Her Bad Mother

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Getting The Funk Out

I'm in a blogging funk.

I keep posting because I need to keep writing, keep talking, but I'm finding it difficult. And I'm finding it even more difficult to venture beyond the confines of my virtual quarters and be neighbourly and friendly and chatty. I wander out into the neighbourhood and hear the chatter and the camaraderie and the friendly debate and am torn between wanting to jump in and wanting to run inside and draw the curtains. I run inside and draw the curtains. I haven't the energy to chat or discuss or pat shoulders. I run back inside and draw curtains and feel guilty.

It's not like there's anything seriously wrong. I've had the flu, sure, and that gets one down. But I've not been facing any real trials, any life-changing challenges. My challenges and trials have been more or less mundane. The thing of it is, I can't write about them.

That conflict with my mom - that I have not been able to write about - was never fully addressed. We called a truce, because my sister is struggling with some terrible challenges - a heartbreaking struggle that I cannot write about - but it remains only a truce. My husband and I are trying to make a decision about a big change in our lives, but we are at loggerheads about how to proceed - and I cannot write about it. Our struggle to negotiate our disagreements on this issue (that I cannot write about) is frustrating me, and I cannot write about that frustration. (Why do we not know how to disagree? Why do we not know how to fight? Does anyone know?)

Blah, blah, blah.

I cannot write about those things, so I write about other things. Britney, physics, the potty (which, for the record, has seen no more action. Wonderbaby insists upon visiting it and sitting on it, bare-assed, with sunglasses, but has not repeated the tinkle of the other day); a review here and there, a lot of mindless gossip - these are easy things to write about. But those posts are just me, talking to myself, chattering away so that I won't feel the weight of heavier things bearing upon my heart. And I can only sustain that chatter on my own, alone, here in my corner. I can't bring it out into the community, because I simply can't just chatter in this community. You all make me talk. Which is good, but. Right now, I don't want to talk.

Does that make sense?


There are a couple of things that I can't and don't want to avoid talking about right now. Breastfeeding, for one. I haven't weighed in on the discussions about Facebook and Bill Maher because - in addition to everything I've said above - the whole thing just makes me mad. There's nothing to argue about. Breastfeeding is natural. Boobs aren't dirty. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be shunned. It's like arguing over whether the Taliban maybe had a point about oppressing women - it's stupid and backward and I thought that we were, as a culture, better than that, or at least, getting better. I was wrong.

So I haven't wanted to discuss it. All I want to say is this: fuck you, Facebook. You too, Bill Maher.

These friends - among many others that I cannot list here, not least because I haven't read them all yet, for reasons noted above - are discussing it more civilly. This friend went so far as to chat with a representative of Facebook. (Facebook, not surprisingly, doesn't really have a satisfactory response. But at least he tried, and was civil. I would have just yelled at them.)

Behold the boob. It is good. If you don't like it, fuck off.

The other thing that I want and need to say is this: even through the fog of all this funk, you are all, always, bright shining lights. The amount of support you have shown for my nephew, and for my efforts to do something, anything, to make a difference in his short life, fills my heart to bursting. Whether you've pledged my walk, or signed up to walk with me, or have staked a duck and a vibrator on raising money for the cause - you've all done so much to sustain my faith that, despite Facebook and Bill Maher and all the many, many other tards out there, the world is full of good.

I'll find some way to thank you all. I really will. Until then: thank you. THANK YOU.

You touch our hearts.

You can still pledge Tanner's Walk, and you are more than welcome to join in if you live in or around Toronto (e-mail me or leave your e-mail for more info). And if you play Kristen's dirty duck auction, you can support the cause and get titillated, all at once. And Facebook need never know.


Blogger Tracey said...

ahh, writer's block. i know, oh boy do i know. about every two months i know. power through it or take a break, either way, it always seems to run its own course at its own speed whatever you do.

hang in there, kitten.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's just something about the air right now-I'm struggling to care about reading or writing anything. It sucks.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get it, HBM, re: the whole 'how do we not know how to fight'. I've got some, cough, issues myself I would like to broach with the hubby, but the last argument was pretty bad. Seems like sometimes (maybe when the stakes aren't high) you find just the right words and time and tone and everything is worked out very well in the end. Then, there are the times like lately, where every little tiff seems to have disastrous potential. And, even if you can disagree in a civil manner, who takes the short end when you finally make the decision?

I've just decided that I'm too resentful of everyone and everything lately, and am trying to take a big step back from caring much about anything until I can get some perspective...... which is a luxury I am afforded, because my husband spends every other week in the wilderness.

Wishing you peace- the family kind.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Sounds like you're teeming with 'material', but can't write about it here.

I get that.

Hope the truce becomes resolution, real peace.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw Catherine, I hear you. Boy do I hear you. I'm considering taking a hiatus from the blogging world. It is becoming to bothersome and almost painful to sit at my computer and try to remember the funny in my life.

All I want to do is yak about my Bug, my pain, my kids' pain. When I'm done with that topic I want to write about how my parents have still decided they don't want me and have banished me and my children to the nether recesses of their minds.

Painful stuff.

But the ability of not being able to spew it out onto my blog is hindering me.

I'll just stare at Wonderbaby instead. She's cute. That goes a long way.

Love ya.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

Writer's block comes and goes and sometimes I feel more private and not much like blogging at all. Don't worry about it - I hope all of the things in your life work out and that you can get back to wholehearted blogging again.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

uh-huh. Me, too. I'm still here with you.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Hang in there. There's a lot to share with the bloggy world, but a lot that can't be, and it's difficult to not feel like you're half present when flesh and blood life has complications. Much love to you and your family, even the ones who are being disagreeable.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you Catherine. -hugs- I wish we women didn't have to deal with such struggles. I hate it. Struggles suck.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Bon said...

there's something awful about having all the real meaty stuff happening in circles you can't write about because they're too personal, too exposed - i'm sorry for that, because we both know that it's the messy stuff that often most needs to be written.

and y'know, i don't know if anyone does fight well. i used to think my ex-husband and i did...then i noticed we were actually just dripping with contempt behind veneers of pleasantry. so much as i hate the pain of a real fight, i'll take it. because there's something to come back from then.

i hope Tanner's walk goes well. i hope the rest begins to find resolution. i hope the potty gets more use.

12:44 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Oh my god. The yogurt facial! bigirl used to do that, 'cept it would turn into a full body extravaganza.

Sorry you are so frustrated. If it helps at all, mr mumma and I still do not know how to disagree, 15 years later......

Sounds like you have much on your plate.

come for a workout? yoga? loud music at The Local on Roncy and a few pints? Thursdays rock the house there a band, a chick with a ukelele, cowboy hats.......you know how to get hold of me....


1:17 PM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Received, heard and understood.

(HUG) and hopes for resolution soon on the weighty issues. And by resolution I don't mean solved solely, but set to a way that you can move forward, if that makes any sense.

Just read, that's cool. We all get there.

I have some great links this week on all sorts of matters, even just mattering.

Take care.

Using My Words

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, HBM for referring to all that which can only remain subterfuge.

There's so much that exists beyond the word, written or verbal.

My husband, before we knew each other in any substantial way, made reference to this family, a mother, father, older son, younger daughter. I remember: "I've got friends, and they have everything I'd want in family life."

I thought: "How wonderful. How absolutely inspiring."

I wanted him for wanting that.

And then I met them.

And what followed unhinged every feeling about family and loss and pain, about memory, and the vortex of envy and jealously and lost potential, about life itself.

Because, when the father wrapped his arms around the son, listened to his to every word as though the gospel's apochryphal text, I saw another boy, many years before, belittled, and silenced and humiliated. I saw broken dishes and a ravaged life.

Because, when the daughter walked alongside her mom, arms etwined, calm advice given, laughter shared, a room, pink and newly decorated, I saw another daughter, years before, vying for attention and space, some tiny corner of the blanket shared between three beds: Her sister's, and her gramdmother's, and in the middle, cold and dusty, her own.

"Aren't they wonderful?"

"Yes, yes they are."

"When would you like to meet again?"


One day, maybe, when the heart has healed.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I'm so glad that you wrote this.

Though I'm certain that nobody is putting their whole life out there on their blog, it's frustrating when you have this platform and can't use it.

I find the writing therapeutic; it helps to galvanize my thoughts, and sort out where I stand. Right now, there is something that I want so badly to write about, but I just can't. Not yet, maybe not ever. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I can read others' blogs to distract me. And look at pictures of their boobs. :) (Amanda at The Wink posted her breastfeeding picture this week too. Take that, Facebook!)

PS: Wonderbaby is even cuter without the hillbilly soother.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

Similarly funkified, though fortunately not due to strife. Just blah...and actually welcoming the opportunity to direct my energy toward something besides myself.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even commenting is tough. So let me just say: yes, I hear you.

And send love and hugs and all sorts of support.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I feel that way sometimes too. And like you, I keep writing because I need to know that I can. But sometiems I don't want to reciprocate with comments, even though I want to keep receiving them.

I'm sorry for all the upheaval you're experiencing. Sometimes it really sucks being a grown-up, eh?

2:55 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Writing, funks, family, fog... weight, figurative and literal it's tough, really fucking tough. I enjoy it even when you are just sort of clearing your head through the screen. I hope even just a little of the hope I am sending you makes its way through your screen.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Piscesmama + One said...

I'm so there, sister. I wrote a little schpeel on the topic too. Maybe we can personally send them to Bill Mah-Asshole.


3:40 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

You talk when you can and when you want to. Meantime, we'll be here to hold your hand.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

I've been there. It is hard to have so many things inside of you that are of real importance and not feel able to discuss them. Everything else has a hollow ring to it.

No harm, no foul, friend. You take your time, we are still out there in the neighborhood for when you return. Our doors are always open.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Miguelita said...

Regarding how we know how to disagree, and how we know how to fight,I know. My husband and I end up fighting about how we fight. And the thing is, neither of us want to fight, or like fighting, as some couples do. Instead of clearing the air, for us it leaves us both frustrated and confused. It is the source of my current funk.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Bobita said...

The funk must be viral. We've come down with it around these parts, too.

My best to you.

Question for you...when you were in labor did your Doc ever tell you to NOT push? I had to NOT push for almost 15 minutes while the nurses fetched my Doc. It was worse than pushing. So unnatural.

The NOT talking about things that are profoundly important in our lives, is perhaps similar. Silence can feel so unnatural, especially when we would much rather shout from the rooftops...or just simply, even softly, process the details of our life.

I'm just sayin...I know this funk of which you speak.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

We so do not know how to fight.

We also don't know who to talk either.

I hear that funk. Loud and clear.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So feeling you. So feeling this.

Sending lots of love and offers of drunken bitch sessions at a time and place of your naming if it would help defunkify.

Hugs to you xoxoxo

9:28 PM  
Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said...

I hope you get your groove back real soon. xxxx

12:56 AM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

Take it easy.

Soak it in.

Sometimes, as writers, you have to fill-up before you can pour out again.

It sounds as if you're doing a lot of living right now, for better and worse.

Soak in it.

It will turn itself into something beautiful on your page again. It can't help but do so.

In the meantime, blessings to Tanner and your family.

And Bill Maher? Doesn't deserve the same air space.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Ah, babe. I know. I've felt that funk a lot since BlogHer. I think if I just keep writing it will go away. And I'm sure it will for you too.

Bill Maher is a boob.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know you well, but you could have been reading my mind. I'm in a total blogging funk, that I just stopped writing for the time being. It has been an energy and time-suck for me lately, so I had to take drastic action! Here's hoping it gets better soon for both of us!

10:52 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Just saw Janet tlking 'bout my boobs, thanks for coming and checking them out ;)

Hope things are looking up today. Sending you sweet hugs.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's hard to write when what you really NEED to write about is anathema. Same with talking for me. If there's an 'off limits' topic I have a hard time communicating at all because all I want/need to talk about is not allowed. Major button for my from my childhood/family.

In the end all I can do is journal, the old fashioned way. I have lots of journals, poems, etc. from the years, but the funny thing is they're mostly from the really crappy times, the times I NEEDED to let those frustrations and feelings out somehow and since I couldn't talk about it with the folks who needed to hear it, I wrote it.

Here's hoping you can get it out somehow.

Oh, and I'm sooo ok with just having photos of WB to look at you know. ;)

12:22 PM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Bossy thinks Funks allow change.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Ooh, Bossy is right on that one. Pain brings transformation, to be sure. Not causes it, but through the experience of pain we transform. I'm not here to plug myself, but my latest post at springinglight.com talks about this.

For me, it's writing about them that brings clarity to things, especially the painful ones. The fact that you can't write about this thing and this other thing must be horribly stifling. I hope you have some other outlets, and I hope more still that the clarity and resolution you seek is at hand.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Zellmer said...

The funk, like this flu thing, must be going around. I think I've got it, too.

3:22 PM  
Blogger meno said...

Hi there. It's okay, unless you blog anonymously, and really, how anonymous are any of us, then there are things that are not all yours to post about.


5:56 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Apparently this blog funk is going around because for the first time ever I considered giving my blog a break. Don't think I can walk away though. I'd miss you all too much.

Sorry for all the shite in your life, hon. Wishing the hurt away.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock on, been there, understand that.

And bravo - - Facebook and Bill Maher need a good swift kick in the pants, and thensome.

I hope this doesn't make me the yucky-comment-person, but here's one thing to ponder: you said that despite Facebook and Bill and the "many, many other tards out there..." and I have to mention it. The word "tard" is really hard for me to hear, personal reasons. Maybe a better word for those two? That said, I love youloveyouloveyou, and love your glorious blog.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Been there! Thanks for putting it in words for all to read!

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even in a funk, you managed to inspre me. I gave this piece a shout-out at www.donmillsdiva.blogspot.com
Thanks Catherine, for talking about the fine line between public and private in the blogosphere.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Alex Elliot said...

I know what you mean. I have a bunch of things that I want to blog about but can't. I've even thought about submitting a post to your basement.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

dude--whatever you want, need, or can talk about her is ok. we're always here to listen.

love the boob shot!

and maher is a fool

7:01 PM  
Blogger wayabetty said...

After this 4th child, my brains are literally fried and I have no energy to write anything. Napping takes priority my friend when you're up in the middle of the night nursing your child.

And I've commented over at Mrs. Chicky about a post she wrote about Bill Maher, I don't understand why the big hoopla about nursing. Coming from Viet Nam where the only source of nutrients you'll get as a babe is from your mom's breast, it's survival. These men are such backward!!

10:07 PM  

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