I think it’s accurate to say that I relapsed. I had a setback, a significant one, and it all came to a head (I hate that saying by the way) last weekend. It’s been a bumpy road since June, as far as I can tell anyway – maybe this all started even earlier but I can’t remember back that far. Anniversary dates, fleas, transitions with R; all of it piled up until the anxiety and fear got hold of me and I was almost literally paralyzed with fear. Certainly unable to parent, unable to sleep, and frightened. Terrified of the feelings that were bringing me back in time to a place where I was fresh into the grieving process, fresh into being a mother, lost in a world where my security had been stolen away in the middle of the night while I slept soundly, for the first time since my son had been born. Part of that fear was that I was losing control – that I would spiral down even deeper.
I was a new mother and never had the chance to BE a new mother. Never was able to find my rhythm, to relax into my new role. Honestly, who knows if I ever would have relaxed, but I never even had the opportunity to try. At the time I was aware that this was one of many losses, but there was nothing to be done about it. Shock and grief took all of my energy. What was left went to R, and to holding the shreds of my life together. So these feelings are back now. It’s true that what we don’t deal with doesn’t go away, but I didn’t intentionally bury these feelings – they were just crushed under the weight of everything else.
And now is my opportunity to bring them out into the light. I didn’t see that last weekend but with some help from the right people and a little calm and a little clarity I do now.
I can’t lie – it bothers me that motherhood and trauma seem to be intertwined for me and right now it is hard to know if I will ever be able to fully separate the two. Will I always be triggered like this? The thought frightens me. I don’t like the idea that there are more landmines like this one lurking. I haven’t been this much of a mess for a long time and it scared me.
I don’t know what the answer is, except that I see that this is a lesson for me to learn. I don’t like it but I am going to do the work that’s in front of me because I promised myself I will Live Large. Each step brings me closer to living the life I was meant to live – I’ve come too far, no way am I going to turn back now.