If you read last night’s post, you know what today is for me. It’s not a great day in terms of my scars that normally feel quite a part of my body and soul now. I honestly don’t think about them, about what happened, that often anymore. It can’t define me. I refuse to the let it. I have to many good things in my life that do that for me instead.
But I also can’t ignore the pain or the scars that do more than twinge on this day. This is the one day I let them bleed, caurtarize, and heal over again because I allow the poison that may have seeped in weep out. I never know what to expect with this old, yet unpredictable friend, Grief. Some years, he’s quietly solemn. Some years, he wails and rages.
This is year is a wail. No rage, just pure sadness.
I woke to the sweet faces of my babies, and after a fairly uneventful drop-off, I said goodbye until next Wednesday when I get to see them again. I returned home resolute to chalk paint a small table and channel any energy I had into that.
Then, co-parenting during the holiday happened. Because I will not go into details of it publicly, I will just say it didn’t go well and had to do with the upcoming holidays.
I decided while the paint dried to take the kayak out to this little island that brings me peace, and I hoisted it up on the car and tied it down like I (thought) I knew how to do. This in itself was a victory, given that it weighs a lot. I forgot my power cord and had to turn around a street over to retrieve it. I sharply turned into the driveway, and in moments, a large red mass covered my left side and made a loud sound. I got out of the car, and I found my kayak in the yard and my driver’s side mirror hanging by a thread.
At this point, I just sat back down in the car, shut the door, hugged the steering wheel and sobbed. Here I was feeling all empowered by my initiative to embark on this trip by myself, and it literally bit the dust. I decided the universe was telling me I needed to stay at home.
I go inside, take some deep breaths, and attempt to start a fire in the fireplace – something I’ve done dozens of times and tried plenty of methods that work each time. An hour later, these logs won’t catch. I’ve pulled out all the stops. I just want a warm fire crackling, a warm bath with my oils, a glass of wine, and some quiet. It seems like the universe just won’t have it today.
And I’ve sobbed. And then cried more. Ugly cried.
I’ve cried about the damn fire. About my damn car and how I will pay for it. About how what I wanted to do for my own self-care today went up in flames but not really, because #fireplace. I’ve cried over the wounds I am so fucking angry that still exist in my soul – that the years of of rebuilding and therapy and rising and empowerment still won’t completely erase from my life. I’ve cried over the loss of my marriage and the lack of our relationship as parents now, and the fact that the man who for knew what this day meant to me called me “fucking selfish” instead of offering some acknowledgement of a day he has helped me grieve for twelve prior years. I cried because holding my children tonight can’t offer me any comfort because they are at his house. I’m crying because my dad isn’t here, or anyone for that matter. For the first time, my go-to people are all legitimately occupied and away.
What conclusion this leads me to is that I am stripped away of my people on whom I have leaned, and there’s a quiet voice inside of me that gently pushes me to believe that this is the moment when I have to be alone. To lean on God for the strength to rely on myself. Not the people I love and who love me. Not to let them fill the gaps of grief with their comfort, but to force myself to find my own resolute and comfort from within.
I haven’t felt like this in a long time – this alone. I know I’m not alone, and I know, cognizant, that I never was. But what we know and what our hearts feel can be very different, and enduring trauma is one of those places. I know my loved ones haven’t forgotten me. It’s just that life carries on. And especially when my earthly people cannot be physically here to comfort me, it forces the hard conversations with the One who ultimately brings me the best comfort. For some reason, He normally is my last resort, though by the time I get there, I realize He offers me the most comfort. And through that comfort and peace, I find the strength and empowerment to push through this stage of grief to moving forward to acceptance tomorrow, as I always do.
Damn, this day has been hard. It has sucked. This whole week has sucked. But tomorrow is the 12th. And it brings renewed hope, and I’ve emptied myself today of years of grief – ultimately realizing that no matter how empowered I am, no matter how much I change myself and my life for the better, my reliance and home base is with Him.