Originally uploaded by Arno Arno
Last night I struggled with two things. First, I was in extreme need of Michael's comforting arms. When I am faced with an emotionally trying time as a parent, there is no payoff at the end of the day. There is no comfort or reassurance for me. That is a given. Secondly, I am coming into an awareness, with the help of my therapist, that I am closing myself off from any potential comfort, especially in the form of touch, because it isn't Michael. When I was talking about my feelings, and was beginning to cry, my therapist asked if it would be okay if he came over to hold my hand, or put a hand on my shoulder. I said it was fine, but then stopped him from proceeding.
I'm in a no win situation, and it is getting me stuck.
In the wake of meeting Michael, and allowing him to love me, I learned about how sweet life can be. Throughout my adulthood I had dated here and there, but I had only imagined what it would be like to love someone on the level that I had with Michael. I had only imagined what it would be like to have not only my emotional needs met, but my physical needs met as well. I was finally able to experience what others took for granted when they are part of a two parent family.
Since I chose to be a single parent I was used to having to deal with tough situations, then later talk myself down from the stressful aftermath. When I went to bed at the end of the night I knew how to tell myself that things would be alright, and that perhaps one day there would be someone to hold me and make be believe that things would be alright. In meeting Michael, that which I always needed and wanted, became realized. When I was in a difficult, or stressful situation with the kids, he could be the calming factor. And when words could not reach me, his arms and body could.
In the short time that Michael and I were together my mind and body became in tune with his. The sound of his voice could calm me. The touch of his hand could soothe me. It became an autonomic response. I didn't have to consciously accept his touch, or his comfort, I simply responded. Now in his absence my mind and body know what is missing. And, likewise, I can't just consciously tell my mind and body to stop needing him, or to not anticipate his touch. Sometimes when I am lying in bed, missing or needing him, something might shift in the bed, causing perhaps a pillow to shift as well. This might ever so slightly cause it to brush across my shoulder, causing in turn a memory of his touch. It is no wonder then that I reach out for these objects when in the grip of pain and sorrow. These inanimate objects are then charged with the responsibility of getting me through that moment. It is desperation at it's finest.
Today's epiphany was that with each of the ongoing challenges I am having with the kids, comes the ongoing trauma of needing Michael in such a desperate way that cannot be fulfilled. I then go into physical, or emotional, isolation because any one's attempt at comforting me is a cruel reminder of what I no longer have. And before anyone gets too close, for comfort, I push them away. It is too painful to have a little, when I need and want so much.
As my therapist has pointed out, this cycle is not allowing me to move through this part of my grief. Because my children's needs are so significant, and ongoing, I never have the opportunity to move past the trauma cycle. I never get to the point of testing the waters, and allowing myself to taste the sweetness of life through other people. I have become a person who very strongly needs touch. I need to feel life's sweetness. I need nourishment. I cannot have, and do not want, a life without it. I know that I am not ready to seek it in a major way, like in a new relationship, but I need to find it in small ways. There is no moving forward without it. If there is no sweetness in my life, then I don't want it.