Thursday, January 21, 2010


Experiments in Anger - Relentlessly Grim
Originally uploaded by Gavin Liam Levitz Russell

How to let go of anger. This has been my struggle for a week now. I was wronged, and there is no way to make it right. I just have to let go, but how? I know I'm being vague about this, but I'm not sure that revealing the situation makes it any better.

Lets just say this. If Michael were around, he would be having a calming effect on me right now. He would be angry about the situation as well. But he would also be affirming who I am, reminding me that what happened was unjust. To simplify the situation, lets just say my parenting was called into question.

I find myself quite hurt that anyone would question me in this way. I have gone through so much with my kids, and have gone to such great lengths to see that they get the type of help they need. To have someone suddenly questioning my ability to respond appropriately has me feeling demoralized.

I know that I am probably in the most vulnerable state that I have ever been in. To say that I have had a rough go in my time as a parent is to put it very lightly. Having Michael come into my life when he did was like the heavens opening up, and God rewarding me for all that I had sacrificed. I had never been happier. To then take him away from me so soon was, well, shall we use the term 'devastating?'

I'm back to where there is no other adult around to see what it is I go through. There is no one here to try to normalize what is often a very difficult dynamic. There is no one here to hold me in the night, to tell me that I am loved, and to make me feel good.

Experiments in Anger - You tell yourself
Originally uploaded by Gavin Liam Levitz Russell

Life can be so defeating at times. Actually, it can be that way a lot. But I can already hear my own words coming back to me. "Who ever said life was fair?"

Life can be very hard. It can test you, and it can drain you of all your reserve.

I don't want life to drain me dry. I don't want to walk around angry at life. I don't want to become bitter or jaded.

I'm trying my best to be optimistic. I really want to find happiness, or to be content with life. I want to evolve. And I want to evolve with my heart still filled with love. Sometimes I worry that the bitterness that comes with grief, will be what takes permanent residence in my heart. That would be a shame. It would break Michael heart to think of that as my destiny, or the end result of all this.

I just need to say, he was the most wonderful man I had ever met. He wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for me. If I close my eyes I can still see his beautiful face, his smile, and his boyish grin, it all makes me feel so much love. If I stand still, I can still feel him come up from behind me, put his arms around me, and kiss me on the neck. If I breathe in real deep, I can still smell the combined scent of his 'Michael' cologne, and the sweet aftertaste of Starburst candy.

Careful. Careful. If I indulge too much in this I may fall into that well of despair. I don't want to feel that anymore, at least not this week. I need to stay above the surface for a while. I need to breathe fresh air. But I miss him. I miss him more than I will allow myself to feel right now. I feel so incomplete, so broken.

Maybe angry is a better place for now. 'Angry' has kept my eyes dry this week. I can't believe I am saying this, let alone believing it. Maybe any emotional state that is different from the usual sadness is enough of a break. I don't know what I am talking about now. I don't feel like I am making much sense. I am getting so caught up in words because I no longer have someone here to say what I need to hear, and to say it without muttering one single word.


  1. Dan, whoever said this to you is incredibly thoughtless and insensitive. They don't have any right actually. From meeting you here, I feel confident in your parenting ... you constantly amaze me with your insight and intuition/perception, not to mention humour ... and you are still in the early stages.

    And another thing ... they are YOUR children, you know them like no one else does, and you love them like no one else does. It's easy to say, "if it were me blah blah blah" but in reality they wouldn't have done such a good job!

    It's YOUR place to make decisions. They are YOUR kids. YOU love them.

    You are intelligent and caring.

    WTF do they know anyway?

    Take some time to talk to Michael today, tell him what you feel and let the calmness replace the anger.

    He's still there for you.

    Love to you Dan xx

  2. im trying to be more frank, so, that person can get fucked.

  3. Your words really hit home with me on many levels. I identified with my own anger, fury and despair; the criticism about my parenting; having been given a second chance and then having that ripped from me; not wanting to be bitter and jaded. I feel almost helpless in wanting to respond to you right now but not being able to offer much more than moral support from a cyber distance and telling you I've been there.

    The parenting criticism is particularly jarring. To have your abilities or decisions questioned by someone else when you are at the lowest of lows is upsetting and difficult. I remind myself that those being critical are either not parents themselves or not widowed "only" parents, or even single parents for that matter. I also keep telling myself that I am doing the best I can under the situation, which is all any of us can ever do most of the time anyway. It's also going to end up being about the qualitative experience. In other words, when all is said and done with having raised my boys, it will not end up being about one or two decisions I made way back when vs. their overall childhood.

    I'll be thinking about you often today and sending out soothing thoughts in your direction. I like Boo's suggestion of seeking out some time to talk things over with Michael. Is there a close friend you could share a drink and conversation with sometime over the weekend? This is one of those times I'd call up my close girlfriend and head over to our favorite restaurant for fried chicken salads and TWO glasses of wine!

  4. Pants is right. And for all those words I wrote, what I actually wanted to write was exactly that x

  5. Thanks for all the feedback. My ego took a bruising, and I know how this type of verbalized critizism, or questions, can take on a life of it's own.

    I also just get so worked up about things like this, mainly because I have enough shit to deal with. I do need to let go of the anger eventually, just deal with the situation, and move on.

    Thanks again.

  6. The criticism of your parenting was totally out of line. As everyone else has commented, best to ignore such people. They haven't walked a mile (or even a block) in your shoes, so their opinions are pretty much meaningless. That said, I've noticed that, when something happens that bothers me - someone says something hurtful, mean, or insulting, etc.. - I don't tend to dismiss it as quickly as I used to and it replays in my head more than it should. I think it's because, when Don was alive, I would either feel so secure that I just shrugged things off, or I would tell him what happened and we'd discuss it and usually end up laughing about what a snot someone was. Now it's just me and the dogs - and, yes, I do tell them about stuff sometimes!