Who the hell am I supposed to BE now?   Leave a comment

During the first few months after becoming widowed, I was a shell.  I couldn’t knit, read, focus on TV or a movie, even checking emails, or taking phone calls was excruciating.  I think I didn’t want to be reminded that I was alive at all.  During this time I saw a psychic because there was no resolution with the accident reconstruction, and I needed to be sure that it was an accident.  I was so afraid that my illnesses, and his recovery from an accident in 2004 that killed 4 people, and almost ruined his life with survivor’s guilt were enough to make him want out.  Losing his job the Friday before the wreck was devastating for him, and he had been drinking – going to the bar after work – since we moved to Oregon in 2006.  I didn’t want to think it, but I pondered whether he just decided to end it all.

I didn’t tell her anything, at all.  When I sat down, she said, “You lost your husband, and he’s here.  He’s Earthbound, and he refuses to move on until he knows you are safe.”  Whoa.  I was paying attention.  I asked outright, “Did he take his own life?”  She responded with “He says ‘no’, but it was about choices”.  I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but over the years I have pieced together lots of information, some factual – some spiritual – some subjective.  He chose not to pick me up that day for the ride because in the dream he had, it was me who died – I went over the top of him when he hit that wire and landed in the middle of the highway with a broken neck.  He chose not to remain in his body and try to recover.  He chose to die on his dream bike – a Custom American Ironhorse Classic.  He chose to take that ride, to exactly the spot he knew he would wreck if the dream came to reality.  He did choose.  I don’t blame him really.. though I’m still mad as hell that he left me here.

In June, one of my friends was going to the coast with a friend of hers from out-of-state.  “A girls getaway” she called it.  They were renting a cabin overlooking the beach at Whaleshead – really nice, with a jacuzzi on the deck, kitchen, bedroom, living room, and loft.  She invited me and my youngest daughter to go.  She begged me to do something, anything to just get out of the house – she was very concerned about me moving along in my grief – and didn’t want me to isolate.  I didn’t want to.  I fought it – hard.  It had only been a couple of months, and it was going to be a “party” kind of thing, going out to the bar (ugh) and drinking – what would normally be “fun” once in a while.  I did not want to go to a bar, nor did I want to have any fun, and I’ve never been a fan of the alcohol buzz anyway, much less the ensuing hangover, or vomiting.  I was convinced by my best friend (and youngest daughter) that it would be good for me.  “You don’t even have to GO out, if you don’t want to.  It’s a cabin mom, across from the ocean.  If you aren’t ready to go to a bar, don’t.  You can stay in the cabin when we go and do just what you are doing here – absolutely nothing – but the view will be awesome” she goaded.  I went.  I went to the bar.  I drank Patron.  I got drunk, got sick all night, got that hangover I was anticipating, and had to drive an hour home with it.  It was not fun – well, hanging out with all the girls was fun.  Bar – not fun.  But it got me out, and it was good.  It was a start anyway.

Incidentally, I had a 2 week argument with my late husband from the grave before this… about my wedding ring.  I was still wearing it, and had no intentions of taking it off.  His statement to me was this, “What kind of guy are you going to meet wearing a wedding ring?  Some cheating, creepy piece of shit?  What if you do meet someone and he sees your ring, and you miss a chance to get to know someone awesome?”  Well, I was not into meeting anyone, piece of shit, or Prince Charming… but he was right.  I took it off.  I had wondered when the time would be for that anyway – six months, a year?  I guess the whole thing just happens when it happens.

I started going to the local bars (2 of them) with my daughter for Karaoke a couple of times a month, eventually a couple of times a week.  I didn’t have anything else to do, and singing is my outlet for emotion.  I was very emotional – on the inside.  I started incessantly doing.  I woke up with a plan, and laid my head on the pillow each night (or sometimes morning) exhausted.  I was doing any possible thing to stop myself from thinking about my situation.  I was using diversionary behavior to blot out my reality.  I was in Lollipop Land, and not all of the flavors were palatable.   Some of those suckers were nasty.  One night in the bar, the cutest guy started hitting on me.  I was not used to this… as a matter of fact, I was so in love with my husband, that if people had been hitting on me previous to this night – I was oblivious.  The guy was young, but I figured at least 21 (we WERE in a bar, right?) and he wanted me.  I needed release, and I took him home, we did not sleep in my bed (oh no way).  The sex was sex.  That’s it.  The guy was nice enough, but like me at 47 gonna be with a 20-year-old?  My baby boy turned 18 the next day.

Yes, I forgot, when I was bringing some KID home, that my son was turning into an adult the next day.  I was not in my right mind… and this shit continued for months.  I dated a 26-year-old loser after that, and then a guy my age that was so needy I convinced myself to get the fuck out.  Quick.

I realized this on my trip to see my birthmom and brother in Reno.  I had never been on a car trip alone before.  I had never met any other birth family members other than my mother and brother, and it was my Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party that weekend in Sacramento.  My birth mom really wanted me there.  She wanted to present me to the family.  She had given me up for adoption when she was just 15, and I finally met her in 2005.  Once.  I didn’t realize it until I was driving home… but this trip was something really cathartic for me.  I felt like part of the hole in my spirit was filling up.  I had faces, names, and numbers of all kinds of people with my DNA running through their bodies!!  I was especially tickled with the fact that all us LaPlant’s have the same laugh!  These people looked like me, and even had similar mannerisms.  I was astonished.  I was happy I went, and it was good for me.

I didn’t want to ever date again, and I’m not good at it.  I’m terminally monogamous.  But, I was distracting myself from reality, big time!  I was partying and running all over the place, traveling at a whim, going to concerts, just whatever I felt like doing to keep me from doing what I should have been doing, which was finding out who I was.  It would take years for me to do that.. and I wanted not to feel!  I medicated myself with food, men, and dabbled in a little coke even, every once in a while that first few months.  I just didn’t want to face my reality on any level.

I came very close to breathing water in the jacuzzi the morning after Russ died, and he said “Not if you ever want to see ME again, you won’t”.  I guess that was pretty clear, and the thought left relatively quickly.  Thank goodness.  I had no idea how to be me.  I was married the first time at 17.  I was a mother at 18.  I was a daughter, an aunt, a neighbor and a friend.  I was a part of another human being – till death do us part – and I didn’t want to be apart, nor did I know how to just be a part – without the whole.

I have to do everything the hard way.  I have to learn by fucking up.  It’s always been this way… all my life.  I met with many opportunities to find myself sooner than I did.. but that would have meant succumbing to this new reality I did not want to live in, and admitting that I didn’t know how to do it alone.  I should have gotten counseling, went to support groups – anything but what I was doing.  I didn’t.  You will see what that cost me as I continue this saga in my next post.



Posted June 24, 2011 by Connected Threads in Personal Issues

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