What It Means To Me

I don’t know if I will be able to find the words to sufficiently grasp the gravity of what I am about to share. When I try to express it, it all seems like mere words to hear it. Sometimes there are no words. But I will try. I am going to try in order to make this real to myself. And to help you, hopefully, understand me better. Also, because someone might relate to this and maybe it will help them too.

Every once in a while a song comes along that touches you deeply. The song I posted a few days ago, It’s Quiet Uptown, is one of those songs for me. The pain of trauma and loss is unimaginable. It sits with me and lives inside of me like a constant never ending ache that keeps spilling out, crying out to be heard, to be touched, to be felt, to be understood. It is unimaginable. I woke up out of my sleep crying that night several times, overcome by the unimaginable pain I cannot grasp that lives within this frame of my body and yet seems bigger than life itself.

And I have been listening to this song and crying for days now, letting it speak to me things no one else has ever expressed to me before. Not in the way this song has been able to do. This song is helping me to understand why the pain in me is so vast and wide and deep and heart wrenching and unimaginable.

Nothing that happened to me was ever real to anyone around me: not childhood sexual abuse, not the death of my father when I was just a child, not the death of my babies, not a miscarriage, not rape by a therapist, and on and on. This messed with my mind, as well as having psychopaths in my life (I won’t get into what this does to someone’s mind and spirit).

Their silence would have been unbearable enough, but receiving cruelty for every loss and every trauma in my life has left all of the pain locked up inside of me. And it is overwhelming. I am now left to try to figure out how to face the pain I had to hide in order to survive. I am struggling to even know what it is that happened to me.

This is going to sound crazy, but I never even realized that I have and am dealing with the unimaginable. This song allowed my spirit to finally realize this. And all of it cumulatively is crushing to the soul. It has been overwhelming.

I will share with you a few examples of what I am talking about. When my father died when I was eight years old, my mother removed every memory from our home. Nothing was left, nothing. It was as if he never existed. My mother took a vacation to California without us. And no one, no one, ever talked to me about it. One time, shortly after his death, I walked up to my mother crying wanting her to hold me and she pushed me away. She looked at me and said, “You are just a child, what could you possibly have to worry about?” My father just died and I was being sexually abused for three years by now and it would continue for more years to come. As a child, here I was dealing with things I didn’t even understand and now I really thought there was something wrong with me. My mother just told me that children don’t have pain, and I did, so there must be something terribly wrong with me and I was afraid. This sealed my fate to never admit the pain inside of me to anyone. How could I let anyone know I was dealing with things that children don’t deal with?

When I lost my first baby, the nurse walked into my hospital room and told me to stop crying. She told me that I was young and could have more children. Not my mother or anyone in my family talked to me about this loss or helped me.

When I lost my second baby, my mother came to help me. And my brother told me that he thought my mother was paying too much attention to me. He never said that he was sorry for my loss, no one in my family did. They said nothing.

And I won’t continue on because it is all too painful to even mention. I think in my poetry I am always searching for enough words to help me try to believe that any of it happened at all, that it was all real. Somehow I have to be able to claim my own pain that everyone else silenced in me.

Instead of compassion or help, I have received cruelty for every trauma and loss.

When I realized this yesterday, all of it cumulatively while listening to this song, I was overcome with emotion. My husband was at home at the time and we were standing in our kitchen when I was trying to share this awareness with him. He took me in his arms and encouraged me to stop trying to hold my emotions in and just cry. Then we both stood there together crying, looking at each other in disbelief at how all of this in itself is unimaginable.

I am ashamed and embarrassed of the pain I have inside of me. I have lived my life feeling this way. I blamed myself for everyone’s lack of care for me, even for their cruelty. I was hard on myself for the pain I carry inside, because I wasn’t strong enough. I felt that I must be weak to hurt this much. It was never real to anyone, how could it be real to me?

Then when I isolated myself, when I ran away to try and find relief, people criticized me for that too. There has been no escape, no relief.

I write this trying to find the right words, and I can only hope that it is understandable. My blog, my poetry, my heart and emotions all cry out being  limited by mere words to try to express the unimaginable. I struggle to make anything that happened to me real. I think that is why I try to name it over and over in my poetry. I carry all the pain, but not the reality. It has been crushing my spirit because: “There are moments that the words don’t reach… We push away what we can never understand. We push away the unimaginable…”

Somewhere along the way, because of all that has gone wrong in my life, I have come to feel as though I am the unimaginable that everyone pushes away!

When you sit alone with trauma and loss, it’s quiet uptown. And the silence is crushing to the human spirit.

I wanted to share the song again, this time with the lyrics because of what it means to me.

It’s Quiet Uptown by Kelly Clarkson (lyrics follow)

There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name
You hold your child as tight as you can
Then push away the unimaginable
The moments when you’re in so deep
Feels easier to just swim down
And so they move uptown
And learn to live with the unimaginable

I spend hours in the garden
I walk alone to the store
And it’s quiet uptown
I never liked the quiet before
I take the children to church on Sunday
A sign of the cross at the door
And I pray
That never used to happen before

If you see him in the street, walking by himself
Talking to himself, have pity
You would like it uptown, it’s quiet uptown
He is working through the unimaginable
His hair has gone grey, he passes every day
They say he walks the length of the city
You knock me out, I fall apart
Can you imagine?

Look at where we are
Look at where we started
I know I don’t deserve you
But hear me out, that would be enough

If I could spare his life
If I could trade his life for mine
He’d be standing here right now
And you would smile, and that would be enough
I don’t pretend to know the challenges we’re facing
I know there’s no replacing what we’ve lost
And you need time
But I’m not afraid, I know who I married
Just let me stay here by your side
And that would be enough

If you see him in the street, walking by her side
Talking by her side, have pity
Do you like it uptown? It’s quiet uptown
He is trying to do the unimaginable
See them walking in the park, long after dark
Taking in the sights of the city
Look around, look around, look around
They are trying to do the unimaginable

There are moments that the words don’t reach
There’s a grace too powerful to name
We push away what we can never understand
We push away the unimaginable
They are standing in the garden
Standing there side by side
She takes his hand
It’s quiet uptown

Forgiveness, can you imagine?
Forgiveness, can you imagine?

If you see him in the street, walking by her side
Talking by her side, have pity
Look around, look around
They are going through the unimaginable

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25 thoughts on “What It Means To Me

  1. I listen to her song Piece by piece and I have allowed it to let me feel every emotion. I have cried, become angry, become sad. It is not a surprise that you are listening to one of her songs too and that it resonated with you and allowed you to feel.
    Your losses , the deprevation of compassion and love, is astounding. I want to hold you and hug you through each of those moments that you were forgotten or ignored or dismissed. My heart feels for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see how her song Piece by Piece could make you feel deep emotions too. Sometimes words are hurtful and the loneliness sets in. Sometimes adding music and lyrics together and it is powerful enough to allow our hearts to see and feel our pain. Thank you Bethany! Hugs!

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        1. I stopped listening to music for years because it makes me so emotional, and I had shut down my emotions. Now that I let it back in, well it gives me access to what I have been holding inside. Music gives expression and access to what words alone cannot do!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I don’t think I know what I am doing. I think too many of us are trying to survive the unimaginable! I got filled with fear and almost took this post down last night. Everything that happened to me has always seemed so insignificant to everyone around me, I didnt want to risk more pain or being misunderstood. So thank you for your kindness!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree, we’re trying to survive the unimaginable. It’s so hard, and easy to think about just giving up. Yet we fight on. You’re not alone in this. I understand the fear of posting something and then wanting to take it down again. It happens to me quite often. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad you did not take this post down. It resonated with me, because I walk around with a lot of pain, and I am hard on myself about it. I tell myself, “get over it. Move on.” You are not alone. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This really means a lot to me. I did feel as though there must be others who suffer with at least some of this too. It is a torturous internal existence to live not being able to acknowledge that your pain is real… to be so afraid of expressing it. And being so afraid of experiencing any more pain because there is no more room. It leaves you imploding inside and with no recourse than to isolate yourself. I am so sorry that you suffer like this. Thank you for being brave enough to share your thoughts. Hugs!!!

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  3. Hi Blue Sky, I know what you mean when you say that you yourself might be the unimaginable that everyone pushes away. For me it has to do with God, who lives in me. Yet no one wants to acknowledge a higher power, one that is Love, and instead go on with their own ideas about how to love and survive and grow and transform. I don’t know if you have experienced God’s love amidst your pain and brokenness, but it seems this revelation in the song was an outpouring of love for you, even if it feels overwhelming now. I am going to read some of your poetry. – Amaya

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The cruelty of being told not to cry makes me so angry for you. I really relate to feeling we have to turn away from the sadness as no one is there for us to express it with or they tell us we must not have it. This has happened to me so much too. In fact I think I have so much unexpressed sadness locked up in my body due to this kind of treatment. I am sorry that the video isn’t playing for me. I will chase it up on You Tube after I have breakfast. Lots of love and hugs I really wish we lived close so I could be with you to help you when you needed a friend just to hold your hand and cry for all you lost. With so much love ❤ D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can feel in many of your posts that you share this feeling of so much unexpressed pain and sadness. It makes us afraid of our own feelings. And so sensitive to others comments regarding our pain and healing. I wish the same! I am so sorry you are going through this too. It feels like such a hindrance to moving forward. Lots of hugs to you!

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  5. Reblogged this on Emerging From The Dark Night and commented:
    I strongly feel the need to reblog this post as it touches on such a crucial issue and that is how our sadness or pain is pushed away and then leaves us in deeply unreconcilable place. It is so eloquently expressed, especially when words are so hard to find. To suffer once is bad enough but to be blocked or prevented from expressing the truth is an agony well beyond words with devastating consequences that may last forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the reblog and for all of your kind words! I do think there is a very good possibility for many of us that this pain will last forever. It is just a matter of how much and to what degree. I do not know if the emotional triggers will ever go away when we spend our lifetime being silenced! Thank you! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I agree I am just writing a post as a bit of a protest at the moment. The pain is worse when we don’t get comfort. I have so rarely had it myself and reading your post has shown me this ever more clearly. There is a such an unwritten ethos in our society that we get over the unimaginable but how can we and really should we? Keep speaking out your voice needs so badly to be heard. xox

        Liked by 1 person

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