Saturday, July 16, 2011

What's a Month and Three-Quarters Between Friends?

For all of my desire and desire to write, which is a form of communication, I am actually very bad at it when it comes to the essence of myself. I recently had a "Come to Jesus" conversation, one I'd avoided for five months because 1.) there were things on the horizon that needed to come to fruition before we spoke and 2.) I was anxious about it. And there is no better procrastinator than a writer for a lot of things. Let's recap--I don't have a major book deal; I haven't released a new book in almost a year; I haven't finished a project in half a year; I'm working a job that isn't the glitzy and glamorous one folks would expect for a Harvard graduate. But I talked him down from the ledge, basically letting him know that I had options on how to get where I need and want to be. He felt better afterwards, and I can admit I did as well. Apparently, I needed to talk it out and not just let it swarm in my mind until it becomes a convoluted mess.

As for the hiatus from this blog, that wasn't even remotely intentional...I'd had two very bad conversations with my uncle and with my father within days of my birthday. I was hot. I was pissed. And that funky mood had lasted weeks, exacerbated by ToM showing up quite uninvited at my door and sending my mood beyond the depths of hell. I did what I normally did when I was bothered and upset--kept it inside. Went silent. Packed it away and kept it moving. When Father's Day rolled around, my father told my sister he wasn't expecting a phone call from me because I was mad at him when we spoke last.

Really?

To complicate matters, sometime before, I had two of my closest friends over for a day at the beach...which ended up being a day at my apartment complex because it was too damn hot and gas was too damn high to drive to damn far to the too damn crowded beach. We started talking about relationships and sex, which drifted to me talking about my inexperience with both and referencing a previous post about me mentioning my molestation. This was the first time one of my friends had heard this story because she hadn't read that blog, and she became incredibly upset. I'd refused to say who it'd been because I'm not trying to see any one of them on the evening news, but they'd reiterated something my friend BJ had been telling me for a while now--I don't let myself feel things. The hard things. The passionate things. And if I can't feel those things, I won't be able to experience the very things I want to experience--relationships, love, loving.

Maybe I needed these almost two months to process all of that, because I know I still hold back a lot of the times in my writing. The more I write, the more I'm getting better at letting go and letting flow, but I still have tremendous work to do. Strong emotions overwhelm and many times frighten me, because when I give into them, I say things I can't take back...and probably things I wouldn't want to take back, if I'm honest with myself. I'd be laid bare and then what? This trepidation applies for good and bad feelings too.

I've blown up two notable times, and it was really bad, to the point it's legend in the family. Because I am a writer, and I know how to string thoughts together, I could be very adroit in how to make it so words not only hurt, but pulverize, or make it so they're soaked with sap, because that's the depth of emotion I feel. But in my family, we're generally not allowed to feel that deeply--good or bad--or at the very least acknowledge that we do. So I retreat inward so I can pack it down enough in order to operate "business as usual". The things that truly, deep-down hurt me, I discuss as if I am a reporter with cool detachment so I don't focus on the nitty-gritty feelings. It's disingenuous. It shortchanges me as a full person with full feelings, and I need to work on that.

Yeah, it almost took me two months to admit that...this was supposed to be a short blog update too.

Slight confession regarding those two bad conversations after my birthday--I'd felt so invigorated when I expressed my irritation with my father and didn't let my uncle make his irritation my irritation. I'd stood by both of my feelings and was proud of myself for doing so.

2 comments:

Alice Sturdivant said...

welcome back. Good to read you again!

BJ Thornton said...

"Strong emotions overwhelm and many times frighten me, because when I give into them, I say things I can't take back...and probably things I wouldn't want to take back, if I'm honest with myself. I'd be laid bare and then what? This trepidation applies for good and bad feelings too."

For my own reasons with my growing up, I self-repressed a lot too. Sometimes it's a thing that you do to keep going, when you know that what you have to deal with inside will bring down the whole world if you let it out. Sometimes that needs to happen.

In a balanced personality, you will put feelings and responses on the people and things that have earned them, instead of having this delay between What Happens and What Sav Should Do About it. I think these recent events show that you're learning to do that. You have to because that stuff has to go somewhere, and if you don't put it where it belongs, you'll hold it in and poison yourself with it.

Very happy you've had this epiphany. Keep rockin' it.