So I woke up to a text message from a friend (one of my specials) recently. This friend, I have seen about 4 times in the last 20 plus years, and for those who read my blogs regularly, she was the ‘deserter’ that left me….just like that, plenty years ago, in order to move to another Continent. Before she left, we shared a special relationship, but one of those where we did not see each other that regularly. After she left, we did not keep in constant contact. In fact months, even years would go by without any contact. However, I always knew she was there, and always held a special place in my heart for her.
This past December, we had the opportunity to spend more time together and reconnect, more than we had since she had left. If COVID had a good side, that was one of them!
So this message took me straight back to an emotional place where I had not been for easily over 14 years. As mentioned previously, I have an amazing skill of locking emotions away if they hurt too much. Just to paint a picture….imagine if you will a whole lot of objects that need to be packed away in a closet. Imagine further, the closet reaching bursting point, but many objects still needing to fit in. Then imagine me (or any old grumpy mummy will do for the purposes of this exercise), cramming the rest of the items in the closet. Items falling and being put back, to the point where I then have to lean against the door, in order to prevent it from bursting at the seams, and slipping the remainder of the items through a little crack. Once everything is in, I then slowly turn, place my back on the door, and use my legs to push me back until the door slams shut. There….that is how it is done. Packed away, never to be unpacked. That door has to be closed for good! Fabulous!!
Of course everyone and their granny will totally disagree, and will go on for days about how one needs to ”deal with emotions” in order to ”move on”. Well everyone….and your granny…. some people can never deal with certain emotions, as they hurt way too much to deal with, and the way we ‘’move on’’ is to ‘’tap out’’. It has worked for 55 years. And I do not intend changing the formula now.
This is why I ignored the cries of ‘’you need to go for counselling’’ from day one and a half after my husband passed away. I mean it took me five years to stop feeling like I was reeling from shock, how on earth would a third party have helped me deal with emotions that I needed to go through anyway? We know what we can handle, and deal with it if and when we are ready!!
I totally understand that certain people need a third party to tell all their tales of woe to, but I have used my friends as ‘’soft therapy’’ over the years, and for the rest of it I have managed to store it away in that closet, which is apparently not healthy. But this morning I realized how perfectly healthy it can be for one such as me.
However, as I am one in a million who feel this way, I have often wondered if I would be in a different place emotionally….calmer…. less intense….more sunshine and less clouds if you will….. had I done what the other 999 000 people automatically assumed was what one does.
Yet, not on reading the text message, but on replying to it, I went straight back to feeling of shock, fear, sadness and trauma, that I felt for months following that dreaded life changing date of 25 November 2005. And when I say ‘’straight back’’, I mean literally ‘’straight back’’!!!! Perhaps it was on replying to the message that this happened, as I was deep in the throes of trying to explain to her, how I had felt during that time. I clearly let my guard down, and I proceeded to cry the ”death cry”. For anyone (counselled and un-counselled) who has lost someone near and dear to them, particularly when it was unexpected, they will know exactly what type of cry that is. It is not a hysterical or loud cry. There is no drama or even sobbing that accompanies it. Nope……it is as if someone has opened a tap, and tears just come streaming down your face……for..…well as long as it takes…and then that inconsiderate swine of a person just switches off the tap……just like that. And then you carry on with the rest of your day as normal. This happens at the strangest and most unexpected times, and for those fortunate enough not to have lost someone hugely important to them, you will just not be able to understand this strange and involuntary behaviour!!
If my chained, bolted and locked closet is not bad enough, I am also that person who feels uncomfortable with physical or verbal comfort. This is only because I feel extremely vulnerable and weak if any such emotions are displayed openly on my part. So bizarre, taking into account that here I am, sharing it for all and sundry to read about. But this is different. Firstly, it is after the fact, so I can just be my ever so self deprecating self about the incident. Also, I am kind of anonymous (other than my friends and family who know who I am. But the latter won’t judge me (too much) for my weaknesses and vulnerabilities. And if they do…that is also okay.
So I’m that person who literally will break down when I am at my stillest moment, and when I flub it occasionally, and do it publicly, I am well aware of the awkward position I am putting people in, and feel extremely guilty. I just feel uncomfortable for them…I mean the reality of it, is that it’s awkward for people….the whole messy encounter….the subconscious head tilting..…the sorrowful expression….we are all guilty of it….even me when the tables are turned. It is just a normal human reaction. This is not the death cry. This is the heart wrenching, loud sobbing worthy of an Oscar performance cry. After this session, you are emotionally drained and it takes a few bits to get back to business. This also comes at the strangest times, and this also, only a fellow sufferer will understand.
Now, because I have such issues with showing weakness and vulnerability, I prefer ‘’virtual hugs’’ and ‘’virtual comfort’’. So, basically, due to my insane intuitiveness, when you are sending me one of those….I receive it. This can be so much more powerful than what you receive from people whose lips are moving and saying comforting things, but you just know there is nothing behind that. For me….rather say nothing, it is better that way. Us grievers understand that not every person we encounter in our lives gives a damn about our grief. Why should they?
I do not want to discredit all the people whose lips moved, and who were being totally heartfelt, as they were incredibly comforting as well, it just made ME uncomfortable…if that makes sense? I just always feel the need to say, ’’I apologise for putting you in this position……no need to speak…….just send your wishes telepathically…….if it is genuine and heartfelt, I will receive it……promise!!!”
So having said all that, the reason for this blog is simple. My special friend messaged me a brave and raw message, which was meant as a heartfelt apology, but while explaining to her that she had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to apologize for, and that she was one of the people who virtually comforted and embraced me over the years, I inexplicably went straight back to that f**** awful place I was in way back then, had a few moments of a death cry, and realized that I am just dandy not revisiting emotions that are too painful. I also realized in that moment, that I have been so dramatically altered by losing my husband, and with or without therapy, I will never be that semi-happy, at times relaxed, slightly tolerant and tolerable person again. Instead here I am…grumpy, intense, intolerant, angry and bitter.
Coffee date anyone??