Grief is a funny thing. Or at least my experience of it has been. At 18 when my dad died I remember just falling apart for a couple of weeks. But after that time life was supposed to just go on as normal. I was just about to sit my A levels. No one suggested to me to wait and take them the following year. So I just packed it all away I suppose. I have a pattern there. When my mum died when I was 24 I had a 2 month old, ‘very much not easy’, baby and because I’d learned this coping mechanism I again attempted to pack it away. Looking back I could see there wasn’t a place I could just lose it in, no one again came forward to offer that space and knowing me, at the time, I would have been refused, so adverse to being a burden as I am. But if someone with empathy had insisted I would have been eternally grateful, believe me.
Fast forward to now. Biggest break up of my life. Six months from my husband and I semi-splitting we are actually properly breaking up. Lots of new feelings are being triggered that I realised I didn’t have space for back in March. Back then I was exhausted, unable to function on many levels. It took me months to feel anything again once I’d finally decided that leaving was the only way we could get some peace from each other and all the triggered anger.
And now, these new feelings… There’s abandonment for sure. Who doesn’t have that? But there’s anger too. Anger that he didn’t pull it together soon enough for me… that I wasn’t good enough, worth enough, (so many not enoughs) to find that strength to fight for us. Even though deep down I know that we were finished, the feelings are there. This is how I know that these feelings are about my own self-worth, not about him. My own feelings that deep down I wasn’t enough to turn the relationship around. To save us, it… I wasn’t enough. So, who is my anger really for… him or me? I will ponder this over the next few days but I think I already know the answer. The buck stops here.
I’m grieving for sure but I don’t really have the space. That old pattern…! I’m keeping it together for the kids and the move, I don’t have a safe landing space except in the arms of my friends when I see them. Is this healthy? I doubt it. It feels fucked up and I’m barely coping really but I am. I am strong, I’ve learned how I can be strong.Even if I’m not being honest most of the time. I compartmentalise, and how interesting that I always have to carry on…. I hope at some point I’ll get some extended time away from the kids where I can just let it all go. I have three griefs to process really. A month in Bali would be nice. There I go – making light. Another coping mechanism…
I’ll continue to do all the self- work that I need to do here because it hurts and I won’t do the things I’ve done before to cope. I can’t push it down any more, won’t ignore it, and even though this is not the best time to let it all out. I must. For me. And ultimately for the future me. Whoever she is.
I wrote a poem last night and shared it on Facebook. This is how I try and make sense of my feelings and try to transform them into something else, something worthy, something creative. I’ll keep doing this as it’s not denying, but transforming. Caterpillar to butterfly.
meet me in the wild moon’s gaze,
the broken chill of lapping waves
where we can talk of this and that.
why i ran and why you sat
meet me underneath these clouds
let’s toast a new start right here now
let’s wash away our old dead pledge,
meet me at the water’s edge.
KS September 10th 2016