Seven Visits

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In the First Visit, I sit humbled. I cry, mostly. I give the very roughest of outlines of all the experiences of the last two years.

I cry more.

I am released with the appointments set for the next many weeks.

Second Visit:

"How do you soothe yourself", she asks?

I have no answer for her.

I simply do not know anymore. I am not sure if I ever knew.

She casts around in the rambling diatribe of the sessions for something to which she can anchor the question, seeking through the jetsam of my words to find a piece worth saving.

"What about Emily? Do you know how to comfort her?"

Of this I am more confident. "Yes", I say. I can comfort Emily.  I know how to do that.

I am left with this task; to record what I feel when I comfort Emily in the coming week.

In the unceasing whirlpool that one would call my emotional life, I can perform Tasks. Concrete and defined.

Third Visit:

It shames me that I begin to cry even before I enter her office. Even in the rehearsal of my words in my mind, the tears spring unbidden. My desire to flee is strong, but I know that when this desire comes that I must push back.

I sit down.

I say, "When I comfort Emily, I feel calm. I feel grounded. It is something I know how to do."

Ah. She looks intrigued.  "And you?", she asks.

"I don't know how to comfort myself.  And so I feel everything, or I feel nothing.  And it makes me feel small and at the mercy of forces I can not control. So if I choose to feel nothing, I end up sitting here at 41 years of age and just crying for an hour every week. Which shames me because I am not that type of person."

She pauses, this tiny woman across from me.  She leans in across the expanse between us, and speaks.

I refuse to make eye contact for most of my visit, darting glances at her between blowing my nose.

I hate this, I hate all of this. I hate this person I am here, not even treading water, but actively drowning in my own sorrow. I pull myself up onto flotsam by the end of the visit and lay across it exhausted in the cold salty sea of my grief.

Seventh Visit:

I no longer cry before I walk into her office, which I take as a good thing.  The scab on my grief is getting thicker.

I can still be caught out though. A line in a song which never had any emotional connection to me can cause tears to well up. Hearing a Jesus and Mary Chain song in a commercial rattles me. I never have any warning for those moments. Just Like Honey.

The other things I have protected myself from better. I avoid. I ignore. I resist.  When thoughts push into my brain, I use words that my massage therapist taught me: "Back to your source", I say.

I will now engage in eye contact during our time. A bit haltingly, but progress.

It is in this visit that she uses a finely tuned question to pierce my armor.

"Was there really no warning, Dawn?"

The burn that spreads out from my solar plexus renders me mute. I wriggle on the pin.

Oh. The burn of that question. The burn as it spreads out into my body, making me sweat and feel like vomiting and crying and wrapping myself so tightly in my head that I am invisible.

"Yes", I admit. There was warning. I ache with that admission. My culpability. My willful ignorance. My blind faith.

"What is wrong with me", I ask her. "When am I ever going to feel something more than this sadness? Because this feeling is awful. It just never ends."

"Time", she answers. "It is going to Take Time."

"You have 41 years of grief which you are working through for the first time. I am not surprised you feel sad. It will start to ease, soon."

And like a Burn victim, I am released, scrubbed and pink, waiting for the new skin to grow, wincing at the sun.

4 Baleful Regards:

Cindylou said...

You are brave for going. You are brave for sharing.

Gurukarm (@karma_musings) said...

Yes, what Cindylou says. We all grow from reading your writing, Dawn. Thank you.

Dawn said...

Thank you both. I still feel so tender sometimes, and others I am just fine. I worry that I expose too much than may be healthy, but at the same time, I know no other way to heal this wound.

RavenRead said...

I don't know if there is anything more lame than internet promises of hugs, yet when I read your entries like this, that I see parts of myself in, that is what I envision, giving you a huge comforting hug.

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