I don't know why I do these things to myself, why I occasionally torment myself in the ways that I tend to do. I'd reason that at least a good part of the why is that I need reminders sometimes of how much I've been through, all that I've survived, how bad things were and how far I've come.
And still I find myself learning something new each time I do it.
The middle of January, clear through until anniversary of the day my father died are a time of this familiar pattern. The revisiting. The unsettling.
It's an annual occurrence now.
It's been enough years now that I can recognize it when it snuggles up beside me and makes itself at home. It's not exactly a feeling of sadness, though certainly that is part of it. It's an edginess. A discomfort.
It's familiar enough that I know precisely what it is, but vague enough that I can't quite describe it.
There are so many things that happened in those days and weeks, things that happened in the following year, things that I have blocked from my memories still, things that unearth themselves a few at a time now, all these years later.
This time, though, along with all the bad being dredged up from the soupy bottom, there was good. A good that I was blinded to at the time, unable to see because of everything that was going on.
Good that I couldn't see for years. Good that I couldn't see until now.
I was 100% in survival mode back then, barely even able to do that. I'd be left with the wonder of PTSD in its wake, as my attempts to survive created issues all their own. It's not a huge surprise that I was unable to recognize the good back then.
It was there, though, and I found some of it today.
I found a piece of love, proof of it, buried among the wreckage.
Only with the clarity of time, with the deliberate healing of therapy and the obsessive nature of keeping all the records that might someday be important was this possible.
I saved just about everything from that time, for different reasons than lead me back to it now.
I'm glad I did, because even if it hurts like hell to travel back in time, my eyes are now open to the things I could not see before.
And I am grateful.
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