Monday, July 27, 2009

strike one

I dropped the kids off at my mom's on Saturday with the intent to have the house to myself, sort through some of Jeff's stuff, and move the bedrooms around (I'm tired of stepping on dinky cars when I step out of bed, finding boogies wiped above my headboard on the wall and having the kids and their friends use my bed as a tent/trampoline/table).
I drove away with a list of productive things that were going to be accomplished while they were away. I started the hour and a half drive home excited and nervous. As I drove, I grew progressively more....angry and sad. Bitter.
I was going home to an empty house. Quiet and desolate. I was going to be moving a king sized bed. Alone.
No matter how loud I turned the stereo, I knew it wouldn't drown out the palpable silence. No amount of hot water from the shower would soften the ache and need to be touched. No promise of organization and unclutteredness could outweigh the sadness I was feeling removing Jeff's 'stuff'.
I know all this thinking was not positive thinking. I realize that I was not giving myself 'happy thoughts' and that I was actually feeling quite sorry for myself....and angry.
This anger made me feel reckless and wild. I brainstormed things I could do to release some of this furious energy. Unfortunately, it's hard to find ways to be reckless while attempting to keep yourself alive. As a mother of two kids that needs to preserve her life in an effort to preserve some sort of life for them, I with my gas cap open? Walk with traffic rather than against? Paint the house puce (I don't actually know what colour that is. I think it's pink but it sounds more like something you'd vomit up.) Eat cold cuts past their due date?
Visions of racing a motor bike, picking fights with larger women, writing rude and descriptive words on the cop shop, flashing my baseballs-in-socks breasts at drivers while standing on a overpass, fire up the chainsaw without the proper safety gear, jumping from a ferry to see if I make it to the water and am able to swim flash through my head.
All these tantalizing ideas are dashed. Too risky. Too embarassing. Too cliche.
Instead, I went home. I stared at Jeff's dresser and told him he was an ass. That at this moment, I was again mad enough to spit nails at him. Why didn't he listen? Why didn't he go to the doctor? I know I come to this place often. I know I should redirect my thinking. But I can't. I need to feel this or the melancholy emptiness will break me.
I sat in the house for an eternity (which in real-time must have been about 1 hour) and screamed this song along with Martha Wainright. *lots of swearing in this one - don't listen to it if you are offended by swearing.*
Then, I got in my car and I drove away from my quiet and empty house. I drove until I got to the town where I feel safe, close to Jeff and comfortable. I found friends. I found peace. I found peace.
I'm home now. I can't wait for my little ones to come back. To wrap my arms around their warm little bodies and see their drawings of tigers and hear their stories of Daddy playing ball in the sky with Eli making the lightning and thunder come. To listen to their noises as they obliviously crash through the house. To be needed. To be wanted. To be loved.


AndreaRenee said...

I love you, Jackie. I love your honesty and descriptiveness... (is that a word?) I'm glad you drove and found peace rather than stayed in your empty house. XOXOXO

Michele Neff Hernandez said...

Good for you. Sometimes running in the opposite direction is actually a home run. You are one hell of a ballplayer ;)

Suddenwidow said...

Oh Jackie,
I sure wish I lived closer. I could use a road trip to peace (my first night home last night wasn't pretty). Just need to figure out where that destination is. I'm glad you've found yours.

You continue to inspire and entertain me on this journey we're on. Thank you and take good care of you and your little, sweet munchkins. Tell Briar his cars are one their way.


Poppy and Mei said...


Faith said...

That song gave me goosebumps...for some reason, hearing her sing it, I felt I finally understood a bit of your pain and I wanted to cry with the intensity of it. Thanks for sharing that, Jackie. You are an amazing person (whether you want to hear it or not damnit!)

Mr. Collins said...

I've found the best way to relieve that pent-up anger that has it's source way down deep inside you is to go buy some cheap dishes (mugs and plates mostly) and smash them against a wall or the ground.

The most cathartic experience I can remember was taking a big box of dishes I'd bought at a garage sale and throwing them off the roof of a parking garage in the middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would call it a strike, Jackie - from my perspective at three months since Elias passed, just getting to a point where you can consider going through Jeff's things - even if you just sit and stare at them - sounds like a huge accomplishment to me.

I'm so glad you found a place for peace. And it sounds like the storm hit the island as much as it hit the Coast - my oldest daughter and I decided that Daddy was bowling and taking pictures (with a flash of course) at the same time.

Crash Course Widow said...

I've been having a hard time with that Loneliness Monster/Too Empty House problem too, since SD. I sit at home without Anna (or the dog) here, and I feel alone. I leave a movie I saw by myself and feel alone. I walk up to my front door and feel alone. I sit here on my computer at 2:22 am to avoid going to bed alone and waking up alone.

Ian (Single Parent Dad) wisely says many times that a low often follows the highs for us. And I'd never really paid too much attention to it before, but I think he's really right. I know I sure tend to do that...and I know I'm doing it now, again, after such a great high in SD. I got the peace and fun and joy and revitalizing that came from being around people who got it, who were funny and fun and loud-mouthed and drunken and honest. So no wonder I'm in a bit of a funk upon getting home.

And no wonder you're having a hard time again now too, and especially with trying to tackle Jeff's stuff. Be gentle with yourself, and there's no rush; you'll tackle all that mountain of tasks when you're ready and able.

Miss you (and everyone else) like crazy! Hugs!

leigh in the sav said...

i am glad you can feel your feelings. that may sound weird, but they're there for a reason and you've got to let them run their course... and you picked up and moved away from it when you needed to. so glad that you did find the peace you needed at that time and am sure the children will bring you another kind of peace and comfort when they return!