Holiday?

I started this blog to grapple with trauma, my own as well as that of others.  Not to compare or trade “war stories” as tempting as that is, although there is a place for that in healing too.  I have mentioned in more than one post that deep desire to help others as a motivating factor in starting and maintaining this blog.  As my sense of self waxes and wanes, so too does my confidence in my ability to  be of any help to myself, let alone others.  Honesty was to be a key part of these posts, and so I will confide that this post is helping me process deep, ugly feelings as I wait for my antidepressant to take effect.

Synchronicity is a funny thing.  I’ve gotten to hate the “everything happens for a reason” recitation that is so common everywhere in our society, but the confluence of events is interesting.  We (my kids, husband, and I) are traveling to my “home” in Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday.  In preparation to go there is a lot to do and it feels very lonely taking care of things “by myself.”  Since getting laid off, and finding a new job, my husband has been keeping very long hours.  He leaves early and gets home very late.  Yesterday was a typical example, but he said it would allow him to stay home today rather than going in to work.  All morning he’s been in his office working, so reminiscent for me of my Dad, who was always immersed in something “more important” in his basement office at home.  More important, of course, implying that we (his wife and children) couldn’t compete with the importance of his work.  It’s been the same way this morning, my husband buried in his work as I try to get all the domestic issues in order.  This is more a division of labor than any reflection on the relative value of what either of us are doing, but it’s a trigger to be aware of.

Every time I’ve talked with my Mom in the past month or more, she’s sounded increasingly depressed.  Trying to handle my mid-80 year old Dad with severe dementia alone, and blind, is not easy for her.  Each time we’ve talked though, she’s reminded me that “you saved my life” referring to my birth around the time my Dad was having an affair(s) and I suppose giving her a “purpose” beyond her own misery to focus on.  She’s now using this (using me?) again, building up who and what I’m representative of as the days get closer and closer until we are together.  She means no harm in this, but it is a huge amount of pressure to be seen as a life raft for a drowning person when you are treading water underneath them, trying to hold your breath until it’s all over.

The holidays have never been a time of joy for me.  Rather they have always been a time of extra stress and deep depression.  There is this deep, ugly emptiness eating away at the deepest part of me that I can’t find a way to embrace or find compassion for.  Even using Tara Brach’s technique of RAIN isn’t helping yet.  It’s like hitting a  brick wall when I try to figure out what is beneath the emptiness, why it’s so ugly to me, where it begins and I end.

I wish each person who might read this a joy-filled holiday.  May it be a time of peace, love and healing for you and those you love.  It is something that fills me with dread, so much so, that I’m struggling with all that I am to find a way to look forward to the days ahead.  I think there is a glimmer of hope somewhere in the darkness though.  It involves forgiveness, or perhaps it’s just the Prozac starting to work.  Either way, may it help me get through until next week when I am home again.

Peace be with you, may there be peace everywhere, and may all beings be free.

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~ by janetlandis on November 24, 2009.

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