Friday, April 19, 2013

External Parameters

As a teacher, I create a weekly newsletter outlining the things we are going to learn and do each week, including due dates of assignments.  Partially to keep the parents informed, but mostly to keep myself accountable.   If I told everyone we were doing this - then we have to do it.   I do the same thing when I invite people over to my house as much as possible.   Not just so I can see them, but because it forces me to keep things clean.  (Or at least to have a panicked cleaning session every once in a while)  I tell someone I am going to do something before I have full intention of doing it because the accountability of keeping my word keeps me focused.   I need external parameters.  I need restrictions from the outside world to help me set my own boundaries.  I always have.   

This blog is an external parameter.  So is the Kenley's Krew facebook page.   And my outings with friends.  And the foundation idea.   They are all walls I have set up for myself to maintain focus.  Like blinders on a horse. in on this.   The fact that other people are reading my blog keeps me focused in writing it.  I can't just slack off and not post for a while.  I need to keep the ball rolling.  Please understand, that ball isn't really for you.   It's for me.  I know myself.  I know that at the beginning, my words would come pouring out of me so fast and furious I wouldn't be able to contain them.  But, then I would get tired.  Not less full of emotion.  Not less in need of purging.  But tired.  And I would slack off, letting the feelings build up.  So, a public blog with just a few loyal readers keeps me focused.  The Kenley's Krew facebook page is basically the same thing.  I can't just say to myself "Self, you are going to find one positive thing about today".  I need to make myself accountable.  I need to at least pretend that other people are paying attention.   I can't fall apart right now because I am focusing on my positive facebook post.   I'll fall apart later.  But, then later doesn't come because I've made some plans with friends.  I'll hold it together for my friends.   All these things - these distractions - are to keep me together.   I have created all of them for the sole purpose of keeping me in one piece.   Like rubber bands around a broken vase.

I have constructed a maze of distraction for myself.  As long as I keep moving through the twists and turns, I can pretend I have purpose.   I can pretend that I am actually going somewhere.  Strangely, I can even sometimes pretend that none of this really happened.   Well, I can at least distract myself enough so I don't fully realize it in its entirety.   When you make enough noise, you can drown out the whispers inside you.  I am working so hard to keep her memory alive - to continually do things that make me think about her - so I don't have to feel the full impact of her absence.   If I just write another blog post, a piece of her is still here.  If I just think happy thoughts and post them on her Facebook page, I can feel connected to her.  If my friend comes over, we can talk about her some more.  Hold on a second, I'm feeling a little empty...oh I know...let's start a foundation!  We'll dedicate it to her memory!  Yeah...that will take a lot of energy!   I can focus on all of these external events I have created and I don't have to think about what is really going on, which is that my heart is breaking over and over and over again.  

If I just keep doing all these things all the time, then she's not really gone.  I'm not really broken.   Everything is okay.  It's really just an elaborate scheme to keep myself from completely breaking down. And it is exhausting.  I am so very tired.   I want to walk away from everything right now.  Mid-sentence.   Just go back to bed and stay there for god knows how long.  Pull the covers up over my head and let the world go by.   But then, I'll have to think about what has happened.  Full force, no distractions, pummeling me down.  Usually, you will see two types of reactions to grief.   Someone will either suddenly get very busy, or they will barely even be able to get dressed.    You do the first so the second doesn't happen to you. You focus on everything and anything but your sorrow.   Because grief without distraction is crippling.   Not, ouch, I stubbed my toe crippling, but oh no, I've been bitten in half by a Great White crippling.   I'm going to just pretend my legs are still there, even though they are not.  I am going to pretend I am not bleeding to death on the sand.   I'm just going to keep going, and going, and going, and going.  No matter how tired I am.  No matter how much I want to stop.   Because if I do stop, I'll never get started again.  

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