wings and things

Mixed emotions

on April 8, 2013

pea 557

When I was 12 and struggling with my all-over-the-place thoughts and feelings, and worried that I was abnormal, my mother wisely reassured me that I was simply suffering from mixed emotions and that this was normal for 12-year-olds.

At the time, I found it immensely comforting that there was a name for my ‘problem’ – mixed emotions.

Now, all these years later, it is happening again – that simultaneous sad/happy thing but of course it doesn’t sound very convincing when you decline an invitation to lunch, for instance, by saying, “I can’t today because I am sick with mixed emotions.” A migraine is a much better excuse.

Yesterday afternoon, Anthony was taxied home and the handful of friends I’d invited (he doesn’t cope well with more than a handful) all arrived with food and drinks, and I was filled with happiness. It was a delightful afternoon and resembled the hundreds of delightful afternoons when Ants was well. I used to be amazed at how Ants would never sit down, would constantly replenish half empty glasses, would shout with laughter at his own anecdotes, turn the music up and dance, bear hug me, wink at me, grin at me. The good old days.

Of course now that Ants can’t stand up easily, or wink, or grin, or shout with laughter, or dance, or hug, or even follow an anecdote, let alone tell one, it’s different. Don’t get me wrong – it was still wonderful, but when the taxi arrived to take him back, the sad kind of stole my smile, and our little crowd went from noisy to quiet.

After Ants had gone, the frivolity resumed, but at a lower key for me and, later in the evening, when everyone had gone, I felt such a surge of grief and nostalgia that I had to remind myself to breathe.

Mixed emotions.

(But at least I didn’t injure the taxi driver this time, even though he mistook me for Anthony’s daughter!)

65 responses to “Mixed emotions

  1. Sending good thoughts – from another of mixed emotions 😉

  2. kdkh says:

    Hang in there.

  3. angelasommers says:

    Although I don’t comment on your blog a lot – I do read it, and I think you are wonderful and strong – you handle yourself so well, and in light of all the challenges you are facing -you still manage to blog with (mostly) a smile – you are a great lady!

  4. I get those too! And I feel guilty when I’m having fun and he is not. 😦

  5. tersiaburger says:

    Oh Julie you are so brave. Your love for Anthony pours out of every word you write. Hugs my friend.

  6. Very hard times for you and for Ants too.But at least he was there with you and your friends.

  7. sbcallahan says:

    it is so terribly normal to have “mixed emotions” as far as i know. even the mixed emotions over injuring the driver! i hear the sorrow in your words and wish you could be spared. warm hugs from me to you.

  8. niasunset says:

    Dear Julie, this is so beautiful what you did, you are great heart. My positive thoughts, wishes for you always, love you, nia

  9. Nostalgia for what was and can’t be the same again….It must be very hard…Diane

  10. Helen says:

    I think you are doing really well. I know there would be many moments that you think your not, but your dealing with so much and still holding the family unit together. Look what a wonderful job you are doing with Ming. Dealing with teenagers in general is a challange!! Well it was for me, Ha. It’s sad knowing your life is never going to be quite the same, but there will be nice things ahead to look forward to aswell. Wow, mixed emotions are so hard. your doing a great job xx

  11. It is bonus for you that you can recall those special memories so vividly. So often they get lost when the situation around us changes so drastically.

  12. You are such a brave, strong soul, Julie–I marvel at your ability to laugh and to share. Holding a good thought close to my heart for you and your family….

  13. tootlepedal says:

    No jury would have convicted even if you had injured him.

  14. You write beautifully of something so wonderful (love), and difficult (change and loss) . I felt like I was sitting there watching you as “Ants” came home, and then left again. Watching you watch him leave hurt.

  15. I am so glad that you take to your blog and use it as an outlet for all of your emotions; the good, the bad and the mixed. I would hate to think of you keeping everything bottled up, as everyone who has commented, remember that you have a beautiful heart and soul and that you are so strong and brave. Anthony knows all this and I hope that you do as well. Big Hugs!

  16. Mixed emotions – a great way to put it – you have a wise Mom! I’m sorry that there is underlying sadness for you but I am inspired by your ability to grab onto those joyful moments Julie – I can learn from that.

  17. Robyn Lee says:

    So difficult Julie.. I can picture it all from your words –the “good-old-days” – the winks, music, bear hugs and smiles… and I can so much understand the ‘mixed emotions’ too — Still your words always spell LOVE to me… a human love that is real and tender too. And through it all you keep you wit. Beautiful soul – Anthony and Ming are so lucky to have you. Sending tons of love – R

  18. FlaHam says:

    Julie, your love for Ants is so so strong, and that love allows you to enjoy Ants even in his diminished capacity, just as if it were like before. You will carry these memories forever, and they will always make you smile with happiness. Please take care, Bill

  19. marwil says:

    It must be so hard to witness such a thing, the changes that slowly happen and him not being his old self. Sending hugs.

  20. lucewriter says:

    What a beautiful tribute of love. You’ve really shown us the emotional roller coaster you’re on. And you manage to keep your humor in the midst of it–the “migraine” and your history with cab drivers.

  21. viveka says:

    Julie, it’s so right to have mixed emotions … about your situation together with Ant. I can imaging that it can be full chaos in your emotions and that is not easy to handle. Like so many others has written here … I also find love in every word you write. You’re an amazing person … and you don’t have to feel guilty for acting, feelings or … thinking.
    I send a BIG warm and hard hug.

  22. dcwisdom says:

    You know, I never understood older people when they said, “I don’t like change. I want things to stay like they were. Life is not fair.” The older I get, the more I understand them. And now I’m almost one of “them.” My mom sent me an email this morning that I’ll forward to you. It was very apropos for this post. Sending lots of sister-love your way, my friend.

  23. Judith says:

    Seeing your loved ones when they’re only “sort of” themselves is bittersweet. Glad you embrace the good and admit the not so good. It’s hard. (Wanted to let you know that I’m off for Florida to see my daughter and son-in-law till the 19th, so I’ll miss your blog posts. I’ll be off the computer for a while).

  24. Kozo says:

    Anthony looks so grateful there. Must have been a wonderful gathering for him. Glad the taxi driver got away unscathed. Mixed emotions are better than only bad emotions or no emotions at all, in my opinion. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  25. This must be the most difficult thing in the world. He is there and he is not. But you are – every day. I’m keeping good thoughts for you.

  26. What a lovely, horribly bittersweet, filled with all kinds of emotions day. I know how it is. Another daily hug for you. Your friend Paulette

  27. Yes mixed emotions sounds right to me and it is no wonder you have them now…………

  28. bulldog says:

    You didn’t injure the taxi driver on purpose or you just missed this time.?? lol..

  29. victoriaaphotography says:

    Yes, Mixed Emotions can be a little difficult at times.

    After reading this post, I couldn’t help but wonder if Anthony has mixed emotions (himself) after such a lovely social occasion.
    He may not be able to smile, stand, laugh, dance etc, but do we really know what goes on in the minds of PD sufferers. Is everything behind that stony-faced facade still the same? Is Anthony smiling inwardly? Is he laughing with abandon inside? Is he guffawing with joy inside? Is he enveloping his friends and family with exactly the same hugs and touches of warmth mentally (instead of physically)?

    I like to think so.

  30. Fergiemoto says:

    You are struggling so much and I’m so sorry, Julie. Mixed emotions are very difficult.
    Sending you good thoughts.

  31. Jules I love your title, your topic is a pointed one and you sharing it such a gift.. I also adore that at 12 your mum gave you a name to be able to identify these surreal emotions.Bittersweet are the hours that we embrace when we have the gift of togetherness, but I understand the emptiness left in its place when the heart become s quiet again

    Just gentle hugs today Jules. gentle hugs fr you both ~

  32. For months I’ve also experienced this sad nostalgia. For me, I am mourning the end of my youth and certain reminders just make me feel sad, even when thinking about happy times. I can understand this mixed feeling. Personally, I’d rather feel only one emotion at a time. Less confusing that way.

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