Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The secret war

When I began this journey, I said I’d always be honest, and I have been—when I’ve spoken at all. But there comes a time when a grieving person simply stops talking, and there dishonesty begins. All of which has been on my mind this week—the worst I’ve had in more than a year.

I don’t know the specific cause, though I can speculate—and, in fact, I wrote a rather long piece doing exactly that, but that’s where it ends. Suffice it to say that the past week or so I’ve been missing Nigel more intensely, more stomach muscle clenchingly, than at any time since the first few months after he died. It feels as if most of the tears I’ve shed this year have been in the past week, but that’s probably an underestimate.

I’m fine, and at no point was I in any danger or contemplating any form of self harm. The point to this story is simple: Without self-disclosure from others, you just can’t know what they’re dealing with. For the past week I’ve been fighting a private, silent hell and you wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t said something. How many others that you meet on a daily basis, folks who maybe seem extra tired, grumpy, or arseholes, even, might actually be fighting their own secret war?

Be kind, always. It costs you absolutely nothing, but you may give a moment of peace to someone in the midst of a terrible personal war. This past week was the worst I’ve had in more than a year. You know that because I told you. Who else around you could be suffering in silence?

I originally posted this to my personal Facebook page a couple days ago, and it actually explains why I’ve been missing from this blog over the past week. In fact, my previous three posts were all written during the time I’m talking about in this post (which was actually longer than a week, all things considered) and they were challenging for me to do. I plan on talking more about all that soon, along with talking about some other, positive things that have been going on, but, for now, the important thing is that I’m okay and the private war seems to be in the midst of a truce. That’s good enough.


Roger Owen Green said...

Yeah, many of us have "stuff" and people don't know our "stuff."

(Is it generational? It seems that some people TikTok, Instagram, and tweet EVERYTHING; but that too is - probably - a fiction).

Arthur Schenck said...

I think it is generational, though not about age as such. Instead, I think that it's digital immigrants v. digital natives.

Those who grew up with modern technology—everything from personal computers through even to social media—think nothing of sharing nearly everything online. It's how they operate because it's what they grew up with (more or less). The rest of us, who had to learn some or all of that as it came along, didn't learn to interact online when we were kids, so doing so seems very odd to us. As a result, many of us don't understand why anyone would share so much. The other side of that, of course, is that digital natives don't understand why anyone wouldn't share their lives online.

You and I are somewhere between those to imaginary points (as, actually, most people of whatever age are). I generally don't have many things I won't talk about, but a lot of times it's for a reason that may also be age-appropriate for me: I just can't be bothered!