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30 September 2013

easing back into life: some notes

I've been writing more lately. Like, actually writing. In a notebook. With a pen.
Somewhere along the way I had stopped doing that. I had forgotten, or maybe I had never realized, how satisfying it was to write by hand. Or maybe I stopped doing that so much because writing by hand is more likely to cause a flare up of the nerve damage in my right arm. Since I'm right-handed.


The other day I was talking to my mom about the possibility of me getting a disability rating from the VA (for my Depression and the nerve damage in my arm, and some other more minor issues). My advisor, I was telling her, had told me that all my issues could easily qualify me for a 100% rating. That means the VA might decide I rate getting 100% of my active duty pay for the rest of my life. My mom said, "That's great, I guess, but wouldn't that hurt your pride, to be considered disabled?" That stopped me short momentarily. Then I replied, "well, yeah it would, if I weren't disabled." Geez, Mom.


I'm newly single-ish. What the hell does that mean? It means my primary partner and I broke up. Archer & Bones is no longer a romantic relationship. He's still my best friend. It hurts, but it's also exactly the right thing for both of us. I have other people in my life, but my other relationships are not so intense. So I'm single-ish.


I had a revelation today, while I was thinking about being single. That is: I'm always strongest when I'm single. I wrote it in my journal. See? It's right there:
It's not a great picture, so I'll give you a transcription:

{Left page, top to bottom}
"I'm always strongest when I'm single.
Why do I do that?
Why do I weaken myself with men?
[Seriously, I don't do it in my relationships with women.]
How many loves has that cost me?
^maybe it's because I think in those terms
Can I stop thinking of Love as something to be caught and kept tight -
- and think of it instead as something that grows better when there is no pretense?"

{On the left side of the left page, in blue ink}
"I've seen this before, but did not recognize it until now."

{On the right page, top to bottom}
"That weakness is given shape by our culture, but the force came from my Depression, and the legacy of abuse.
This is what I must change next."

Are any of us ever completely ourselves with anyone? Isn't there always something that we hold back? - Thoughts that come but seem uncharitable or poorly timed; it's not always bad to hold things back. But sometimes, over time, holding back might make us seem to be someone we are not.

I always felt on some subtle level that voicing the thoughts that might have appeared to diminish his importance in my life was generally a bad thing which would potentially hurt his feelings and make him think I didn't really care about the relationship. (I'm using "he/him/his" generically here - it's a running theme in my relationships with men throughout my life.) It didn't matter that the thoughts didn't actually mean I didn't care, but the idea that it might be taken that way was enough to silence me. Thus, I appeared weaker, less independent than I was. I even believed it, right up until yesterday.

I don't know exactly where I picked up the idea that I had to appear weaker than I am in order to 'keep' a man. I'm aware of the likely culprits, but I don't feel like doing an in-depth analysis right now. It's enough to know that I've done this, and better to know that now I can work to change it. Phew.


I'm working away at my story, which still doesn't have a title. I'm finally relatively satisfied with the first two chapters, and am planning chapter three. The work is invigorating and addictive. I did a character sketch today. Literally.
Jacqueline Avery

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous07:58

    Yea........I was just saying to my friend the other day that I'm waiting around to be part of a powerhouse couple (where both people are stronger and kick-ass at life :) It's just not worth it any other way! Yes, I understand the risks. :) MagPie