I’m still here.
This was my sixth actual work-from-home day and at moments it felt like ‘just another day’ at work. I had some specific tasks to achieve dealing with finance and grant accounting, and I had a surprising amount of email to answer. All of that felt like a normal day in my office.
I managed to take some time away from my desk to fix a healthy lunch, and I also re-activated my Outlook reminders. For years, I have had a reminder that pops up every hour saying, “Get up and walk away from your computer.” I re-activate that today and did just that – every hour I would stop what I was doing and walk away from my home office.
The weather was cold and damp, so I did not manage to get outside. Yesterday’s sunny weather was sadly an anomaly for this week, but at least I managed to get out yesterday. Thursdays are my regular day to see my therapist, and this was the second week that we have met virtually via FaceTime. The major topic of conversation today was the epiphany I had yesterday (related in my blog post “Sparkling Isolation – Day 8.”) What we finally came to was that all of the energy going on this world right now is catalyzing many emotions, one of which is a sense of grief.
For me, that grief has opened the door to a great deal of old, unresolved grief issues in my life. I don’t want to ‘beat a dead horse’ (as they say), but I seem to be in a space now where I need to revisit the horrible events of 2003. For those who did not know me then, or who haven’t heard the story, here it is in a nutshell.
March 2003 – I discovered that my husband of 7 years had been cheating on me for months.We owned a business together, a house, two cars, and shared a massive amount of financial debt. We were in the midst of planning a huge trade show for May, and despite the personal drama we had to go through with it. Not a happy time. He moved out of the house in April, actually, to be with his new 19-years-younger-than-him boyfriend.
June 2003 – I wanted to keep the business going despite his departure, but he basically said that since he was half of the business, I would have to pay him half of my income if I kept it open and kept the name. I won’t put in writing just how I felt about that ultimatum. So, we were forced to close the business abruptly. The last week of June, as we were liquidating things and selling furniture and taking things to storage, he announced that he and the new BF had a gig in Virginia. He just left me there, alone, to figure out how to schlep everything into storage on my own. Simultaneously, unbeknownst to me at the time, he was waging a massive campaign behind my back to convince everyone who knew us that I was entirely to blame and that I was a horrible human being and it was all my fault. You get the picture.
August 2003 – By now I had hired a lawyer. Same sex marriage wasn’t legal, so technically we were just two people who happened to own property together. I had to get all sorts of legal documents and create an dissolution agreement. Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. He comes to the house and takes most of his stuff away so that he and the new BF can move to the west coast and start their life together, leaving me with the house (and mortgage) and a mountain of debt – and no income except what I can piece together by revitalizing my theater career. I am now alone, basically unemployed, and wondering how I will manage to survive.
August 31, 2003 – My mother dies suddenly of an aneurism.
Now you can see why I call it my “Black Year” and why I have HUGE amounts of unresolved grief. So much piled on me at once that I essentially just shut down and shoved it all away into some kind of psychic “I’ll get to you later” file drawer. I guess it’s finally “later.”
But in the words of the immortal Stephen Sondheim, “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen ‘em all and my dear – I’m still here.”
So all of this bizarre dystopian energy that is swirling around me right now has brought all of this up to the surface for me. I am finally unlocking that file drawer and pulling out all of those 17-year-old experiences again. This hurts – a lot. But it’s also a necessary process for healing and growth.
So for today, my sparkling isolation has been a day of introspection and review – a few tears and a great deal of cursing out loud.
Healing is messy.