Beautiful, depraved

Intimacy. Debauchery. Irreverence.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stages

I remember a friend whose Dad's passed away when she was in her early twenties. She'd done a lot of work around grief and she'd told me about Elizabeth Kubler Ross, and her ideas on the stages of grieving. Anger was one of them.

I felt angry the past couple of days. Fuck you kind of angry. I wanted the rest of my stuff back and was determined to get it. I didn't want to see him even - I was going to suggest he leave it on his porch. He was becoming an asshole in my head. I was thinking of some of the things he said to me in the last, painful moments of our demise and I felt wrongly accused and unseen.

From what I know about anger, it can be productive in that it can let us know when a boundary has been stepped over. It can be motivating - when I played soccer and I'd be tripped or body-checked, that would be the incentive I'd need to score a goal. When used in a healthy way, it can be fuel.

Or it can create false justification. It can be toxic. I could feel myself slipping into that place and that was the cue I needed to step out of it again. My anger shifted into action. And empowerment. And with that, back came my sex drive. Suddenly, in the knowing that I was going over there to pick up my stuff, I was imagining his cock, how wet my pussy would be the moment I saw him. I could feel his thighs with my hands and my mouth. Feel him on top of me. It was huge and overwhelming.

*sigh* I'm side-stepping that. I'm glad to see my sex drive is connected to this feeling of pushing forward, movement and growth. I'll be directing it elsewhere.

I went back to check out the other stages of grieving. According to Kubler Ross, they can happen in any order, and people don't necessarily experience all of them:

Denial: feeling in shock, unconscious refusal to accept the facts
Anger: why is this happening to me? Another shroud to deflect pain.
Bargaining: I promise I'll be a better person if...
Depression: withdrawal from life. I don't care anymore.
Acceptance: I can't fight it, I might as well prepare for it.

I haven't studied her work enough to know where sobbing uncontrollably fits into that. Maybe it's in acceptance. All the other stages feel like delaying the inevitable. Really crying it out seems to me the most truthful acknowledgment of what's happening.

(I'm summarizing from my experience and a few sources: this, this and this)

I also found this from Dr. Roberta Temes in the book, "Living With An Empty Chair - a guide through grief." Three types of behaviour seen in the grief-stricken:

Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)
Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)
Reorganization (re-entry into a more 'normal' social life.)

She speaks to the pain as a form of dismantling - pulling everything apart so that it can be put back together again. I think I'm actually pulling together well. I'm productive, energized, and still somewhat heavy. I have some restless anxiety that I think is more about me needing to channel myself elsewhere. What I'm missing right now are social outlets. So much of my time was spent with him, so much of my inner life I shared with him that I'm feeling like a tap that's been stopped up and needs to be released. The pressure is building up. Creating social situations has typically not been my forte. I'm not much of a small talker, but sometimes I surprise myself and I can jump right in and really enjoy myself. Or, I just direct the conversation toward sex and suddenly I have a lot to say.

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