Emotional screens

It’s been a bit of a crazy month as I cope with a gazillion emotions swarming around my heart and soul. Then tonight, I sat down with my markers and sketch pad to doodle and – without planning – I came up with what reminds me of one of those beaded screen thingys from the 1970s.

And that prompted me to think about all of those emotions that I keep partially hidden behind my own screen. And that prompted me to write a poem. But the poem was so bad that I can’t even share it here. So instead, I’ll give you the gist of it all.

Since Paul died, many people in my life have given their opinions on my grieving process. Some have had the courage to give their opinions directly to me, others have passed them on through the local gossip mills or other sources, and others have had conversations about me without realising (or caring?) that I was in earshot.

If I’m happy, I must not have loved him. If I’m sad, I must be suffering from depression. If I laugh, I must not have cared. If I cry, I’m grieving too hard.

But the truth is that I’m often happy, and I love him still. I’m often sad, and I don’t need pills to fix it. When I laugh, it’s because I’m trying to live my life. When I cry, it’s because I’m living my life without him.

Anyhow, I’ve realised for a while now that I’m hiding my emotions. I’m outwardly displaying a neutral expression even if I’m laughing or crying inside. Only it’s no longer intentional, it’s just become the way of my world.

I started to realise that I was extremely apathetic at work and thought it had something to do with keeping my big life plans to myself at the office for so long – which prompted me to let work know I was leaving considerably sooner than planned. (And, oh, did that lift a lot of stress in my world!)

But I’ve also realised that I’ve been keeping emotions from others in my life, too – emotions of anger and resentment as well as joy and affection. (Sadly, all of those emotions at once for at least one person in my life!)

I know that many of these emotional barriers will fade away when I’m at a place of peace within my life. And whilst I hope know that I will be at peace in my soul when I return to Scotland in August, I’m hoping that the process of finding some calm will start sooner than that.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to allow myself to honestly feel however I feel. And I’m going to try not to care if my laughter or tears seem wrong to someone else.

So, how do I feel today? If I’m honest, I’m feeling anxious and nervous and jealous and hurt over a few maybe big, maybe little things. I’m sure those emotions will carry on for a while, but I’m going to make room for some happiness and laughter, too. And I’m not going to be ashamed to show it!!

And with that, I’m going to bed. Yes, I know it’s barely 9:30 on a Friday night, but it’s been an emotionally exhausting week and I need to recharge so that I can find my happy juice tomorrow!

2 Replies to “Emotional screens”

  1. I’ve learned that through my own grief when my dad passed away that no one truly knows what you are going through unless they actually go through it. What you are feeling is real and you have to stay true to yourself.
    Unfortunately, my father was depressed and committed suicide. Believe me, some of the things that people said to me to ‘comfort’ me made me sick to my stomach. My mother did everything she could (and is still doing so) to save her own life, like you are. If it feels right to you, then it IS right.
    I pray that one day you find true happiness again, but I’m not going to say something trite because it isn’t right and I haven’t walked in your shoes.
    God bless you!

    1. Thanks, Dawn. I cannot imagine the pain you and your mom must have suffered over the loss of your dad. As for people trying to ‘comfort’ others, I try to remember that people mean well but some people just need filters on their words.
      I am working on finding happiness through my plans to return to Scotland in just over five months (wow! so soon!). I know that returning without Paul will bring a new level of sadness, but I also know that is where I need to be right now.
      Hope you had a nice visit with your son!!

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