Shaken, Not Stirred
Posted on February 22, 2016
A couple of friends have noticed and made mention to me that I haven’t been myself lately. I’m distracted or distant and there is some merit to that. You see, I haven’t ‘felt’ the same in the last couple of months. It’s all been askew, something I’ve known about and won’t deny. Things haven’t been the same. Despite what my husband might say, I tend to be somewhat unshakable. I’m emotional and I’ll react to things, but I’m also very predictable when I’m emotional and react to things. It doesn’t mean I’m easily shaken. It just means we know what my reaction will be. But I have been shaken these past few months. Badly.
I think the difference is that while we typically react based on the sum of our experiences in life, there are still some experiences we haven’t had yet that can be foundation breakers. Build a house of straw, have it blown down, then rebuild it with wood. Have it blown down, then rebuild it with bricks. And so on and so forth. Then, we finally get to a stage when we don’t think we’ll have something happen that shakes us, yet it does. It finds a way.
I have friends who haven’t lost parents yet. So, when I lost my father back in November, they shared my sense of loss and grief…but only to a certain extent. And when I didn’t continue on with my typical behavior because my foundation was shaken, it shook theirs just enough for them to be uncomfortable. It totally didn’t help either when I came down sick in Milan. That was a month ago and I just this past Friday went to the doctor’s because I still wasn’t well. It’s a simple sinus infection now, but one that would not leave the building. So I’ve been sick for a month and not the same.
Again, this went noticed. And I’ve been asked “Why aren’t you saying what you used to say? Why aren’t you joking and behaving the way you used to with me?” Because I don’t know how right now.
Roger Margason (author Dorien Grey) and I used to talk frequently about a great many things in life. We had some things in common despite our age difference, which is funny to think about now because it rarely came up then, at least not in the way you’d think. Music differences are when it tended to show up. But other than that? Honestly, you’d never know he was in his eighties. You just wouldn’t. And he is…was…the only friend I had that age. And he’s gone now.
Dad’s gone, Roger’s gone, my father-in-law is gone, my mentor is gone, a friend from high school lost his father a week ago, and another friend had to put their dog to sleep this past weekend. It feels very much like a sea of never ending loss right now. It doesn’t stop. Or at least it hasn’t let up for a while.
I understand now what my husband went through when he lost his father. I get it. I also don’t hold a grudge for what it did to him that first Christmas after his dad was gone. All I wanted to do was console him and be his rock. His foundation was shaken to the core and he didn’t realize what it was doing to him, or how it was making him act. He didn’t know.
So I am all too aware that I’m not able to be who I was until I’ve found a way to integrate these new experiences into my life. Getting healthy is certainly going to help. There’s nothing worse than being asked to be ‘normal’ when you don’t feel physically healthy. That’s not something you can control or even fake for very long.
For those of you asking me why I’m not saying the things or acting towards you the way I used to, this is for you. It’s because I don’t know how yet. But I’m trying. And I will get there. You’re just going to have to be patient. The good news is if you’re ever in the future where I am today, guess who’s going to be able to be your rock? Because I’ll understand. I just need for you to accept how this is and how I am right now. You’ll understand later.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
7 Responses to “Shaken, Not Stirred”
Eddie Lam says:
February 22, 2016 at 8:14 am
Every life experience makes us wiser and stronger. It takes time for us to embrace into the new chapter / ideas. For those who never experience the same thing, it may not totally understand how you feel / hurt deeply inside. All just need to respect and gave them space. One day all will be on the same page.
February 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm
It would be awkward to say “I hope some people never have to experience what I have” because they will. It’s part of life. But helping each other get through it is part of the human experience too.
JP Adkins says:
February 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm
My friend, you need not explain anything to anyone. You feel how you feel and life will once again find a way to right itself. It will not be the life you had before, but it will be something new, something beautiful.
If I was one of those people who had made you feel guilty, please accept my apologies and know that you are loved! I am here if you need to talk, or want to talk, or don’t want to talk.
February 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm
Much appreciation, Jeff. Suffice to say you haven’t made me feel guilty about anything at all. I just continue to be in a weird place I don’t recognize and my GPS is acting goofy.
JP Adkins says:
February 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm
I am just finding my bearings and ended up in a direction that I never thought I would take. It is funny how life moves you along. You are loved.
Katherine Trick says:
February 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm
No explanation needed here. You’ve been through a lot of emotional and physical changes lately and you can’t help but have it affect you. Your life will work it’s way to your new “normal” on it’s own time frame. Just know there are people out there willing to just be there for you as you make the journey. I hope you get over this sinus infection soon and start feeling healthy very quickly.
February 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm
Of course you’re not the ‘you’ you were before your father died. I’m honestly much more shocked people expect you to be that, especially so soon. Yes, I said soon. You’re still grieving, and that’s healthy and normal and okay. You’ll have a lot of firsts in relation to that grief. Also healthy and okay. No one can – or even should – expect you to be how you were before. That you isn’t there anymore and will never be, because that person didn’t have the experiences you do now. You are and will continue to be Kristoffer Gair, even on shakier ground. Just wait until you regain your footing again. It’ll take time, but you’ll get there and we’ll be here for you along the way *hugs*