Words fail me… piles of words, stuck in my head.
Writer’s Block is an over-simplified term for what I’m feeling about words right now. I carry them around like more emotional baggage, weighing me down. They taunt me, as I struggle to make sense of things, the best way I know how: writing.
“You haven’t written anything in ages,” my friend pointed out, at lunch. “You haven’t even done your Friday Fictioneers–“ she adds, watching me.
I wanted to cry. Again. I seem to do that a lot lately. Cry.
It’s been a really rough couple of months, on so many fronts. Three steps forward in my efforts to evolve, and five steps back– some days.
Generally, I’d use my words. That’s what I do: write. I figure things out that way; I process; I move forward and through things that are challenging, by putting them down and sending them out. But this time, I’ve been paralyzed. I see the weekly photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers (the weekly flash fiction challenge, that I’ve done for 20 months now, only missing 2) and I can’t even string 100 words together. Stories run through my head, but I can’t type them.
Even the words have failed me, recently.
Let me clarify: I think of a something to write, every day. Every. Day. I frequently lie awake late at night, because the words are clambering to be written, but I sit down and my fingers fail me. A lump in my throat prevents the blood flow from head to heart to keyboard.
There– you can’t tell, but I just sat for 20 minutes after that last word.
You haven’t written anything in ages.
So here I am, in this coffee shop– with its soothing European music, with lots of industrious people typing away around me, and I sit looking out the window… stuck.
Three steps forward and five back.
The words are there; my head is full of them– but they all feel unspeakable, un-typable.
This Voices of the Year is choking on her words.
It’s been nearly 2 months since I learned some family revelations that have rocked me. I’ve been processing it, and finding some peace, but challenge upon challenges rolls in, on top of that, and I am stuck. My past too often drives me; I want to drive.
The ongoing pain of watching someone I love so much struggle with Huntington’s Disease and addiction, and feeling helpless, hurt, hopeless… lost. Unable to reach out and fix anything, or connect. I drift in this loss.
Ten more minutes pass… I see someone I know out the window, and turn away. I don’t want to say hi, or chat about our kids.
My kids. I miss them. I love who they are and what they’re doing, but some days I ache from the distance. My girl is waiting for her first baby– nearly 7,000 miles away from me. Her beautiful round belly is only real in photos. I can’t hug her, or go sit with her, as she deals with the challenges of becoming a new mother, living in a new city, creating a new life (literally, and figuratively) with her partner, so far from us. I ache.
My boy is having the adventures of a lifetime, in Australia and soon in Vietnam and China. He’s with the woman he loves. They are happy and embracing their journey. We’ve shared some wonderful emails, skypes and phone calls. This child I’ve had more conflict with over the years– I have missed him enormously, and enjoy those moments of connection so much. Another 7,000+ miles are between us. I ache.
I smile at their updates, and the photos that bring them into my home again, but then I cry– “Come home…”
Two more people living in my house and another dog– I love these two; I’m so happy to have them here, but I miss my solitude. I miss my freedom to sit quietly and write, or miss my kids, or do any number of things that I did with that solitude. The dog has wreaked havoc. Aggressive and scary one minute, sweet the next. One of the people I love, loves the dog, but her presence is not sustainable. It weighs heavy on me– torn between the boy, the dog, my love and the offer of help I extended, but now can’t fulfill. Frustrated by the omissions that landed us in this place. The options are limited; none of them feel good. I feel boxed in and trapped by my own actions, my own desire to do the right thing.
Boundaries… three steps forward and five back, I feel like I’m always trying to catch up. If you grew up with very little experience in setting boundaries, in unconditional love, in healthy relationships… it’s like inventing the wheel, with feathers and glue.
Staring out the window again, watching teenage mothers on the corner, their young children playing on the busy sidewalk. Today, I don’t feel any more competent than they are. The young girl strokes her round belly, another child coming, as she sucks her cigarette… and I stare out this window.
I’ve written something.
One step at a time, forward, I stumble.
Check out other stories about dealing with our pasts, baggage, and life, here on the Daily Post.
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