Putting Myself Back Together

Anne here,

It's been a while. I know no one reads these but I liked writing them at one point. I used to write these to express myself through a different medium of writing. Turns out, I like to trauma dump and this didn't help much because it just gave me a new way to do it. I've treated it like my own diary, something I haven't kept since I was twelve.

I want to say I'm doing fine. I feel like I'm doing fine because nothing of note - worth - has changed drastically enough to show me I'm not fine. It's only been the usually ups and downs, which causes me the usual amount of anxiety.

June is approaching faster than I realized. He died in February - my father - but we waited until June to bury his urn. I didn't grieve correctly. I can tell by the people around me that I didn't. It was almost two weeks into his death that I even told my boss anything about it. Funny enough, my coworker's step-father died and that's what prompted me to tell her. It wasn't appropriate but I couldn't stop myself from saying "oh samesies" when she mentioned my co-worker's family death. I didn't want to bother her with it.

Had it gone past the long weekend when it happened, I would have called her and asked for a day to drive back home. Still, that doesn't seem like it would have been enough to color me in the shade of grief. Maybe it's because she was close to her father and she can't fathom someone not falling to their knees with sorrow the moment something like this happens.

I can't say I'm over it, I wouldn't still be talking about it if I was. I'm not sure if I will be over it because I won't let myself grieve. I ended up exploding when we came back from our Ireland trip. It was over something stupid, something that was better talked about instead of screamed about. I locked myself in the bathroom because I didn't want to stop screaming but I knew I couldn't keep screaming at Rick.

I locked myself away, screaming through the door, breaking down, and crying about a stupid argument. It wasn't really about that because all I could think about is how my dad died alone. How he died thinking we didn't love him. How he must have been swimming in the booze, numbing his pain, waiting for death to take him. It all crashed into me. All the held tears and the air I had been keeping in my lungs, saving it for when it really mattered. It all shattered, but it didn't feel like enough.

During all of that writing helped me compartmentalize and keep to my daily routine without disrupting everything around me. Now, I can't even think about writing anything for the funeral. I stare at a blank document, unable to even think of a moment to talk about.

I knew him. I loved him. I can't think of a moment we shared together that fills me with enough happiness to write it down and share it. The more I think on what to write, the more I realize I didn't know him at all. I had a few weekends out of the month with him when he wasn't working (long haul trucker) and maybe a couple holidays if we were lucky. It wasn't until I was seventeen, about to move out, that he was home for a month straight and I realized that had been the longest I'd ever seen him.

He wasn't happy then, I'm not sure he ever was, but I can't say that for sure. He stopped hiding his drinking. I stayed away from home as much as I could until my sister gave me an out. She and her wife (girl friend at the time) wanted me to live with them in the duplex they found. They just moved away from college and back near us. I was seventeen and legally they couldn't stop me from leaving.

The day I packed everything up, he called me to the couch. My sisters were already in the truck waiting for me, I had my last suitcase by me when he asked me to sit down. It was silent between us, I could see tears on his face, reality had set in for him. My mom was sitting at the dining table near the entrance to the small apartment we were forced to move into when the bank nearly took the house.

After a long silence between us he finally asked "what can we do different so you will stay?" I kept the silence between us before eventually standing up and telling him that there was nothing they could do.

I can't help but blame myself a little for his downward spiral. I know I didn't make him drink and that he was an alcoholic way before that day but I never helped it. I never helped him.

It wasn't our last conversation. We spoke sparingly, before everything went to hell. I never felt like I could go home and that made things so much worse. He came to my wedding, but I wouldn't let him walk me down the aisle. Years passed and we spoke over email on occasion. Then it happened. I hadn't spoken or emailed him in over two years nearly.

All of this is a grief I will never work through because I don't know how. I was raised to deal with emotions by myself. I was told to hold it in, to take it somewhere else. My grief has no where to go and I can't even put it in a letter worth sharing at a funeral for him.

I know this is a weepy and sad blog post but if I don't get through it then I'll stop writing and I can't stand to not write. Even when the imposter syndrome starts and the tiniest piece of my confidence fall away, I need to still write. Even if I never publish a single book after my last ones, I still want to write, so I need to get through this.

My dad liked my books. Even if he didn't read them, he wanted to support me. I'm not sure how far that support went since I wrote about things that weren't Christian or along the path I was raised in. Maybe he didn't care.

I think he wanted to be a good dad, and he was, for moments he wasn't being dragged down by our mother. When he wasn't self medicating and trapped in his own grief. Like I said before, I hope he found the peace he never had in life.

After this I'll go back to my regularly scheduled posts about writing and how my mundane words fit into it. Maybe we'll talk about this story I've been writing, nearly 16k words into it and I haven't posted a thing on it yet. The chapters come easy but I hope I don't mess the story up by not going deep enough.

Until next time.

- Anne

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