Peel back layers.

Maybe, it is because I chose to write it all down.  Maybe, it is just where I am in life.  Perhaps, it is because I can.  Whatever the underlying reason is I have struggled this winter with all of it. 

My perfect childhood really wasn’t so perfect and my adulthood came with a huge helping of suffering.  Hindsight has revealed itself now that I have documented my memories and life stories.  I have postponed an honest response to my life.  Ironically, I am a genuinely happy person.  People in all walks of my life have loved me for my optimism, praised me for my ability to laugh and needed me for comic relief from their own pain. 

I cried more about the loss of my Mom this past winter than I ever have before.  I didn’t come to tears thinking about how much I missed her, the tears were about the stories I wrote.  I never cried when she was recovering from surgery or sick from the chemo.  I was strong.  It came natural.  Mom needed me and I was going to do whatever she needed.  She needed my strength.  She needed my optimism and comic relief. 

I controlled my true feelings even after she died because my family needed me to be ok.  My children were very sad and they needed me to be strong for them.  I needed to show them it was going to be ok.  They needed my optimism and comic relief. 

My sister was not able to fully mourn for our Mom either as her daughter continued to need her to be strong.  Mom was big part of B’s life and helped with her care constantly.  Now my sister needed me more than ever.  I had to be strong for them both. 

Then, when B died, I felt anything but strength would be completely selfish of me.  My child had not died.  I needed to be strong for my sister.  She needed support not tears.  She needed me to help her see it would be ok one day.  Having nearly died herself a few short weeks before her daughter died, my sister was in need of all the strength I could muster. 

This winter I cried from that pit of sorrow deep inside me.  Sad movies have made me reach that spot over the years but I would never allow any further access to this pit.  I was afraid.  I was literally afraid to allow it to open.  I was not sure if I was strong enough to close it back up.  I have resisted any provocation for this pit to open involuntarily all this time. 

Well, this winter it opened.  As my stories brought my feelings to the surface, the pit door weakened.  Tears involuntarily flowed down my cheeks to my typing fingers.  But, when I was safely alone, when I knew I would not be interrupted, I would edit my work.  These re-reads opened the pit for the first time.  It was happening before I realised.  I didn’t resist the flow.  My stomach flopped and tightened and released all on its own accord.  I sobbed and convulsed as I blinked and wiped my face with tissues, in order to keep reading. 

Apparently, my pit was at full capacity.  It took a lot of editing to release the pressure.  These moments of emotional purging came and went as the opportunities presented themselves.  Interestingly enough, as my pit emptied hollowness took over. Honestly, I felt like I was missing something after the purge.

A sadness settled in my heart and a quietness in my brain.  Was I mourning the loss of the pit?  How ironic is that?  I was as close to depressed as I had ever been in my entire life.  The long winter was a gift of time for me.  I needed time to rest and re-evaluate. Perhaps, I had been motivated by the fullness of the pit.  Lending myself out as hero, problem fixer and supporter kept me distracted and too busy to address the pit.  I suspect I am a martyr.  I don’t like saying that about myself because I believe a martyr isn’t a good thing to be. 

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