Christmas eve was a killer day for me. I am so grateful it has passed now and I am on the other side. I began this post in the depths of being crushed by a pain yesterday that made it hard to breathe. Only the love of my family pulled me through.
Sledgehammer : I feel as though I have been hit by a sledgehammer today. I am aware of the fact I have been pushing myself beyond certain limits not being able to really stop and rest and nourish myself. I look back at the year past and realise that after dealing with my sister’ diagnosis with breast cancer at the end of last year, my own year started with my own diagnosis. It was a huge shock and I went through the entire procedure of surgery and radiotherapy in a kind of daze looking back. I didn’t really allow myself any rest and nurture following the procedure. I was push, push, pushing myself just to get through it. I was alone apart from three or four nights when a friend stayed after work. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for that but it was as usual the bare minimum I needed to get by. Now it seems on some level I have woken up or come to ground and I am looking at a wreckage, the wreckage is not so much the past five years where I have had a home of my own and support but the four years before spent with a narcissist bent on his own agenda and needs where I towed the line just to belong with him. When he discarded me, it was myself I hated not him for what he did. And its really only today talking over his behaviour with a friend that I realised how selfish and insane he could be. How little I could really rest in the relationship and the abuse that went on which was never physical but left me with deep, deep scars.
Today this wave of grief hit me huge and it was also full of exhaustion too exhaustion of the long years of coming back from that, the painful places and tearings and wounds it took me through in the first 9 months coming out of it. The nights of sleep torn asunder, wrestling with demons and memories, the fight with my Mum when I really needed her support and it was hard to receive and the painful years before that I spent in nearly total isolation following the end of my marriage. A wound in me caused me to stay separate, to fight supporting or depending on anyone again. A desire just for a space where nothing and no one could hurt me again led me there but ended up driving my pain deeper into loneliness and meant no one could help me either.
This is as far as I could write yesterday. Two telephone calls, one with a dear friend, the other with my sister allowed me to pour out so many tears. Its been hard in the past to have this pain with others, so yesterday was some kind of watershed for me, but there was a point where I felt so badly crushed that I did not think I could get up again.
Today I have come through some kind of wall. Just a small step forward was all it took, the ability to dress myself, get in the car and make it over to my Mum’s where we could share a meal together and I could be supported was enough to restore my energy. Today I managed to rise early, shower, take Jasper to the park for a walk and then to the dog park where we met friends and then home, dressed and out for lunch. It was a relief to arrive home this afternoon and be able to potter around. No panic attacks at all, no early afternoon swirls, just quiet time to relax, tidy, prepare a simple dinner, rest and read, make some calls to my lovely nephews.
Today I have seen the negative place that my mind and heart can take me at times when I am in the midst of a painful anniversary. I am remembering tonight the year Dad went into hospital on the early hours of Christmas morning never to come out again. And tonight there is no longer that deep deep unreconcilable wound in my heart. I know that I lost my father and the fathering I needed didn’t come in the way I needed. Facing that means I can take steps now to reach for fathering from others in order to build a stronger internal masculine for myself. All is not lost. In the words of Joni Mitchell “something’s lost and something’s found in living every day.” When the pain passes there is more of us than there was before, what was a vacancy still has an emptiness but it is no longer a vortex but a receptacle within which we can process pain, a place that no longer sucks all life and energy away but becomes a creative place of inner work and healing.