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Life Chez Dee Episode #37: Sadness and guilt

This weekend I have been sad. Really sad; overwhelmingly sad; so sad I couldn’t even hide the sadness behind a smile, and pretend I was ok. This weekend I have needed to be what I needed to be. I needed to be sad.

Every time I’m like this I cannot see beyond it. I can’t rationally analyse why I’m feeling the way I do. I can see everything that’s wrong … in EVERYTHING. My head telling me that I need to stop, I need to take time out … which I do; I sit, and I breathe, and I try to think of good things, I try to talk to myself in my head, but my eyes well up with tears which just overflow, and the tears just flow.

The rational in me, and in others, is to look for a reason why … to look at the trigger even … but often it isn’t the trigger that is the issue, or at least not the only thing that has caused the hurt, sometimes though the trigger is something which has always had a link to a hurt buried deep within.

I suppose I knew I was heading for a hard time. I was tired after our holiday …. I know that a holiday is meant to be a break; a time for rest and relaxation, and it was, in a sort of a way; it was mentally relaxing, but not physically … and I’m tired. I’ve also had Edward in my thoughts so much … he’s in my thoughts all the time, but when we’re doing family stuff, I have that sadness that comes into play too. The great memories stay, the thoughts of how Edward would love what we’re doing are there, the thoughts of what he’d be doing, what he’d be saying, what he’d think are there; but there are also the thoughts of how he should be there; how unfair life is; how I miss him so much I don’t know where to begin explaining … even though I try, so often, to convey this, to put this into words … even when I think I’ve managed it … I haven’t … there’s more I could have said … there’s more that I need to say, but haven’t got a clue how to. Maybe over time, and over many blogs, and many pieces of writing, it will all fit together, and all make sense.

Throw the imbalance of hormones into the mix too … yep, they’re all over the show for me … which isn’t a great mix when you’re dealing all the grief which regularly raises its head, and also coping with the nonsense and lip from the kids … that’s enough to get me boiling too.

I’m already thinking about how hard this time of year is and psyching myself for how December will be again.

The trigger for me this weekend though was something really hurtful, something which hurts so much it has become a part of me; a hurt which goes way back, which is buried within me but is with me always. A wound which never heals and opens up so easily. Time and again this wound is opened and I am left feeling broken. What I really need to do is develop a thick skin and let it all wash, making sure I only give myself to, and care about those who I know won’t cause me this much pain, but being sensitive, and here I mean sensitive not in the way that I’ve overreacted (even though I probably have), I mean sensitive in the way that I feel things very deeply.

Of course, when I am hurt, the wound which opens, opens up on all the hurt inside me. Of course most of my hurt is from missing Edward so desperately, all I can do is bury most of it on a daily basis, otherwise I wouldn’t function at all. All the hurt which I try and cover up in order to function, all the hurt from years gone by, all the hurt from now, all the hurt from missing Edward so desperately, and all the hurt of feeling guilt on so many levels; all that is raw when the wound is exposed, and the hurt comes out, pours out like a torrent, a river flowing so strongly, a river full to bursting its banks, gushing out, and like that swollen river, it is unstoppable …. eventually it subsides, and the wound just oozes; still open and raw, and still hurting.

I often have feelings of guilt. About so many things. Guilt that I don’t do enough for my kids; that I do too much for my kids; am I a good enough mother, wife, daughter; am I selfish in needing to look after me; not being able to give more of myself to others; having too high expectations from pretty much everyone; worrying about others expectations of me; guilt for not feeling as though I live up to others expectations; feeling overwhelmed; guilt for quitting a job and not having an income; guilt for doing something unpaid which takes up so much time, and also doesn’t bring home money to support the family; guilt for getting annoyed with others when I’m feeling overwhelmed and feeling like I’m drowning; guilt for taking me time … but with all of this comes hurt …real hurt.

My head often reasons with me; tells me I’m doing a good job; tells me not to beat myself up, that I’m doing my best, and actually giving my all, and some more, to so many things. But sometimes I get other thoughts in my head, thoughts I can’t ignore, thoughts so powerful that I listen and take heed. Sometimes they’re good thoughts; but sometimes not so good.

Don’t underestimate what you’re going through I’m told. The trauma of the sudden death of Edward, and all I witnessed; the trauma of it all; the readjustment of family dynamics which is still changing and settling; coping with the children, whilst my husband works away; dealing with a teenager; having a very sick parent … my Mum’s going through it again – more chemo treatment has started – platelets, neutrophils, and both her red and white blood count dropping again – some of her treatment she needs, she will not be able to have because her bloods won’t cope. I look at what mum’s coping with … recurrent cancer, and chemo treatment, and indeed an underlying chronic illness which she’s coped with for so many years now … life really can be so shitty. So much stress is so many aspects of my life going on. Thankfully, with regular counselling I am able to offload, and through this I hear I should not to underestimate having to cope with all that, I’m told not to undervalue all I’m doing, and never, ever, justify what it is I do. If people understand, they will get it immediately, if they don’t then you can explain, but never ever justify what you do to those who misunderstand; devalue; judge or criticise. You know what you’re doing is right, so carry on.

And so I do. I carry on not entirely sure where I’m going … with the charity, with the writing. I don’t know. It’s like air circulating, its fluid and it flows like water. Ever changing, ever developing, ever growing. Listening to my heart and my gut every step of the way; telling me if something is right, and definitely if something isn’t right. Listening to something talking to me so loud and clear, and yet not listening, but feeling it… all unspoken … all felt deep within me … trusting in it, totally.

Trusting in the unknown, in the unsure, in the unwritten, in the unguaranteed. Trusting in all those new discoveries, challenges, openings; being open, being in the moment. Open to what should be, what feels right, what is right ...for me … for now.

An accepting of not knowing what will happen, but trusting that my conscience my gut and my heart will lead me in the direction I need to be. Accepting what has happened in my life, and being open to being guided from within as to what to do.

I have cried this weekend. Cried and cried. Cried about anything and everything. Everything feeling so bad. I’ve cried so I’m unable to function at home this weekend, I’ve cried unable to even chat with friends that have messaged, cried so much I’ve hardly been able to speak, and when I do, I’ve been unable to articulate. Because I’m crying about so many things … I feel I’m drowning, alone, in complete darkness, unable to find a way out … but I have to, and these words are my way.

We went to visit Edward. We knew that his grave would need a tidy, the bench would need a wipe down, the flowers would need refreshing. I sat on the bench, unable to do anything, and I wept … and wept. I don’t often weep at Edward’s grave … yes I cry loads … yes its random when and where, but not often is it at his grave. But today was different. I sat, and wept, and thought, and stared, and wept some more. I’d have stayed longer, but it was cold … it often is cold there. The flowers are not too bad; to be honest the flowers last ages up there as it’s so cold, it’s like a refrigerator for the flowers and keeps them really fresh. Only when there’s been a terrific amount of rain, or it’s been too hot, or if it’s been too cold and there’s been a frost, do the flowers look worse for wear; and of course when the ducks decide to eat them, and all you’re left with is stalks!

This weekend I’m quiet, subdued, lost in myself and reflective. My head has been pounding. I don’t often get headaches … very, very rarely … and I think this one was induced by all the tears and all the sadness.

Today I needed to be, today I needed time to stand still for a moment to let me just be … but the fact remains, that whatever goes on In your life, however awful, however tragic, however shocking, however sad and upset you are … the clock still ticks, the world still turns, life still goes on. And this is how it is … life is life, I’m here even though my boy isn’t … I have my family … I have my boys … and I’m thankful that those really close to me support me, value me and really love me. I am truly grateful to have so many who value all I do too. People who were once strangers, but are now no longer; all believing in me. I have to shake myself down and dust myself off and carry on. I have to live life, my life, my changed self, living life as I now know it.

Today has been a slightly better day than yesterday, I’m grateful I’ve come through such a dark time so quickly, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to offload some of the darkness onto paper. Yesterday I was physically unable to speak at times; today I am more myself, able to reflect, able to function, able to start to smile and look for some good. My life continues; my life continues with me living with the enormity of the grief I carry; and some days I will carry it easier than others; the important thing is to move – move through life – however I can – doing whatever I need to do – not moving on, but moving, not being stationary – just moving – doing – living; still having a relationship with Edward, but a different relationship with Edward. Feeling as though Edward is with me always, alongside, guiding, talking to me, steering me, hearts minds and souls connected still. That mother son umbilical cord still there. A new journey through life with Edward’s spirit with me, within me, beside me. And would Edward feel guilty about the choices he made … no … never … so I will follow my heart and my gut, wherever they tell me to go, whatever they tell me to do … no regrets … doing what I need to do … for Edward.


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