Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the conversations I don't have

The hardest thing about estrangement is the conversations I don't have. Well, to be clear, I mean the ones I don't have out loud. I have the conversations over and over again in my head. They take many forms. There are the conversations to clear up misunderstandings. There are the conversations that ask why. There are the conversations that share my side of the story. There are the conversations where I express my disappointment, or anger, or sadness. There are the conversations where I ask "Are we ok?" or "Are we going to be ok?" or "Do you talk about me and about this estrangment with others?" or "Did you get their side of the story?" or "Do you want to hear my side of the story?" or "Can you fix this?" or "Do you have an opinion?" or "Is there something you want to say to me about this?". Sometimes the noise in my head is deafening.

The silence is worse.

The most difficult thought, I suppose, is that the other person doesn't think about any of these things, doesn't care at all that I am not in their life.

This is harder than any break-up. It is harder because I imagine it is affecting my other relationships and I don't know how to reconcile myself to that. And maybe it isn't even true.

It is the unspoken silences between myself and others. The unspoken silences where I fill in the dialogue.

I think it is why I feel I have no voice these days. I do have a voice, but I am afraid to use it. I also am afraid to hear the answers to the questions I am afraid to ask. Not knowing isn't better, but it does give me a glimmer of hope. Once you know, you know.

I fret when texts aren't answered, phones don't ring, facebook replies are short, or non-existent. I just fret.

Well, that can't be good.

It is my own fault, really.

I seem to think I can pick when, or when not, to be brave. Usually when I just speak it works out. But, not always. Like now. Speaking out has cost me.

Not speaking out has cost me.

Like now.

I could be drinking coffee and watching the sunrise and planning my projects for the day.

Unfortunately, I am such a good multi-tasker that I can do all that and still fret.

I also have to learn that I don't have to make the first move. Relationships are a two way street. Silence exists on both sides.

I guess my really worry is that the silence means they aren't even considering all this stuff and I am just spinning my wheels.

"Tilting at windmills", my mother would say.

I never got that expression until lately.

I wonder if tilting at windmills is a temperment thing.

I wonder if I can stop? Tilting at windmills, I mean.

Grief is a funny thing. It takes time.

And, clearly, I am not patient.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is it!

Tomorrow is really the first day of my retirement. If I hadn't retired in June then I would be returning to teaching tomorrow. That is the day all my former colleagues have to be back on campus having meetings and preparing for the new year.

But not me. Not this August.

I am sitting in my camper, about to get ready for bed and spend some time under the covers with a book, or maybe a crossword, or maybe I will just drift off listening to the radio. So many choices.

I was looking through an agenda book from August 2010 and two years ago I was camping in PEI with my husband. Now in August 2012 my daughter is in PEI attending a conference, my son is farming in the Yukon, and my husband is across from me listening to a podcast or punk music or a youtube.

It is peaceful. We puttered around today. Did laundry, a bit of shopping, made supper, tidied up the camper...things like that. It wasn't much of anything. It was everything

We are lucky. I know this. Even though my feet hurt alot (plantar fasciitis), I know that I am lucky. I have a man who is rubbing my sore feet, and telling me he loves me.

We are lucky.

So, tomorrow it begins.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

No Voice

I think I have lost my voice. No, not in the physical sense. But metaphorically.
Perhaps it is the transition into retirement. I think for the past 13 years I have had a teacher voice. For the past 27 a mother's voice. For the past 35 a wife's voice. For the past 56 a sister's voice. Through it all, at times, a friend's voice.

But lately, I feel, well, silent.

It's not that I don't like to converse, or want to converse, but it is more like I have lost the desire to converse. I am quite cotent to listen, and respond, but I find myself not initiating conversation.

I realize I have been in social situations lately where this could be construed as rudeness, or indifference, or even snobbery. It isn't. I just don't want to talk. Especially not small talk.

I know, I know, small talk is kind of like dogs sniffing at each other when they meet. It is a way to sense friend or foe and to find common ground. I just find it difficult and wish we could just leap into the real stuff.

Except I don't know what the 'real' stuff is for me anymore.

And when I do start to have 'real' conversations I find myself tearing up.

Maybe that is why I don't have a voice right now. Because if I did it would be a sad one, and that isn't very social, is it?

I am not political. I am not an academic. I no longer seem to be an activist. I am a simple woman, trying to make her way and trying to do her best. But, I don't want to do it making small talk, and I don't seem to have the energy for the 'big' talks.

So until I can find my voice I think I just have to listen. Or be quiet.

Now, there's a thought.