Wednesday, 30 April 2014

I Cannot Tell You How I Feel.

There are not enough letters in the alphabet to form sentences and structures to adequately convey how I feel. I cannot tell you, I cannot make the words come. I'm struck down by the most disabling, paralysing whelm.

When my little brother started growing up, I'd watch him get frustrated and angry. I'd tell him that I know it wasn't fair and to take his anger out on me. I'd let him bash my two arms as I held them up in front of my face, laughing at first but man could he let fly. Because I never wanted him to hurt. I never asked for him to come into my life and I never asked him to leave. I never asked to love him so deeply. I never asked for all of this pain that has come after his death. If this is the price we pay for love then just don't love. There are very, very few people I love so unconditionally and purely as I loved him. The feelings I feel now are exquisite, and not exquisite in the beautiful diamond ring way. The other exquisite, the awful one.

The French probably have better words for it but I don't speak French. I just know my heart, and it is aloft, adrift, broken all up. Not even my Maxs tendrils can help. Not nothing. If something is not nothing, where did my Cameron go? He was just here, sitting on my blue couch outside in his crisp shirt drinking lime cordial. Talking to me, really talking about it all, you know? Do you know? Do you have people you say it all to?

A teenager died at our local lake last week. Awful. Tragic. He was fishing with his brother and somehow slipped into the lake and drowned. His poor, poor brother managed to grab him but he just couldn't hold on and I know exactly how he feels.

Couldn't hold on.

I googled "how to stop grieving" and nobody can tell me. These days I just turn my head to one side to let my tears run out, can't even be bothered wiping them. As natural as getting water out of my ears after a swim. I don't want to tell people how I am until after all the feelings have gone and I am whole again. But I've never been whole, my life feels like a parody, and maybe my tears are selfish anyway. Why do we cry when somebody we love dies? Is it for them, or for us? Do I weep for the person my brother might have been, or who he actually was? He's gone and I'm feeling all the pain for the both of us and that's not really very fair at all.

There's a huge chunk of my life where I used drugs and drinking to squash my feelings down real tight in the dark. I'm acutely aware that I've just stopped antidepressants and other medications - valid medications - and I'm now feeling all the feels, the biggest ones. I was expecting it. And while there's an element of concern around that, there's also a certain waking up and coming back to myself, whoever myself is. I told my counsellor that every single morning now when I wake up, I have entirely forgotten who I am. Then it slowly dawns on me that I'm a woman named Eden. Then I have to work out where exactly I am in my life, what's happened, what day it is, where I'm up to. Like some really strange Richter scale of reality.

I've travelled to villages in Africa so remote that they don't even have a name. Watched people who own no clocks work so hard to make a simple bowl of basic maize. I've seen entire generations of families in India carve their homes into the sides of huge rotting garbage piles. Resilience and strength and the will to keep going ... human beings have that in spades. Except when they don't.

So, this is how I feel.

The grief turned my eyes green. I'm sure they used to be blue, can't remember. I sleep with a t-shirt that he wore just before he died. The smell of him is still in the world. I cry for hours at a time. I feel I will never be ok again.

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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