Grief, the final frontier

I met my therapist last week — a LCSW at that — who listened to me a while and then put his finger on my the source of my ongoing dysphoric angst: grief. When I moved here last year, in a daze of sorts and had to go through the hassle of waiting for Tom and his family to move out and then my stint in the hospital all sorts of medical reasons, I failed to take time to deal with my loss of relationships with Long Beach. Now, with cataracts removed, and a regimen of medications that keep the kidney disease and Parkinsons at bay, I now have the leisure to deal with all that has been buried in my grief over dad’s death, my deterioration of health and being re-integrated with family after an absence of 50 plus years.

I ponder the fact that, although I claim to have had a tight relationship with my “tribe” of friends and acquaintances in Long Beach, they, in turn, appear to have no reciprocal feelings towards me. Yes, they did hire a stripper for my last meal with them in Jim B’s house — but since then it’s been silent from the West Coast. I made a weekend trip back to Long Beach to see my friends, but it seemed hollow and empty. I guess their way of dealing with my departure is to tamp down their own feelings of loss and to move on. I told therapist that my experience with Californian’s is that they are shallow: friendly but removed. Whereas here in Phoenix, everyone’s guarded, aloof and slow to warm up to strangers.

Even my reconnecting with people from my past here in Phoenix — the Preaches, Rosita, Kevin McGloin, has failed to engender any sort of ongoing intimacy. I am really alone, despite my family support. I’m beginning to recognize the painful truth: that I am filled with sorrow. I attempt to fill the void in my soul with encounters with “masseuers” from Adam4Adam. Afterward, I feel empty and chagrined that I tried to indulge my emptiness with a quick romp in the sack. I am angry about having to practice “safe sex. I know how to practice it, I resent having to do it. I feel a condom interferes with whatever intimacy I try to experience. I think the anger is part of my grief. Hah!

After the last “massage” with Frankie, I had a major outbreak of hemorrhoids (or anal warts) which has detered me from re-engaging with him or anyone else. So, I sit in the stew of my grief, a simmer in the anger, depression and bargaining that is part of the dis-ease.

God grant me the courage to change the things I can.


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