Monday, March 31, 2008

An End Date for this Pity Party

A week from today it will be six months since I left Swarthmore. Given the fact that I literally hadn't the slightest idea that my life would be ripped in two even a week before that day, I think I've done all right. Even though nothing is all-the-way settled, and I still have "how can this be happening" moods, and fear can rule much of my day if I let it, it's time for the pity party to be over.

Victim-hood happens, and it happened to me. And it takes over and defines your life -sometimes forever. It also puts you at the center of a little firestorm of a drama; you become the star of the show for a little while. The danger of course is that the drama becomes its own story, especially if it had been a long time since the victim was the star of anything.

So, yes, I can acknowledge that the end of my marriage will probably always be a watershed moment in my life. But I can reframe victimhood into something more powerful. (Well, I suppose almost anything is more powerful than that!) And it's time for other people to be the star of the show for a while. Or we can all share the lead roles. Or something ;)

One more week of fretting (with any luck, quietly) and then it's off to the next phase of recovery. Victimhood will become...creativity? Crafting the life I want in the next phase of my life? Knitting my heart whole? Those are metaphors that might work for me. Or maybe I'm looking for something stronger-sounding, bigger-feeling. Flying? Building? Word choice is important to me, but I guess you knew that already.

But whining and rallying the troops in support of poor victimized Andrea -that's definitely over. But just to be clear, you can still send whatever karmic vibes you like toward Professor Entitled ;)


Renee said...

I think it's great that you're wanting to move on, but I don't think you should put pressure on yourself to be over it by a certain date. You were married for 25 years; I think it's ok if you mourn it longer than 6 months, and we'll all be really forgiving if on 6 months and 1 day (or 2 days or 3 days...) you need to whine, vent, or fall apart a little. Not that you *have* to, but know that you can.

Anonymous said...

American born philosphizer Marshall Buford reminds us that six months is an adequate period of time to have mastered all the functions of your new microwave. - how are we supposed to know how many ounces our lunch plate is anyway? - There should be two buttons - on and off. or perhaps a setting for "stop before you turn my food to mush." Anyway - I digress - Buford posted a list of things you shoudl accomplish in six months on his web page ""
for six months:
1) learn all the functions of your new microwave
2) remember the name of all the people with whom you work.
3) change the oil in your car - see also "what you should have done 3 months ago"
4) become fully vested in a television series

These are only some of the 6 month options. He goes on to caution mere mortals to beware of accomplishing 18 month tasks at the 6 month mark. If you do that, you have may have taken shortcuts and you will find yourself re-doing them. It is in the re-doing that the hardest lessons are learned. See also: "the shingles on your roof are upside-down" - that is an interesting post by a fellow Bufordian who overreached. funny, funny stuff. So, reach for the microwave instructions, get a television, and let the other wait for a while. Also of note: Marshall Buford does mention you on his web page - he says you are as beautiful and powerful a woman as has ever been created by God's own hand and that he, above all, is proud of you and the steps you have taken. Do not rush. - Love you

Andrea Rusin said...

You crack me up and make me cry and make me proud to be related to the Buford clan -and I didn't know you read my blog!

Anonymous said...

it was on my 6 month list

Michael said...

I motion that second. There's nothing particularly magical about six months. If you feel you're ready to move on, then by all means do. But don't rush it just for the sake of an arbitrary date on the calendar. We laugh nowadays at the rigidity of the old Victorian-era mourning rules, and the hyperbole of some of the customs that went along with it--but I think there was at least a little bit of wisdom in the idea that someone who'd suffered an important loss should be given a year or two to get things sorted out and more or less back on an even keel, before being expected to be his or her usual self and ready to be back in the whirl of everyday life.

Take the time you need.

Andrea Rusin said...

Oh I'm still grieving, make no mistake. And there's sadness yet to come, I'm sure. It's just the DRAMA of it all I'd like to curtail. I'm starting to feel bad about drawing so much energy from other people towards me, ME, ME!!!!! Who would have thought such a day would come ;)

Lisa :-] said...

I understand your desire to not be the center of the firestorm anymore. I am one who has never been comfortable in that kind of situation, either.

There are so many folks out there now who are absolutely addicted to drama in their lives...with their strings of broken relationships and children from two or three or four different relationships. I don't know how they can stand living at that kind of fever pitch all the time. I would get burned out on that very quickly. Maybe that's kind of where you are...?

Jane said...

I just came to your blog by way of planning a Mother's Day weekend visit to my MIL in Hinckley, planning my annual pilgrimage to Cracker Jax, and somehow discovered your wonderful shop, and now I can't wait to get there. Meanwhile, I just wanted to pop in and say you are a very fine writer, young lady, and I hope you are going to include THAT in your plans for the future. There is a book in this somewhere, and it might just be a knitting book. You are a far better writer than SPMcPhee, and as near as I can see so far, a good deal more thoughtful. The knitting book thing is far from peaking. I'm going to favorite your blog and hope to read more of your good insight soon!