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Diarist A33 Day 22

EDLM Entry 

May 12, 2023  

Up at 7 a.m. 

I cleaned house most of the day. I swept floors in the kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway and bathroom. I cleaned up the wood stove and put away the wood rack, utensils, heat resistant floor board and washed the stove and surrounding area. 

I made lentil, ham and bacon soup in the crockpot while cleaning the rest of the house. 

I talked with my daughter about this coming Mother’s Day weekend, texted a friend, and called another. 

I drove to the local Dollar Store to get Tortilla chips and returned home to apply a partial border to a quilt. 

I read an email from a friend who had requested to read a journal entry I wrote the night before the third anniversary of my husband’s death. Two weeks prior to this date I had been more sad and had been re-living his dying process and my grief journey. That’s what I wrote about. 

I received a response stating how he thought I was doing ‘much better’ than what I wrote having the tone of critical examination. 

I returned a note stating it was inappropriate for him to be critical of my grief process. He then returned a statement that he was only wanting to understand. I wrote, again, explaining that this situation of grief was more ‘complicated’. I wrote more about the closeness we felt toward each other as a result of standing against society’s dis-approval and dealing with prejudice (especially 26 years ago). I also informed him of unknown neighbors threatening on several occasions to drive us out of our home. I went into more detail. 

His response was to label my grief as a ‘prolonged grief disorder’. 

Without asking my permission to diagnose me, he did. He asked no questions further into our background as a couple or into my current daily coping. I had given this journal entry as a gift of insight into that moment of writing into a depth I do not share with anyone, unless I trust them. Being vulnerable to a person is a gift. 

He seemed to feel entitled to place a label on me without knowing the larger picture. I felt emotionally raped with an attempt to play the role of being more powerful than I. 

I refuse to play that game. After 50 years of life accepting the standards of other people, what I should think and feel, what I should believe, what I should do with my life; I found it only led to being deceived and in deceiving myself. That’s when I came out as a gay man. I allow no one to do this to me again. I’m the one who gets to be introspective. I’m the one who knows me. I’m the one responsible for my own healing. I allow no one to take my power away even if they are well-intentioned. If I ask, that’s one thing. If I don’t ask, that’s another. 

Can you tell I feel strongly about this? 

Later that evening I joined some Afghani friends attending the Minnetrista Garden Show where we ate and had a delightful conversation with two women about the role of women and men in a marriage relationship. We, then, visited various vendors and had wonderful conversations with some of them. The evening was so comfortable we walked about 6 miles on the White River walkway. Coming back to the Delaware County Fair Grounds, we saw a glorious display of fireworks. 

After returning home I put the geese in the barn, sewed another border on a quilt and retired for the night. 

The day had its moments of work, planning, anger, reflection, standing my ground, conversation with friends and friendly people, walks and entertainment. What more could one ask for?