Monday, 14 February 2011

The Art of Grieving... Learning to Be

I've just lost my remaining parent, a difficult time. Though to the untrained eye I appear to be functioning pretty much as usual, I don't feel right. It's hard to say how I feel. So easy to say 'all over the place' but that doesn't really mean much. I feel, by turn, disconnected, lonely, angry, fearful. Ah, the fear! Always my default setting. I feel like my confidence, my security, has drained away through the sole of my shoes and I am scared, so scared, of life. The fear as ever shows itself through anger, an unreasonable temper and a clingness which throws those nearest and dearest to me into the middle of a tug of war: don't leave me - fuck off! Aware, as I am, of my moods, I feel I should isolate myself, crawl under a stone, and leave the others be. Of course I don't do this, because my addiction, my alcoholism, craves that.

I know what to do to stay clean and sober but beyond that, I feel lost. I don't know how to be. How should one be in grief? I know there are no 'shoulds' but I wish someone had told that to my casual acquaintances. They act nervous and embarrassed around the subject of the death, quite without need: my temper only manifests amongst intimates.

My body vibrates and then exhausts with feelings unrecognised, thoughts unheard. I feel a vast movement of things of which I feel I am at best partially aware. Old hurts return, the prostitution, the violence, the abuse. I'm on the defensive again. Past, present and the future run into one another. I take it one day at a time, but which day is it? My sleep and dreams are over-full - too much to process! The night holds no peace.

Still, I have much to be grateful for. I don't drink and use, I don't have to prostitute myself anymore, and I am not beaten and raped and in fear of my life as I was. Looked at like that, anything else is a bonus.


  1. Angel, I am so sorry for you loss~remember to be kind to yourself and give yourself the love you derserve.
    I am so grateful for your blog~I found it a few months ago. I cannot tell you how I cried when I read your exeperience. I am five years in recovery and have NEVER met someone with a story that I feel is so similar to mine. You know how I feel inside. I have pretty much closed myself off from the world. I am so stuck in the silence that I cannot voice all of the things that you so honestly share. No one in my life understands the profuound degradation and pain that being bought and sold has caused me. The violence, the shame, the pain, the loneliness. They think I should move do you just move on. And who would want me anyway.
    Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone. Your brave honesty is much appreciated. Take care, V.

  2. Angel - I am so sorry about your terrible lose.

    I lost my Dad in 2008, and as he was my only parent that I was close to, it has hit me very hard.
    But, because of my past I do not know how to grieve, how to do emotions, how to not be a role or a robot. For instance, I cannot cry or feel that any of Dad was real. For, I am so used to just being in the moment without feelings - that since he died I been unable to let real grief.

    I have so much anger - which I try to put into my work and campaigning.
    I feel anger is both positive and negative.
    The negative prevents me from have deep emotions and make me run away from being with myself.

    It is so lonely being with trauma of exiting the sex trade - but we are not alone.

    You are so courageous and a wonderful woman - and am by your side as much as I can be.

  3. I just stumbled upon your blog- but I just want to say that I am praying for you and you are loved more than you'll ever know. You are unique and special and beautiful. Your words ring true and help others to see that they are not alone. You are not alone and angels are watching over you.

  4. I'm a first time reader - I just wanted to offer my support in this difficult time. As a writer yourself, I thought you might find solace in this book I am currently working on. It's by Nancy K. Miller, and it's called "Bequest and Betrayal: Memoirs of a parent's death". It's literary criticism, but it's also autobiographical, deeply personal and enlightening. Plus, it's no cheesy, rehashed self-help crap.

    Manu hugs go out to you, Angel.

  5. Thank you for being so strong, and protecting yourself now from the currents of abusive programming. And for being aware of them. And for sharing what you see. And for giving us a chance to see those same kinds of currents in our own thinking, and forgive them as not our fault, but a result of situations we never deserved.

  6. Angel - my sincerest condolences. I hope you are feeling stronger now.