Hard To Swallow

      18 Comments on Hard To Swallow

Thoughts link, chained haphazardly one to the next, and I let my mind drift.  Things I’ve been meaning to write – my mishaps with not-exactly-polyamory, coming to terms with the limitations of my body, negotiating mismatched libidos and misaligned priorities – most of it intensely personal, all of it sensitive, enough so that I self-censor to the point of not writing anything at all.  I think of the camera I put down three years ago, the body-positive project I started that stopped.  I think of the words I could be using, as one by one their adjoining concepts drift and float, linking together in a designless daisy chain of free-form reflection.

What is right versus what is popular, both concepts being without singular definition.
Popular perceptions of beauty.
Who, to me, is beautiful?

A vision of Iman takes shape in mind’s eye, and serves as a guidepost on the path of the inevitable ponderings that follow.

David Bowie.

Muhammed Ali.
Harper Lee.
Carrie Fisher.
Alan Rickman.

So many people – untouchable for most of us, yet so seemingly accessible in this media age – people who broke barriers, who took stands, who shined lights, who paved ways.

Pat Summitt.

Hers was the first celebrity death I shed tears over in 2016, rivers of them running down my cheeks as the news broke.  I was watching ESPN in a lobby while waiting for my husband to finish an appointment, and when he returned to find my swollen-eyed, wet-cheeked countenance staring blankly in shock, he didn’t understand why it hit me so hard.

He didn’t even know who she was.

But I did.  I do.

And in her passing I felt a stab of mortality that all the others who left us this year would repeatedly pierce me with.  And thereafter, every one of those wounds – revisited each time a new loss cut through – felt personal.

Some of them were personal.  Intensely personal.

My mother’s good friend, her daughter – who is was only a couple years older than me – was found dead after having been missing for several days.  ‘Suicide’ is not a word anyone used to describe what happened.  But that is exactly what happened.

My surrogate grandmother, a gracious and energetic soul who supported me at a particularly vulnerable time in my life in ways so varied and minute as to be forever infinite in their impact, died last week.

One after another after another.

So much loss.

So hard to swallow.

I woke on the morning of New Year’s Eve with a dry mouth and sore throat, glands swollen and ears ringing.  It hurt to swallow.

It seems a fitting metaphor for 2016.  On the last day of the year, at a time meant for reflecting on the year that’s coming to a close, I woke with a physical reminder that sometimes, some things…

Some things are hard to swallow.

When someone you’ve loved and trusted and confided in and believed in…  When that person unthinkingly repeats a mistake, tramples your faith, betrays your trust, or just simply walks away…

That’s hard to swallow.

And when you learn that:

your physical abilities and your presumed capabilities no longer coincide,

the level concrete foundations you thought you’d built within your relationship(s) are actually no more than pitted and sloped dirt floors,

your/your partner’s libido (or lack thereof) is/has become a source of dissociative sexual behavior,

your body is, in the most fundamental of ways, well and truly broken,

those are hard pills to swallow.

But pride, too, is hard to swallow.

As is fear.

I need to swallow mine though, because by instead swallowing back the words I need to speak – to write – on the subjects at hand…  Well, I’m not doing myself any favors, am I?

I know I’m not the only person out there who has had difficulties with non-monogamy, or who has had to mitigate issues of physical compatibility over the term of a long-held relationship.  Nor am I the only person who has been faced with the challenges of infertility or the somatic stresses of natural changes to their body.

The things that are good…  Well, those are things worth sharing.  And I do share.  Here and elsewhere, often.

But with the things that are not so good…  Those things are worth sharing too.  Because I know that when the hurdles life throws in my track make me stumble…

I’m not the only one.

And neither are you.

I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions.  I don’t require a calendar date to make a change.  And if I’m going to set myself up for something, I much prefer success to failure.  NYR’s are known to fail, so I am not making one.

Instead, I am making a commitment to be bolder with my truths, even when they make me (or you) uncomfortable.  Not just for 2017, but from here forward.  Because you and I, we are not alone.  And knowing that is sometimes all it takes to turn life’s bitter hard-to-swallow pills into a soothing elixir.

Recognizing that is the first step to a new start.

What new starts will you be making in 2017?


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18 thoughts on “Hard To Swallow

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      It’s harder to say “This isn’t working for me” than it is to share excitement about something. But I’ve taken that plunge a few times on my blog in the past, and I don’t regret it. I want to be more intentional about doing so. 🙂

  1. Dawn D

    At the moment, I am not sure what my commitments are. I am commited to trying to be more peaceful and happy. I recognise that writing helps, but I also recognise that writing in my mother tongue (to my lover) seems to help more lately.
    I am not sure what 2017 has in store for me. But, as I told The Dancer today, I am hopeful that solutions will present themselves.

    I hope the same for you.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Thank you, Dawn.

      I have another outlet for writing, and for a while I was good about pouring the difficult things out in that space. But I’ve stopped using that outlet – again, for reasons of self-censorship – so I’m hoping that by saying (writing) ‘out loud’, “I’m going to DO this,” it will help me to stay more accountable to myself.

  2. Molly

    I am completely with you on this. I too have self censored for fear of hurting peoples feelings and also facing some of the things that are difficult. It is time to try and shake that off and be a bit braver. Otherwise the risk is I am just treading water with my blog and what is the point of that?

    Molly recently posted…For the askingMy Profile

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      It’s an exercise in trust, I think. Trusting that my partners will support me in putting some of the tough stuff out there (which, intellectually, I know they will – but emotions are not logical, you know?), and that my readers will ‘get it’. I’ve had really positive responses when I’ve tackled issues – though limitedly – around mental health, messed up communication in relationships, and body perceptions. I just need to brave it out.

  3. Jayne

    I find that in trying to write about those intense, personal, intimate issues… it’s not easy to know how to approach it. Either I write form the emotionally reactive side, trying my best to see things clearly OR, I write, then time to have some space and re-read. By the time I re-read, I chicken out. Sometimes in taking the time and then re-reading, I can see what my responsibility/ part is and then I don’t feel I should put the mess out because it’s my dirty mess.
    Although, the other things you’ve faced or are facing sound just as difficult, I’m very sorry to hear about your Surrogate Grandmother.
    I wish you more bravery than you already have. xo, J

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Thank you, Jayne.

      I write to process, so it’s not as much a matter of needing to see my own responsibility in things as it is a need to deal with certain realities by exploring – by acknowledging – how they are impacting me. And, just like when I wrote about my family history with mental health, there is the “THIS is my reality” factor that can help others, who are faced with similar challenges, feel less alone. 🙂

  4. Jaime

    A brave post. Because it takes more courage to write and publish bad and sad thoughts and reflections than the good and positive feelings.
    So hugs to you from the Antipodes, and I hope the wheel of fortune takes another half-revolution soon.

    Beautifully written post!

  5. Cammies on the Floor

    Writing about the harder parts, as well as the glorious ones, has always been a challenge that I tackled the last year. It continues to challenge.
    Looking forward to reading the brave, raw, honest posts.
    Cammies on the Floor recently posted…TMI: New YearMy Profile

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      You definitely tackled some hard-to-put-out-there topics last year, and I appreciate the grace and honesty with which you’ve done so. xoxo

  6. Bill Rice

    It’s much easier to deal with the mundane trivialities of day to day existence than it is to face the tough questions. Hm, do I want dark roast or breakfast blend? Hm, my left knee doesn’t bend anymore. Hm, my oximeter readings are dipping into the low 80s.

    But, I’ve been listening to dead people as long as I can remember. I read a lot. If you read “Classic” literature they are pretty much all dead. That doesn’t mean you don’t have real feelings for them though. I view the attachment people have for celebrities as similar. It’s just that those people haven’t all died yet. And ultimately it is the fate of all of us to die. There was a surprisingly profound line in the Hulu series “Freakish”. The show is set in a high school during a zombie apocalypse. The last thing you really expect is a profound philosophical statement from a teen girl. The girl has been poisoned and is waiting to die. She comments that she used to read a lot, but didn’t like finishing books because it seemed like the characters were dead after that. My thought on that would be, yes that might be the case, but you can travel back in time by rereading the book. They are alive once again. It’s one way communication, but that’s better than none. I wonder if I will touch anybody’s life after I’m gone? Some prolific authors have only had a tiny fraction of their works survive, Aristophanes wrote quite a lot, but there isn’t much available in English translations. Themes get borrowed and twisted and might spread that touch to points unknown. Lysistrata was mentioned on Gilligan’s Island. Perhaps my splash could be someone’s muse. It’s not that hard to swallow.

    New Year, old year, is it a date or a fig? I’ll contemplate your naval.

    And my knee bends, although stiffly. Steroids have upped my oxygen.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Glad you’re breathing better, Wild.

      I noticed the Gilligan’s Island complete series for sale when I was Christmas shopping. Did you ever see Galaxyquest? The aliens think the Gilligan episodes are historical documents. “Oh, those poor people…”

  7. Chazz Vincent

    OKOKOK…but coming from someone awarded “Top Sex Blogger”, as someone who has enjoyed so many posts that are provocative in so many ways…well, I was not sure what to expect, but a post entitled “Hard to Swallow” elicited images that in no way resembled what I just read.
    What I discovered, instead was one of the most touching posts I have read in a very long time.
    You certainly hit your mark, F.
    By the time I had finished reading, I too found it hard to swallow.
    Chazz Vincent recently posted…New Themes: TextBook and DaraMy Profile

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