The Grief Exhaustion

Update: After publishing this, two Uni people on their first date came and sat next to me. Their hope in one another restored my faith in everything. Keeping this published for those of you for whom it’s already hit home and have messaged. We are going to be okay. ❤️

This is my uncle’s home. He passed away unexpectedly this summer and he is the only one who has experienced any peace. Neither his wife, nor my cousins were home; all of my family is displaced, and so small mercies.

This week knocked me down and right the out. On Tuesday, it felt like I had the rug pulled right out from beneath me at high velocity. In a heartbeat, I was left feeling without protection and so very vulnerable. Without the courtesy of a conversation, and no prep time to sort it. I am left forced to deal with what comes next, pretending everything is okay because to address it directly would be seen as aggression. So I am pretending. Which has never been a natural resting space for me, but here I f.cking am.

I am so tired.

On Wednesday, I walked to a restaurant and struggled to breathe along the way. When I stepped foot inside, I nearly turned around and walked out, without a word to anyone. How rude. How unkind. A lovely woman asked me if I was mad at her, and I thought Oh sis, if only you knew how heavy everything is right now, and how I am struggling to breathe. I explained of course I was not, and sat making surface unwanted conversation, counting breaths in my head. 4 seconds in, hold for 4, and 4 seconds out. It took me a good 90 minutes. Slowly slowly, I started to feel safe again. My friend P said the right things. Over twenty years of knowing one another and seeing stability, he now sees how unstable I am made by G@za, and he does not fight the instability but rather he moves with it. We’ve come to understand one another more and more over the last eight months and I am grateful for his friendship.

I let the afternoon run away with me. I wasn’t working so gave into it all, hoping maybe to drown. But I’m still here.

I am even more tired.

I am tired of not having arms to fall into nightly. I am tired of reaching into space. I am tired, and what I need is someone to tell me it’s going to all be okay. I need to love every day, and make love every night.

I need to be made love to every night.

I need a slow man, who wants to learn every inch of my body every single night. I want the hours in darkness to be ones of curiosity, and vulnerability.

I must be handled with care. Gentleness. Tenderness. Caution. Caution. Caution. Because I am shattering.

I need to cry into someone’s heart so that he might drink my tears away in his des(s)ert thirst. I need him to tell me everything will be okay, and if it isn’t, he’ll still be there in the morning which means everything is okay.

Because I am so tired.

And I am in need of a masculine energy to hold my falling apart and to protect me from the fall.

To protect me from dunya.

To protect me from dunya.

It is the only protection – loving and being loved. When love is celestial, when it is impossible to ignore, when it is the only pull and the only reality; when it is the miracle, it is the only protection.

Even the miserable, they have someone to lay next to at night, while they think of another. Allah has built me with the demand that I align my heart to my body. The loneliness of this build, it is devastating.

I could sleep with many. I choose none.

On Tuesday, I couldn’t talk about the situation because I was suffocating. My wonderful boss, who is also a friend, kept pushing, and the more he pushed the more I pulled. I was not feeling safe. I refused to take the meetings, and took flight instead.

Did you know? I have always been, and I continue to be a flight risk when I feel unsafe. Lack of safety is my disregulator.

My mother, she is all emotion. My father, logic. I sit on the fence perfectly positioned at the mid-point. And when I am neither feeling nor logic, I am running in fear.

But you all know it’s not just that momentary situation of having the rug pulled. We don’t need to lie to one another after all this time; it is such a disservice. You understand it is everything around me that is making me feel vulnerable. You understand and accept that the situation was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was beneath a pile-up, without air in my lungs.

I wrote this on Friday. And again on Saturday and then on Sunday I am back to it unable to finish a coherent thought and struggling to publish.

I have not cried for months, though have been desperate to do so almost daily. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I tried to cry, but couldn’t. Neither Thursday, nor Friday. I watched All of Us Strangers last night and sobbed in grief at the loss of his everything. My grief is so deep that I have lost the thread which tethers me to its understanding and which allows me to access it. I let go when I became too scared that if I were to begin crying, I might never stop.

Though everything around me is forcing me into more and more softness in my own skin, it feels like everything outside of me is becoming a stronger grade of sandpaper. But. There is a new tether which has tied itself onto my rib cage and I am incapable of understanding the way, or even the why of it. Yet.

I am unable to understand, yet.

I am in need of your kindness, ya Allah. Please release the pressure valve; I am neither this strong nor do I wish to be.

I am so tired.


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