I have ( hardly ) suppressed my emotions since the beginning of our adventure- and even when I have tried I have not been successful for any great length of time. Sure I have certainly distanced myself, regular readers of this blog feel free to jostle your head up and down in full agreement. The thing is, I still feel while distancing myself. The emotions are close to the surface, longing to come out- and come out they have, time and time again.
Congratulations Wilma, no more building walls. I was blissfully beginning to believe this. In fact I still do. I have another visual now. It is not as concrete as a wall, something more permeable. I have been thinking that my emotion-coping strategies are more like hiding behind a beaver dam.
Our adventure is like canoeing down a slow moving river. Along the way we encounter still water, and a beaver dam- blocking our forward progress. Inevitably the dam bursts, weather through self reflection, or with Barney's help, and we continue on until the next dam in the river.
Some times the water merely seeps out at a very slow pace and a great deal of the dam doesn't give away, but that doesn't really matter as the emotion of the water flows through, and that is the most important part- or so I thought...The thing is the busy little beaver is quite good at repairing a dam that isn't completely destroyed. But we've travelled through it, so it should no longer be a problem.
However, sometimes the water in the river quickly changes to white water and it is important to shoot the rapids in order to continue on the course we mapped out.
Did you notice only one person in this canoe shooting the rapids? Yeah, not a huge fan of choppy water. Quietly I abandoned 'ship' Here is where I am
Heading back to to where this guy has been busily working, without my knowledge. I seems so much 'safer' in the calm water that I have already traveled through
This past week my coping skills altered a bit from the past. In the past before ttwd, I obsessed,( okay WAY more than now, believe it or not) and became consumed with grief. Thinking, thinking, thinking about every single angle and possible emotion and issue people in a certain situation could encounter, and then I would suppress it. It was almost as if I tortured my thoughts until I couldn't take it anymore and then I could safely slam the door shut and throw away the key. Thinking that I would never even try to look for the key, yet alone open the door.
The past few days I used this 'coping' method.
-deciding that trying to process what one can't ever really process was not going to change or help the outcome. I avoided anything unpleasant. I didn't embrace anything pleasant either. I realized I had become completely numb. I am sure there are a great deal of you out there that going numb is a 'coping' strategy for you. I assure you this has NEVER happened to me before. Somewhere along the line, my so-called coping techniques have become like the infection that is resilient to antibiotics . It is frightening actually how one can go to great pains, to 'protect' oneself from hurt.
Now for the conundrum- since starting ttwd, I am well aware this is not healthy. That this numbness stops the joy as well as the hurt. I also realize that this too will pass- perhaps when conversations can return guilt free to talking about Christmas and how our house seems too small because the kids have been off school for two weeks and are bored.
Today was a snow day here. It was also supposed to be Maintenance day. We weren't completely surprised that the boys were staying home, as the weather started last night. This morning I sat on my couch and cried- for myself...and then I felt guilty. The boys love snow days. What kid wouldn't ? I have all three of them near me, excited about Christmas, when, well you all know....and yet I wanted them to be at school. What a horrible mother..... I needed maintenance.
I know we haven't had the traditional 'break through' during M. and perhaps I was still going to need a miracle to get through my thick scull - I don't know. I just can't stand being numb, and I am too afraid to let the dam burst-
I suppose when I reread this post, it doesn't appear that I have grown in leaps in bounds at all. I have a long way to go. I can cope when it is easy, but old destructive habits are hard to break I guess.
Barney on the other hand has grown leaps and bounds. He talked to me on the level I would 'allow' last night...politics and the media coverage of events, but never dipping too deeply into the conversation. He did mention the unhealthy actions I was taking. That I have to let myself feel.
He was patient and overly forgiving this morning when I had made a MAJOR mistake last week that will make things a little more difficult in the next month. A mistake that only he can fix. Despite being bogged down with work frustrations, he managed to find time to help me with my one of my Christmas things, that I find difficult. Before work he held me ( I had dirty cooking hands) in the kitchen, and told me how well I was handling all the stresses I have been encountering this year at Christmas. That I was doing so much better than in past years. With that he told me he loved me and left for yet another 12 hour day of work.