The kettle appeared different.
Pressing a button was a new experience. It became something my brain had to process instead of second nature. I had to really think about it.
Nothing made sense.
I had to work to move my arms. It was painful. And evident. Conversations were a mere placement of bodies, standing in front of another with an exchange of vocabulary.
Nothing was said.
The world seemed misplaced. The sound of birds calling in the morning became an excruciating silence. Null and void. Present but not perceived through the ears.
Nothing was heard.
A physical pain protruded through my chest and I embraced it. Clinging my arms around my hurting body as not just a form of comfort but holding onto the only shred of feeling I had left. When all normal emotional and physical processes diminish, any familiarity is welcomed.
It was all I had.
When one experiences grief or post traumatic stress the brain flicks into survival mode. It transforms into a system of unfamiliar energetic responses. You embody a new mind and in my case, a new being. Chemicals are released, internal reactions are disrupted and important bodily systems shift into emergency. The right side of the brain shuts its doors instantaneously and the journey of grief begins. And what a path it is.
My mum was my security. She was my comfort. I held her hand at the shops in my twenties, with the same confidence I did when I was four. I would still sleep in her bed at any chance I got and would hang around her room, just to be close.
I was safe.
Since her passing I’m now left with a whole suitcase of issues, screaming to be addressed. I have separation anxiety from a woman I can no longer reach. Therefore subconsciously latching onto people more than I should, trying to replace the security I lost. Clinging my hands into them so tight they couldn’t breathe. Fear of abandonment seeped into the cells of my body and started running havoc on my life. Imagine a parent dropping a toddler off at daycare for the first time. Well that’s me. Except I’m an adult and usually the person is just walking into another room.
Don’t leave me.
I lost the ability to be with myself and that’s a hard pill to swallow. Along with my memory, my strength, dignity, happiness and half my heart- I lost myself. Same body, completely different state of mind.
Fear is a prison.
This grieving process is a wild one. Four years on and it’s only now I’m picking apart behaviours and working through them. These unhealthy patterns are quite common in cases of grief and trauma. Masking is just another way for the body and mind to cope. Some mask with substance, I chose attachment. The process is rough, I won’t lie. It’s uncomfortable and some days it’s really-fkn-awful-someone-make-it-stop type bad. I naturally want to reach for a hand and it’s never my own.
Girl, enough is enough.
They say when you can admit there’s a problem that’s the start of recovery. Hooray! Heartbreak hurts, yes. But it’s also a remarkable journey of self care (I even cringed typing this) BUT IT’S TRUE. This is life. So here’s to all the people who are battling their own war on a daily.
I salute you.
This isn’t supposed to be comfortable.
This is healing.