Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Hate Tear-Jerkers

Last night my husband and I settled down, after a long day of pain and complaining on my end, to watch something on our streaming Blu-ray player. We were choosing between Arrested Development and Disney Pixar's Up. I figured I was up for a lighthearted childrens movie over an irony-dripping adult comedy and agreed to the cartoon. Well within 15 minutes I knew we had made the wrong choice. I won't ruin it for those that have not seen it but it hit entirely too close to home. Let's just say at the end of last July I survived a medical crisis that nearly killed me. My husband and I are both still a little raw about the whole thing and need no reminder of how painful it was, or how close to the edge I really came. As the story unfolded before us I stared at my TV screen in abject emotional horror at what was happening in front of me. I looked over and my husband was stone-faced. We did not say one word to each other the entire movie and when it ended the silence between us was pregnant with unspoken feelings. We agreed it was good, and sad. I immediately told him I did not want to talk about it, my default reaction to anything that makes me feel, and I knew where he was going... Then I quickly redacted and told him if he needed to talk we could, realizing how unfair my sanctioned silence was over something that affected us both so deeply.

I believe all he did was open his mouth and I started wailing from some visceral place deep inside. It was body-shaking, suffocating sobs and the pain in my heart was stabbing. The thought of my husband all alone with 2 dogs, without me here to round out the life we have made together, was more than I could possibly bear. The movie reel in my head played a sad and lonely reality for my darling husband without me in his life to make it crazy. I cried and cried like a baby that has lost its candy. Oh I was so mad! This was why I did not want to talk about it, why I did not want to feel. What is deep inside is so injured, so raw, and I am in no way close to being able to deal with it. My self-imposed compartmentalization may work for me but does not work for my husband and the right to his own feelings has been a topic of discussion before. 

See I don't need a tear-jerker to cry. If I want to cry all I have to do is think about my life, what I have given up, what I have lost, the pure pain I have lived in for years and years. I certainly don't need a reminder of what possibilities lie close at hand. I choose to focus on the good side of my existence, what I have to offer the world, what I have been blessed with. It is the only way I can keep going each day, get myself out of bed in the morning. I prefer the fluffy, the pretty, the rainbows and unicorns of life. I prefer to be grateful and cheerful and happy, as much as I can be. I have felt enough pain in my mere 34 years and don't want to feel anymore! I will certainly not go seek it out, for crying out loud! So I was pissed, I had been duped. My heart was forced to feel feelings it was not ready for, and it hurt. I am over it now, for life just goes on, but I can promise you I won't be renting Marley & Me anytime soon. Someone told me how it ends.

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  1. when i saw up i relaized my hubby and I had spent so many years tryign to live everyday we hadnt really lived.Recently i had a health scare and still iam waiting to see if iam in the clear.what i have learned from this is to appreciate everyday and do the things i have put off and just live..we dont all know how much time we have.. i live in pain everyday and now i do talk about how i feel even if i cry..

  2. Hi Leah,
    I have been reading your blog for a few weeks and just wanted to stop by and say hello.


  3. It was a sad movie but also thought provoking. I know how I felt after seeing it and it almost called on me to be more aware of my spouse and our life together. We all have pain and it's easy to get entwined in all of that. Others who live with us have to deal with our limitation, crabby moods, and all that goes with chronic pain and illness. Baically it made me stop and think about how unpredictable and short life really is. We seldom really get our "dreams". It's good to shoot for them, but don't forget to "live" your life on the way to your dreams! Keep you chin up girl!!! We are all in this together, no matter how far away we are. :-)

  4. Great blog, Leah. So real, so raw. Too close for comfort. We do compartmentalize these things to keep us safe until we are ready to let them out and deal with them. You weren't ready, my friend, but out it came anyway.

    I'm not watching Marley and Me either.

  5. Goosebumps over here. You are so right. The other day I told my guy that ANYTHING makes me cry now. Especially life and death movies and shows. I watched 127 hours in the theatre (with earplugs ;)and cried when the guy had to cut off his own arm to survive. Grey's Anatomy... oh mylanta.
    I'm glad you are here today Leah. Health problems be damned! :)