A few weeks ago, I wrote something which is not intended for publication. I read it now and then, and every time I do, the tears come, and so I close the document and do something else. Anything. I am a world champion in avoidance tactics. I was right when I said that only about 10% of me is actually visible. And you get to see the 1% extra, because only a couple of people know I actually wrote anything at all. I am rambling here, but bear with me......
I have been reminded that what you see is not always the true picture. I could take you on a walk around this village and you would meet my friends, and would see just what they let you see, and you would never scratch the surface. Lovely genuine people. Each and every one of them.
We are all like that. Some people accept just what they see, and only as they get to know you a little better, do they sense what could be bubbling under the surface. Others only ever see what they want to see. Assumptions can be made. And sometimes those assumptions are way way off base.
I lay in bed last night thinking about what I had written here yesterday, and then started thinking about what I had not written at all. About the things that happen to real people, and how they cope with them. About private battles being fought. Tough decisions made. Challenges coped with. Life is happening all around me. Birth, marriage, death, divorce, hopes, fears, celebration, loneliness, illness, the challenges and joys of raising children, coping with elderly parents and changing needs, finances, work, distance, you name it. It is the nature of life. It is happening wherever I look. To each of us. Sometimes I look around me and think....the tv producers would throw this out as too improbable if ever anyone wrote it all down as a potential soap opera.
Real life seems totally improbable at times. I think, no, this can't really be happening. Not to him. Not to her. Not to them. Not to me. But it is. To real people. Love/hate, laughter/tears, hopes/fears, good/bad, certainties/uncertainties, life/death.
Back to those assumptions. The mouths may smile at times, but look a little closer at the eyes. They may be distant, focussing on a place you cannot imagine. Confidence may hide a wealth of inadequacies. Laughter may mask a hurt so deep. Busy-ness may focus attention away from a bruised or battered heart. We are all masters of illusion in real life. Appearances can indeed be deceptive. And we hesitate to open what could be Pandora's box, because we don't have any guarantees about what might happen if we dare. How many times have we avoided asking personal questions? Or how many times do we look behind the expected/hoped for pat answers? Do we even want to go there?
We brush aside platitudes which make our lips tremble, and control waver. We use humour to mask raw nerves. We deflect attention away from ourselves to hide pain. We speak too quickly, and don't listen enough. Well, I do, anyway.
The one thing I have in abundance right at this moment, is time. Time which I have longed for, but not the time I had hoped for, to do all the things I had planned. I need to keep moving, and now I can't. Moving prevents me from going to the secret place in my mind where I can surrender control and just be. And sometimes that is an uncomfortable place to be. I am only human, and maybe it did take being injured to get me to stop and be still. Maybe I am the type of person who needs to be pole-axed to really get me to listen. Maybe Someone has another agenda I need to follow. It seems that this is non-negotiable right now.
I am getting better slowly, by the way. But as I have said before, patience is not something I have been blessed with in abundance. And I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not going to heal physically at all until I stop, turn round, take a deep breath, and face those giants lurking behind me. Do I want to go there? Absolutely not.
The problem is, I don't think I have any choice any more.
I am a widow. My name is Linds. It hurts.