Jan 17, 2009

Fear

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
I don't like fear. If I am afraid of something, I usually try to face it and overcome it. In me, I think of fear as a sign of weakness. When I am fearful of something, it makes me feel stronger to face it and overcome the fear. I use to be afraid of guns. The first time I held a gun, I was so scared, I was shaking, tears were running down my face. My poor husband felt HORRIBLE for convincing me to hold the gun. He SLOWLY took it away from me and never asked me to hold a gun again. Last summer, I held a gun again and faced my fear and got over it. I was totally fine, holding a gun that time. There have been other things that I've been afraid of that I overcome because I don't like to feel weak and fear makes me feel weak.

I've overcome every fear I've had except the fear of the pain of losing my mom. I've allowed myself to feel the pain a few times, but it hurts so much that I usually shut down and pretend all is well. Clearly, this is unhealthy. Hell, I've even told people NOT to do this. Thursday I faced my fear and it was less then fun.

As we were driving to the church, it wasn't so bad. We chatted and kind of avoided the topic of what we were doing. We parked the car and walked up to the church. I took a deep breath and opened the door, half hoping it was going to be locked, and walked in. I didn't even take the time to look around, we walked directly to the table and I lit a candle.

I didn't pray, my mind was a mess. I couldn't really think. I just thought about my mom. I sat down and was immediately assaulted with flashbacks of the funeral and of our childhood. I wasn't prepared for that. I was not expecting to see the funeral unfold in front of my eyes, again. I wasn't expecting to see all the places we'd sit when we went to church as a child. I'm not really sure I had an expectation of what was going to happen, but I do know that I was NOT expecting all of THAT.

I shut down, stood up really quickly and told Husband, "I can't do this" and just about ran out of the church. I stopped in the restroom to catch my breath and grab some tissues. We walked out to the car and I made myself open up again. I sat there and cried and felt the pain. I took a lot of deep breaths and tried to talk to my husband. We shared a few memories and such. He also told me it's hard for him, too. He misses her, as well. That was an amazing thing to hear. It's not that I didn't think he didn't miss her, but I guess I didn't realize how much of an impact my mom had on our lives. And how much of a hole she left in our hearts when she died. Not just mine, but my "cold hearted"
*his words not mine* husband's heart, also.

The ride home was very strange. He told me he didn't know how to help me and was sorry for how much this hurts. I was honest and told him "I don't think there's anything anyone can do to help me do this. I think I just need to do this in my own way. And it sucks". We talked about why it's so painful and I think that ride home was more therapeutic then anything else. I was able to open myself up to everything and finally get some things out. It was a good thing.

The rest of the day was horrible. I felt so raw and exhausted. I felt like I was run over by a mac truck and it took everything I had to just put one foot in front of the other. I took a bath, and cried in the tub. I laid in my bed, and cried some more. I took out the box I have that has everything from the funeral in it, looked at all of it, and cried.
It was a rough day, but it was a productive day.

Friday, I had an emotional hangover. My eyes hurt, my body hurt and I was SO exhausted. I felt like I hadn't slept in days, but I was past the point of sleep. Despite the emotional hangover I had, I felt pretty good. I felt like I got through some major issues. It was a bitter-sweet feeling.

Today, I feel refreshed! I feel like I just popped my head out of the water and took a deep breath of fresh air. The sun is out today and I'm feeling it. The weather matches my mood and most importantly, it matches my heart. I feel a little like kicking my own ass for not doing this before, like 3 years ago, but I'm doing it now and that's important. I'm also kicking my own ass for not seeing the support I had 3 years ago. I was too busy pretending to be fine, to see it. I have a lot of support of friends and family and all I need to do is reach out to them and allow them in.

I'm learning to be honest with myself and others. I'm allowing to be treated as I treat others. It's a good thing to do.

I faced another one of my fears and I'm stronger for it. Whatever comes my way, I am able to come out on the other side. Even if it takes me a few years to do so.

1 friends have commented:

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) on January 17, 2009 at 10:06 PM said...

It takes so much courage to face these sorts of things. I'm so sorry this is so hard and so glad you're finding some healing and peace. I also wanted to let you know that several of your entries--especially the ones about flash backs and panic attacks--remind me a lot of my own symptoms of trauma. Do you think there's any way that you might be suffering from some sort of trauma reaction triggered by your mom's death in addition to normal grief? Ptsd or lesser forms of post-traumatic stress can all cause people to be numb for a really long time, to have flashbacks, to have panic attacks. And, really, none of those reactions is a sign of weakness at all--the adreneline released during a traumatic event can actually rewire certain people's brain so that you have these reactions, which explains how out-of-control and out-of-the-blue they can seem and how hard they are to get over). If you are suffering from trauma, rather than just normal grief, it would totally make sense that you're experiencing such intense fear and even flashbacks--trauma can also cause you to numb out for a really long time after the event. I've found therapy specifically designed for treating trauma incredidly helpful. These therapies been shown to work much much faster than regular talk therapy. I'm doing Develepmental Needs Meeting System (www.dnmsinstitute.com) because it's recommended for my particular sort of trauma, but EMDR works much faster and has been shown to be really, really effective. Perhaps this isn't what's going on for you at all, but I thought I would mention it just in case. Peace and healing and more peace to you!

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