For my entire life I have had many different events occur that have made me the person I am today, I have hid the different stories behind a door in my mind, just like the loss of my son is tucked behind a door that rarely comes open anymore.
Some of these events have made me deeply guilty and ashamed, some have empowered me and some are just life events that we all go through.
As I write my blog and get feedback from all you that read it, the feeling of being alone and being the solo sailor disappears. One of my friends wrote that it must be cathartic to put all the story out there for all to see, and to a great extent it is exactly that.
I was only just saying to Georgia and Lynden that I feel as though the shame and guilt have lifted since I released it to the universe (or cyberspace) I felt very strongly that I was no longer able to return to Moree, the place I know most as my home because of the things I had done. Because other peoples versions of my life were being bandied around and I was ashamed and jaded by the close minded comments I was hearing. You know I have to say to you all that telling a friend the things being said about you is not really the nicest honesty. It is true when they say..What you don’t know cant hurt you… Sometimes we are better off not knowing what others are saying and thinking.
Now however I have bared myself in the most honest and raw way, I am living my truth.
As I learn everyday my truth is also the truth of others, everyone is fighting a different battle. Be it mental illness, addiction or loss. There are so many different negative experiences happening in our lives that the fall out is great, but in most cases we feel like a solitary victim and we keep everything in so that we can survive and navigate through without burdening others, by doing this we miss those around us that are needing help through the same ordeals.
Whenever I get the chance to talk to a stranger I am always amazed at the honesty I get in return, the life stories given freely and in most cases the resilience throughout trauma. None of us should ever feel alone, no one should ever think they are a lone sailer in this battle called life, we are surrounded by people with similar experiences and we need only reach out with a kind word to be wrapped in the arms of a likeminded sufferer.
For me, I knew that I was not alone in my loss of my son, the problem was my mind kept questioning how I was supposed to react, to the point where I felt I was in a movie, wondering what an actor would do.
On the day my son died I was on the bank looking out at boats in the water and wondering what the commotion was, as the moment moved to minutes and the cold reality met me, I remember vividly thinking, what am I meant to do? How am I meant to act ? What should my reaction be? I was not the stereotypical screaming mother, I was not the mess, I was numb. Because this was my reaction the ambulance officer that arrived on scene asked me to direct him to the mother…That’s me!
I guess I should have been crying, wailing, angry, but instead I was metering my emotion so that I didn’t scare my two children, because my husband was not coping, so I needed to cope. I needed to be the strong one, I needed to make sure everyone would be ok.
The funeral was the same, that day of condolence and endless people, was a show I didn’t know my role in. I didn’t cry, I didn’t know what I should do, it all seemed so surreal, I could actually step out of my body and look around at the whole event, I was that far distanced from it.
But…I did break, and I felt such guilt afterwards. I had to leave the wake, to be able to breath. I needed to be alone, I felt like people were always around me and I couldn’t just breakdown.
When I got home, I breathed a little and then people were there again, and this time I couldn’t contain the emotion, I exploded, I wanted everyone to go away and as I said I still feel guilty that I reacted that way, Lynden’s dad and best friend suffered this explosion and they didn’t deserve it at all. I could no longer be the strength and the host and the one in control… I suppose I have carried a lot of resentment for Lynden from this time, I wasn’t able to see the grief he was going through, I wasn’t able to appreciate the horror he had seen and the feelings of not being able to save our son. I was selfish in my own Grief and my poor husband was not able to help at all.
It took 10 years and a 12 month stint apart with councilling to appreciate the things he was dealing with and accepting that we all react differently to trauma, especially loss of a loved one.
So please know that you are not alone, you are not a lone sailor and you do not have to suffer in silence, it is good to scream and cry and vent. It is a release just to write down how you feel, I have kept journals since I was first married and it has helped me through darkness, its like sharing the load with another, but you never need to show anyone.
So whether you want to tell someone, or write it down for the universe to know, I really recommend living your truth in print. It can give you great clarity and make a large hurdle look a lot less scary. You can be honest and you can be raw and you will not be judged, but you definitely will feel better once you have done it.
Live your truth everyone, free yourself
Till next time
Smile and Breath Deep