reconfigurationSeptember 7, 2010
Over the past few weeks in therapy I’ve learned that my struggle today is partly Clark’s absence and partly figuring out who I am post-Clark. And post-Blade! I had totally brushed off the impact losing my job has had because in the grand scheme of things that have traumatized me, it barely registers.
But when you think about it, I worked at the Blade from May 2007 to November 2009. It combined my journalistic background with my love of the gays and securing their rights. The first night I met Clark, he asked for three things about me, and “I work at the Blade, but I’m not gay,” was one of them. My job there was part of my definition. And then, five months after Clark died, I lose that part of myself as well.
When Clark was sick and I was a warrior against his illness, I got to prove my love to him constantly. One day I’d have to figure out how to get him into the bathtub using my own strength and a wheelie chair. The next, I’d have to figure out how to clean poop out of the tub with him still in it. I sacrificed my own health and well-being in order to give him just a little bit of relief. Every day was a test that I aced – but it was easy to do well because I loved him more than anything. I was good at it. And it was easier to demonstrate how deep my love ran for Clark than it is to take care of myself and figure out my identity today.
The good news is I appreciate tiny revelations. Today at the beginning of my session, I said something about how I’m the type of person who likes to have the dishwasher empty before I start to cook a meal, and by the time the meal’s being served, all of the dishes used to prepare it are loaded up into it. That’s a thing that’s always been true about me, and I kind of like it. And over time, I’ll put all these pieces together – the old bits that’ve hung around, the new bits that Clark’s life and death have brought, and the who-I-want-to-be-now bits that I haven’t even thought of yet.