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I Don't Want to Be Nice! I Don't Want to Be Good!

“I don’t want to be nice! I don’t want to be good!” Years ago while working in a department store I heard a four year old shout this over and over again all the way out the door. It has given me a chuckle off and on over the years ever since because, haven’t we all felt that way at one time or another? But recently, in the face of grief, protracted angst and yes-depression, I don’t just feel that way-I get it-to my very bones. I’m tired of making nice to casual friends who want me to make room for them in my life so I can hear about dance recitals and dog antics and how their husbands are this and that and never good enough. I’m tired of letting the façade of normal creep over my face in a learned, albeit not full, smile as someone goes on and one about how to eradicate some pest from their lawn or some other random thing. I’m tired of pretending that it’s okay for them to continue on in our “relationship” as if everything is normal now that it’s been over a year since John was ripped away from me and I should be okay.

I’m sick and tired of having to bite my tongue when I think of John or miss John or want to talk about how effing, bloody freaking hard each day can be because they, these casual friends are uncomfortable talking about it, especially now since it’s been “such a long while now” and of course for them it has been. For them life has moved forward and quite frankly on. It wasn’t their person, their constant, their touchstone for life so they have been able to do that. For them an enormous hole wasn’t ripped into their reality, their Universe or their soul. They are okay. I am not. They don’t want to hear, see or know that I am not okay and ‘can we please just talk about the weather, their children, their new stupid car instead of anything of value, of measure, of depth?' Let’s just pretend the world is fine for me, because the word is fine for them and they really don’t want to know it is anything different than that.

I guess I’m feeling snarky or let’s just call it-today I’m pissed off and bitchy. I miss my husband. I miss his kindness, his love and his touch and I’m sick-literally my head hurts, my ulcer is back, my body aches and oh my gosh I’m so weary, so tired! I’m sick of pretending that being a reasonable and dependable person is who I am. I’m not. I’m a mess, period. And honestly, I’m fine with that.

For me the reality that John is NEVER, ever, ever coming back and that it really is just me trying to figure out myself and my life and anything else that comes up is just really beginning to sink in. I’m terrified to make the leaps I need to make but miserable where I stand currently. I don’t want to hold it together anymore. I want to not only drop my basket, but hurl it at the wall and then stare at it fuming because who the hell cares about pretending to be okay, good, nice or sane when all of me is howling inside that I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be nice to others who can’t admit that currently I am slightly out of my mind and its okay that I am because John dying really blows! I don’t want to be good and do all the things I’m supposed to do that are responsible and dependable because honestly I can barely get the dog taken care of properly and so who the bleep cares about lawn care, garbage or appointments, John is DEAD. DEAD should trump all that other bullsh*t.  Unfortunately most people don’t see it that way and really only others who have endured or are enduring it can get it.

I really feel like I’m done. I’ve had it. I don’t want to play nice with the world at large anymore because they can’t and don’t want to accept that, this occasionally babbling barely pulled together person is who I am right now, and that it’s okay to be exactly that. I want to go away where I can just be what I am. Sad. Bereft, Angry. Scared. And most of all lonely for John. I want to cry out to all of those around me and their expectations-UNCLE.

Anyone else feel like this? Thanks for reading this rambling rant. I always know I can post up here and know that somewhere out there someone else is thinking or feeling the same.


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Comment by AEDforever (Ali) on April 29, 2014 at 8:40pm

Be Blunt.  Be Mean.  Say what you really tbink.  It is very cathartic..esp. for "casual" friends..or even close relatives. Pardon my french, but fuck them.  You are the one in pain and suffering, perhaps your honesty will wake them up!

Comment by Lucy on April 24, 2014 at 4:45am
Amazing how you can so clearly articulate exactly what I am feeling! I am so sick of pretending to be nice! You are not alone!! Our "friends" and family who have not lost their soulmate just don't get it. How could they? Hugs, Lucy
Comment by cec on April 23, 2014 at 7:03am
Nice vent ....I felt like that so I just stopped talking to all my old friends ....found out they weren't the kind of friends I needed.....I needed someone who truely understand .....and I wasn't playing nice anymore either...,
Comment by northeastgal on April 21, 2014 at 2:39pm

  Flannery, I am sure most of here know exactly how you feel!  Your reality is our reality.  It is 14 months since my husband pased and most of my day is filled with tears and talking to empty rooms.  I have 2 close friends who understand because they too are widows.  Even my kids, who are grown, don't get it.

   After 38 years of togetherness, how do you stop doing what you have always done?  Although his was not a sudden death I still need the comfort of routine.  This Easter, I bought him an Easter card, a balloon and his favorite Easter candy; just like I have always done.  Do my kids understand?  No!

   If we need to grieve in a way others do not understand, too bad for them.  This is our new reality that we are trying to understand and cope with.  We are doing our best.

   Thankfully we are not alone. 


Comment by Claire on April 21, 2014 at 5:18am

@flannery Oh, I so get it!  You took the words right out of my mouth.

Comment by oceangirl on April 18, 2014 at 2:02pm

Yes, I have felt this, and sometimes still do (almost 6 years out). No, scratch that, make that a lot of times. You are absolutely not rambling. You described what we feel to a T. 

Comment by Hornet (Cindy) on April 18, 2014 at 1:54pm

Oh, flannery, flannery...what a perfect rant.

Describes EXACTLY us...and the rest of the world. The world that is unknowing but trying to care. The "I-don't-really-WANT-to-know-but-am-scared-sh#$less-that-one-day-I-WILL" world.

And that is yet another group that pisses me off, personally. Those that still have their soul mates (whether they honor them with that label or not) and look at me as if I am CONTAGIOUS! I see fear in their faces...and they SHOULD be scared! (Like you, I lost my Rick suddenly, unexpectedly, WRONGLY.) I know THEY know that 'but for the Grace of God go I'.

So, not only do I suffer through the silly, meaningless, aggravating discussions and platitudes the world regurgitates all over me...I must adjust to (among a million other things) a subtle but perceptible shift in the way I am viewed by others. Damaged, unstable, unknowable, bitchy, hollow, confused, sad, scared, desperate, wounded and...empty...empty...empty.

I couldn't have realized that if I lost Rick, I would lose so, so much more...

Including my mind (at times).

God Bless You, flannery.

Comment by only1sue on April 17, 2014 at 2:26pm


Comment by laurajay on April 17, 2014 at 12:54pm

Oh  Flan!  thank you.  Every time the calendar is looked at it seems another expectation comes.  Holidays are the worst of all.  I have no pretend left in me.  I call out to God like a banshee not a faithful servant not a trusting child of God.  I know I am understood and I know I am loved. But only in spirit is getting tiresome. Validation should already be in place from years of believing  but somehow  it's not just faith being tested it's so great a pain, an emptiness  I wonder moment by moment how this can become a starting point for the rest of my life.  I now ignore many things and people.  I want no more explaining,  no more listening  to advice or critical words,  no more telling myself this will pass.  I'm tired  of the world and of myself.  I glimpse- joy but it does not stay  it flees before I can say,  Welcome, I've been hoping you'd come to me again because  I've missed you.  Life is veiled.   I see others laughing, loving, sharing but none of that happens beneath my veil.  There is far to much emotion in a person who usually seeks truth not the weakness of emotion. At least a million things little things that were a part of our 44 years together all blend  but come in vignettes as if I am on a stage reenacting our life together...I cannot imagine adding to these things alone... nor do I want to.  I talk to my inner child and try to comfort her loneliness with the reality of loving friends and family.  She does not hear me.  Nobody knows why the sudden unexpected  death took place .  I was not prepared with any expectation at all.  Why was there no opportunity to make peace with death?  I feel abandoned  and now with yet the most blessed holiday of all nearly upon us- again I will have to cope alone.  I  will by shear routine get through  it.  I will keep busy.  I will practice living habits that are helpful.  But I will leave room for any good that is looking for a host and I will accept the good when it comes calling.  I will be gentle and HALT when I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired  to regroup my strength and continue on moving forward  day by day. No, I don't like this  but if not giving up is a means to an end I will accept it.  lj

Comment by hisgirl on April 17, 2014 at 12:41pm

You go right ahead and rant. I feel the same way. I am tired of pretending. It will be 3 years May 2. It feels like it just happened. I want to curse people out that think I should be better. They moved on, time stood still in my heart and my head.

A friend wanted me to go away with her and her husband on vacation. Told her no. She kept bringing it up. Finally told her that going on vacation with them would only remind me of my husband and what I don't have any more. My husband I and took vacations in the winter months. She had the nerve to keep telling me I should come while she was giving me play by play of all the things they were doing. I just don't give a d**n.

Be better????

I should be on the floor and never get up. In 2011, I lost my father, husband, boss, mother, and father-in-law within months of each other. It's a wonder I get up and go to work, pay bills, and on and on.

But, I am raging inside. I screamed and cry and curse at home so I can make the "don't get its" feel comfortable. Then I can be the way society thinks I should behave not knowing the depths of my pain.

You are not rambling. You said it so much better than me. Hugs sweetie and yes I am bat sh*t crazy and I do not care.


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