Krissie: Mea Culpa

All right, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. What the hell did I say yesterday? That one has a choice between mild depression and being happy?
Not so fucking fast, Krissie. What an arrogant thing to say. Sure, why don’t I tell Kieran that while she’s struggling to finish a book and then gets blindsided by a young, tragic death?
Why don’t I say that to someone who’s trapped in a lousy marriage and doesn’t know how to get out, caught in a dead end job with no sign of hope? Why don’t I say that to someone so anxious about money and a job that they’re paralyzed?
Yes, you have a choice. Sometimes. Sometimes you can fight off the blues, do what you can to break yourself out of it. Go out in the sunshine, do little rituals to release grief or sorrow or anxiety (the physical balloon thing, or you can do it mentally, putting whatever is making you feel awful in a little imagined box and sending it skyward to whatever higher power you believe in, you can take a trank to help with the anxiety (as long as you don’t do that too often) or you can go for a walk).
But the danger is in thinking that if you still feel bad, you’ve somehow failed.
My HP (that’s Higher Power, not Harry Potter, though you know, Harry Potter makes a fairly decent higher power) decided to slap me upside the head with the Salmon of Correction.
First, I tried to attack the overwhelming mess of the living room. Just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what it looks like:
So I started trying to go through stuff, empty stuff, then went in and did the dishes (Richie’s done them all for the last month or so), then Richie came in with the bills and the confusion with Chase over college loans still hasn’t been cleared up, and Richie said that was why our credit limits on our Chase cards had been dropped (which makes sense). And I immediately felt anxious and hopeless (there’s no place to put all this stuff, there’s no way to fix the money situation) and I snapped at Richie.
Then, feeling remorseful, I went out to apologize and talk to him about how bad I felt. (He’s always in the garage trying to organize for the yard sale). so we talked and I cried and then I started looking in some of the tubs I needed to go through and found a picture of my mother and a shawl she loved and I just fell apart. And the day didn’t improve.
I decided to go over to the lake and curl up on the porch and read the new Loretta Chase, and I think I’ll do that again today. I’m so weary of going through boxes and reading letters that hurt and not having places for things to go. And I don’t understand why I miss my mother when she was such a pain and why I get such weepy days.
But you know, for all this seize the day and be glad in it, sometimes it’s a waste of time to fight it. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to feel weepy, be gentle with yourself, curl up with Loretta Chase or Sherry Thomas (we’ll assume we’ve read all Crusie and Rich/March and Stuart isn’t usually cheering).
So, anyway, my apologies to anyone who felt guilty that they couldn’t seize the day. We can always try, but sometimes the universe has other ideas, and it decided to teach me a lesson yesterday.

27 thoughts on “Krissie: Mea Culpa

  1. Go easy on yourself, Krissie. We all understand that we can’t seize the day every day, otherwise we’d all be happy seizers and what kind of world would that be. : )

    Every time you have a good cry and think about your loss it brings you a little closer to acceptance. I think you’re on the right track in taking time today to remember some of the good things about your mother, and being gentle with yourself. Hug Richie and then go read that book.

  2. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Oh Krissie, I so understand your feelings of despair.

    Right now I am sitting here with tears running down my face because I am no longer sure that I can stay with this marriage. I think we need a time out and unfortuately he just this week finally sold his old apartment, meaning that I can get him to move out and back there. And there’s the kid, caught in the middle.

    I am so sad. Sorry, I think I just derailed the post. Didn’t mean to.

    This seems to be a bad week for bad times.

  3. Oh, GCB, I’m so sorry. I know what that feels like. I’m sending all the FGBVs I can. Big, big hugs.

    I’m feeling like an unwanted guest in my own house these days. I’ve been up in my daughter’s room since she left for college. Aparently I’m “in the way” when I write downstairs, and we all know my own room is otherwise occupied by ‘El Diablo.’ That’s what my boys call my MIL and god help me, it’s so hard not to laugh when they do it. Is this woman ever going to leave?

    Krissie, be gentle with yourself. You are still grieving, and will be for a long time, if my experience is any indication. Also, us human’s tend to make assumptions for ourselves without meaning to minimize other people’s experiences, and I don’t think anyone here thinks you are cold hearted, or short sighted about those of us here. You were just trying to define your own day, and defy the sad feelings. (IMO anyway.)

  4. Redwood Kim says:

    Ididn’t take it that way at all, Krissie. More of I shall gird my loins and go forth like a maid of St. Trinian’s. I think most of here understand how debiliating depression can be.
    And myabe you couldn’t choose happiness all day long, but you stayed in the moment, you did your best to deal with what was in front of you. Youmade positive choices.

  5. A Nonie Mouse says:

    GCB, so many many FGBV to you. (((((HUGS)))))

    I hurt with you — I’m wondering the same thing about my marriage, after discovering something that devastated (and continues to devastate) me last month. My heart physically hurts… and although I don’t know your circumstances, I wanted you to know you’re not alone.

  6. Chris S. says:

    Nothing to worry about on our front. We know that talking out loud isn’t giving orders. Girding your loins isn’t belittling anyone else’s pain. We’re just sorry it wasn’t enough.

    Sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes the sorrow is too big, and the pain too much. And that’s okay too. Being sad isn’t failure: it’s being human.

  7. Maria Powers says:

    I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but of course you miss your mother. It doesn’t matter what your relationship was or who she was, she was your mother. She was the place mark for all of your dreams of what could have, should have, would have been. You know that a great portion of her horrible actions was driven by her mental illness. No one is all bad or all good. Everyone is a mish mash of all of those traits. By the sound of it, your mom was a woman of extremes; not too much placid middle ground for her.

    Finally, she was the last member of your childhood family. The last person who knew all of the secrets, all of the good and the bad, the jokes and the things never to be spoken of again. No matter what there was another person alive when she was here to share that burden of memory keeper. Now that she’s gone, you are dealing with the feeling of being orphaned and alone. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t really alone. It only matters that it feels that way especially to the little girl inside of you who represents and is your childhood.

    Grief is a process. I think that in many ways the Jewish tradition of burying people in a week and then spending the next year grieving and then placing the headstone on the grave site a year later is a good one. It gives a period and an end to the grief process but allows the whole thing to play out. Somehow, as a culture, we became convinced that grief should be this short process. It isn’t. It is there forever and seasons the rest of our lives.

  8. Krissie – And maybe you just innocently said something that was true for yourself at the moment. We all do that. I think we all know it was never your intent to invalidate someone elses feelings.
    Sorry to GCB and Kate and everyone else going through a hard time.
    I’m off work so that’s a strong start on a good day right there.

  9. romney says:

    Oh I totally agree you have a choice – up to a point. Is there anything in life that doesn’t have that caveat?

  10. FGBVs to all the Betties – to all of us with big hurdles before us – marital, job-related, child-related.

    There are times when we do need that escape – we all have rhythms and cycles that are our own, and we can’t all don the armour, stand up and fight and get all Escamillo on the bull all the time. But you know, I suspect that all the Betties can take it calmly when they see the loin-girding post and know that you are processing.

    And what is so great and I suspect keeps so many of us coming back here is the knowledge that there is a place where we can come and vent/rest/confess/reveal what we sometimes have to suppress for our nearest and dearest. A place where we can all give each other the support and strength to say, well, that’s tough, but we get where you are and why you are saying the stuff you are saying. So take the salmon out of your face and work out a healthy way to cook it (chilli, ginger, garlic and soy sauce are my current low-fat method of choice). And never be afraid to say how you feel in your own safe place.

  11. misspiggy don'twannabe says:

    Unfortunately my living room looks like yours. I try to tell myself that I’m a grown up and should deal with things but life keeps getting in the way.
    Hang in there.

  12. GCB, I’ve been there and i know that awful ache. I’m so so sorry. Just know that you’re not alone, and that we’re all here to support you no matter what happens.

  13. Sometimes, I have to give myself permission to have DBF days. (Deep Blue Funk) It’s not depressions per se–just that I’m overwhelmed and beyond my limit. I think the challenge is to know when something is situational blues vs. depression.

    You made positive choices in the face of some seriously debilitating circumstances; be proud of yourself for having done that, and celebrate that you’re recognizing what you can fix, and what you can’t, and taking the time to take care of yourself. The Krissie of just a few months ago wouldn’t have taken the time to take care of herself, I think, and that’s significant progress.


  14. Thea says:

    Agree with Toni, huge progress. To mangle a metaphor, you are now as skinny in managing moods and their swings as you look thin in your photos.

  15. As everyone else as said, we all get it. We all know about intention and how our plans go awry and how sometimes we just can’t pull ourselves up by our bootstraps though we deserve oodles of credit for just making it through the day.

    I like to think the process of grief springs from underground wells, and something coming from that deep is much wiser than our conscious minds. We may think we know how we “should” do it, but something deeper knows better.

  16. A Nonie Mouse says:

    Just wanted to say that I didn’t feel guilted by yesterday’s post, Krissie. I do, however, get the guilt we put upon ourselves. No one blames us best than ourselves. (((hugs))) Treat yourself with love, Krissie. Like others have said, you’ve made such positive, courageous choices despite the cycles hurt (and all that badness) that life throws… and you keep doing that, even when it’s to spend some time to feel weepy (that can be positive, too!) … and I just wanted to add that I come here mostly because I’m encouraged by that. You’re an inspiration. Just by being you.

  17. Micki says:

    Some days just suck. I’m trying to figure out how to seize the day myself, and I wind up just seizing the internet. Some days suck for no reason, but it looks like you identified a bunch of your triggers. The only happy way of looking at this is that you have to deal with it all sometime, and you got some crying out of the way today so maybe tomorrow things will go a little easier.

    That’s happy? Oy . . . black perspective from my end today, but yes, it’s happy in a dark and shady kind of way.

    Hang in there, y’all, or let go and trust in the way of the world. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which strategy will bring a better result.

  18. Carol says:

    Thanks to Jenny for listing the McDaniel required reading.

    I’ve been missing my Mama too and have not tackled her things in storage, thankfully I did not have to store them at home. A deep sadness I cannot talk to her about little things only she would know about family history.

    It sounds trite but time does ease the ache.

  19. Kieran says:

    Hang in there, GCB. As long as children know they’re loved, they’ll be okay. You will, too, no matter what happens. Big hugs!!

  20. Kieran says:

    Krissie, can you hire a storage room for three months, borrow three pickup trucks, dump everything in storage and see if you miss it after the three months are gone?

    If you don’t, don’t go look at it but hire someone to sell it for you or give it to charity and take a tax deduction.

    That’s my preferred way of getting rid of things–Good Will–because 1) it will see use, and someone will get a little joy discovering it, and 2) you don’t have to deal with a garage sale.

    I’ve done it both ways, and the tax deduction method seems so much easier.

    I want for you a decluttered living room because it will lift your spirits.

  21. Kieran says:

    And about your mom, at our very essence we want to connect with the Great Mother, the Source, the beneficent presence that represents all comfort and peace. And that’s what your relationship to your mom represented. It’s an ache from our souls that no logic can make go away. So be kind to yourself about mourning the loss of your mom. It doesn’t matter that she was hard to deal with. Mothers and our relationships to them illuminate that compelling need in all of us to be nurtured and loved.

    The good news is, even though your mother is gone, you can still find the nurturing and the love that you crave in the people *you* love and in nature.

  22. Oh you guys… I’ve been there too and it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Hugs and love to you both. If you need to chat privately, I’m available any time.

  23. WEBS. I was devastated when my father died, even though he was a violently abusive alcoholic in the worst sense of all those words. Finally realized I was mourning not who he was, but the possibility of who he could have been, and who I needed him to be. I always had hope that if he just stayed sober long enough, he’d transform into a different person, into the father I needed. Never did, just as your mother never became the mother you needed. That’s definitely something to grieve for, so keep being gentle with yourself. And sorry to say, you’ll find things that trigger sobbing or rage at the oddest moments – that’s part of it too. Hugs and love to you babe.

  24. Diane (TT) says:

    OK, I’m shallow. All that heart-felt emotion and so many distressing things. My reaction:

    “There’s a new Loretta Chase? Cool!”.

    I’m sorry for your troubles, and glad you found a way to ameliorate them.

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