Not Strong

1343863240_3320_fearIt is all I can do not to stay in bed all day every day. That seems to be the safest and most secure place in the entire world, my bed. I do not want to get up, for anything but a fresh cup of coffee and now and then some instant soup. Once a week I strip the sheets, replacing them with clean linens. I have a king sized bed, covered in pillows. I sleep on one small part, the furthest away from the door. It takes me less than two minutes to make the bed in the morning because I barely move in my sleep, barely wrinkle the bed covers.

It is all I can do not to stay in my bed all day every day.

I am on the brink of throwing my hands in the air and giving in, giving up. Just saying fuck it all, why bother.

It has been seventy-six days since my husband, the one I called Dearly Beloved walked away from our marriage without a backward glance or a good-bye. It may be more but that is how long it has been for me.

It has been fifty-eight days since I have had an income. I will admit this is my choice, but who knew it would be so difficult to find another contract. Who knew, certainly not me or I might have chosen differently. I might have chosen to continue to be miserable, bullied and treated disrespectfully for the privilege of a paycheck.

At my age, perhaps that is the best I can hope for, the market certainly seems to be telling me I have no real value and my experience is not worth a damn.

It is all I can do not to stay in bed all day, every day. Some days, I give in and I do.

I am becoming what I do not want to be, what I fight hard not to be, what I never wanted to be.




A recluse.

I am unable to find my way out of this fog. Every ‘no’ feels like a nail pounded into my body sending me deeper into hiding, into my self imposed and designed hermitage. My fear is overwhelming, some days I wander through my home and wonder, when will I lose it? When will I lose everything I have worked for my entire life? While I was busy taking care of everyone else, making certain everyone had what they thought they needed, what they wanted and then throwing it back in my face as not enough; now, when will I lose what is left?

I can’t breathe.

I am so tired of people telling me I am strong. Yes, I get it I am strong enough to have survived all the world has thrown at me. I have picked myself up and slogged through the quagmire. I have done that, often I have done it without help from any damned person who was supposed to be there for me. I did it without getting hardhearted and mean-spirited, for the most part. At least I think this is true. I have to be honest though, the next person who tells me I am strong, I will get through this I am liable to throw them to the ground and kick them till they take it back.

Does anyone understand I am not strong? I am what the world made me, but I am not strong. I am just me, weak, tired, afraid and alone. I could win an Oscar for the front I put up, making certain everyone around me sees what they expect to see and gets what they need. I have only one question…….

When is it my turn? When will someone step up to take care of me?

Okay, that was two. After all these years though, aren’t they fair?

I can’t breathe and I am afraid.


  1. Along with unfortunate circumstances here and there I have suffered with chronic depression severe all my life. I developed an anger and resentment toward this “monster” and got stubborn and survived. Our lives and our worth are not contingent on the presence or absence of anyone nor dependent upon what anyone else does or does not due. Took me 35 years of “no” before I started getting a few cartoons published, start a blog(fairly computer illiterate in beginning) and get out first book.

    “When is it my turn? When will someone step up to take care of me?” Rarely works out that way. None of us are entitled to anything. As the country and world constantly reinvent themselves, so must we.

    I think betrayal is the most painful even more than death of loved one. But if don’t let events immobilize us we begin to flourish in new found freedom. Rec read “Necessary Losses” by JV. You won’t regret the read. Hope my blog will continue to bring that needed smile into your days.

    • Carl, I do recognize my unhappiness, it is temporary and that it will pass. I know this and yet it feels crippling right now. I pragmatically know, why. I pragmatically know, what hurts, why it hurts and even maybe for how long it will hurt. Even ‘knowing’ doesn’t change that it does hurt and that I wish it didn’t and that I wish the world would maybe hold off piling on the additional stuff, you know maybe just give me one thing at a time.

      But I know and I will let it all pass. In the meantime, I will put it out there. One never knows, perhaps putting it out there will help someone else.

  2. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    Some times I feel exactly the same way. The executive director for the organization says this many times and It gives me hope: “I promise you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and it is not a train.” ! Kathleen Roe

    Nothing stays the same, everything fluctuates, things will always get better.

    • Oh Jackie, I know; truly I do know. This has been a hard three months and I am struggling with nearly every single stressor there is on the list, all at once. Sometimes I open my arms wide and think, “bring it”. Other times though, I just think, “damn, what next”; it is then I want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        I have a friend who used to say, “In another life I must have been a street-walking whore… well, I hope I had fun because I’m paying for it now!”

        In other words, bad things are going to happen in life that have nothing to do with us or our value. We must keep going and pushing till we get to the other side and find peace.

        The friend I spoke about above was the funnies, most giving person I knew. Her husband mortgaged their house to the hilt and then ran off with another woman. Within a couple of weeks her husband won a jackpot in Atlantic City. He has yet to give her a dime in child support or to repay the money he borrowed. He was the lowest excuse for a human being you could ever imagine. BUT, my friend refused to accept the depression or mood and she continued to be the funniest, most cheerful person I ever knew. Life turned around and has turned out better than her expectations could ever been.

        Every day is one step closer to what you DO want and need so chin up, Lady!

  3. Val, I adore you. Tall it like it is: the truth.
    Speaking of the stages of grief/death, once of my favorite quotes (to accompany yours by Eleanor is:
    The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

    You’ve been through plenty of pain in your life and it isn’t that you’re unable to understand it. Fuck the douche who sent the nasty comment. It’s been my experience that cruel people belittle others because it is the only way they can feel superior. Hey, I’m pretty damned great considering THIS loser!
    Seriously? some people don’t want to be happy.

    Grief and pain and loss don’t keep a schedule. We know that time helps, but it never heals. People say it does. People lie.
    Loss of something wonderful, even if it were taken for granted before disappearing, should be a daily reminder of How wonderful that person or experience made us feel.
    For 6 years I’ve dreaded and cried on Father’s Day, dad’s birthday, found the Christmas season to be a horror and even Halloween an event to be avoided.
    These were my favorite and best holidays, and times as well! Yet the pain has kept me from enjoyment these past years.
    In trying to wrestle with a current loss I have to beat my tiny cerebellum into submission to remember this. Daily reminders and all.
    You are actively working through your grief, which puts you head and shoulders above 95% of the population.

    Don’t know if it will work for you, especially as your pain is new and raw. Maybe in the future. I wish for the near future 🙂
    Hold your head up high. ‘Yer doin’ it right!

    • I adore you right back. Never doubt it. I can’t tell the many and varied ways I am working, actively through grief, some work others, meh. But you are right I am working through them and will continue to do so. I will also, as is my wont, continue to talk here because diving in the dumpster may someday help others to know grieving loss, whether it is jobs, marriages or death is normal but doesn’t follow normal paths.

      As for ugliness, well there are those who simply find themselves unwilling or unable to show compassion for those who do not fit their worldview. There are those who find themselves living in small boxes with little light. In this case, I offend with my worldview and my tattoos of which I am up to 15 now and planning the next two as I type this. That I mark my skin to commemorate both my triumph and my pain, well this is both cultural and personal, so you are right others can fly off cliffs or tall buildings.

      Please my friend, be well. Don’t be a stranger. Send me an e-mail if you need me, I am close by.

  4. I don’t know you or your backstory well enough to leave any real insightful commentary, but I think you are strong for the simple reason that you were able to so eloquently and publicly share your innermost thoughts and emotions and admit to feeling weak. And judging by the bazillion comments you’ve received, you have a great support network, as well.

    • I do have a wonderful support network here, they are fabulous. Many of them have been hanging out with me since the very beginning. I am fortunate and blessed.

      I write about many things, my ‘inner’ world and thoughts I have always put them out there so many here know my back story. I suspect that I have done so, thus pulling the curtain back on what was for many years ‘secret’ allowed me to step into the light. Finding this amazing world, this amazing structure of support gave me strength. I am most fortunate.

      Thank you Mark, your thoughts your comment was truly insightful as it reminded me of how grateful I need to be.

  5. Gray Dawster says:

    I am sorry that I missed this posting
    Val but I have to agree with Loon,..

    Your hubby left without a word, leaving
    behind the one person that truly loved him,
    and his behaviour towards you stinks…

    I know that you are hurting my sweet
    friend but in time you will be alright again,
    just don’t justify his actions, he is wrong
    for what he did, very wrong.

    Have a relaxing weekend my dear Val 🙂

    Andro xxxx

  6. Val,,, you are strong… its just that for now you are tired of thinking.. tired of being the one who has to pick up those pieces and put everything back together again.. For its always been you who has had to do that.. No one else but you looked after you.. Your right .. its time to rest… I have not been in your situation.. but I have been in that bed.. not wanting to get up.. not wanting to face the day… Not eating.. .. I once went down to 6 stone wet through in my break down.. I would only eat rice pudding.. which I had to make… I would shake each limb seeming to have a life of its own… as my system shut down from thinking.. For I was always in control, always in charge.. I became unplugged.. un-wired… almost unhinged..
    But I looked around me.. the world in fact.. the nations of starving homeless, Famine was then the headline in the world for the second time, Somalia .. hit home I remember.. I saw my life from a different perspective…
    I saw I had to pull myself up.. Change my perspective..
    I know you are strong Val…. because I know you will find new direction.. From out of this wilderness you will find YOU.. I KNOW it.. Feel it believe it.. Now you have to believe it too..

    I can not do it for you… No one, not even family could do it for me.. ONLY I could pull myself up Val… you have to want to climb out of bed.. and find something you can focus upon…
    Why not follow some other realm of income instead of that which you are used to.. I know you have the knowledge… I know you have the expertise .. You just need to have the faith in yourself.. And Trust your own instincts…. when a door opens.. walk through it.. Don’t hesitate.. For you are the strongest of the strong… we all are.. that is why each of us are here right now…

    Love you Val… Sue xox

    • I am trying Sue, one small step at a time. One small roll out of bed at a time. One small choice at a time. I am trying.

      It all just seems overwhelming until I pull all the pieces apart, separating them into individual hurts so I can mourn them for what they are rather than as a whole. I think that is what has been getting to me, it was all taken as a whole simply too much.

      Strong? No, not right now. Not weak, not incapacitated. But, no not strong. Just human. Does that make sense?

      • Yes Val that makes perfect sense … I know you do not feel strong right now and I am sure you are fed up of people like me saying you are.. I know from my own Nervous Breakdown how incapable I felt… One step, and one obstacle at a time and when you do look back in time to this period of Mourning as you let go of each hurt one by one.. You will look back and know without a doubt that this period helped bring about a shift in your life..
        And when you look back in some distant future you will say this time of being ‘Just Human’ helped create you to be who you will be then… Does that make any sense?? Because without my breakdown, I could not be helping others now with their mental health issues.. Each event has purpose..
        And once you have shaken you leg! 😉 Jumped from under the Duvet and had a good shout at the world.. You can then show ‘Them’ who ever ‘They’ are what sort of Grit you are made of…
        Sending you nothing but Love.. but remember to love yourself and give yourself a Big Hug.. Because you are special… xxxx Sue xx

  7. I’ve spent most of my life thinking “I’m not strong enough to do this. I’m not strong enough to take another step.” I think I started feeling that way when I was about 15. And, shitty thing is … I’m 48, obviously I’ve taken many steps, because I’m still here … but, I still wonder how strong I am.

    Maybe I just like to wallow — which isn’t bad. We’re all entitled to wallow for awhile.

    Sometimes, we’re even allowed to stay in bed for a few days. A few days of oblivion is good for letting the soul rest …

    I spent a week in bed — in 2000. Also in 1993. 1988. 1985. I got up to pee, to drink some water, to eat a poached egg on a piece of toast. That was it. I took a Benadryl every however many hours you’re allowed to take them, because they make you tired. And I slept.

    I don’t know that it was physically healthy — but, letting your mind rest that long does wonders. Think of staying in bed as a treat. I know you need to work soon …. paychecks are nice. But, you’ll be working soon enough, and won’t be able to spend days in bed.

    Think of it as an unexpected treat … (the staying in bed part)

    Hugs to you my friend….

    • That I am beginning to do. I think John, part of what is getting under my skin and into my soul is the expectation of ‘what I should be’ vs. simply what I am, right now. Does that make sense? I know what I need to do, I will get there. But dang, just let me be sad for a little while, you know?

  8. frigginloon says:

    You know Val, you aren’t angry enough yet to deal with this. Until you can say FU and FU too, you will continue on this merry-go-round hell.

    1. You keep justifying your hubby’s behavior . FUCK him. He is not blameless, he is the catalyst to how you feel. Marriage is about loving and protecting unconditionally, not clipping away at your soul.

    2. You keep blaming yourself. Fuck that. You are no different to hundreds, thousands, millions of human beings who blame themselves for what happens to them in life. Shit happens …. to EVERYONE (Oh, except for that Cinderella biatch )

    3. If you don’t get out of that very neat bed of yours I’m gonna fucking fly over there and sing this in your ear, goddamit.

    Have a great day xxx

    • Thank you . It is 6:30am and you made me laugh. I love that song. I am having a wonderful morning now.

    • celticqueen1 says:

      Thank God you posted that Loon as I’ve felt like that for weeks. The support on here has been tremendous now it’s fuck them too and as written …. if one more person tells me how strong I will BLAH BLAH BLAH!! I know you hate my posts but get your sorry arse out of that bed and get back to work. Cover the tatts and get some interviews organized. Believe me employers, especially in the professional field don’t like tattooed staff. You feel you are being overlooked, undervalued, ask yourself why???? Over here very few of the professionals I’ve worked with have them on display for top clients or heads of staff to see. You say you are a professional so act like one. You said you didn’t want to wallow well, wallowing you are! You are going under and letting it happen. You ain’t dead yet. So what if “your beloved” walked away? Life goes on. Mine is dead !!!! You can’t live your life through that idiot. You are still alive so get up and get off your computer for a while and stop writing all this “poor me” shit. I’m not trying to offend but I can’t believe someone who says that they are strong and smart is so dumb. JUST DO IT!

      • You know what, your judgement isn’t welcome or called for. If you need to beat someone up, beat your children. Not me. If you need to pass judgement, do so elsewhere. I have been earning a living, I suspect a far better one than you for a very long time tats and all, my choices do not affect you and aren’t your business. So just do me a favor, fuck off.

      • Of all the callous and judgmental bullshit. If you had paid more attention to a damn thing around here, you would know there is absolutely nothing for her to cover up to get a job. Her tattoos are not garish or offensive, and she does not have rings through her face which will make any employer uncomfortable.

        For that matter, I worked in high end professional environment for the last 17 years of my career. To be frank, there were very few people who did not have tattoos. If you would get out of the fourth fucking century, you would know tattoos have been around longer than attorneys regardless of who had their panties up their crack about them. After 5,000 years, tattoos are not going to go away.

        You on the other hand should. Your comments are not supportive. I wonder if those were the words people told you in the final years you were sitting Shiva. Being a widow is not more painful than having your heart ripped out by a self-serving ass wipe. It is actually easier. When your SO dies, you are not left with the feeling your character judgment was questionable. You have no reason to question yourself.

        Perhaps, you should apply some of that acerbic vitriol to your own perspective. Perhaps, it could eat the scales off eyes and allow empathy to shine through. Not everyone responds to being kicked when they are down the same way. Certainly not the woman you have come to victimize, yet again,. Whatever malfunction which leads you to believe you have a right to spread the pain needs adjusting. I am certain there is no pay stub from organized crime with your name on it.

        In case these words were too advanced for your vocabulary, let me give you the short form.

        Fuck off.

      • Sometimes when I read a post or a comment I want to comment, but I am pretty sure that my response will not come out the way I mean it to.

        Other times I am just an asshole.

        In both instances, I hit “delete comment.” It is a really handy button. Try it!

    • Great response you and me both… One two three KICK! 🙂

    • Loon this is one of my all-time favorite video; as a teen/20-something of the 80’s that saying a lot 😉
      Perfect. Two words say it all.
      p.s. have tried to find this version online, on several occasions. haven’t seen this original since it came out. Kudos on the comment and your research

  9. Val, I know what you’re feeling. I was in your shoes once, but with all sincerity and truth, fact is, only you can move beyond it. Do not become a self-fulfilling prophecy of your own words. Do not believe or assume that the market is telling you that you have no real value because of your age or anything. You have as much value as you give yourself. Okay I understand how you can be tired of people telling you that you have inner strength. But look at it this way: if you were standing on the edge of a cliff, with nothing but rocks hundreds of feet below, would you allow someone to push you over or would you fight back, would your instincts kick in? I would venture the latter which proves you have the strength needed to get past this. You just have to draw upon it and for some reason you’re not ready. Only you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Trust me, once you get past that hump, you’ll find it’s so much better than wallowing. Wallowing gets you nowhere but covered in mud. Trust that one day, you will feel better. One day, you will be ready.

  10. I think it’s okay to feel weak and afraid. No one can be strong all the time. And I’m sure you can make it through this.

    • I am sure I can as well X, it is simply the expectation that I get no downtime that is wearing me thin. I have been ‘strong’ for so long for so many I seem to be running on empty. Now, when I really need it I don’t seem to have anywhere to turn people don’t know how to react when I say to them, ‘help me.’

      I think that is the core of the problem.

  11. I totally get that. I am self-employed and some days it is scary. But on the other hand there is knowledge that I lead the way – which on the flip side means I am responsible if I fall short. But you know what? I choose not to fall short of anything – and you will soon be back to that attitude, the one you had when I first ‘met’ you. I know the Val I love is under there; she just needs a day or two under the covers xo

    • I am sure I will Christy. The problem is, I have been hit with far to many things all at once, I am not 30 anymore, hell I am not even 40 anymore and this world is not kind. So yes, I likely will emerge and I likely will find my footing again. I likely will be far more humble when I do having learned a few more life lessons. In the meantime, I think I will pull the covers a bit tighter.

  12. Let the world know of your talents and experience.

    Write – write and publish business books on line. It takes time to bear dividends but gives a tangible reason to get out of bed.

    A long shot perhaps – but it keeps me going (wink)

    Val – I’ve trodden the path you’re travelling. Pardon me if I don’t go into details.

    Luv and peace,

    • I do Eric, I just do it under my “real” name and in an different forum. Because of what I write here I write under a pen name. As you might imagine some of what is revealed here both with regard to my personal life and with regard to my political bent could get me in trouble professionally, I protect myself with great fervor. Never will my two lives meet, not until I am prepared for the fallout.

      No details needed. I know I am not alone on this path. I am simply I think in need of some lifting up right now instead of being told I am strong and will be okay.


      • Okay my dear,

        If I can help in any way with regards to your ‘other forum’ email me. Perhaps I can read and leave some reviews for your books.

        I’m working blind here and don’t really know if what I suggest makes sense. But hey, use your friends – if not now, then when.

        Feel free to email.

        You don’t have to publish this comment


  13. Whoever told you being strong meant never ever once having moments of weakness was an idgit. You have never asked much of anything, so these two are not even close to too much. You deserve your time, support, love and happiness, all in abundance. From here there is little I can do except listen. I am attempting to rectify the logistics.

    I love you. I could not possibly care less if you are strong or weak or something in between. You are beautiful.

    What I really wish for you for this moment is that you send a resounding “NO” through the universe to all who depend on you, including me. No more giving until your well begins to refill.

    I love you.

    • You do much, just by listening you do much. I wish my nature allowed for ‘no’. I will learn eventually. Never you. I love you back, for all the support you give, you can’t begin to know how much gratitude I feel especially when I know your well is as bone dry as mine.

      Thank you and I love you also.


  14. I wanted to just “like” this post without commenting, because I don’t know what to say. I don’t LIKE this. I am so very sorry you are going through this after everything you have been through. You don’t deserve it. I am not a person who prays, but my heart goes out to you, and I wish you peace.

    • Funny, I don’t like it either. I think, no one deserves it we just go through it, roll with it. Some of us have the blessing of an out, being able to write. Maybe, we have the ability to touch others, maybe someday someone will read these words and say I feel that and they will not feel so alone.

      Thank you Amaya. I do appreciate the kind words, I read your words and I feel not so alone.

  15. I’m very sorry that you’re grieving so hard, Val. You’re suffering some very tough losses. I hope you get through this.

    • I will, get through it that is. For now though, I think I will just grieve the way I am supposed too and hope people will stick it out with me. Thank you for sticking it out.

  16. Val, don’t give up. Don’t give in. I am hearing you. We all are hearing you. Keep talking. Let it out. Make room in there for something more.

    • Trying too Honie, truly trying too. I think it why for the first time I am letting it out to the universe and asking not to have to be ‘strong’. I am so grateful for those who are hearing me. Thank you.

  17. Let yourself be weak, and needful. Let yourself wallow. I’m serious. But give yourself a deadline. A time limit for being the miserable you before you go back to being the one we all expect to be. Let yourself be human and frail. Because after a bit you will hate it. And that’s when the answers will be the ones you want to/need to hear.

    Also, put a link on this blog to the professional Val. Because you never know …

    Love, and hugs.

    • Elyse, I am trying to put limits. Not just across time but even within the days. I have a life that truly must be lived. Misery simply doesn’t feel all that good. I think things have simply hit to rapidly, too much, too many. I haven’t been able to process and now I am overwhelmed. I simply want to crawl in a hole, pull the blanket over my head and beg for time.

      Honestly, for some of it I can’t afford the time. This also is overwhelming me.

      As to the link to my professional self, no I can’t do that. I can’t have my ‘real’ life and this life cross. There is far to much controversial in this life that I do not want shared to potential employers or clients. I keep the two separate for a very good reason.

      Hugs back.

  18. Depression is one of the scourges of our modern age. There are many causes and you have gone through a horrible experience which bought you to this point. My depression a few years back came from a very severe health problem, At the time I thought I’d die! My doctor explained to me that just as you have to treat a wound to your body with medications before natural lifestyle changes can kick in to support healing, the mind also needs medication to help get back on track. It took a while but I’ve been able to cope with and enjoy life for quite a while now. Of course you can’t reverse ageing in my case but a positive mind works wonders. I hope you have just as good a doctor as I had at the time and look forward to hearing you say someday that you’ve turned the corner. There can only be one way out and that’s up and out of the depressive cycle. From my own experience I can confirm it’s very hard and it takes time but you can do it too!

    • I am medication non-compliant, this is mostly due to the meds I take for my epilepsy and pain. I don’t want to add anything else and for the most part anything else would be counter active. If my depression continues much longer though I will seek talk therapy, I am not adverse to help believe me. I have great doctors and I will seek their recommendations before I allow this to continue. I need my life returned to me.

      Thank you for your support and your positive affirmation I can do this.

  19. Now is the time to advertise what you do and perhaps a few bloggers can point you in a direction to get you employed, That’s a start. You may even look at teaching what you do, or at least one of the many skills you have to contract yourself out that way. I’m sure that coffee is good, warming up your insides and all…And I love the bed just as much as the next person but you can’t do that long term either. You’ll figure it out ’cause that’s the only option you have.

    • I do, on a different site and I network. Believe me, despite my very real depression (yes, I know what it is) I am not ignoring the real need to keep myself out there. I have been contracting since 2008, this is how I have earned a living for years. The problem? It is getting harder and I cannot travel anymore, my body won’t stand up to it. I have to change the dynamics of how I work or plan on being crippled. It is all hitting me at once. My entire world, everything I know seems to be crumbling. It is difficult to know what string to pull.

      I know I will figure it out. I get that. Right this very minute though? Right now? I just want someone to acknowledge I am human.

  20. ***I am so tired of people telling me I am strong***

    I understand this. I do. I do.

    Want to know the truth? The real truth.

    YOU. Are.

    If I can make it out of PURE utter profound unbelievable horrible darkness, You. Can. Too.

    You will.

    Love you.

    I am here if you want to pour your soul out.


    • I am not, I am weak. I am selfish. I am tired. I am hurt. I am profoundly hurt in fact.

      I hear what you are saying Kim. I love you also. But right now, right this minute I am not strong. What I am, is very alone and very afraid. You may get a call soon.


  21. Sending you positive vibes and what little strength I have to offer. You need to let it all out. Better that than to let the hurt fester. We are here for you.

    • I am, it is my only relief. To burden all of you all, maybe even chase you away with my angst. I hope not. Pouring my fears, my hurt out here; maybe this will lead to finally stepping out of the quagmire. Hopefully all those who have lifted me up will remain with me.

      Thank you so much Tess.

  22. I am so sorry Valentine. What can I say, except your are in my thoughts and prayers? Sending you positive vibes and lots of hugs.

    • Those are all so very appreciated. Thoughts, prayers, positive vibes; those are what I need right now. Those are what lift me up and pull me through. Those make me grateful for this community and the people I have found here. Thank you.

  23. It pains me to hear you suffering, Val. You are a fine woman and, in time, you will again feel that reassurance from within, despite all the “no’s” out there and you will get past the deep depression you find yourself in now. I felt the same way when I left my failing marriage. I cried seemingly nonstop for 9 months in the year we separated. I did what I could to lift myself up and occasionally got lifted up by others, but the power was never really in their hands to do so. It’s a process but try to give yourself a limit on the process. A few months of extreme meltdown in what will be a crappy year is expected as long as it leads you out of the fog. More than a few months is downright dangerous. If you’re in a danger zone (you might be right now) an abrupt change may be necessary (like a jolt of electricity to the heart), like visiting your friend in Ecuador (ESPECIALLY Ecuador… you know my motto… submerge yourself in nature when you are drowning from life’s challenges; pure, quiet beauty has a way of putting things in perspective… it’s the only thing that ever straightens me out and was key in getting me out of my meltdown year. I didn’t go out of the country but just got in a car and did a major road trip for 2 weeks popping in on friends or relatives for overnite stays). Even if you have to sell something precious, and get someone else to cover for those you care for, in order to do it, JUST DO IT. Even if you have to borrow money (from bank or friends), JUST DO IT. Lastly, let me just say that I was a pathetic soul in the first year after my ex and I broke up. All I did was talk about me to everyone I knew in a sad attempt to get everything straight in my head and everything right in my heart. It’s called therapy. It is free. Use it as much as you have to. Those who love you (which is more people than you realize) will understand.


    • Susan, I know and you might be right but I am a pragmatic soul and my house needs to be in order. I am not talking about my physical house, the roof over my head, I am talking about my emotional house. I have simply been hit with too many things at once. I do not have the capacity for more. I am not emotionally equipped for the risk. Something in my life needs to feel settled, I know me that well.

      So I have this. I have you all who have blessed me with your words, your kindness, your advice, your humor and your hugs from all over the world. Believe me it helps immensely.

      Ecuador remains in the back of my mind. It remains a part of a plan. There is a plan. I simply need to let this terrible sadness wash through me.


  24. singleworkingmomswm says:

    Val, I hear you and am going through similar feelings, albeit for different reasons. If I could pack up my sleeping bag and come over for an all day rest fest watching chick flicks and laughing and crying, drinking coffee and maybe having some popcorn with that soup, that’s what I would do. Then, we’d feel better and venture out the next day and you could show me around your town! I know that when we are in these dark places, these rough emotional times, it’s not about strength. It’s just about getting through them until something clicks and we begin to feel better, and that will happen. Unfortunately, it all takes time, and while we are in the muck it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other. Prayers and love to you, always. XOXO

    • Time it seems I have more than enough of, I just wish I could find better use than wallowing in my own misery.

      You are right, it isn’t about strength. So why do people insist upon pointing out how strong we are, how much we have already survived. As if our survival prepares us for the next hurt and thus somehow we should simply dust ourselves off and dance blithely through this one. As if somehow we have no business showing our weakness, dammit.

      I would make you homemade soup!

      • singleworkingmomswm says:

        I would love that (the homemade soup)! Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking…being told “you are strong, you’ll get through this” always makes me feel like I’m not entitled to be scared, sad, miserable, or feel vulnerable in any way. And, those of us who have endured more than others, well, it just gets plain tiring. Love ya!

  25. I won’t tell you you’re strong, and I won’t offer platitudes. I’ll just tell you I read your words, and I feel badly you’re going through this. 😦

    • Carrie, that is all I ask right now. I am trying to get inspired to do more than whine, bitch and complain. I think I just need to know someone hears this is hard and doesn’t respond with platitudes. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate just hearing me.

  26. I don’t have any advice (it feels hollow for some reason), but I truly feel for you Valentine, and hope the days ahead offer you a brighter path. =/

    • Thank you Stacie. Nothing is hollow, reading and ‘hearing’ isn’t hollow. Hope is certainly not hollow. Thank you for both.

      • I have no idea where you live. Anywhere close to Colorado? You could come down for a weekend and we could take some long walks and have some really meaningful talks. My door is open…even if you’re far away.

  27. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Hi Val,

    What you’re going through sucks, plain and simple. And it’s not fair after all the hard work you’ve done. I’m so sorry. How can I help? Deb

    • No it is not fair, though I haven’t gotten to the phase of flinging myself to the floor and saying this yet. I am simply at this stage, this I want to let the sad, the depressed, the I am human stage go through me without anyone telling me ‘I am strong’. Does that make sense?

      You are doing it, have done it. I am grateful.

  28. Oh, dear Val, I know that talk is pointless right about now. I won’t say anything to try to make you feel better, as what you are going through sucks. It sucks. It’s wrong. It pisses me off that you are having to deal with this. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself, and should you decide you want to come visit us in Ecuador, just let me know. Maybe a complete change of scenery would help. Who knows. We have a guest room for you. Maybe it’s time to start a new life.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Kathy honestly if I wasn’t afraid right now, if I hadn’t had to spend so much these past few weeks, I would be on your doorstep. I love you for offering. You are right, I do need to start a new life, I do need to release. I know it. I just need to know how and where to start, the heart is willing believe me. It is simply having the wherewithal to start somewhere.

      Hugs back, Val

  29. Val, it’s hard to take off the mask, you have been doing it your entire life. It starts as a child with the word resilient, children are resilient, they will adjust. Then being the mask to the world of protecting a parent, who should have been the one protecting you. The cycle continues with protecting the husband… Your mask is off, it’s something new for you. Perhaps this time is the catalyst so you never have to wear the masks again. I wish I could help, but I don’t know how as I am just a face behind the screen separated by distance. Can I help you? If yes, tell me how.

    • Right now? Hearing me helps. Not defining me with words like “strong” helps. Simply offering to help, reaching out that actually helps. There are only a very few doing that and for those, I am so very grateful.

      Thank you.

  30. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Have you ever read Mary Tyler Mom? Trying to recall if we’ve ever discussed this . . .

    There’s an expression she uses with people who are struggling, typically–due to her particular path–with loss of a child. It’s what comes to mind here: kraft och omtanke. Rather than lauding strength already present, I take it as addressing a wish for strength–and consideration–for the days ahead.

    Sending love.

    • Thank you Deb, I need that. I needed something other than affirmation of what people demand of me or expect to see. This was what I needed, just a wish for something, better and more.

      Love back as always

  31. I understand your pain. I checked into a psych ward to be taken care of when I couldn’t function after my marriage fell apart. Even then, people said I was strong. I thought to myself, “What is it going to take for anyone to understand?”
    Love and care from afar,

    • I wish sometimes I could do the same Gail, but who would take care of those who depend on me? I think it is this that keeps me at least standing, getting up in the morning. I just wish someone would say to me, ‘How can I help?’


  32. I was where you are. I quit being angry with the Universe and things are getting better.


  1. […] have fully answered all of them to my satisfaction; I have started though. This morning I woke to a comment on my previous post (Not Strong) filled with malice and written purely with the intent to hurt. I […]

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