My Perfect Storm of Loss August 24 2020, 2 Comments
I believe in the importance of sharing my story even though it is personal. If it helps at least one person going through what I am going through, it's worth it.
Three months ago, Neil and I came across a couple on the side of the road with a broken down Jeep. We pulled over and helped get their Jeep and camper to the nearest town. While in town, Neil fixed their Jeep, and I sat in the camper with my new friend. She turned out to be a therapist and my story came pouring out. She told me this will be my long year of healing.
About two months later, an old friend from high school and I were chatting. I shared I was going through a divorce. She told me it will get a lot worse before it gets better as she just went through one. She continued by sharing, I will be doing a lot of emotional healing. Oh how they both were so correct about my future.
About a month ago, I had a mental breakdown. A simple disagreement brought me to my knees. Normally, in a good state of mind, I could of worked through it, but I hadn't realized all the emotional baggage I was carrying. It all hit me at once, all those losses and grief.
A loss doesn't have to be the death of a loved one. Grief comes with all kinds of losses.
I hadn't realized how many losses I have experienced this past year. I am in the middle of the perfect storm of losses. A person grieves when they experience a loss. It seems I am at many different levels grief over all the different losses. So that's a lot of different emotions all at once. Some I haven't learned to let go of yet.
Divorce is a loss. No matter how nasty or how cooperative a couple is during a divorce, it is an emotionally difficult journey. Regardless how the relationship ended, if a couple slowly grew apart or there was infidelity, it is difficult to deal with.
My relationship of 22 years is the most obvious loss. A relationship I believed was our life long relationship of growing old together and being there for each other until death do you part. Those words "for better or worse" meant something to me. I was going to push through the worse. I don't easily give up and it is not in my genes to give up. I was raised that quitting isn't an option, so this was very hard for me.
Before the divorce, I lost my job. Normally this wouldn't be so devastating, but I was working for friends. It was very hurtful how I was treated.
The losses didn't stop there. The most overwhelming loss is the day to day, face to face interaction with my kids. This has been the hardest to overcome. The guilt sits deep with me. I know the decision to leave the East Coast and head West was the best possible decision I could make for all three of us. My kids and I made this decision together after an open and honest discussion. A decision made in the best interest for our family. It was hard for all of us, but we knew it was the best decision for the situation we were faced with. However, the guilt of leaving and not being the two parent family is so hard.
The losses kept piling up. I lost my "mom community". A community I was apart of for many years. A lot of those mom's are still friends with my ex and commenting on his Facebook page, but not mine. Yeah... that's a little middle school, but it still hurts when you lose a community you have been deeply involved with for so many years.
Then there is the loss of friends. A friend of about 20 years unfriended me on Facebook and hasn't talked to me for several months. Her last words to me were "she didn't understand why I had to leave Maryland". Another friend posted a pretty devastating comment on one of my Facebook posts. She shared, she couldn't believe I would leave my kids and what kind of mother does that. She was disappointed in me.
So when Neil and I had the disagreement about the CJ5 being left on the Rubicon Trail, I had a mental break down. (The Jeep Code Story coming soon) The flood of emotions was so overwhelming, I couldn't even make the basic decisions.
So, I headed to Texas to stay with my niece. She was so amazing taking care of me, cooking for me and helping heal my heart with salt, sweat and tears.
We spent hours sitting on the beach soaking in the sun with the healing powers of the ocean (gulf).
Sweating it out on long nature walks in the hot and muggy Texas heat. And nights of flowing tears and uncontrollable sobs.
She was what I needed, a listening ear with no judgement or advice. I needed to be able to make my own choices to start getting my strength back, my inner voice back. There were days I didn't think I would ever be normal again. (Was I ever truly normal... Ha!)
She gave me the book the Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It took me about two weeks before I was able to pick up the book. Once I started reading it, I felt my strength coming back. It's a slow process I am still working through.
Now that I realize I am grieving so many things. I can begin to put all those emotions in the right compartment. All those emotions debilitated me and panicked me.
I am now back on my feet taking it day by day becoming that strong woman again. I am dealing with all the emotions one at a time. How am I doing that?
First, I silenced the voices. I need to find my inner voice again. There have been so many, many supportive well meaning people. They have also helped me get through all this, but at the same time those voices hindered me unintentionally. It is good to see life from different perspectives, but I need to learn to filter and realize what is best for me. How I want to live my life right now is unconventional, but it makes me happy.
I am working on dealing with the guilt of leaving my kids. My oldest son is 20. He told me a while back that he loves me, but "no offense mom" he doesn't want to hang out with his mom or dad. I need to remember back when I was 20.
My youngest son is reaching that same point in his life as he is a teenager. However, with virtual school and the lockdown on the East Coast, I worry for their mental well being. I need to remind myself, me being there physically isn't going to change the situation.
Letting Go... Such vital words for me. Letting go of my anger for my former boss, my friends. Letting Go of the guilt of leaving my kids. Letting Go... So many things in the past I need to let go and put away for good so I can move forward in my life to have a happy healthy relationship with myself and others.
I have joined an divorce online support system getting daily emails of support.
This is all a process, and the silence of nature so I can hear myself has helped. I am back in Colorado, back to nature.
I have a lot of healing left and more tears to shed. I am starting to let go of the past so I can move forward. I am taking care of myself again which I didn't realize I had stopped doing. I do that by setting daily, weekly and monthly goals for ME!