You know how when you've been sick for 2 straight weeks and you start dragging your ass around to do the minimum, then there's the blah, no energy, grey zone? Well, that's the exciting place I am now.
Plus feeling lots of empty places, because for a variety of reasons it is now more emotionally obvious to me that my marriage is over and I need to now go officially claim all the spaces that B used to inhabit in my soul and heart. It's like going into abandoned rooms where someone (he) lived and it kind of sucks.
This pain also resurrects the ghosts of much more ancient pain, the rooms of which seem not only abandoned but haunted.
Luckily, I have a couple good friends who can help carry me through this, because it just kinda sucks.
To give an example: my father was out of my life from about 2 1/2 onward and for years I convinced myself this didn't matter and I don't have conscious memories, still, of missing him - though I know from my mother I did, cried even when he wouldn't see me when I asked. But I kept my last name (his family name - which is of course a lie as you can see from earlier posts, but no matter...). I never let it go, not for any step-fathers and not for any husbands, which means I've stayed crazy loyal to this man I barely knew and simply had no ability to be there for me in any way, never mind as a father. As my friend Julie says: that's your childhood passion. And she's right.
This is why ending of relationships, even more so marriages, is so hard - it kicks up all the ancient pain.
The possible truly plus side of this is: if I can feel the pain and know in my deepest self that I did not cause that pain and did not deserve it, I can heal. Sounds easy. Isn't. I drag this over-arching sense of responsibility into my relationships and that doesn't work.
I was teaching in my class today about healthy versus damaged self-concept, distorted feedback, obsolete information and how that leads to low and high self-esteem. It's good stuff to teach but also difficult, because none of this stuff for me is a theory - it's deeply lived experience. I think given the unusual level of attention in the class that it is for many of the students, too.
While I know I have a lot to look at in my own behavior, I also know that I tend to look too closely at that, and take on responsibility for things that are not mine. Why? It's easier than surrendering that control.
I'm fairly certain I've written about some of this stuff before in the blog, but it's what's happening again on yet another level.
No way out but through. I just wish there was some magic door, short cut type thing.
I hope my next post will be more positive, and as there is a celebration upcoming, that is possible.
I'm ashamed of all this pain, but hoping 'outing it' will lessen that shame at least a little bit.
Welcome to my blog..
"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty
When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.
I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.
As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While felt blessed for the opportunity, after four years of this, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in my own apartment and working with writers one on one, which I adore. I will die a happy person if I never have to grade an assignment ever again.
I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with a new book recently completed.
I am now working full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, and editor. Contact me if you are interested in any of these services.
Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.
For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani
Recently, I started a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. I will be blogging there, too, now. You can also contact me through that site.