The Aftermath

In the aftermath, I was happy and glowing. I shared my breakthrough with two people. Not fiancé though. Some part of me wanted to see if he noticed a difference at all. That backfired. He’s been cranky with me and I, in return, have been snippy back. But how, exactly, is he supposed to know what’s going on if I am not talking to him about it? For that matter, why aren’t I talking to him about it?

In the aftermath, I’m tired and not feeling well but I did manage to get 8 hours of sleep last night. I am aiming for that again. I also scheduled four more yoga therapy sessions. Only one in October but then weekly for the first while in November. I can’t afford A twice a week, so yoga once and A once will have to start to do. 

In the aftermath, I have yet to take a sip of alcohol. But my God, I want to. Drinking would make this more bearable. Drinking would numb this pain. These feelings. The happiness and hope and the sadness and grief. The anger. Opposites and new emotions and all of them at once. I am on sensory overload. And I don’t know how one appropriately reacts to any of this.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s breakthrough, I’ve felt different. Newer. Shinier in some ways. In other ways I feel like there’s sewage just leaking out of the hole we have created in the fortress. Usually my lemmings would be trying to fix it, to patch it up, but we are just watching it from afar. Being observant from a nearby hill. The fortress is coming down.

In the aftermath I am grieving. I am grieving hard. I spent 28 years aching through my whole body for love and compassion and understanding like A showed me yesterday. Love I should have had every. single. time I felt angry and sad and upset and confused as a child. Love I did not get. Love I now have to provide myself.

In the aftermath, I’m exhausted. 

In the aftermath I both very much want to see A, and very much don’t want to go back there. She feels safe and not safe. She feels like home to this new me but also foreign and dangerous. 51% of me wants to be there, 49% of me does not. I know who will win but I don’t know who will show up.

In the aftermath I am happy, but there is this layer of sadness. This heavy, achy feeling that won’t leave me alone. There is so much uncertainty. What am I supposed to do with all these feelings that want to be seen and heard all of a sudden. I feel like a mom with eight kids, all of whom want her simultaneous attention… except all those kids are tiny versions of me hurting in different ways. I can’t help them all at once and I don’t even know if I can help them at all. There is one who doesn’t want my help, or A’s help. There is one who hates us for this.

In the aftermath, I’m having panic attacks. Moments of hyperventilation when I think about being betrayed by A, or that yesterday wasn’t real, that it was a dream and A won’t know what I’m talking about if I bring it up. I almost have myself convinced it wasn’t real. I have had to gather myself and sit in a corner and actually hyperventilate in a boardroom at the idea that that was a one off and I will never get all this emotion out but now I know how good it feels to release it. So wouldn’t that suck. Or this fear that I won’t be able to get there again or I will screw up yet again at this real opportunity for healing with someone I trust. Or this fear that I imagined it. I am afraid that it isn’t enough or that I am not good enough or didn’t do it properly… and I am desperately afraid of feeling that way again even though I now know I can survive it. Yet I wouldn’t trade all this feeling for the numbness of before.

In the aftermath I’m losing my ability to process this. In the aftermath, I’m closing up again. I can feel it. I don’t want to close down. I want to move through.

In the aftermath, I wonder how A knew. I wonder how she knew it was coming, that I couldn’t stop it, that I wasn’t going to be able to drift away and numb out. I wonder at how expertly she navigated that entire situation. How she knew when to move closer, how she knew when to push and when to be silent. If she was guessing at it I had no idea. And I marvel at our relationship and am overwhelmed with gratitude.

In the aftermath, I can’t help but wonder if that experience was as powerful for A as it was for me. Or if she got anything out of it. Otherwise it feels too unequal, like I didn’t give anything to her.

In the aftermath, I can’t help but hope that I can get back there, to release more. I need it to happen again but I know I can’t force it and I also know that I cant wait another 6 months.

Because in the aftermath I have found new layers of pain, betrayal, and grief, that I didn’t know existed before.  Yesterday was only the tip of the iceberg. There are old memories coming back and along with them so much feeling. They want out.

And In the aftermath, that both terrifies me, and gives me hope. 


13 thoughts on “The Aftermath

  1. I think you gave A an enormous gift – your trust – and she will treasure it in her heart.
    I feel everything you wrote, so much, right now. Especially the part about the deep, deep grief and hurt that has been unearthed.
    “Love I now have to provide myself.” – BAM, you hit the nail on the head. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, to realize what we’ve lost and that the only way to get it is to give it to ourselves.
    So much love coming your way (from my way!) 😉 right now, PD ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t speak for A, but I have been on her side of these meaningful experiences and felt honored to be trusted so completely, and to be witness to the monumental healing that comes from this level of emotional release. I feel quite certain you will feel validated by A when you see her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read your post about letting go, and I’m so proud of you and glad you were able to experience that lightness that follows an emotional release like that. It will happen again and again in therapy, and it does get easier. I know that’s hard to believe right now. Bea used to tell me that people in longer term therapy do eventually learn to sort of hold the big feelings and save them for therapy. I didn’t think that was possible at the time– when I was hiding in my bedroom closet, vacillating between anxiety attacks and sobbing. But it is. Maybe there were emotional releases, that space was made to be able to hold onto all those feelings and new memories and keep them in that space until therapy where we unpack it bit by bit.

    It is normal to grieve. I grieved (still am grieving) so much after I really was able to allow myself to feel and name Bea’s attunement and care. It is so sad, and so impossible to wrap your head around– why didn’t I have this as a child? If I had, had this as a child, what would’ve been different? What would be different now? So many feelings and questions to come up just from this. And you will work through this, too. What I do know is that child A deserved care and attunement from her parents, each and every time she needed to feel cared for like that. She has someone who is listening now, though, so she can let go of some of those feelings.

    Sending hugs and understanding. Xx💟

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alice — it is hard to believe. It feels like I crossed some sort of threshold and now I couldn’t go backwards even if I wanted to.

      This is simultaneously so much harder and easier than I expected. I don’t know how to navigate this new shit.

      Thank you for being here and for your kind comments and encouraging words. Thank you for walking this path long enough to tell me it gets easier xx


  4. Two different ends of the spectrum. There’s that happiness and hope, there’s also that grief, especially with the new memories and it’s hard. This isn’t an easy process. It’s not linear and clear cut. It’s messy.
    It did happen yesterday, you did get that release, and I think after your next session, you will believe it is real more than you do now. I assume A will mention it, or you will mention it and she will say something to confirm that it happened. You’ll have more releases, and hopefully they happen easier each time since you know what to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh why oh why can’t it be clear cut.

      I think I need A to affirm it. It seems so outside of me, so out of character of me to break down like that. There’s a part of me that wants to believe it’s wrong but there is too much evidence to the contrary. I need A to tell me a) that it happened and b) that it wasn’t a bad thing and maybe I can then settle

      Oh man, I both do and don’t want to go through that again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am sure she will too. I plan on sharing this post with her and maybe adding that bit in.

        I am feeling both ends but more on the proud and confident side – there is still that underlying sadness and grief and a whole other rainbow of emotions I don’t know what to do with. I don’t even know if I know what they are really or how I feel.

        Liked by 1 person

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