Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grieving and Muted

I started this blog because I need to be heard.

...and people do not listen to me easily. It's the stigma of what I need to talk about, and the constancy of my need to talk about it, and the person I become when I'm grieving. People are afraid of what happened, they are worn down by my leaning on them, and they do not like the angry, desperate, spiteful and withering girl I am in those moments.

I have struggled for two long years with what I can and cannot say to people and with the lack of a truly safe place to be honest about how I feel. Shortly after my family died, I tried confiding in a close friend about how much I wished I could be with them. She went behind my back and notified everyone in my residence (including my peers) that I was suicidal. She was wrong, and suddenly everyone around me was treating me like I would slit my wrists if I wasn't supervised when cutting vegetables.

I learned my lesson, so when six or so months later I tried confiding in a different friend about how I felt like giving up on university and taking a term off, I very explicitly said to him: "I am not suicidal. I am only thinking of giving up on school, not life. I want to live. I am not suicidal." Nevertheless, a few days later I received a phone call from the community safety office checking up on me.

There are moments in which I feel completely alone. I have a right to express that, however inaccurate it might be; but one would be surprised at how many people take offense to that sentiment, as though I'm purposely disregarding their affection for me.

When I become close to someone, it's important to me that they know what I've been through - I can't be comfortable and honest with them otherwise. But three times out of four, after confiding in them the details of my tragedy, I never hear from them again.

I've learned to tiptoe around people. I am not ashamed of my family, I am not ashamed of my emotions, and I am not ashamed of succumbing to moments or even days of rage and hatred and complete hopelessness. But the average person, it seems, is greatly ashamed of the things I have to say.

I often wonder: if my mom and dad and brother had all died in a car crash two years ago, how much more support and understanding would I have received? How many more people would actually have lent me an open, unassuming and nonjudgmental ear?


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