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On Grief and Bulls in China Shops

I’m reading Joan Didion’s ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’. I have always found comfort, and a home in books. Where some parents elect to use the television as a nanny; mine was reading books. I’m grateful for the understanding and wisdom I learned through the accumulation of stories from my fellow outcasts. This knowledge however, in time became a bridge between myself and my family. For at some point I journeyed too far beyond their comfort zones, their norms, and their unhealthy coping mechanisms.

The bridge will always be there for them, but I don’t think they’ll ever be in a position to cross the distance between us, so fixed they are in their fear. I still have love for them, but it is also mixed with sorrow; that their faith in themselves and others is so limited; they are in effect hiding from life and the kind of enrichment that can only be achieved through being vulnerable with others, and find that—flaws and all—you can still find unconditional love and acceptance, for none of us here are perfect.

The strange thing I’ve come learn about interpersonal boundaries is that they are isolating no matter what. For the person who is forced over time and error, to learn how to create healthy boundaries and then put them firmly in place, and equally the person who lives in a world without boundaries. For they embody the relationship version of a bull in a China Shop; they only know how to break things—despite the very thing they long for most being wholeness.

My father passed away several years ago, and more recently since the cutting of ties between my mother and myself, I have felt what Didion refers to as “the loneliness of the abandoned child of whatever age.”

A friend writes to Didion about the death of a parent after the passing of her mother “despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, (death) dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us and they may cut free memories and feelings that we had thought gone to ground long ago. We might, in that indeterminate period they call mourning, be in a submarine, silent on the ocean’s bed, aware of the depth charges, now near and now far, buffeting us with recollections.”

Reflecting further on loss, Didion writes that “Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.”

For myself, I mourn the loss of my mother while she is still alive, and in the worsening of my poor health, it has dislodged so much within that I feel numerous waves of grief. For the good that was in my mother, for all the times she abandoned me, and for all that might have been. I grieve the understanding that my own mother’s mother abandoned her numerous times too, and my mother—whether she tried to or not—failed to break this cycle that leaves nothing but destruction in it’s wake, as it creates multigenerational bulls in China Shops. Capable of breaking much, and healing nothing.

#ComplicatedGrief #Grief #GriefQuotes #StagesOfGrief #ChildhoodEmotionalAbuse #Childhoodtrauma #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder #Relationships #MightyBookClub

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The Long and Winding Road *TW*

As someone with a chronic illness, and after having sat vigil for several nights by my father’s bedside keeping him company so that he would not be alone when he died, these lyrics by Waylon Jennings has always carried some significance for me:

“If you see me getting smaller, I'm leaving, don't be grieving, just gotta get away from here. If you see me getting smaller, don't worry, I'm in no hurry, I've got the right to disappear.”

Today was both surreal and a challenge.

While catching up with a friend, in chatting about my illness and the lack of progress or any meaningful medical support, I casually mentioned that I have allocated in my mind a bit of a timer. In that if from some years from now if things do not improve and my quality of life decreases any further, I will consider my options and my own right to disappear.

She did not take this well and came at me from every angle to dissuade me from even considering this path. It was a difficult conversation to have but in some way I’m grateful for it, in that my conviction on the subject is undeterred. In Waylon’s words, I feel I have the right to disappear. And as Nina Simone famously sang “if I die and my soul be lost, Nobody’s fault but mine.”

I’m borrowing a lot of other people’s words today but in the words of Forrest Gump; “And that’s all I have to say about that.”

No sooner had I finished this phone call, I got a call from my doctor and found out from him that when the hospital reached out to him to ask for information about my medical history, they were trying to get him to agree that I suffered from a psychosomatic disorder. Never mind that I was in fact suffering from chronic hyperthyroidism, and the very first thing I found when I googled ‘inverted T-waves’ was that it is most often associated with thyroid conditions—instead of getting an endocrinologist to review my case, the first thing they reached for is that I must be crazy.

As much as I continue to fight for answers and advocate for myself, I do not have endless resources at my disposal. So while I continue to hope for and try my best, I do not think it is unreasonable to consider the worst case scenario given how many doctors I saw while in hospital, all of whom failed to consider or identify that my cardiac symptoms were thyroid related despite me suggesting this on numerous occasions.

This whole day has provoked some soul searching and I find these words from The Castaway by William Cowper echoing in my mind:

“No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone;
When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd, each alone”.

Of other people’s opinions on my health journey and to circle back to the Paul McCartney penned song from the title of this post—and a serendipitous nod to name of this group—I’ll end this post with these borrowed words that I think rather effectively summarise what it is to live with an invisible illness; “Many times I've been alone, And many times I've cried, Anyway, you'll never know, The many ways I've tried”.

#Grief #GriefQuotes #MightyPoets #MightyMusic #Thoughts #medicalgaslighting #Gaslighting #MyCondition #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ChronicFatigue #InvisibleIllness

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Conspiracies Of Silence

Putting this out there for whoever needs to hear it. I am on the journey to forgiving myself. It’s hard and it’s lonely, but the silence became so deafening that in the end I had to scream and name some of the elephants in the room. Sometimes it felt like there were so many, it was suffocating the life out of me. And I learned that distance does not alter this feeling. Only the truth could free me but in saying the words, I lit my life on fire.

Would I change it? Yes, if it would change them—but it won’t so here I am; choosing happy instead of normal 🤍

#ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #PTSD #GriefQuotes #Forgiveness #MightyBookClub #Loneliness #WritingThroughIt #selforphaned #Happiness #HappinessCanBeFoundEvenInTheDarkestOfTimesIfOnlyOneRemembersToTurnOnTheLight

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I found this quote to be helpful for me to understand why I would get angry

#GriefQuotes "Anger is Sadness Bodyguard"

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What quotes help you navigate grief?

Welcome to our new grief-focused group, Mighties. We wanted to create this community for people who are grieving and have experienced loss in any shape or form — loss of things, people, pets, events, places, or moments that are both tangible and intangible. Any stage of grief is welcome here.

To start the conversation, I’d love for you to share the quotes that have gotten you through a really challenging period of grief — it could be a quote about loss, a snippet that reminds you of the person you lost, or a funny joke that provided you a moment of emotional pause when you needed it most.

Here’s a quote from Anne Lamott that I’ve kept close:

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly - that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

Lots of love from me to you today. 💖

#ComplicatedGrief #Grief #GriefQuotes #CheckInWithMe #MentalHealth #Depression #SuicideLoss #ChronicPain #ChildLoss


Eco-grief #Grief #climate #earth

I am feeling a lot of grief about climate change and the effect it's having on so many ecosystems. I want to see a counselor but not sure they would understand. I truly believe we are seeing a global mass extinction and it makes me so sad at times-and fearful. It IS noticed by the scientific community and called "eco-grief".
Is anyone else dealing with this?

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I won’t be the same after this. I’m still in the denial stage of bereavement. This past three weeks have been emotionally exhausting. I can’t believe you’re gone. #GriefQuotes #quote #MentalHealth