Friday, May 26, 2006

about my last post...

Writing is a powerful thing. Yesterday, when I sat down to do Sunday Scribblings, I intended to write about my old dogs Japhy and Abe--simple, pure, deep, uncomplicated, unconditional love. And then I don't know what happened except that I ended up opening a huge can of worms into the quagmire of my subconscious...and now that I read it over I realize that I didn't even touch the surface. Lisa wrote that sometimes the past needs to stay in the past--and she's right. But J.'s suicide is a big deal...and in many ways I still haven't made sense of it--I haven't really dealt with it. He was once my boyfriend, but more importantly, he was a good friend. Now he is gone. I'm not sure I've allowed myself the emotional space to grieve the loss of him as a friend because having once been in a serious relationship with him complicated the subject for me.

Last night I dreamed that I was hiding behind a different identity--I was an outlaw of some sort--and for some reason, people thought I was more daring than I really was and nominated me for a race. The race involved speeding down huge hills in motorized wheelchairs (don't laugh!) way, way, way down into a valley, hill after hill after hill. Death was quite likely. The rest of the dream consisted of me trying to evade the race.

But if I were to interpret that dream I would say that what it's really about is that I am trying to evade a very real and very scary subject: J's death. (And if you're wondering about the wheelchair, J. and I found an old wheelchair in a dumpster once and spent the winter riding it down the hill in a nearby park. We also took the trucks off of an old skateboard and rode that down too. It was a fun, and rather dangerous, winter.) I realize today just how little I said. After I read Lisa's and Deirdre's posts I realize that I wrote only a little part of the story. I got started...and then I got scared.

I also realized that I have more to say. And I remember now just how healing writing can be. There is a lot I don't understand about J's suicide. None of us know exactly why he did it. And the truth is that there is nothing that can undo what happened. But it's not about losing an old lover--it's about losing a friend.

The truth is that I love my husband and that my world changed when we got together. Maybe I've felt that in dealing with J.'s death I'm in some way being untrue to my marriage. But I think, more than that, it was a clever way of avoiding a painful subject.

Last night I was reminded of what writing is capable of. Maybe my blog isn't the best place to untangle the webs of my mind. I see so many people suffer because they are afraid to deal with things that hurt. Writing is capable of drudging up the most ancient, ugly crud...but it also has the ability to heal and make sense of things. That's what I love about writing. Even if it ends up surprising me when I least expect it.

Of my last post gkgrrl said:
i think it would be interesting to read other peoples versions of this prompt because i suspect many of us will echo a similar story to some degree, to some depth, where at different points in each person's story, another person will be able to say, "there. that is the thread in your story, that also runs through my story."

I think she's right. Maybe that is why we write....and in the end, we find that we are not alone.


paris parfait said...

Writing is a powerful thing, as you said, Jessie. And you've touched a lot of people's hearts with your introspective posts here.

Kristine said...

I agree with you when you say writing is a powerful thing. And isn't it amazing the way dreams can shine a spotlight on what is really twirling around in your head?

Elizabeth said...

Your post made me cry.

My second true love became my first live-in boyfriend. His hobbies changed after we moved in together - he went from playng guitar to knocking me around the house for kicks.

I left one day. Changed my name, got an unlisted number and never looked back. Not even to deal with the hurt and pain and scars he left deep in my soul. Then one day, nearly 25 years later, it bubbled up like Mt. Vesuvius.

I tell you this because I want to share with you something I learned: that kind of pain never goes away until you deal with it. Whether its cause is an abusive boyfriend or a traumatic life experience like the one you described.

Writing saved me. I encourage you in your journey to let it save you. May you find the courage to heal.

Endment said...

Keep on writing... You have a great talent for sharing your story and your emotions -
Writing is so healing - write on.

Kara said...

I think what you have written is brave regardless of whether you post it or not on your blog. Some things are hard to face. Keep writing and staying and you will find healing. I am glad you posted this work because I think it helps us all who read it be a little more brave. Take care and thanks.

erin said...

oh, jessie. i wish i was still up there, so i could give you the big hug you deserve for a million different reasons. i feel far away. girl, you are amazing. not only because you are willing to open yourself up in your writing to a degree that i am not capable of (and dig into that can of worms), something that i respect immensely, but for your self-awareness, your perspective, your ability to see yourself, unflinchingly, not for what everyone else thinks you are, but for what you think you are. since i've met you i've admired your strength of character, and the way you seem to know yourself - things that i lack, but strive towards. i don't mind saying you're a bit of a role model. and now that you've dug in, asked the hard questions, the answers will begin to come, whether you consciously realize it or not. let yourself work on it for a while, and give yourself respect for opening that can!

HoBess said...

I have this picture of you on that fluffy futon in that lovely green room filling pages and pages until at last nothing else comes and you can breathe in a good cup of coffee and stare at the sky. My thoughts are with you as you set out to untangle this discovery.

JourneyThroughLIfe said...

Writing is an amazing tool and whether you post on your blog or not, you obviously need to explore this issue. You are definately not being untrue to your marriage. This issue is a part of you and I am sure that your husband would want you to heal in this area. Just as you would want the same for him. Is this something you feel you can share with him?

It can be a bit scary to post this kind of thing on a blog and there are times when I think of deleting something that I have written. Yet, I think that posting here is a way of really facing yourself and having to truly acknowledge what is going on inside of you.

You will also have a sympathetic and compassionate audience in the people that read your blog. And it can also be good to receive the support and advice that comes from the comments.

Hugs and healing to you,

GoGo said...

Damn right! Thanks for continueing your thoughts on the subject. Its true, there is a common thread between stories sometimes. Glad your at a place to heal.

Marilyn said...

I'm glad you continued your story in this post. And I agree with the others--keep writing about it...whether on or off your blog. I also understand the feeling behind repressing undealt-with emotions so as not to appear loyal to one's current mate...but it's true, sometimes we use that as an excuse to not deal with something painful. Beautiful, honest, painful posts...and I'm so glad I read them.

Colorsonmymind said...

I am so tired, physically and emotionally, that I almost don't want to leave a comment, but I feel like I have to.

You are dealing with his death, perfectly for you. When my mother died 4 years ago, some people were afraid I wasn't dealing with it, while my stepdad, kept telling me that I was dealing with it perfectly for me. I needed to hear that, because it was true. I needed him to tell it to me over and over.

Secondly- about 3 months after my mothers death, I got very tired and sad, and it felt really scary. Someone at hospice told me this was normal and ok. That we can only handle so much grief at a time-that we sort of shut down when it is too much and then it resurfaces when we are a little stronger. It is a process, and you will feel like you should be doing it better or faster, but always are doing it perfectly for you.

I realize this may have been what I needed to hear, and maybe not what you need to hear, but I wanted to share it just in case it is what you need to hear.

Mark said...


You are one of my heroes.

Verity said...

Jessie, both of your posts were really powerful. It was moving to read about what the process of writing did for you, how it made you feel. And I think just about everyone who writes can relate to that. Sometimes writing feels so raw and hard and may not seem to be any use or value, but that's because our own eyes sometimes clouds what we see. Honest writing touches people, and yours definitely touched me. Thanks for sharing.