Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm [Not] Here.

When I was 25, I wrote this. Two years later, I wrote this.

Three years on, I have no words that work. I've tried to explain to friends and family why I've just shut down, but all explanations came out unconvincing, lame. I sounded as though I were making excuses to cover up my deficiencies. For a while, six months ago, I lost my words altogether and stopped talking. I stopped mailing, stopped posting and stopped taking phone calls. At home I would speak so rarely that my voice dried up.

I can talk now. I function fairly well out in the working world and sound clear and level-headed when I do speak.

What I sense within myself is a change. I got so tired of waiting for my world to change, for my people to change, I decided to change myself instead. Not to suit them, because those changes I made a long time ago; this time I'm changing to suit myself. I feel like I'm writing this mid-transition because every day there is something that I weigh about myself and choose to either retain or discard. I don't know when I'll be done changing and I don't even know if tearing up my old world was such a great idea, but waking up breathless, lost, lonely, waking up convinced I was dying -- night after night of being too afraid to sleep for fear of waking up breathless, that told me that whatever I'm living has to stop. It has to change.

Nobody holds me now, reassures me that I'm not alone. It seems to me that this journey has to be made alone because how else do I explain my definite steps away from Vicky and Rahul. How do I understand what makes me walk away from Rahul? I don't know why I stopped talking to my mother. I have tried to explain my choices to her but only because she asked. Despite appearances, I am not angry with my parents or even resentful.

If anything, it is Rahul who wakes me up from my daily reveries, reminding me, relentlessly, that he at least is a part of my life however I live it; that he must have my attention, some loving; throwing tantrums directed at me; being ridiculously mischievous just so that I will look up; crumpling at the faintest hint of harshness from me (and I am harsh easily these days); as always, my obstacle reminds me that whatever the other people in my life do, to him I have different ties, different duties. Sometimes I feel that I'm setting him aside and walking on, only to find him running very hard alongside me to keep up. When he wakes up he comes running looking for me. I hold him and cuddle him and send him about his business. For him, for now, I'm not really here. I'm sure I will be back but for now, I don't know where I am.

For My Children

When I seem unreasonable
Cut me some slack
You might not like me too much
But don’t push me back.

Life moved on to quickly
And then there were you
I was a girl and then a wife
And a mother; time flew.

I’m not yet used to any of it
By now I should be
But in caring for you
I forget to take care of me.

Sunayana Roy
11th January 2005

Written thinking of Ma. Also of myself as I know I will be.


CW said...

This brought tears. For you, for Rahul.


Anonymous said...

For all the people you've been and the people you are, I wish you strength to be the person you need to be and the person you want to be.

I wish you luck, despite its meaninglessness, that those persons coincide -- at least occasionally, like halves of an Oreo.

Defining "here" sounds exhausting, for aren't we some place else the instant we figure out where we are?

What can I say? I have no spells, for I am not
I am naught
Not here
Not her.

Unmana said...

I'm sorry you're going through all this, Sue. I hope you find the strength to be who you are.

Let me know if there's anything I can do.

dipali said...

Big hugs, Sue.
Take good care of yourself,
the rest will follow.

Thinking Cramps said...

A big hug to you Sue. You'll figure everything out, I know it. Keep smiling. And keep hugging that little boy :)

starry eyed said...

I've been there Sue. I think it's this thing where we periodically retreat into ourselves, like a cocoon and transform, find out what's in there. We don't want to hear what others think, because we want to hear our own voices, not drowned out by others' reassurance or demands to change back or be a certain way. At least you're blogging. I'd stopped that too.

Keep changing, girl. Always. Big hugs.

Anonymous said...

I only know you from your blog but can totally relate to what you are going through. Am much older and my boy is now 22 . You will overcome this - be certain of that . Love and hugs

S S said...

Dear Sue

I can say this though. . . when I was going through a very similar time (without having children to mother), I found your blog. It gave me a sense of home, of comfort and beauty. They must emanate from some part of your being or how else would someone like me find them?
When, after all, you are not writing a spiritual discourse or a comedy sketch? How was it that in the humdrum of an everyday life was the soothing quality of a mother's lullaby?
I would like to hope and think. . . it was there because it's in you, and also in your world. Possibly waiting to be found again.
In the meanwhile, all I can say is, the cliches hold true. This too will pass. . .

With best wishes

Mom Gone Mad said...

Hugs, Sue. Thanks for writing this. It was so completely relatable.

Look at it as the quiet needed, the cocoon needed for the caterpillar to become a butterfly.

You're going to get there.

Sue said...

Thank you, everybody. I couldn't respond earlier, but your warmth helped.