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the original kStyle blog.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Processing...Processing...

I've heard stories like this, but I never thought it would happen to me. (Isn't that how they all begin, too.) Running an innocuous-enough wedding errand Friday night, it didn't work out as planned, and I ended up first mildly panicking* and then bursting into sobs in a restroom stall**. I reached a breaking point. Cool, calm, collected kStyle, marrying the best guy in the universe, lost it.

This morning I dragged myself out of bed to make the trek to tai chi class, knowing that skipping again would only make matters worse. I drove the long distance to the T station, parked in the Secret Free Parking Lot***, and then walked to the station. When I reached the station, I discovered that my wallet was not in my purse. I breathed deeply and brought in Rational Mind to avert the rising tide of throat-constricting panic. The first step was to call G to see if my wallet were innocently sitting at home. It was. The next step was to burst into tears. Again. Then I had to decide what to do. I collected myself for a few moments, and then, voice weak and wavering, asked the T employee if I could write a check for a token, as I'd lost my wallet. He had mercy, bless him, and let me ride for free, wishing me well. I knew that once at school, I could borrow change from someone to get home.

Tai chi class opened me up a little, made me feel okay about my vulnerability, and restored the possibility of my processing what I was going through, rather than sinking deeper into a stagnant swamp of hopelessness and sorrow. I should mention that before I'd embarked on the long journey to class that morning, an online quiz informed me that I might be suffering from major depression, and I'd been daydreaming a little too much about the sleeping pills scenario mentioned in the post below. It was freaking G out, actually. This morning he'd gently suggested I go to therapy, and I'd replied I didn't have the energy to process anything. Isn't that the definition of depression?, he asked, worried. I don't know, I replied sadly.

After class, I spent the late afternoon first napping, then running stupid errands, feeling slightly out-of-body, and then I went back to the book store for the book I'd flipped through and put down a week ago. It's called Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life, by Allison Moir-Smith. I will send a copy of this book to all the brides I know from now on, as soon as engagements are announced. The first exercise allowed me a big breakthrough about why I hate weddings. (It's complicated, but it has to do with the passage of time and death, the similarities between weddings and funerals, the evanescence of flowers, the passing of generations, and our very mortality. I realize that my sleeping pills-death-wedding fantasy is not about suicide, but about my consciousness processing all this.) The second exercise made me realize that even if I'd tried to resist the huge wedding my parents steamrolled mine into, it would have been futile. (We wanted 30 people, tops. My folks insisted on 150, minimum. I'd been beating myself up for not putting the brakes on this crap. But even though I protested every time I spoke with her, my mom is still throwing me a bridal shower. Tomorrow. I hate bridal showers. I also hate the food she'll be serving, the sort of sandwiches one eats--you guessed it--at a repast meal. Seafood salad, chicken salad, ham salad. Death food. Anyway, the point is that I'm still being subjected to a bridal shower, under duress and grievous protest, so there's no way the wedding would have been reduced in size, however strenuously we might have fought.)

I'm getting tired writing all this. This is far more confessional than what I would normally write here. I'll probably feel embarrassed and take it all down tomorrow. Or maybe not. It's sort of a PSA for brides, after all.

Please don't think less of me for spewing all of this emotional chaos onto the Web. I suppose worse is happening over at LiveJournal, anyway. I work with a girl who is involved with constant MySpace drama among her Rocky Horror cast. Jesus.


*regular readers will know that I am prone to panic attacks in times of great stress
**but this is not normal at all
***no, I can't tell you where--it's a secret

5 Comments:

Anonymous Larry Jones said...

You'll be fine, sweetheart. Another way weddings are like funerals: They are not really for the bride or groom or departed. They are for the rest of us, parents, friends and family. Don't fight it. Give 'em a good show (and for God's sake, register for stuff you really want).

Loved the confessional. Don't take it down.

4:19 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Thanks for the encouragement; I really do need it. And you're right, as much as my mom says But it's your day! whenever we argue, I know it's not. You've talked me into keeping this post up.

Oh, did I register for stuff I want. I don't have the largest registry in the world, but I do have, for example, a cat tree on it.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Emma Goldman said...

Oddly enough, it was a funeral that made me see the importance and significance of weddings. When my sister died, we had to invent a funeral (given the lack of deities and, therefore, the promise of an afterlife and the already-in-place rituals that religion provide). At first my parents weren't going to do anything, but people wanted it, and so we did. It was really, really important--and I realized that some parts of our lives, like the death of those we love, but also births and the coming together of two people in marriage, are a public acknowledgement that something important has happened. Those events take place within the structure of a community, with the people we love (or, at least, to whom we are related), in part because the community is changing as a result of the birth/death/wedding.

And, you know, feel free to email me, too. I just went through this stuff--less than a year ago!--so the memories are fresh. And keep taking care of yourself, damnit!

7:38 AM  
Blogger Emma Goldman said...

Also, one of the things that really impresses me about you is how you manage the stress--deep breathing, etc., for example. You see what's going on and you take appropriate steps; you rock!

7:56 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Thank you, Emma. I might take you up on emailing sometime. You're right about the community-passage aspect of all these rituals. I think it becomes hard when you realize that's what's going on; a lot of people are probably fortunate enough to believe they really are crying over the cake or DJ. But they may never get the insight, so...

11:03 AM  

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