Friday, February 3, 2012

Love, Anger and Indifference

Anger, unexpressed, turns inward but leaves a mark.  I pound my fists against my own chest in frustration and self-disgust.  Very efficient, two birds with one stone.  Once, looking down while changing clothes at the gym, I saw accidental bruises.  In embarrassed surprise, turning to my open locker door for a shield from prying eyes.   So that’s what happens when anger turns inward.   
The absolute value of x

But I don't want to write with my fists.  I prefer to write with my calm, measured fingers.  Writing that is clearly conceived through years of craft, that gingerly considers the double helix of  love and anger.   I have to admit that I still love my husband even now, in a limited, rueful way.  Restricted, neutral, arms held tightly at my sides between the two straight lines of absolute value.   Once upon a time I did love him. so intensely that I thought I would burst, heady days of early love, clawing lust, shortness of breath, manic nights where sleep was not necessary.   Looking into a benevolent mirror foggy from a steamy shower.  Sweaty picnics on the floor of the studio, drinking champagne.  Van Morrison murmurs poetry on the stereo.  Linden Arden stole the highlights.  T.S. Eliot joined the ministry, joined the ministry.

And then twenty years went by.  And now we look into a different mirror.  Harsh fluorescent cold tiled locker room.  Bodies sagging, failing.  Falling arches, ugly feet.  Stick legs.  Pot bellies and cellulite.  Faces unprotected by forgotten sunscreen.  Faces that have lived in the sun and wind, laughing, crying.  Faces that once felt love but now can only muster indifference, regret. 

He snores next to me.  Something called apnea can be quite dangerous.  I know that sympathy is required.  But I only feel stabbing annoyance that I telegraph with angled elbows and shaken shoulders.  Wake up, wake up, you are snoring!  Then, changing course, soothing, placating, please try to stop snoring, you need to breathe, you are not getting enough oxygen.  

But secretly I am pleased that there is something concrete to hate him for. Something he can't talk me out of when I complain.  Because I have a mood disorder, I can't be taken seriously.   I rail against endless injustices but I am dismissed airily with a wave of a hand.  How long since my last shrink appointment?  Have I had my meds adjusted? Surely that’s what my tedious and pathetic rantings are really about.  

So snoring is good.  Real, measurable.  I could record it if I wanted to and play it back to him.  I imagine his reaction, see his face go white, recognizing the truth of this accusation.  Doubt would play on his face.  The same face in response to the revelation that the kids are aware of his drinking, a story for another time.  Dawning acknowledgment that I am right after all.  Despite all the things that are wrong with me, I really am right.  Really really really.  For true and for serious.  

I savor the triumph even as it wanes. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this, I hope it was as cathartic for you as it was moving for me.

    You really excel when you show yourself honestly, hard as it is for you to do so.

    Again, my gratitude. You are loved - maybe not in the way you would wish, but you *are* loved, by all of us who appreciate where you're coming from, because we're in the same kind of space.



  2. You. Are. Amazing. I hate that dismissive shit. The "you're justs" and the "knowing" smirks. God forbid they have to ever acknowledge when they are wrong. It's always you. Your attitude, your issues, your problems. I hear you.

    "I know how things [are] for women...I tell you it's queer...We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things--it's just a different kind of the same thing." From by Susan Glaspell.

  3. wow...i am so sorry your grievances are dismissed. You are as worthy of being legitimately unhappy as you are happy. Your feelings matter, medicated or not.

  4. I felt this.
    Does that make sense???
    Probably not.
    But I felt this.

  5. Such beautiful sorrow. I love you.

  6. I feel this too. I have an ex husband, and it wasn't snoring, but pure hatred and resentment that fueled our break up. But the time spent together made me almost homicidal. You put into words so beautifully that destruction. And I am the snorer now. DH tapes me. And we laugh and laugh. Until he smothers me with a pillow. You make me feel. You are a beautiful writer and beautiful soul. xo

  7. What they said. All of it. Hearts.

  8. I grok. sadly but truly, i grok. :(

  9. you put words together brilliantly... wow!

    symptoms very rarely allow me to pretend, remain indifferent or ignore my feelings of sad and disappointment. It hurts right down to my very core -- it makes me so uncomfortable I just want to wiggle right out of my skin!

    You are worthy and an incredibly talented writer... wishing you peace.

  10. Moving and sorrowful. Hope you feel some release after letting it out! Hang in there.

  11. You guys. Thank you. Really, you have no idea how grateful I am for your kind words. It is exhausting to be me. I think you get that. And that is huge.

  12. "Because I have a mood disorder, I can't be taken seriously. I rail against endless injustices but I am dismissed airily with a wave of a hand. How long since my last shrink appointment? Have I had my meds adjusted? Surely that’s what my tedious and pathetic rantings are really about."

    THIS speaks to me. the frustration that comes with trying to get someone to just listen and acknowledge. i find i deal with it by making the jokes myself and laughing about it as loud as anyone else.

    it is exhausting to be me too. thank you.

  13. I love this. Never take your writings down again! We all deserve to be heard. Love your blog, love Facebook. As I'm sure with many of us, we have much in common. Thank you. <3

  14. Having lived with this most of my life BP2 1200mg lithium a day doseage I completely know what you're talking about, it's not about the snorting that's just the surface but how deep it goes hmmmmmmmmm sometimes we don't even know. I'm one of us rare birds who chooses to live unmedicated rather than in a mist of clouds so I'm socially acceptable and naturally for those around me this means they deal with a ticking time bomb in their relationship with me. As luck or my cycles have it I'm on the upswing more than the downside but it's the downside they seldom see I call my journey to the pit. Likewise these loving folks are aware without warning I can become rather difficult to deal with when the hypermania really gets wound up which is caused by lack of sleep in my case. It cost a marriage, and two wonderful gals over the years so I know it's better for those around me to live alone, only my sweet loveable dog and daughter who's grown now know the entire spectrum of colors. So good read and smart to write it down instead of engaging that mouth using all your uncontrolled brilliant wit you've more than likely saved your marriage with it, tok me years to learn this after it was too late. Hell who even knows why I'm writing this except to say I understand being touched with fire myself. Now back to the funny sarcastic shit....... this kumbaya session is over!

  15. Restricted, neutral, arms held tightly at my sides between the two straight lines of absolute value. Beautiful. Raw. True. And, am I making this up, begging to be released and allowed to hug in full?? Am I just hoping and dreaming for you here? Is it really too late?

  16. "Because I have a mood disorder, I can't be taken seriously."

    I hate that shit so much because we're often right. Dismissed so easily because it's easier to dismiss us than to admit that you--the all encompassing, universal "you"--are the fucking problem.

    Love you, Klonnie.

  17. "Because I have a mood disorder, I can't be taken seriously."

    I have been treated for cancer. I went through surgery multiple times, so my husband treats me like a china doll. I guess I should be thankful that he is still here, but it still gets annoying. I came through chemotherapy with chemo-brain. Most of my family does not believe in this including my two sons. So it is an ongoing fight with them. I am never taken seriously. I am tempted to draw a face on the wall and talk to it until I am better; however, I heard it may take years to fully recover from this. :(

  18. You're always going to love him, a little. And that's ok. I hope the anger is able to subside, eventually, so there aren't too many more bruises - on the outside or on the indside.

  19. It is surprising to hear other women feel this way. 'It's just you' loses it's power a little. A good thing.