Though I'm weird and secretive about the things that have happened in the past few years, suffice to say that they have sucked. Some of them, independently, were probably enough to give me a boatload of issues, but it was never just one thing.
When your therapist stops you a few times just for clarification that this happened at the same time this happened, a few months after this happened, and right before this happened...you know it's a sign that it's been a bit much.
And it has.
There are a few times of the year that I dread, and the days between the 4th of July and the 7th of July fall firmly into that category.
I knew I was struggling yesterday when I laid down with little boy for a nap and woke up over three hours later. Sometimes, as bad as it is, it's easier just to shut it all away. I've learned to let myself do that when I have to. I've learned that sometimes talking about it, thinking about it, isn't going to be good for me. That there is nothing wrong with self-preservation, and that just because I choose to force something away now doesn't mean I am refusing to deal with it, it just means that I am choosing not to deal with it right now, in this moment.
I'll probably be doing that a lot in these next few days.
Though this isn't the first year that this set of days has passed, requiring me to survive them, last year was different. We weren't here, we were on vacation. It was probably better that way, to be honest. I wasn't in the place I am in now then.
In my last session with my therapist, she asked me to make a list of all the triggers, all the bad memories, of all the things I am carrying with me. She thought, as do most people, that my father's death ranked high on that list. It doesn't.
I was in a good place with his death when it happened, and nothing about that has changed.
He didn't choose to die. He didn't want to leave. He would have given anything for things to be different.
Others chose to do what they did, and that hurts more.
I've learned that though I am fairly far along in the process of acceptance and forgiveness, being far along in that process doesn't take the hurt away. Forgiving someone for hurting you doesn't make it go away. There really is truth in the phrases about forgiving, but not forgetting, and that truth exists because I believe there are hurts that can never go away completely. We just move forward with them as part of our past. As much as I wish at times that I could forget, I can't. I'm certain I never will.
I've learned that I am stubborn and strong, far more than I ever thought I was. I've learned that when I feel like I can handle no more, I do it anyway. I'm a survivor, in the truest sense of the word. I've also learned that sometimes I have to take the cape off.
I've learned to be more cautious, but I've also learned that sometimes all the caution in the world can't protect you, and that in order to truly live sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. Often that leap requires your to put trust in those who don't deserve it, and that the list of those undeserving can include yourself.
It is terrifying, but necessary to move forward.
I refuse to let the things I have been through change me too much. I don't want to be bitter and angry. So, I choose not to be. When the sadness rises up to the top, I go to my quiet place and sit with it for a while, then I take a deep breath and move forward.
During this process, I tried a few times to stop writing. Thinking that it was hurting me too much to try and get it out, I learned quickly that I needed this. Long before I was in therapy, this was my therapy.
It's something I can't fully explain, but also something that I know my fellow writers will understand. The words just need to find a way out. Sometimes they tear a hole in my soul on the way out, but once they are out, they aren't inside me anymore, ripping me apart from within. Sometimes it hurts, but that hurt is part of the process of letting it go.
So, forgive me in advance if I drop off the face of the map here and there in these next few days. I apologize if the funny is missing, and promise it will return soon. I'm sorry if I'm not my normal self for a little bit.
I'm busy surviving.
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