Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Pachyderm is: OUT


The thing they don't tell you about the elephant in the room is that when it leaves, it leaves an elephant shaped hole.

This doesn't change the fact that nobody talks about it. It's still the big, uncomfortable thing that we pretend not to notice, only now it's the hole instead of the elephant that drags at your heart.

You'd think I'd be glad that there was no more elephant crap to pick up around the place; no more feeding the elephant or listening to it howl like a wolf and pretending that this was perfectly natural elephant behaviour.

You'd think that I'd be relieved and freed up to enjoy life a bit more. What they don't tell you is that the elephant shaped hole is a black hole of resentment and anger
and still
nobody
talks about it.

I talk about it of course. I talk to anyone who'll listen: at school, at church, on the end of a phone 12,000 miles away but all these hollow words do is feed the elephant shaped hole. They feed it until it is a dragging, stabbing mass of sticky, black anger and resentment beckoning me to swim in its warm, comforting, sucking morass. Because anger can be comforting. Self righteousness, indignation and martyrdom are a thin, brittle shell around the heart. They protect you from the hurt and rejection and they allow you to wallow in the unfairness of it all.

What I really need to do is to talk to the elephant but elephants have a nasty way of shifting suddenly and stepping on you and to tell the truth, I ain't fast enough to get out of its way nor strong enough to hold it on my shoulders. And anyway, it's not even my elephant. I expect we'll all just go on stepping around the hole for a while.

image credit

11 comments:

A Free Man said...

What elephant?

You know what they don't have at the Adelaide zoo? An elephant.

Maybe you should donate yours.

HipMomma said...

Is the elephant big or small?

headbang8 said...

You're right. The young man is not your elephant.

Arizaphale said...

A free man: shhhh, we're not talking about it...

hipmomma: big. very big.

headbang8: ah yes, but it's my anger and resentment, and feeling of rejection.

justjessie said...

:( I'm sorry. How crappy for you.

Maggie said...

I'm sorry - sometimes I think the hole is harder than the elephant.

Thinking of you...

natalie said...

Be careful...the black hole can suck the life right out of those it's nearest to while not even effecting (affecting?) the one who created the hole.

After my fit of rage last week, things have returned to normal. I don't think we'll ever be rid of our elephant....perhaps it's just a burden I must bear. Feel free to rant and rave until you're exhausted...and do it whenever the the urge strikes. Fill that hole with all the damning words that make it feel better for you, every wrong, every slight, every injury. And then forgive as best you can. Let the Lord help you.

Love,
Nat

ktjrdn said...

Sorry. We have some elephants in our family too. Why won't people just stand up and talk things out? urgh.

Anonymous said...

Of course the hole is worse than the elephant at the moment because you tried HARD and are taking it personallY! As would most of us!

Always easier said than done to fill that hole....but maybe you can find some lovely flowers to fill it and make it pretty instead of the ugly beast it currently is. Don't know how to fill it....maybe think of Small Boy and the wonderful progress you've made with him!!

Switch into self-preservation mode so that that hole doesn't turn you into an elephant, too! :)

Will think lots of good thoughts for you! :)
Elisa

Andi said...

This breaks my heart for you. I know it is not YOUR elephant, but it hurts all the same. I also know you have done your best.
A huge, gaping hole is not a good thing to have around your family. What if someone else falls in?
Here's hoping the hole fills itself; this elephant needs to learn to take responsibility for himself some day...and now would be a great time.

Much love and many happy thoughts to you...

SSG said...

Hey, I like your post though it can't be easy for you, one day he'll realise things and be able to see things from your, and others, perspective. Aren't we all born selfish? you think of others a lot but sometimes you gotta let the elephant be an elephant and don't try to make the leopard change its spots... I hope things in the future aren't so tense