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AWOL

I usually write a year-end wrap-up coupled with a looking-ahead goal setting start-up.  (That's a lot of dashes.  Oh well.)  I usually write it between January 1 and January 9 (my birthday).  This year I haven't.  I can sum it all up in one word - dam.

Last May I suffered a loss.  A strange loss.  A weird loss.  A huge loss.  A loss with a lot of repercussions.  But it is a loss that is almost invisible.  It is one that is intensely personal.  The wound I suffered was deep, but completely hidden.  I have shared small details here and there with some of my inner circle.  I've also shared with parents of teens.  I want people to know about it all - the wound is now a permanent part of my life and of who I am - but I also want to erase it from my history.  And my memory.  I want nothing to do with it.  I want it hidden and gone.

So, I dammed it.  No "n" there.  (Although I do also damn it!)  I put it all in a huge reservoir and I put a big dam at the mouth of it.  The pain, the confusion, the shame, the embarrassment, the betrayal - it all goes into the reservoir where it blends and swirls and . . . stays.

I know I need to release it.  I know that if I don't deal with it, let the pressure out slowly on MY terms, the dam will erode over time and collapse without warning - probably at the most inopportune time.  But I can't.  I can't go there yet.

Part of the reason that I haven't written too much about it lately (I wrote quite a few pages in longhand when it was fresh) is the fear that if I start, the dam will break and I will have no way of stopping the flood.  And, to be brutally honest, there's just no opportune time for me to set aside and deal with it.  When can I take time off and risk letting down the floodgates?  Especially since I have no idea how long it would take to put the gates back up.  I'm bitter that this incident has interrupted my writing flow.  I'm pissed that the pain from what this person did to me has overshadowed the joy of writing about the Cabin and my kids.  I sit down with pencil in hand and all that comes out is THIS.

I feel the hurt almost every day.  But the sharp, knife-like quality of the pain has dulled to an ache.  There are days when I don't feel it at all.  But then I'll hear a song, read a phrase in a book, find an item of clothing, something completely innocuous and all of a sudden I'm flooded with memories.  Sometimes I remember a long hidden detail upon which now files a huge red flag.  Sometimes I uncover a specific instance where I dodged a bullet that not only had my name on it, but was fired two inches from my heart.  It's those times where I want to alternately crawl under a table and go to sleep and stand on that table and scream until I collapse.

Despite the dark tone of this post, I am doing rather well.  I haven't given in to the depression that threatens regularly.  There is a victory in that I'm not having to actively fight the depression!  I can see it coming and I can take measures to prevent it - take a walk, read the Bible, pray, play with the dog or the kids, etc.*  I am very happy to report that, although I had a very rough time of it at first, I am good.  And I'm not "just" functioning.  I'm happy.  I'm enjoying my family, my job, my life.  I refuse to let this incident control me.  I refuse to give in to it.  I think of the person responsible and how much he has already taken from me and I refuse to give him anything else.  I will always grieve for what I had.  I will always feel that empty space.  Always.  But it's my choice now whether to let this thing define me and dictate my life.  I refuse to do that.  I am slowly, but surely, moving forward and recovering myself.

I will post more about this, if any of you don't know what has happened.  I've written a post about it, but have shared it one person at a time.  I'm not really ready to open it up more than a few at a time now and then.

I have no real ending for this post.  I just wanted to touch base with my blog and my LiveJournal friends.  I'm here.  I'm happy.  I'm putting one foot in front of the other.  Sometimes it's one step forward and two steps back, but I refuse to stay two steps back.  Every step forward is a step away from this.  


*  I am NOT saying that the "cure" for depression, or the preventative, is any of these things.  I've been in the pit before and had people tell me to pray more, read my Bible, get out and do something active.  In the throes of an episode, none of those things is a magic bullet.  Depression has many causes and many weapons against it.  It is a condition that needs to be fought with a lot of help which includes the above activities AND medication AND counseling AND whatever (healthy) additive you need to survive.  I have successfully reduced my medication this year (yay!) and I have identified triggers.  Knowing my triggers and seeing when I'm vulnerable to an attack has done WONDERS for my fight against depression. 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
texanfan
Feb. 22nd, 2014 03:41 am (UTC)
People can hurt us, wound us deeply and leave scars that never fully heal. That is their crime. But we must inevitably decide whether we are going to let that wounding effect the rest of our lives or if we will put it behind us and take control of our lives back. Here's to taking that control back for yourself.
trollbabyfeet
Feb. 22nd, 2014 05:04 am (UTC)
You've handled this the best way you know how. And you're handing it simply by choosing to live joyfully. Those wounds will take time, in part because it took so long for you to know they were there. In a sense you're dealing with an amputation, and what you have know is phantom pain as well as the real stuff. You are coping. I'm proud of you and I love you.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )