I have been thinking about this.
My family has some problems that have just seemed absolutely intractable. Some of these problems I talk about in public. Some of them Elinor Dashwood is talking about in smaller locked groups on this blog on Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Some I talk about only in person, to just a handful of people.
We are trained to want the happy ending. Let's face it, happy people and winners are culturally preferred. Everyone appreciates a winner.
People in pain? People who can't get it together? People who continue to hurt, even when the people around them, the people who love them, keep trying
to help them find their way out of the morass that surrounds them? Not so appealing.
I don't know quite what to do when I can't report the happy ending, both to myself, to my family and friends, and to readers of this journal.
in a way. I am rather scrupulous at self-examination, and this is what I have been mulling over lately.
One of my soul collage cards is a Committee card (i.e., an aspect of myself) called The Bearer of Burdens:
|The Bearer of Burdens - Committee Suit
I am the One who is dependable, who bears the unbearable weight. I keep moving forward steadily through the desert that no one else can cross. I carry all that I need with me using my own inner strength. I can carry the burdens of others as well as my own.
I have been thinking lately that when I started walking across this desert, I had no idea that the journey would be so long. You keep going and going and going, reasoning, okay, this can't go on forever; sooner or later you have to get to an oasis, and you'll be able to lay this burden down.
But I haven't been able to do so. And after awhile, you start to feel like a fool and a sucker for continuing to trudge forward, but what is your alternative when all around you all you see is a sandblast of desolation? Who else would pick up the burden? And if you stopped now
and try to go back
, who's to say whether or not you wouldn't end up just walking farther than if you just keep going in the direction you're going? There is no one to tell me. No one.
I lost one of the most important relationships in my life, I think, because the other individual, for reasons that elude me even now, said, "I'm not going to stick around any longer with you on this journey because I'm just tired of waiting for you to get to the oasis." Look, I'm tired of it, too. But I can't find any other way out of this desert than to keep walking.
I would never have believed, three years ago, that Rob would STILL not have a permanent job. I never would have believed some of the other things are still going on that I am struggling with. I can't believe I'm still walking through this desert, and the fear keeps stealing up that it looks as though I'm on the brink of dying of thirst. But what the fuck else am I supposed to do? There are no maps. No vehicles swooping down to pick me up.
I am sorry. I have no idea how long it will take or whether I will ever find the cool waters and restful shade I long for, or whether I'm even destined to get out of the desert at all. I might die of thirst out here all alone, but I have no idea which ending will happen
. If only I knew
. If I knew that it wasn't going to work out, I suppose at least I could put the burden down and just rest
as I waited for the ending.
But I don't. If there's any chance I'll ever see the end of this desert, there isn't anyway I'm going to get out of it except under my own power.
So no, I cannot report the period of unemployment has ended, the marital and mental health problems have been solved, the house has been cleaned and the financial picture is more stable. I'm sorry, and it's getting downright embarrassing, but I just can't. The future may involve foreclosure, bankruptcy, homelessness, hospitalization, divorce. It may involve none of these things.
I don't know how this will end. But I can't see any alternative but to keep going.
(Edited to add
: The ironic thing is, I am also actually on both
sides of this divide, within my own immediate family.)