’t have to cringe when the phone rings, I can sit down and enjoy feline paralysis. I am making progress - I’m setting my own pace for the first time in my life. I merely wince when the phone rings. I’m weighted down by a kitty on low purr as I write this.
I am enjoying things. I have so much more energy. I *have* energy! I have ideas, goals, ambitions. Per my spouse, I even have “better posture.”
I know without therapy, without this board (where I often lurked more than participated), I would not have made it emotionally, mentally, or physically. So thank you all!
I’ve always been a voracious reader, ever willing to escape into a book, and though I may feel differently later, Anne Rice perfectly sums up how I feel:
“A great burden has been lifted from her, the burden of a chronically melancholy and unloving (man) who was at his best a wounded (elder) always in need of comfort and allowances... (S)he was happier now...filled with quiet courage for what lay ahead...”
from Ramses the Damned, The Passion of Cleopatra
I can feel the shine of silver lining. I am not yet there but I am taking my own time, enjoying myself, digging through the fluffy bits.