Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the conversations I don't have

The hardest thing about estrangement is the conversations I don't have. Well, to be clear, I mean the ones I don't have out loud. I have the conversations over and over again in my head. They take many forms. There are the conversations to clear up misunderstandings. There are the conversations that ask why. There are the conversations that share my side of the story. There are the conversations where I express my disappointment, or anger, or sadness. There are the conversations where I ask "Are we ok?" or "Are we going to be ok?" or "Do you talk about me and about this estrangment with others?" or "Did you get their side of the story?" or "Do you want to hear my side of the story?" or "Can you fix this?" or "Do you have an opinion?" or "Is there something you want to say to me about this?". Sometimes the noise in my head is deafening.

The silence is worse.

The most difficult thought, I suppose, is that the other person doesn't think about any of these things, doesn't care at all that I am not in their life.

This is harder than any break-up. It is harder because I imagine it is affecting my other relationships and I don't know how to reconcile myself to that. And maybe it isn't even true.

It is the unspoken silences between myself and others. The unspoken silences where I fill in the dialogue.

I think it is why I feel I have no voice these days. I do have a voice, but I am afraid to use it. I also am afraid to hear the answers to the questions I am afraid to ask. Not knowing isn't better, but it does give me a glimmer of hope. Once you know, you know.

I fret when texts aren't answered, phones don't ring, facebook replies are short, or non-existent. I just fret.

Well, that can't be good.

It is my own fault, really.

I seem to think I can pick when, or when not, to be brave. Usually when I just speak it works out. But, not always. Like now. Speaking out has cost me.

Not speaking out has cost me.

Like now.

I could be drinking coffee and watching the sunrise and planning my projects for the day.

Unfortunately, I am such a good multi-tasker that I can do all that and still fret.

I also have to learn that I don't have to make the first move. Relationships are a two way street. Silence exists on both sides.

I guess my really worry is that the silence means they aren't even considering all this stuff and I am just spinning my wheels.

"Tilting at windmills", my mother would say.

I never got that expression until lately.

I wonder if tilting at windmills is a temperment thing.

I wonder if I can stop? Tilting at windmills, I mean.

Grief is a funny thing. It takes time.

And, clearly, I am not patient.


  1. I found the link to your post on e stranged, have read many of your posts today. If I could write, I would have written The conversations..
    I too am a retired teacher. So much of what you have written, and I haven't read it all, speaks to me. I am estranged from my brother, and am getting stronger every day.
    Thank you for sharing your writing!

  2. Mary-Anne, I have nothing to comfort except to say you are loved.

  3. Dear Waitting:

    Thank you for your comment. I miss estranged - I wish she would write more entries because it really helped me. I wish you strength on your journey with your brother, or without. I don't know if it gets any easier, but it helps to write about it, and talk about it with others who are experiencing similar things.


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