I’m sitting under my blankets in my spot on the couch. Today is the first day I haven’t cried, but the day is young. I feel okay, I think, but I don’t want to jeopardize it by doing anything. It’s like all this time I’ve found refuge from trauma by sitting perfectly still and not asking anything of myself. One wrong move, one small shift, and the pain is back. Talking to friends helps. Sleeping helps. Reading random articles helps. Getting off the couch hurts. Going outside hurts. Working hurts. Is this the numbness that prevented me from reconnecting with him? Is this the force that’s held me in place and kept me from being adventurous or going to the dentist or taking bike rides?
I don’t feel sad right now. I don’t feel happy. I don’t know what I feel. My therapist told me to draw how I feel but I don’t feel like doing that. Last week and even the day before yesterday I was a broken mess. Now I’m zipped back up and ready to be a car on the same track I’ve always been. I don’t want to do that anymore, so what do I do? Face my fears? How? I’d rather go to sleep again. I’d rather go to sleep than write this. I’m hanging on for 19 more minutes until the clock runs out on my writing time.
This must be the inertia that held me back from embracing him. I wonder why I didn’t try to help again but maybe he was one of many things I wrote off without meaning to, without knowing I was doing it. Things that caused me fear and made me shut down without nuance or perspective. Wouldn’t always felt like couldn’t.
My head hurts the way it used to whenever I would leave the trauma therapy group. I’m not sure if that group made me worse or better, but it certainly didn’t give me the real tools to be well. It’s probably not about tools, anyway. It’s probably about empathy and understanding.
All this feels like the same meta-analysis of inertia. I have to be vulnerable to uncover what’s really there, not just analyze. Sometimes vulnerability comes easy and sometimes it feels like a lost and ancient art.
What do I feel besides sleepy? Sleepy isn’t a feeling anyway, not this time. It’s a defense mechanism. For what? I’ve been sad all week. What’s more sadness? Ah, there it is now. An ache in my chest. But there’s nothing to do. Nothing to be done. I pedal my feet one by one hoping the amateur EMDR might help. Is that joy in there? Relief? For what? For being here safe on my couch with nothing to do on this Saturday, maybe. The wind is blowing outside.
He meant so much to me. I can’t believe I didn’t try anything else to save him the past few years. I wonder what’s wrong with me. Why I can’t keep the stamina to hold onto anything, even the most important things. My friends all say it makes sense. I was burnt out. But I know I was better than that. I know I had wishes I could have tried to make come true. I know something was holding me back from them and it wasn’t just that he had burned out all my goodwill.
He feels distant, like a fever dream. Is that good or bad? Three weeks of pain and now I’m back to the usual program? I don’t buy it. Something has been wrong inside me for a long time. I can release trauma when it becomes too much but the second I’m able to hold onto it and hold myself down I drop the obsession just like that and I think I’ve moved on but I haven’t. The scars sit there like pieces of broken mirror leading me around in the same confused circles. For the first time I truly see that feeling fine doesn’t mean I am fine. There is something dark and deep under there. I’ve just never been sure how to get to it.
Maybe love and reaching out is the antidote. Maybe taking risks. Maybe I can’t sit here and figure myself out or even EMDR my way to a better life. Maybe I have to call, text, and email all those people I’ve been meaning to. Maybe I need to do the dishes and the laundry and make that dental appointment. Maybe I need to post this on my blog. On the other hand, I’m not sure I want my dad to read it. Especially not the part about me not wanting him to read it. How cringe, for your parents to find out darkness exists within you. Are they going to call you on the phone or send you an awkward text? And what if they don’t? Is that better? Didn’t you want to be more connected to them and not less, after all?