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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blindsided

Hi everyone. I know that I was supposed to have posted my second review. Reading this post should hopefully explain why.

I wish I could say that I am my bright and cheery self right, now, but I can't. During my review of Jay Asher's book a couple of Saturdays ago, I mentioned one of the major losses in my life due to suicide. What I didn't mention was the loss of my grandmother, my roots, nor did I mention the loss of a close friend.

During a time when I was supposed to be worried about grades and getting myself into college, like many others I knew, I was busy keeping my soul together with a shoestring. It worked, for awhile, but it didn't last. I have since replaced the shoestring with a stronger thread, but it doesn't seem to be doing its job, because the wounds still open and there are days where it just feels like everything is falling out from underneath me and I don't know how to make it stop.

Sure, I have my husband, and I am glad for that, but he just doesn't understand the truth of it, and I'm not sure he ever will. Besides, I lost two people who were integral to my soul within 6 months of each other and a third one one and a half years later, one week after my 19th birthday. That's three portions of my soul that died back then. You don't replace it, or heal it when part of your soul dies, you tie it off, connect the living parts, to make them stronger. My husband is only one person and he can't possibly fill the void that remains, even though he has tried.

What's worse about all of this is that I thought I had let go and I had been doing really well, until recently, when I looked at a printed calendar little over a week ago. I realized that it was the 19th anniversary of my friend's death. I thought by acknowledging it, saying and prayer and spending time remembering my friend would be enough to purge the demons, but it wasn't.

I have been doing a lot to avoid having to think about anything for the last week or so, and I understand why now, when I think about it. I didn't want to think because if I did, I would get upset and cry and feel the loss all over again.

Almost twenty years later and the pain of loss feels almost as strong today as it did back in 1990, the start of my senior year of high school. Looking at that picture, which can currently be seen by viewing my blogger profile or my facebook page, you wouldn't know I was hurting so badly. That's the thing with cameras and photos, you don't always see the truth. Even if you do, you find some reason to ignore it or explain it away.

I don't ignore the pain of loss or deny the tears, but in the last 19 years, the pain and tears don't seem to have lessened, not one iota.

The depression has been creeping up on me. I've felt it so many times before, you'd think I would be able to recognize it easily enough, but no. I was blindsided by the pain and sting of the loss. After 19 years, my heart still aches for the ones I lost. It doesn't make me sensitive. That's not why I am still struggling. I am struggling because all three of these people had accepted me for who I was, mistakes and all. When I lost all of them, I lost my roots, my sense of belonging and I have been wandering around ever since.

Looking for what?

I don't know.

I love my husband, and I think he is the only reason I stay in this state. I would love to move to a place where I don't have so many memories all the time, everywhere I go. Deep down, I know moving wouldn't help, that it would merely be running away, so I stay and struggle with the pain in my heart.

I also don't know how to keep the real fear I have of losing my husband at bay. I have real reasons to be concerned because he has genetic conditions. Sure, he's trying to do the best he can to take care of himself, but what if it isn't enough? What if, no matter what he does, it won't help? His uncle died when he was in his 40's. I know I should live in the now, but it's hard to do that, especially during these hard economic times when money is definitely a concern. He's becoming overworked, and I worry about the damage that kind of stress is doing to him.

I'm having a hard enough time dealing with things with him alive, how will I cope if the worst should happen? I know I shouldn't think about it, but when you're a survivor like I am, and have faced a few demons, you need to be prepared, or you'll find yourself right back in the pit.

Walking on the edge of the pit this last time, I got a glimpse into why some people cut themselves. They don't do it to get attention, at least it sure doesn't seem that way. I have a cut on my finger and it was pretty sore. When this wave of depression, pain and tears hit, I found myself gripping that finger so hard that it hurt. That pain distracted me from the pain in my soul long enough to get a grip on reality. It was in that instant that I could understand why people do it. Inflicting pain on your person doesn't just give you control, but it takes your mind off of the pain you can't handle (or don't want to handle) and let's you focus on the pain you can handle at that moment and gives you a temporary reprieve.

I do not condone someone cutting themselves because it really is a true sign of suffering, but I believe I have a much better understanding of it now. I wish I could say I am fine, but I can't. I've shed my tears and felt the loss, but I know this calm reprieve is merely temporary. I will fell it again over the holidays because my grandmother's birthday is December 23rd. I will feel it again in March because that's when my best friend's birthday was and that's when I lost the brother-in-law who was more like a real brother. I will feel it again in May because my grandmother died on Mother's Day. I will feel it again this time next year because I always do this time of year.

I wish I could reassure you that the pain of loss will lessen, but I can't. All I can say is that you just won't always notice it, but it will always be there, especially if the person was part of your soul. I hate the pain of loss and wish I didn't have this endless loop, but I just have to deal with it. All the medication in the world won't make it go away and if it can, it's only prolonging the inevitable.

Your soul needs you to feel the pain and acknowledge it from time to time. If you don't, deal with it each time it occurs, the backlash can be so much worse. I am really strong, most of the time. Sunday (today), just wasn't one of those days. I'll get through it, I always have and I always will.

I hope that those of you who read this are able to make some sense of this. If not, sorry about that!! I promise to get things straightened out this week!!!

8 Moonbeams (comments):

Janell said...

Carrie-I'm reaching out to you with a strong hug. Not sure how to respond except to let you know that there are sunny days ahead-by writing out your fears, I think you are working through some of your grief and sadness.

Janell

Molly Daniels said...

((((HUGS)))))

Praying for you, sweetie...

Judy said...

Sorry for your sorrows!! Do not worry about the blog until you get your head in order. I will also be praying for you!!

RKCharron said...

Hi Carrie :)
What a deeply personal post.
*hugs*
I'm glad your husband is there to help you deal with these feelings.
Love and best wishes,
RKCharron
xoxo

Sheila Deeth said...

Carrie, I'm so sorry. So many losses; like waves, too many together makes tsunami, but when it's washed past, your husband will be there with the rebuilding. Take care. Praying for you.

Carrie said...

Hey all, thanks for the wishes, but in truth, my husband feels the same way as you did when you read this - not knowing what to say or do.

Most of the time, I just deal with it on my own because, well, having him there never makes a difference. I wish it did, but it doesn't. I find that no matter who or what is around, the pain is the same. It just is what it is, so I deal with it on my own, as I always have.

I know that may sound cold, but I can't ask one man to heal the pain of three losses, especially when he doesn't truly understand the depth or nature of the pain that I feel. It isn't fair to ask him to be everything. No one can be everything to anyone. Which is why I deal with it as it comes.

The best line I've ever heard or read - "Time heals all wounds."

That's definitely true, but it can't prevent the wounds from reopening.

Gracen Miller said...

*virtual bear hugs you*

Carrie, I wish I could offer more than virtual hugs. You've helped me so many times, just listening, not condemning or judging. I hope you know, I'm always here for you, without judgments and while you may have lost those that accepted you for who you are, you've also found at least one new friend (Me) who can give you the same kind of unconditional acceptance. As we’ve both learned, we’re very much alike. It makes me sad to know you’re so sad and nothing I can do to help.

Losing those we love is never easy, but regardless of how long they were in your life, they impacted you in some way. I don’t believe in coincidence and I’ve often wondered why some people came and went in my life, but I strongly believe they were there for a reason. Almost all of them I can tell you something I learned or how they changed my life, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. These people you are missing may have been foundational roots in your life, but YOU have the capacity to build upon them with the things they taught you, how to love, how to be a friend, how to live…etc.

I worry about my husband's health too and find myself melancholy over the “what ifs” at times as well. Without him, I might still have my children, but I wouldn’t have my best friend, my partner, or the only man I give everything of myself to. I don’t have any amazing insight to give you, but you are right, living in the moment is the BEST course to take. You can’t change tomorrow, but you can alter today. Worrying about the “what ifs” of tomorrow affect your health too, Carrie, and in reality the only person you can control is yourself. Now, I know saying don’t worry is easier said than done, but when you find yourself getting into that worry mode, distract yourself with a book, a walk, talking with your best friend, or channel it into your writing, or your blog like you did just now.

I have two friends that used to cut themselves and they both say they cut so that they would feel they were alive. So, what you said about cutting was very profound and echoed what they both have said.

*gives you another bear hug* I’ll shut up now, but just know I’m there for you whenever you need me.

Carrie said...

Hey Gracen,

Thanks for that. Yes, I believe that they were in my life for reasons I cannot name and they had been part of my fundamental root system. The problem is, it's like those roots aren't there and I am having difficulty trying to get these roots to stick. I feel like I am more in a pot or planter than in the ground.

Yes, I know I have found some very important online friends, but as with any plant, they take time to grow and take root and even longer to become strong enough to weather.

I still feel sad today, but not as sad as I felt yesterday and my heart aches just a little less. I am tired and I just want to go to bed, but I make myself get out of bed so that I know that I have a life that needs living.

I just wish my husband liked to do some of the same things that I like to do, but oh well.... We do plenty of things together, but there is one thing that has always been part of my soul that I often do in the dark of night with my headphones on so no one can hear the music - and that is dancing!