Failure to Thrive

When a relationship is on the edge teetering on a rocky cliff- the silence can be a beautiful thing to embrace. Do I really want to be screaming on my sinking ship or do I want to be quietly sinking into the abyss?

Oh I’d rather go quietly into the night….

So realizing this relationship is the freaking Titanic of failures.. I remind myself of the 5 steps of grieving.

1. Denial and Isolation – Off in the quiet I go pretending it’s not really happening. Keeping my thoughts to myself. My inner workings has already cut the cord, but I am in denial. In response I isolate myself from the party… off to the quiet to silently sneak out the back door and I’m gone.

2. Anger- The first moment I realized I was being stabbed in the back… I pulled that knife out and like a dart cutting through the words of hatefulness I threw it back with all my might. Well not really cause I’m a total sissy, but I said… I didn’t care because I was still somewhat in the denial stage. Inside I was a raging bitch.

3. Bargaining – This lasted the shortest amount of time. I convinced myself that maybe if I write the letter or the email… extend the olive branch that will make it better. That didn’t make it better in fact it made it worse and I regret it. Then somewhere in my return to denial I thought I’d try again to make contact… then I said no to myself you’re bargaining again and it wont work. This is a complete wash at this point. I kept trying to tell myself that unlike the grieving of death that it could one day turn around… one day it might be better. Again I am bargaining with hope lost on me.

4. Depression – I have been trying so hard to see through this fog. It’s like the first of many things after someone dies. The first Valentines, the first birthday or the first Christmas without someone. It hurts when they don’t call or care to write, but they’re unable to make contact because they are no longer physically capable of doing so. This is just the cold war of silent treatment. Just like the Cold War I am on edge in defense of the long range missiles.

5. Acceptance – This stage is so awesome. This is where I put on my I don’t give a shit armor. I dance around in the face of the silence and celebrate for just a moment. I have arrived. I have realized I can’t fix this. I can’t fix the silence. I can’t fix and undo the undone of this life I had once shared with this person. That’s okay. I can’t fix everything.

The hard part is that I realize that I can at anytime return to phase two and work my way through this process again in a day. It takes a text, a phone call, a picture, and I return to anger… or bargaining or depression. I have at least made it… I touched acceptance and realized it can be done.

At a field day once we were playing on this bungee like cord that was at our waist line. You run with the belt and try to put flags that look like flag football strips onto velcro strips. You have to pull with all your might and tag the flags onto the strips before you get pulled away. I reached for the velcro and pulled all the way to get to the strip that was the farthest away with great tension I flew backwards with a thud on my back. I laughed- it was fun. I had reached it and it was pure joy for me to reach the end.

I have reached the end of the velcro of this grieving stage. I have tagged the end of the line. I know I can reach it. I may fall back sometimes, but I can reach out and touch the end of this and find acceptance.

Acceptance of our failure to thrive…. together.


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