Today’s positive post doesn’t seem that’s positive. But it’s sometbing I am incredibly grateful for. I was prompted to write this after meeting a lovely friend yesterday. She lent me her copy of Saying Goodbye and a beautiful pin. I cried, of course. But I also also felt better for it.
Lately, the flood gates have opened and the tears have flowed down my cheeks, taking so much pain with them. And I am so very grateful that at last I can truly cry.
Over the last few months I have cried. Plenty of times. But my tears have felt like a learned response. Like my womb, they have felt hollow and empty. I have always been a crier and so when life is tough, I cry. It’s what I do. But the tears I have cried for my babies have just been a reaction. I haven’t engaged with the tears. I haven’t let myself feel any emotion alongside them. My subconscious has known I need to cry and release the pain, but my brain has gripped tight to all the pain. I haven’t felt safe to process the grief.
When my PTSD kicked in, I gripped tight to everything I was feeling and didn’t let myself process any of it. I was so scared by it all; I just held on. I gripped tight to the threads of my being as I crumbled and tried to pull myself together. If you feel under threat, afraid or scared, it’s not possible to process big emotions. Your body puts you into a hyper vigilant state so instead of dealing with the event, you stay in that state, alert and expecting the next threat or danger to arrive. My chest physically hurt. I couldn’t sleep. My thoughts raced. But anytime I tried to access how I felt and undo the tension in my chest I hit a wall. A brick wall I had built around my very fragile heart.
So the tears came, but I couldn’t feel anything. The wall I had built around my feelings stood strong. I was uncomfortably numb.
Then last week I finally started a range of therapy. I’ve been on a waiting list for a long time and have been supported by my GP and the CMHT in the interim but it has felt like treading water. Knowing I have the support I need finally enabled me to come out from behind my brick wall. I felt safe enough to face how I feel.
Since then I have cried. A lot. Months of pain have flowed out of me. Each time I cry I release more of the pain. Last week I stood in my kitchen bent double, tears streamed from my eyes and puddled on the floor. Deep screams drew deep pain out of my chest. I must have looked possessed. But, bloody hell did I feel better for doing it. I cry now without warning. It hurts but is also comforting. My chest feels warm and open rather than tight and closed. The physical feelings have had a massive impact on my emotions. It hurts so deeply but I feel safe to experience the pain.
So if you see me and i cry, don’t panic: it’s a good thing. I realise it’s slightly awkward and socially taboo but right now, I can’t stop the tears. And I don’t want to. I want to deal with this pain.
Today I am so glad I can finally allow myself to truly cry.