Music doesn't help me sleep. During the frequent nightly awakenings hearing voices helps - I get up to pee, just in case that was what woke me up (but most of the time a cat or dog is the culprit), then listen to the speaking until I fall back asleep. When it's dark and I'm tired it's too easy to remember the sad things and slip into nightmares or stay awake all night without the gentle voices to distract me into sleep.
Anyway, last night I was listening to a new favorite podcast "Why Shamanism now?" and one topic was "rewrite the story". This morning I woke up thinking "rewrite your story!". The idea is not new (I've written about it before) but it was explained in a way that made it more attainable. Bear with me as I explain this because I heard this in the space between wake and sleep. Life changing losses are so intense they can be all consuming...hmmm...like, sometimes that's all you can deal with and it is appropriate to be right there wading through your muddy, sticky grief, but it's not appropriate to stay there permanently.
During the early afternoon of October 31, 2007 the news that my son would die sucked the breath out of me and during those hours where what was expected to be a normal prenatal visit turned into an immediate appointment for a level II ultrasound and consultation with a perinatologist and the findings turned worse and worse until we were back in my OB's office discussing what to do next. The story I was working on took such a dramatic change that it's like a new book had to start. The story where I was in love and loved and joyfully waiting for my son stopped abruptly. The story of being admitted to the hospital, inducing labor for a pregnancy that I wanted, holding my dead son, then the years of grief could not be combined with the story of happily expecting a baby.
Then there's the story of my husband leaving for greener pastures where grief did not exist, that overlaps with the story of becoming adjusted to deadbaby motherhood.
Dead son. Husband can't stand me. These are all consuming stories and for a long while it was not possible to be in any other story. But it's been almost 3 years since Toren died and going on 2 years since my husband left. If I let the stories of loss drift to the background what is here? Well, surprisingly I'm still standing. There were so many times when I thought I could not live through the pain of so much loss. It seemed impossible that the heart that ached so much could continue it's rhythmic beating. How is it possible that this body that screamed in rage and sorrow did not just crumble to dust? It must have been held together by all the wine ;)
But seriously, to get through that took hours and hours of therapy, lots of antidepressants, patient friends, and then re-finding love. The turning point from total grief to some relief took years. And apparently a lot of rambling.
Those stories of loss are in the past, and they are incredibly important parts of my past so I'm not wishing them away, but it's time to start honoring the current story. The rough draft goes something like this:
- I am safe. For the first time that I can remember there is no one controlling me in negative ways. There is no one physically near me with the desire, and the balls, to pursue their own interests with no thought given to how their actions would affect me.
- I am in love. Cautious love but it is beautiful just the same.
- There is potential for a great career.
- There is potential for a family.
I hope that makes at least a little bit of sense. It's exciting.
Wishing you all lovely stories.