Today I told my therapist something I’ve never shared with anyone.
I didn’t even tell her that I’d never told anyone. I just left the information there. I stepped over it like a crack in the sidewalk. I hugged my therapist and she kissed me on the cheek. Before I could let her go, she turned her head and whispered into my ear, “I am so sorry.”
The pain sunk in. It sat in my stomach, crept into my body and filled me with exhaustion. I thanked her wholeheartedly, paid my bill and left. Climbing into my car, I paused and then I didn’t move. I just sat there buckled into the seat and breathing. I looked at my phone and tried to think who I should call.
This was not a panic attack. I wasn’t crying. There was no emergency. I was just in pain.
Just a little pain.
As I mentioned last time, I’ve been taking notice of my memories of my father’s funeral. I’ve been trying to nail down the timeline and remember who was there. Part of this process is like time travel. Or maybe it’s more like a possession.
I sit down and I ask my 8 year old self what it was like.
What was it like to stand over your father’s body? What did it feel like?
I sink my mind into my little self and I open my eyes. I look around. I sniff the air and feel the weight of my feet on that thick, funeral home carpet. I remember the kiss on my father’s cold cheek and the delicate white rose I was given for my grandmother. I remember the things that were stolen.
Today, I admitted something. That’s what it felt like; an admission. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed and the secret made me want to curl into a ball and disappear. I came home nauseous and nearly lost my dinner.
I rarely vomit. I’m not exaggerating. I have a very strong stomach. This tidbit is to explain to you that I don’t do this. I don’t get sick from memories. This one, this horror I lived came back swinging knives.
It was the kind of moment that made me want to get into a bathtub with a large cheese pizza and a six pack of beer.
I decided who to call. Somehow, it was decided for me. I looked down at my phone and my keypad came up with a name. The right name. The person who would ask me a simple question: “If you were the friend of that little girl and she told you the same story, what would you do for her.”
Tell her I love her.
Give her a big hug.
Buy her an ice cream cone.
Make sure she has everything she needs to heal.
Give her a nap.
I later added a bubble bath and a glass of wine because I’m an adult and the boss of myself. #amiright
I am still in pain. As I write this, my body is still in turmoil. Trauma is a formidable, haunting beast. This has been a rough night but I’ve spent it huddled up with my beloveds. I looked at them and celebrated that if my father was a nightmare (and he was), I am a dream.
Every day my planner prompts me to finish the statement ‘I am grateful for…’.
Today I am grateful for the fact that monsters can give life to Firecrackers.