Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Unwritable

 


We all think we’re special. We all want to believe we matter and when that’s all pulled away either in our minds or by the actions, imagined or real, of another, something breaks inside of us.

And we can’t process the aftermath, the self-doubt and yes, the grief that ensues.

Tears are more frequent as we age, magnified, unplanned, spontaneous. Often with an underlay of fear and an overlay of unremitting anxiety, with pinches of despair and a dash of self-pity thrown in.

Old mantras intrude, old judgments, old tropes, old cliché-ridden nuggets of wisdom which might have applied to the younger, more optimistic self. But now are as ancient and cobweb-ridden as the receptor herself, exhausted and worn down in equal measure, well past the best by date.

Some days the old fire gets re-lit but with less fuel, far less tinder and much dampness in the logs. The flames can burn less brightly, but they do burn.

And the darkness recedes for a spell and the shadows tiptoe off to the corners of the room until the dawn.


Question: What do you fear most in old age?





39 comments:

  1. I don't think I do think I am special. I most fear total dependence in old age. A thought that terrifies me.

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    1. Dependence for sure, I cringe at the thought. Hemlock Society anyone?
      XO
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  2. "Tears are more frequent as we age, magnified, unplanned, spontaneous." That's not true for me. I laugh a lot more now. I'm 82 and Andy's 87, so all sorts of nasties are in the (near) future. I'm not going to waste my remaining time worrying...the best preparation for the future is to live today well.

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    1. CM I put it down to a lot of emotional knocking I've had recently, some of it hugely painful. Stuff I would have not felt so deeply even five years ago. But increasing fragility has me more vulnerable. And I live alone.
      XO
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  3. It is definitely true for me. The younger version of myself would NEVER recognize the existing one----just two months older than you.
    I just told my daughter yesterday that I consider myself emotionally frail. Too many parts of my world have gone downhill lately. As to what I am afraid of? I think finding myself with no control over what happens to me. Would rather die right now instead of later if that is in my future!

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    1. Your words totally resonate with me RNR. "No control over what happens to me" is one of the greatest fears of all.
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  4. I'm afraid of not dying fast enough when I go down and can't reach my phone and won't be found.

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    1. This happened to a very dear older friend of mine. Her phone out of reach and no one found her for 4 days.
      But doc said it was quick. So there's that.
      XO
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  5. All of the above.

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  6. I fear my first comment has gone to spam jail. I fear dependence. And don't consider myself special. A speck of dust on a crowded world.

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    1. Oh I don't consider myself special but I fancy at times Daughter and Niece consider me as such but who knows. I was slam-dunked by my estranged child in the nastiest way and this triggered the special remark. I birthed her and nurtured her, etc. etc.
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  7. I fear having to live in a nursing home where I can't have my own things around me.

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    1. Me too River, or sharing with an awful bore or being forced to play nicely with the others and eat with them.
      XO
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  8. I get what you say. But on a personal plan I do not fear, only going blind, because I am still curious, despite what follows.
    As I get older I feel the world is turning upside down. Some time ago I deliberately stopped following news and the radio. I look at the happenings from the outside so to say, with the morals and beliefs of like 5 years ago, and when I happen upon a newspaper when waiting somewhere, I feel disgusted. Boy, the world has changed. And not for the good. People being at the same time intolerant and entitled, and worst, being both on behalf of others (SJW and snowflakes are the modern words for those types). People not being satisfied with tolerance / acceptance of their way of living (live and let live - as I always preach), but demanding ... (a thing that's more than acceptance but for which the word eludes me), and at the same time scorning my ways of living. I fear living in a world where political correctness limits our whole life, that we willingly are swallowing the Murti-Bing pill that disdainfully and with much fighting was spit out by the European community in 1989.
    I fear most of all to have our existence and any left over moral standards annihilated by this crew.

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    1. I quit following the news on TV about a year ago. It was a good decision for me. I realize there is nothing I can do about what is happening (except vote when it's time). So why fill my mind with the negativity and hyperbole.

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    2. I hear your Charlotte, I watch only a little news, particularly these days the circus that is the USA and hold my breath as civil war down there seems inevitable. The gob-smacking ignorance of their citizens (not all by a long shot, don't get me wrong) will have a huge toll on their country. This cult of Trump is very, very powerful and here in Canada we are far too close to it.
      XO
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    3. Good thinking Debbie, I stopped the news a while back though I do watch just a little bit at the end of the day on world events. And I admit to sneaking a peak at the Trump Circus.
      XO
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    4. Hear, hear Charlotte! WWW, the current crew in power in the USA certainly isn't anything to brag about. Loads of judgement and being told how to think and name calling seems to be the norm. We're a mess all around. The hypocrisy on both sides is astounding. I'm ready for a serious, moderate third party. Kim in PA

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  9. Being forced to go into a hospital again. I have given strict instructions to my son that I should not be admitted into a hospital again and all treatment should be carried out in my own bedroom by hiring equipment and nurses. I did this for my late father and it can be done for me too.

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    1. I'd imagine this is very expensive Ramana and I certainly couldn't afford it. but yes, I agree it is an excellent solution.
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  10. Echoing all of the above. I used to think I was special but now realize I'm not and that's okay. I fear losing my independence the most.

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    1. Losing independence, yes, that would be my number 1 too Jackie.
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  11. I certainly don't think of myself as special - in any way. I don't think any human is more important than a blade of grass. I haven't thought much about what I might fear as I get older, probably primarily because at seventy-nine years of age I am ridiculously healthy and still do everything I want. Death holds no dread for me, but the path to getting there could. My daughter always says that she hopes her Dad will see the most exciting bird of his life on his hundredth birthday and drop dead from excitement. Now that would be a way to go!

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    1. I love what your daughter says, David and I've clarified more in some of my responses to the "special" remark. I don't consider myself as such but in the eyes of an estranged child I had a tiny morsel of hope, now trashed. Well done on your preservation of yourself :)
      XO
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  12. What do I fear as I age?

    1. Outliving my siblings. I'm the oldest. The next two in age went this year, one to COVID in September, the other just a couple of months ago to very painful cancer. I am in better health, I think, than the other three.
    2. A painful, lingering demise. The sister who died from cancer went quick, bout, oh, it was SO painful.

    I don't see myself as particularly special but I've got some not-so-common interests and abilities that have drawn some local attention.

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    1. I am so sorry Mike to hear about your siblings. I too am an eldest and I don't wish to outlive any of them. I was using the word special in a different sense as I've explained elsewhere.
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    2. We are fortunate in that our relationships with both daughters remain "special." The oldest is in a marriage and her husband has literally never worked. (She's 49 and he's a little older and they known each other since elementary school.) She has depression and self-confidence issues, but has a job she loves as the local children's' librarian at the county public library. The youngest has a rough relationship with her son which we see as partly due to her over-bearing parenting. She is anxious and over-confident.

      We tread lightly and listen with both and help as needed.

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    3. Thanks for expanding Mike. My younger has estranged from absolutely everyone including friends and is full of such rage that it's breathtaking. She is fifty two. A relative poked her recently without telling me and this set off an absolute storm of abuse directed at me. I have lost all hope of a relationship with her.
      XO
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    4. But I should add that my relationships with older daughter and my 27yo granddaughter are stellar and totally supportive.
      XO
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    5. This has actually resonated quite a bit with me prompting a bit of introspection over past relationships from my youth.

      It turns out that I see nothing "special" in my parents. They were only married a few years and my dad has never really had an important role in my life. My mom left my sister and I with my grandparents when I was 10 -- I had to make to collect call to ask them to drive the 90 miles to come get us. I lived with them until I was 15.

      I never really got to know my 4 half-siblings as they've always lived over 1,000 miles away.

      Those from my youth that were and remain the "special" ones for me were my grandmother, my step-grandfather [and ALL of his family] and my mom's brother, the only one still surviving.

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  13. I fear senility and being a burden to my daughter.

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    1. Hi Debbie, yes me too. I dread being even a little burden now in my really bad days. "Second Childhood" we called senility in Ireland, my beloved grand-da had it.
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  14. Funny you should ask. I just did a post on what we should fear ... but in a practical way, not in your more emotional way. Come to think of it, the emotional way is much more terrifying. May the darkness recede.

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    1. Thanks Tom, yes excellent post on yours too, the practicalities of it all.
      XO
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  15. Replies
    1. Oddly enough E, I don't think that's too much of a worry. I observe closely those I care about who fall into dementia and it's quite invisible to them. My friend L keeps asking me her about her diagnosis but it's forgotten within a very short time. She is just so in the moment.
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  16. Ah, ha...so you are the one who asked that question about fear! I knew it was someone I like because it resonated so clearly with me, which often happens when the comment or question comes from someone highly admired and respected. And so, I thought long and hard, and responded, to which you responded.

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    1. I love the meta flavour of your comment DKZ! Writing your post on this, my making a comment on yours and returning to my original post. Well done us!
      XO
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