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looking back, part 2

I've been looking over everything I've written for this weblog in the past two years and I see that everything before September 11, 2001 was just shit - save for the journal entries. It was if the floodgates opened after that date and the hiatus I had taken from writing every single day was over; the words poured out of me at an astonishing rate.

I've said it before and I'll say it forever; it was having this weblog that saved me from having a complete and total breakdown in the days and weeks after 9/11.

I don't even know if anyone is interested in reading entries from the past. I know I am, because this weblog allows me to see not only how much I've changed and grown over the past two years, but the slow transformation of my inner self - how I finally got to be in the place I am today, a place I love.

This is why I've kept this up for two years. It's become so much a part of me and has helped me discover myself and heal myself. I can look back and see my breaking points as well as the points where I started to put myself back together.

It's no coincidence that I was able to let my guard down and finally open myself up to others when I started this blog. I've alway kept to myself. I was distant, a bit hard to read and not very open. It was when I started writing daily and opened up that writing to feedback that the wall around me started to crumble.

Why do I blog? I blog because I need to, I need that release. And I blog because doing so has given me the gifts of real friendship and honest relationships.

This following post is from September 17, 2001:

The rise and fall of my emotions...

I'm trying. I am trying to get back in the swing of things, live a normal life, get back to a routine, all those things the nice newscasters have been telling me I must do. But I can't. I simply cannot. Sure, I am fine in fits and starts. I smile, I may laugh at your joke, I may sing along with a cd. And I may cry. I may get angry. I may get depressed and sad and mournful. I may be fearful and paranoid. I may have this adrenaline coarsing through my body that makes me want to take a swing at the Taco Bell worker who forgot the cheese in my burrito. It's hard to breathe sometimes. I am suffocating in my own grief.

I try to escape into my work. It's ok for a bit. And then I overwrite a 3 page decision with a phone list. I stare vacantly at my computer, not really seeing anything. I'm not here. I try to escape by going shopping during lunch and its ok for a bit. I buy some snacks for the kids and some candy to keep in my desk at work and there's the shampoo I like on sale. I laugh with my sister. And then leave the store and a plane flies overhead and I remember. And I'm not ok.

I try to escape by talking to people. But a lot of these people have been there. They tell me things I don't want to hear. They tell me what's not seen on tv, what they are finding and how they find it and what's really underneath all that steel and concrete. Things I don't want to know. But they cry when they tell me and I can't ask them to stop because they need to talk. And I think about these things the rest of the day and I know I will lose sleep and I wonder how in the world these rescuers - the firemen, the policemen, the construction workers and steel workers - will ever sleep well again. I am not ok.

I try to escape by going home and seeing my family. And it's ok for a bit. We go over homework and talk about school and Natalie tells about her crush on Jason and we giggle a bit and my mom calls and asks if the kids want to sleep there tonight. So we go there and I see my father, and I see by his eyes that he finally broke down and he had been crying a good long time and I am not ok.

I try to escape by reading, by playing a game, by sitting on the couch with Justin and watching a movie. And it's ok for a bit. And then I remember. And my stomach tightens and my throat constricts and my eyes well up and god damn it I am not ok. I see people getting on with their lives. I wonder what's going through their heads, if those smiles are only temporary and when they go home the smile is replaced by looks of sadness or fear or worry. I wonder why I can't get over it like other people have. I wonder why I can't smile without feeling guilty. I wonder if this lead feeling in the pit of my stomach will every go away. I wonder if I will stop crying every hour or so.

I try to escape by coming here and writing and maybe getting back to the way it was here before last Tuesday. I can't. I can't cope. I can't move on. I am not ok.


blogito ergo sum

Yeah - I feel that way too.
It's not as intense now - the flashbacks. I moved away from LA so I'm not reminded daily of where I was and what I was doing.

But I have a paper from September 12th, and pictures from my office in the LA skyline. Those take me back to the day - and what I was thinking - the blur that seemed to last for a month.

I listen to people say and read when people write that they're sick of people talking about how everything changed that day.

And I look at them, and don't say a word. Because they know. And I know. We're still afraid.

They'll get it, I think. We all grow up in some way - and stamping your feet and screaming "it's not fair" can only get you so far.

It makes me think of Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men...at the end - when the final dissenter breaks down - and Henry just looks at him and then brings him his coat.

Courage is what you have michelle. You warmonger you. Courage to open up, but also to stand firm.

It's a pleasure reading your blog.

i used to be a really open person but over the years i have grown increasingly self-protective and keep to myself. i handwrite three pages of stream of conciousness stuff in a private journal everyday because supposedly it's more therapeutic if you are not writing for an audience. i don't really know. but it definitely helps me to go back and read what i have wrote... it's kinda like a compass for my life if that makes any sense. sorry about the no caps!! not really. it's aesthetically pleasing to me for whatever reason!! i wish i could be more like you and not worry so much about what other people think!!