Talking About “It”
We all have something that has happened to us that we keep locked away in the vaults of our hearts. It’s the thing we run from (or towards). This vaulted gem, has played a major role in shaping who we are. It shapes how we interact with and perceive other people. In the clinical world, we refer to these “gems” as a traumatic experience. As a counselor I often coach people through “talking about it”. Not just talking about “It” , but processing “It”. While I have to help people process their stuff. I have to process mine. So here it is.
Ive written this account several times over the years. Only to erase it. I guess I was hoping that it would feel less real. Let’s get to it.
Sunday January 23, 2015 life as I had known it stopped. I would never again be the girl I was before that day. It was early in the morning. I was expecting to be awakened by my mom for church. I was awoken by my neighbor to get up. My mom never woke up. I woke up on my favorite day , to paramedics in my house. Sure my mom had been to the hospital plenty of times. I wasn’t worried. I sat in my best friend’s room as my dad came over and simply said “Mommy didn’t make it”. My whole world s h a t t e r e d. Completely. There’s no words to describe what it felt like. I laid on the sofa hyperventilating as church members started to fill the house. I thought I too was going to die that Sunday. I wanted to.
All of the “I’m sorry’s” wouldn’t bring her back and it pissed me off everytime someone said it when her passing was bought up. Why would you be sorry? You didn’t take her from me and certainly couldn’t bring her back.
The first two years I imagined she went on another deployment. I knew she wasn’t coming back, but it made sleeping easier. As a matter of fact, all I did was sleep and go to school. I lost hope. I would lay in bed all day. My dad would come in and ask me if I was getting up, I’d say yes, but I’d never get up .
When I finally started becoming honest with myself and saying no. He started making me get up. He saw my hope fading. I started hating church and sundays. I didn’t hate God, but I hated going to church without her. I hated the stares. I hated having to relive the day she died. It still runs through my mind. I remember that morning and the night before like it happened five minutes ago.
I stopped talking to people. When I did, I was rude. I was angry, I’m thankful to the five people who were great enough to journey with me through my brokeness into adulthood. They’ve seen me at my worst and never left. They called me out with Love. These are my best friends...forever. The first four years after she died are kind of one big night in my mind. One long blur. Every now and again I’ll have really specific memories and it hurts. It hurts to remember feeling that depressed. I was hopeless. It felt like everyone was against me. My family did what they thought was right for me. As an adult, I realize they gave me what they had to give.
Truth be told it’s still hard, but I’ve managed how to deal with her dying. No big words or inspiration helped me. It was a matter of years...and God. I didn’t decide that I needed to stop living in the darkness until I was twenty. That’s when I realized I wasn’t going to die. I had a life to live. I realized that all of the could’ves, should’ves, and would’ves weren’t. I couldn’t even imagine who I would have turned out to be had she been here.
That’s all I have to share for now. I guess what I wanted to illustrate with this post is, don’t feel bad if you’re still struggling where you are. The struggle doesn’t feel good, but don’t get yourself down because you can’t see a way out. It took me years to accept and want to change my situation. I made changes to what I could and adapted to the rest. It sounds cliche, but trust the process. The journey is momentary affliction in the scope of forever. This journey of mine has helped me mentor other young girls who have lost moms. It’s helped me be empathetic. It’s taught me that I am resilient. I am capable of rising when everyone(including self) thought I was going to be a failure. This journey has blessed me with multiple “mothers”. I lost my mom and gained a tribe of additional families. I have rooms at everybody’s house whenever I need it.
I’m glad that I made it out of the darkness alive and blessed to be able to talk about my “It”. My “It” isn’t my secret gem anymore. It’s something that happened to me , but it’s not who I’ve become.