Today I wrote a Facebook status about "common core" - how all people have the same core emotions of loneliness, fear, guilt, shame, self-centeredness, sadness, self-love, etc - but how we're taught to keep many of those emotions inside and to compare our "insides" (our core emotions) with other people's "outsides" (the masks others wear to hide their core emotions). Many of us are left feeling alone and different because we think other people don't carry emotional pain, like we do.
I personally don't do sadness very well. Or loneliness. I'm aware that part of my busyness and my pretty constant "doing" are ways that I try to escape loneliness and sadness. But I have to say that that's not just what my busyness is. I love to live life to the fullest, I bore easily, I'm a Gemini, I'm ADD-like (SQUIRREL!) -- so when I'm "doing", its not always because I feel lonely or sad on the inside.
But lately I have been fighting loneliness. I think part of it is due to not drinking. I could easily get a social group together around alcohol. And, if I couldn't, I could drink by myself and deaden the feelings. I think another part of my recent loneliness has been because the kids are gone. As they should be. If I had my sick druthers (and in my experience, my druthers are usually sick), my grown kids would need to be with me as much as I sometimes need to be with them. But, I'm an effing therapist! I know all about enmeshment. I know that it would be unhealthy (and sick) if Ty and Nina needed me as much as I sometimes want to be needed.
I'm also going through some weird thing about being 58 and partnerless. Now, that's weird because usually I'm not bothered by being partnerless. I like not having to answer to anyone. I feel like I have many, many friends to spend time with. I know from experience that you can HAVE a partner and feel unfathomable loneliness. But, right at this exact minute, I wish I had a partner. Not just anyone, but someone who was truly a chosen partner.
I found myself bawling this afternoon when Nina decided that it was too late to drive up to Los Alamos for Easter. In her strong, practical, realistic nature, she knew that it would just be driving up tonight and returning tomorrow, that we wouldn't have money to do anything fun, and that I would make her work packing boxes in a chaotic environment that her need for neatness and organization wouldn't be able to handle. I cherish her practicality. But, in my non-practical Jennyland zone, it's Easter and we all need to give each other chocolate bunnies, colored Easter eggs, and plastic grass. Now, of course I haven't actually bought any of that stuff this year because of saving money. But that didn't stop my internal little Jenny from bursting into tears with the thought of NO EASTER???? when Nina decided it was too late to come up. Unfortunately, when my internal little Jenny cries, it spills over and out of my eyes. I can't just keep it inside.
Thank goodness for texting because I can still text like a grown-up even when I'm crying like a baby.
So many emotions came up. I missed my momma. I thought about all my fun Easters as a child hunting Easter eggs, receiving blue baby chicks, smiling and playing in my playhouse. I missed my husband. I thought about Easters with Charlie - coloring eggs, hiding eggs for the kids, playing "hot/cold" while they hunted Easter eggs in the house.
Then I realized that I was looking at my past while wearing my rose-colored glasses. There were happy Easters but there were also drunk Easters and scary Easters and lonely Easters and boring Easters.
Like everyone else, the quilt of my life is made of light and dark squares. It wasn't all a bed of plastic grass and pastel Easter eggs until today.
So..... what I'm trying to say is that I need to pay attention to my own Facebook statuses. I fell into the trap of comparing my insides today (sadness that Ty has to work tomorrow and that Nina's not coming up) with your outsides and MY PERCEPTION of what your insides must be (you all are going to run into each other's arms in a field of daisies -in slow motion of course - while smiling benevolently at your family members and stuffing your mouths with chocolate morsels - the good kind).
In reality, for some of you this will be the perfect Easter.
For some of you, this weekend will be filled with pain and sorrow.
For some of you, you will remain in denial about the fact that there is a normal ebb and flow to life. To ALL our lives.
For me, I need to remember that all my feelings are OK. And that you feel the same feelings I do. Maybe not today, but in general.
I'm not alone.
I'm not different.
You're not alone.
You're not different.
And everything is OK.
NOTE TO MY FRIENDS: I'm fine. I don't need to be rescued. I KNOW you guys. What I need to do is let it be OK to be with myself and with my feelings.
And for my Facebook peeps, I STILL haven't packed anything today!