Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Taking Stock

Before digging my fingers into the stringy pulp of my grief, I thought it might be a good idea to first poke around its splattered environs. It's messy in here, so bear with me.

I am also too fucking exhausted to edit. There's no throughline, no neat story. Just mess.


First, I just want to make it clear that I have no good reason, other than the words of my insistent and currently paranoid pessimism, to believe that Eric is back in the game.

This is the trouble with making your life public. My life involves other people's lives. I try to be kind, and I try to write so it's clear that I am only writing my own perspective on my own experience. But clarity is not always possible.

What I am not trying to do is judge Eric. Part of breaking up with someone is pulling all the thin wormy fibres of them that grew into you out of you. This process hurts like a motherfucker and that pain, a pain you can't locate to pour peroxide into, makes you crazy. Some people handle the crazy well, other people don't. I don't have the information to know if Eric is handling it well or not; to mitigate my own version of crazy, I need to reach the point where I understand that neither do I have the impetus.

My real aim with these posts about the breakup and my grief is to do the impossible, to nail feelings down by their toes, to keep them alive but captive for examination. I am trying to use myself as a case study.

What I am feeling is what everyone has felt.

I also think we, as a society, don't have enough examples of feelings. The feelings we generally get in movies, tv, music, ads - they're all so *clean*. People are happy. They are sad. They are angry. They are jealous. If it's a complicated whatever, you might get someone who is angry and jealous. And then it wraps up so quickly. It's rare to find honest emotions.

I am striving towards that. Occasionally, I succeed.

And even more occasionally, I write something that is both true and beautiful, and I would do almost anything for the feeling that gives me. That includes feeling this shitty.

I recognize that I'm a hypocrite in person. If you and I met on the street, I would probably not cry on you. It's quite likely that if you sympathetically said "How are you?" I would get falsely bright-eyed, shrinking and bruised inside, and say "Oh, good!", though I have not touched the hem of actually good for a few weeks. Comparatively good, yes, I'll give you that. But a far cry from actually good.

We have, so many of us, in ways big and small, been taken advantage of in our vulnerable moments.

It is why we don't talk about our feelings openly. It's why we're ashamed to cry on the bus, why I look around me on the street before I start quietly moaning, as a safety valve for the pressure of inside tears. It's why I worry that some of the people reading this will think I am being ridiculous, melodramatic, histrionic.

I worry that in a year, I will read this and feel the same.

But it's more than that, though, my worry. It has to do with that shrinking feeling. These breakup, and then grief, posts have been difficult to write. I finish them feeling raw, scared, worn out and satisfied. I am scared that once people know my mess they will think less of me. I think of some people reading them and feel that same shrinking, worried that in some grand teetertotter of power, I've suddenly dipped down for being weak.

For not handling my shit better.

Because my shit is not being well handled. I am falling apart.

Scratch that.

I am in the eye, between having fallen apart and being able to put it back together.* It is a little horrifying for me to have people know that, but also strangely important to have you along for the ride.

*It's coming, I know.


Psychic Librarian said...

On Friday, I was thinking that your writings give us permission to feel and to react to so much that many of us have been shamed into not feeling or talking about.
...thank you for sharing.

Andrea SK said...

I think you are amazing for being able to articulate these feelings of loss. Mine just come out in messy love songs, and they sound far 'nicer' than they feel.

You tell it like it is, and you tell it well.

Sarah L. said...

if no one shares the raw, scared and shitty mess than it will only ever be *clean*. sharing is honest and takes bravery. it's what we all wish we could do and need to do in the crappy times and you're doing it. keep sharing. keep breathing. you're a strong woman.

Ariel said...

I find your honesty and clarity really inspiring. It makes it okay for the rest of us to feel things. Thanks for that.

Aggie said...

Yes, I'm with PL on this. But I know that sharing this takes courage. And great generosity.

suge said...

you're awesome! you don't have to explain or justify anything. I'm extremely thankful for your writing, and any douche who may ever give you crap about it can suck it.

zoom said...

I think more of you for it Megan. And I've been impressed by the calibre of your writing throughout it too. You're always a top-notch writer, but raw emotion has kicked it up yet another notch.

zoom said...

P.S. I love your new profile photo.

Anonymous said...

I feel weird posting, 'cause I am generally ghost reader here. But I have to say that there is no way you will feel the same way in a year. Time changes everything, too bad there is no guarantee *how*. Shannon

Amanda said...

i agree with everyone. takes guts to share feelings and it is not easy to do it. there are many people going thru break-ups at any given moment. it's posts like these, people like you, that remind us we are not alone. thank you.

Amy said...

I think your comment about not having good examples of feelings in society is true, but I think in this case it is also the fact that suffering of any kind is seen as undesirable, so that when we do suffer we feel like failures. Maybe suffering is an inherited trait, like introversion, but the non-sufferers, like the extroverts, simply have the monopoly on society. You've definitely raised good questions, even in your sadness: What place does unhappiness have in overall happiness? Why can't we be sad in regular society and not seem like freaks? I think your sadness is beautiful. I don't think you need to feel sorry for it.

Rance said...

It's so admirable that you can let out feelings like that. I don't think I'd be able to. Even with people who are close to me, I tend to enclose whatever I'm feeling within myself, and I can't really be as open and honest as you are! Seriously, judging from the amount of comments you've gotten, it seems everyone agrees that it's awesome you're doing what you're doing.
It's funny. I'm working on a project in studio about architecture's possibility to push the ideas of proximity and closeness on people. Kind of letting go of the cultural conditioning of being so private, and studying the ideas you just explained about honesty and emotions. Well, and just pushing the boundaries of the definition of personal space. It's psychological, sociological..but I'm not entirely sure it can manifest itself to be architectural yet! We'll see how that goes!

Asteroidea Press said...

Thanks, everyone, for all the kind words. They've been really really nice to get and read. I'm lucky.

Rance: That sounds like a super-wicked project. Let me know how it goes!