Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Can't see the Way for the mileposts

I woke up just past 6AM with no alarm, just awake to the brightness of what promised to be a hot August day by Portland standards. I didn't feel too exhausted. I was alert but something about it let me know that I was still anxious just below the surface. I'd taken some melatonin the night before and felt like I had rested, but the grief and anxiety from yesterday still persisted.

I came into the office to find that important reports still had not been run as expected. I sat down to my day and let my mind settle into the tasks at hand. I worked on projects steadily until CK came to meet me for lunch. We walked over to Blossoming Lotus for another tasty lunch. I was able to have the big salad I was craving and CK enjoyed her usual, yummy barbecue tempeh sandwich.

Sometime during lunch, with a toddler making hot, impatient sounds, she said my email about having a baby together was sweet. I felt some of the grip of the anxiety let up. We talked briefly on all the things we have to figure out in the next few years and that could settle. This possibility, these feelings are ones wholly new and while not entirely terrifying, I feel keenly vulnerable in exploring them.

Sitting in the park after lunch for a few minutes I told her that I was trying to make space to allow myself to feel grief about my past. During the first 30 years of my life (I had started to say childhood and she pointed out that my first marriage wasn't supportive either) I wasn't able to really experience the sadness, anger, and fear. Not only did I not know any other way, but the times when I did experience those emotions I wasn't supported and at times I was punished for it.

Underneath my impatience is fear. Fear that my loved ones are eventually going to get tired of me going in and out of waves of sorrow all the time. That the burden of my need for support will grow to be too much. That I'll no longer fulfill them and they'll withdraw at best, leave at worst. So I want to "get over it", want to stop being reminded of my past, my pain.

I wish there was some kind of time line for this. A project plan with due dates, task lists, even meetings and go/no-go decisions. I want this process to be something I can organize, categorize, and understand the process of. I don't feel like I see that I'm reaching milestones. My therapist points them out to me, but since I am not actually feeling better I don't feel like I've accomplished anything.

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