Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Our Struggle"

“We’ve all had our struggles…”

And that’s when I stop listening. For her to throw the death of my husband, the life that I lead trying (and failing most of the time) to keep my head above water, for her to lump me in with someone’s divorce, or hospital stay or job loss (well….job loss maybe), for her to insinuate that being a young widow raising kids was “just” another life struggle….

Oooooo……I’m so mad I can’t even type!

And on top of that, she called me a single parent. I am an ONLY PARENT (thank you widow who posted that in comments a few months ago!) There is a big huge difference!

And this comment from a person who says that the loss of my husband still affects her!

Wait….I am so pissed! I want to growl!

“We have all had our struggles…” as if mine is like hers. How dare she trivialize my life, my daily fucking battle to keep a roof over my kid’s heads, to feed them, to care for their mental well-being.

How dare she compare her life with her married husband and say “We’ve all had our struggles…”

Does she mean that she gets up weary every fucking day? Does she mean that before her feet hit the ground she has considered where the holes are in her plan and the 3 people she needs to call, that morning to fill those holes?

Does she mean she dreads weekends because she just didn’t have the energy or time during the week to make plans for the kids so now they will be with her, which is exactly where she doesn’t want them to be, arguing, unless she finds the energy to argue them or de-whine them into a bike ride, a trip to a museum or the park? All the while really only wanting to take a good long nap, long enough to skip a damn day.!

Does she mean that she carefully plans her Sundays to make sure that the house is full of food, breakfast, lunches, snacks and dinner and just in case food items so that she doesn’t have to go to the store in the middle of the week because she knows it may mentally push her off the deep end to make “just” one more stop?

Does she mean she got to tell her kids today “we’re moving” and then find the ability, patience and kindness to comfort each one of them, separately, when all she wanted to do was go into her room and scream into her pillow?

By "our struggles," did she mean that she listened to her oldest say “The last 1/3 of my life has been….” and then watch his shoulder’s shake as he cries dealing with yet another loss. Or to have her youngest say “It seems like most of my life has been not very good.” And to realize, it’s true. His dad was diagnosed with cancer when he was 4. He’s 9 now.

Does she mean that she has days upon days upon days where she falls into bed, after trying to raise threes kids ON HER OWN and think, tonight would be a good night for a fucking earthquake because at least I could “rest?”

Does she mean wrapping her small frame around her much larger older child as he again sobs himself to sleep knowing the only thing she can do is listen to his pain, bless it and hope that it will not swallow him.

Is that what she means by “We all have had our struggles?”

Cause there is NO PAST TENSE in my struggle. No “had!” Not today. In fact, it feels harder today than it did in the beginning..

I could try to interpret what she meant by that comment, but well. I’m just too damn tired!

So I didn’t hang up on her, although I was tempted. There was no point in trying to make her see because she can’t, she won’t. She needs to believe that “We all have had our struggles…” It makes her feel better and who am I to take that away from her.

So I take my rage to the only place I can, a computer and then to other widows and some of you knowing that I am not alone. And in that one thought, as I thought it, then wrote it...the rage disappears.

Thank you for being a place where I find the healing too.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the best posts I've ever read about widowhood. You say it like it is and echo my feelings and experiences exactly. My old grief counselor/life transition coach first called me an only parent some years back and I have made a point of using that term in my own posts and to describe myself to others. When first meeting someone I say I am an only parent after having been widowed. I have seen this description out there more frequently, although a lot of widows still refer to themselves as single parents.

    I tend to argue my case when people throw out the "Everybody has problems" card. "Really? You're going to compare your kitchen remodeling delays with the death of my spouse and then the loss of my home. Really?"

    I've often wanted to forward your amazing posts to the silly, ignorant, not very nice people in my life. Just so I can say, "Look, I'm not the only one. It's not me that is crazy but this utterly crappy life situation I've had to deal with all on my own. There are other good widows out there in the same boat..."

    I won't waste any time on all the phony platitudes about strength and life getting easier and so on because I know they're not necessarily true. All I can say is that I hear you loud and clear and your words are making a difference/will end up making some kind of positive difference in the end. And sometimes I think that is the best we can hope for.