Pounding System: “fuck, sometime i should just bite the bullet and talk about all the stuff that REALLY bothers me. about how long it’s taking for my psychotherapist referral to come through and how my grief about certain things is starting more and more to resemble cheap sentimentality, and how crass that makes me feel. and how this is the tenth anniversary year of losing my father and how sometimes it just makes me want to rip towels up or chew through glass or something.”
I know what you mean. Both about the issue of how far to go with talking about my inner feelings on what is effectively a public discussion forum, and about the grinding pain of grief on losing your father. There’s a lot I could talk about here, but I’m not quite comfortable doing so. This isn’t really English reticence, more a fear of being laughed at, or worse — maybe that IS English reticence! There’s also a concern about making a blog focused. Maybe my slagging of the concept of music-only, or music-primarily, blogs was misplaced. How much of this stuff is just a bore for people?
But I will say something about grief since Dubversion has mentioned it. Especially since I see a theme underlying a lot of the blogging circle of men dealing with the death of their father. Whatever.
I fully support Dubversion’s desire for a therapist. Within months of my father dying I was wracked with emotional pain. It was rough. You know that toothache-like, exasperating, intolerable discomfort you get from nails being scraped down a blackboard? Combine that with the feeling that your fingernails are being torn off by that process, over and over again… that was what it felt like. It was inescapable. I honestly don’t know how I could have survived without help. Mind you, my dad’s death brought a lot of hidden family stuff out of the woodwork, and my family largely collapsed for a while — it turned out a lot of our life had been something of a sham. I won’t bore you with the details.
Fortunately, my father spent the last (and only the last) night of his life in a Catholic Hospice (the one in Hackney, right by Beck Road). The one thing that the Catholic church has really done for me, is that when I phoned up saying I was having problems and he’d died there and did they know who I could talk to, they simply said Come in, someone here will help you. And I went, and they did. For a year. For free. And I don’t think the therapist was even Christian, since you’re wondering, and she didn’t just say “there there”. It’s hard work. And I carried on.
I won’t trot out the usual cliches about Grief. I understand Dubversion’s sense that the very authenticity of the emotions you’re having becomes suspect, because of the sheer monotony of it all. You find yourself laughing at your grief. I don’t have a particularly Nietzchean view of grief, because it leaves you weaker in many ways. Less forthright and less, well, youthful, I suppose. But it does have its gifts. One is a partial sense of perspective. Despite being a congenital worrier, I can push away a lot of life’s crap because I have seen my father lying dead on a mortuary slab. The crushing, ineluctable reality of that sight and what it means to me does help me ignore some small portion of the crap that life flings at me.
And that’s a good thing.
Still — those Captain’s mixes eh?