My third therapy session today was not as difficult as my second one; we talked about loss, and death and fear and anxiety.
It is easier to talk about these as an adult than to imagine myself as a child – I mean actually picture myself – my face – as I am told my dad is leaving; my dad is dead; my mum is sick; my mum is dead; my stepmum is sick, my stepmum is dead. It is easier to intellectualise that death happens, than to picture the soft, innocent eyes of my childhood self melt into tears as my world collapsed around me.
My dad died when I was 13; my mother when I was 32 and my stepmum when I was 33 – but today, talking about these deaths in safety of my therapist’s room, I felt each one of these with the same raw horror that hit me when I heard dad had just left home when I was 6. That gut-wrenching, stabbing ache that rips the breath straight out my throat – I felt it over and over again, pounding at my head: “He’s gone. He’s dead. She’s sick. She’s dead. She’s gone. She’s dead.”
It punched me, over and over – yet the tears wouldn’t come. Not one. Years of fighting the tears – of fighting back the emotion have made me one hell of an expert at keeping that flood at bay. I left therapy and went to Mandy’s book launch, all calm and happy to see Mandy. I felt love, seeing Mandy. I felt good.
I drove home. I ate dinner. I showered. I got into bed. I watched the YouTube video of NASA’s 1.5-billion pixel image of space…and the flood gates opened as that video scanned the myriad stars and constellations. Such aching, exquisite beauty – it broke through and unleashed…well, not a flood of tears, no. But some. Some precious few tears rolled down my cheek before my default setting shut me down completely.
No more tears. Not today.
But one day. I will let go and grieve.
© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.