Sometimes I forget

In this moment, I wasn’t thinking about it.

Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I’m editing a post, or watching a movie, or playing with the dogs, or talking to a friend, and I forget that Aaron left me. I forget my family died. I forget how miserable I am. I long for those moments. And yet, they’re moments that I don’t even get to appreciate until after they’re over. I can think “oh hey, that was a moment of [joy, or contentment, or ease]. That was nice.” Then my heart starts radiating a deep pain again, and I’m back in my misery.

Sometimes this doesn’t feel real. It feels like a nightmare, and that I’ll wake up any minute to find my life back to normal and my family back together. To find he’s right beside me in bed, and I can grab onto his arm, and feel the warmth of his body, and hear his voice consoling me, calling me Peanut, and telling me that it’s all okay.

And then sometimes it feels so real I can’t even breath. The truth of it hits me with such force, like a mule kicking me in the heart from the inside out, and it hurts so god damned much.

Sometimes it hurts less. Like when I went over to Jessica’s for Passover, or to the Easter party at Drew’s and got distracted. At first I didn’t think I’d allow myself to get distracted. I kept finding myself holding my breath, or doubling over in pain, or completely fucking spacing out. And then… it just happened. I actually let go, and had a good time for a while.

Sometimes Ken texts me to ask how I am, and my response is “I don’t know.” And that’s true. I have no idea how I am right now. Then I think about how Jessica told me that “it’s a process.” She’s STILL going through a divorce, so she knows. “It’s a process” has become my mantra. I keep repeating to myself over and over.

Sometimes I will feel okay, and then I won’t, and then I will, and then I won’t again. And so on and so forth until it gets easier and easier, and then one day I will actually be okay.

23 thoughts on “Sometimes I forget

  1. kirstenlf

    Your original, referenced post is password protected. I don’t know if you meant this one to be as well, so I thought I’d mention it, just in case.

    That said, even not knowing exactly what is happening with you and your family, I think I can picture the level of pain you are experiencing today. I know very well the level of blindsidedness, pain, and doubt that you are experiencing even without the details of what happened. You are right that the path toward the end is a process, but what I hope you’ll remember too—as you both steadfastly plow forward and conversely are dragged along the rocky coast—is that it is a long process as well, unfathomably long, but try not to let that overwhelm you. Sometimes, when you least expect it, even long past when you thought you had moved through the five stages of death, you may feel bowled right back to the start of it all again, but every time that happens, it hurts less and passes more quickly until, finally, it is gone for good.

    The desperation might seem overwhelming at times, but you absolutely will survive. It may take longer than you expect, but one day you will wake up and realize that the pain gone, really gone for good. What it is replaced with depends on so many factors. For me, I have retained a resentment for the time that I wasted and the way I allowed my ex to devalue me, but that it specific to my story, and not necessarily a bad residue. It keeps me from making the same mistakes. But for you, it might never have been a mistake. For you, the pain may be replaced by a softness for your girlhood and the vulnerability you shared with another human being, a person whose shared journey was paramount to you becoming the woman you will blossom into. Perhaps you can’t begin to imagine it today, but in time.

    I guess I really just want to say that even though we don’t know each other, I am offering you what strength I can through my words to help you get through this. Hopefully, my thoughts will help.

    1. meganfinley Post author

      Wow. That was an amazing response. Thank you for that. It absolutely helps to hear from people who have gone through this and come out the other side. Because right now, it feels like this is unending and overwhelming. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much your comment means to me.

      This post didn’t have any details about that guy I married, so I left it unprotected, but the password is “ouch” for the protected post.

  2. Sarah Brewer

    Ugh, I hate this so much.I think I have absolutely zero helpful things to say, I’m sorry. At least nothing that isn’t going to be recycled shit that “people say in times like these.” But it makes me very happy that you have a support system in place, they sound like good peeps.

    One thought that is SOLELY based on personal experience: Sometimes I think we push ourselves too hard to “process” feels after trauma. Sometimes delving in and examining emotions too soon just results in self-destruction. There’s no subtlety it’s just OMG PAIN!! And you can’t process that, it clobbers you. Sometimes you have to just live from distraction to distraction, let the pain dull a bit and have your subconscious predigest those emotions so you can actually examine them with out them overwhelming you.

    It’s taken me YEARS after trauma to be able to sort through the shards of my life and make some sense of it. In the mean time, I was just living from distraction to distraction.

    Have I mentioned how much I hate this? :'(

    1. meganfinley Post author

      I need to hear this (read this?) as much as possible. I actually talked to my therapist about the fact that I’m scared that by being distracted I’m not actually processing *everything.* This: “And you can’t process that, it clobbers you. Sometimes you have to just live from distraction to distraction, let the pain dull a bit and have your subconscious predigest those emotions so you can actually examine them with out them overwhelming you.” is something I’m going to come back to read over and over some times. Seriously, THANK YOU. A million times.

      1. Sarah Brewer

        Like I said, this totally comes from my experience and may not apply to everyone. I have the emotional intelligence of a toddler so strong emotions kind of wreck me. I have to separate myself from emotions so I can analyze and understand them (like the cyborg that I am), which is impossible when I’m hurting at a 10+. At that point I just gotta survive for a while.

        Note for concerned parties: “Distraction” can mean healthy human distractions: ar/music, hobbies, travel, volunteering, work, new friends, etc. It doesn’t necessarily mean going on benders (well, not *all*, of the time).

        Sending love your way!

  3. Emer

    Since I started following Offbeat Home and Life and now Funk in Deep Freeze, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, admired your courage, your strength, your sense of adventure, and your openness. Now, reading this, I wanted to say I’m sorry that you’re in pain. :( I wish I had something wise to say like the above commenters but unfortunately, I don’t. Just wanted/needed to say that I think you’re awesome.

    1. meganfinley Post author

      Just you taking the time to leave this comment means a butt ton to me. Truly, deeply, THANK YOU for saying that.

  4. soundtek

    Oh Megan, I had no idea… and I just want to hug you… or send you a funny card in the mail – and both of those are probably just weird coming from someone you don’t really know personally… but since you’ve been so open and honest, I feel like you are a girlfriend and I just want to offer some comfort and maybe a laugh or two… since there is no way to get over the pain, you just have to go through it… and that’s hard! super hard….

    virtual hugs and funny cards to you… and cake…. cake makes everything a little easier…

      1. soundtek

        awww, sweet! you lucked out!

        and since you said you are accepting support, if you want to send me your address at talleyimages@yahoo.com I will put a real card in the mail for you…. although if you are going to Iceland and the like, you might not be home to get it…. :)

  5. Kim

    Megan,

    We don’t know each other. I have no comforting words or sage advice for you. I just wish to send you many trans-atlantic virtual hugs, encourage you to take your friends up on their offers of help and let you know I’ll light a candle for you.

    Kim

    1. meganfinley Post author

      Aw. I can’t even thank you enough. There will be a flame burning because of little ol me in a whole other part of the world. Wow. That honestly makes me feel crazy special. Thank you!!

  6. KathyRo

    Ohhhh sweeeeeetie!!!
    [insert virtual hug here]
    I’m so so sorry. I know how much this “process” sucks — my sister is going through it right now.
    Her therapist suggested she view it as a death — something that takes a long time to heal from.
    I don’t know if that’s comforting or not. On one hand it explains why it takes so long to recover from it. On the other hand… it highlights that it does take a long time to recover from it. :(
    I’m sorry to see you at the head of this shitty trail. But I know you can make it through.
    XXOOXXOO

    1. meganfinley Post author

      It’s probably going to be weird to read but: I almost wish it were a death instead. Because, unlike a death, there are uncertainties in this situation. There are “what ifs” and “maybes” that aren’t there with death to fuck up or give false hopes and stymie the grieving process. Death just is, and you grieve and move on. Relationships are weird, and you wonder and grieve and get hopeful and crushed again, and eventually you stumble your way on to recovering. But yes, it does help to know that, like death, this has a grieving process that takes a while. but it helps to hear you believe I’ll make it through it. It helps a lot.

  7. Jackie

    Shit. It’s my first comment on your personal blog, and I’m sorry it’s happening on a post like this. But I want you to know I’m thinking of you and care about you (though we’ve only met in person once, but I’ve drunk whiskey from your Targaryen flask and that creates a powerful bond). It sounds like you have a kickass group of friends who have your back. You will get through this (yeah, yeah, everyone says that). Channel your inner Cersei if you have to, and feel the feelings when you have to. There’s a whole wide internet of people (and lots of analog people) rooting for you the whole way through.

    1. meganfinley Post author

      Aw JACKIE! HI! Thank you for commenting. I’m channeling my inner Cersei AND Khaleesi. I’m getting strong up in this bitch. And then I’m taking sad naps. 😉

  8. amandante

    Another person who doesn’t know you IRL letting you know how sorry I am and that I’ll be thinking of you. It sounds like you are taking care of yourself and being as self-aware as you can be–I definitely agree that you have to take breaks from processing, as great as it is that you are able to process. I’m glad you have such a great pit crew around you, and I’m sending peace and comfort.

    1. meganfinley Post author

      THANK YOU!!!! It means the world to me to have support from you and everyone I don’t know IRL. Just to know you’re out there and giving a crap about me helps. Every little bit helps. And I wish I could hug you. :)

  9. Alissa

    Never met you but thanks to the internet feel like you’re a friend. Thinking of you, virtual friend, and having feels for you. Glad you’ve got people around you IRL and here on the internet who can love on you. Hope you go to fucking Iceland and have a blast doing fucking Viking shit, and then have a blast in fucking England drinking tea and eating scones and doing pompous British shit. Sending my own extra love.

  10. bee

    Oh god Megan, I’m SO sorry to hear this… I met you at Lovesick Expo in LA this year and I’m the one who recently commented on an Empire post about how I lived in WeHo and hoped to run into you so I could say “OMG are you Megan of Offbeat Empire fame?!” I just stumbled across this blog from a link on an old Offbeat post and I’m so shocked; my heart hurts for you. :(

    A few years back I experienced the end of a 7-year cohabiting relationship (not a marriage, but we’d planned to be together forever so it was still tough to deal with). I totally understand the “wishing it was a death” thing, I felt the same thing. It seemed like the CHOICE of not being together anymore while we both continued to be alive and living was more painful than dealing with a death. This may not be true, but it felt that way at the time. Grieving the loss of the life and future you thought you were going to have is excruciating.

    All I can recommend is lots of time hanging with friends and the distraction that they bring (as you mentioned), lots of animal therapy (pets are THE BEST), and lots of music (I listened to quite a lot of Fleetwood Mac, they’re pretty obvious for breakup music). I also found journaling privately to myself helped me process things; since no one else would see it, it didn’t really have to make sense, it was just the catharsis of pouring out emotions exactly as they were scrambling around through my brain. Going in waves between distracting myself and allowing myself to feel the pain worked for me. Do lots of things to take care of yourself and nurture yourself. As everyone is saying, it’s a process, and it feels like the pain is so intense that it’ll never end, but it truly does fade in time. The moments during which you forget get longer and you’re more able to appreciate them.

    Looking back from the other side, I now know that it ended up being one of the best things that happened to me. I learned so much about myself, grew stronger, figured out what I really wanted out of life, and was opened up to so many amazing possibilities in life that I never would have experienced otherwise. I’m sure that this having a happy ending is impossible to comprehend right now, but I feel like the saying that “the darkest hour is before the dawn” tends to be true in these situations. And I’m SO happy to hear about your trip to Iceland and England, that will be so fantastic for you and probably exactly what you need. :)

    You absolutely WILL get through this and come out the other side. We all think you’re awesome and are totally rooting for you!!! And I personally wish you strength, peace, hugs, and bad-assery. :)

    1. meganfinley Post author

      “It seemed like the CHOICE of not being together anymore while we both continued to be alive and living was more painful than dealing with a death.” <-- This so much. You nailed it. You also nailed ALL THE THINGS I'm doing right now -- or trying to do. Burying my face in my dogs and crying. Journaling on 750 Words, and alternating between dwelling and distraction. And OH BOY is it a process. As I write this, I'm in a really bad state, but a couple of hours ago I was having a blast at my best friends' birthday party. Everyone keeps telling me that I'll look back on this as a good thing that happened. And I trust that! Because I'm literally hearing it from my best friend who is divorced, to the AT&T rep who helped me switch over the bills whose husband served her divorce papers WHILE SHE WAS IN LABOR. If even SHE can look back and say "thank god that happened" I know I can one day. I trust it. But it seems so far away. And I just want to get there NAOW. Anyway, thank you for your comment. It really helped.

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