Friday, February 17, 2006

Passage of time

Well, it's a bit later in the day, and things are a little less tender, thankfully. I realize the difficult part of the situation described earlier with step-Daughter and SIL are dredging up physical memories and feelings from the past. When I am somehow reminded of experiences that included violence and/or abuse that I've experienced, my body and mind simply react; those neural pathways are already in place, merely waiting to be reactivated.

What shuts them off, eventually, is processing them, which for me frequently, lately, involves a lot of tears and a lot of tightness in my throat while I think and think and think and think and think. I believe the nightmares go with all that. For whatever reason, my mind has to play out these difficult feelings and recollections in horrific, vivid detail. I've always had very vivid dreams, whether they be good or bad, and definitely dream in full technicolor, complete with sounds, smells, tastes, and the sense of touch. If it's a good dream, obviously this can be fun, but when it's a nightmare, it's truly a nightmare, in every sense (I use that term very specifically and intentionally). After one of these nights, I have difficult shaking the feelings I experienced in the dream, further complicating matters.

Tonight, Hubby came through the door with a bouquet of flowers, hoping that something beautiful would cheer me up. He didn't need the flowers to do that, but I do love receiving them. It reminds me of outside, of not personal, of a world out there that is totally unaware of me and my crap. That's a good thing. I need to be reminded of the fact that there is a world out there that has nothing to do with me and needs absolutely nothing from me to continue.

I hate for Hubby's sake that we've had to come to this point with his Daughter. We, but more I, came to this point with my own sister recently, and it was extremely difficult then, too. I try to maintain a relationship, or rather a connection, with my nieces and nephew, but I really haven't heard anything from them, even though I've sent postcards and a box of various goodies for Valentine's Day. My oldest niece in that family is 7, so I can't really expect her to interact with me on her own. Therefore, this so far seems to mean that my sister is not going to do anything to help them respond to me. I guess I am not surprised at that, but I have to admit that it does leave me wondering if it will be of any use to continue to send things. Maybe she just throws them away rather than giving them to the kids -- I have no way of knowing. I hope I will be very pleasantly surprised and receive a note from her/them soon. It breaks my heart to not be able to be as close to them as I'd like to.

As for Hubby, he now has to make peace with that aspect in his family, though this is his only Daughter and her children. I know that's different than just a sister and kids, though I have always halfway thought of my sisters as my own kids. He has spoken to his Son, who is a doll and a tremendous support and joy for him. He echoed many of my own statements and observations, so I definitely feel validated by him. I hope Son and Hubby and I can continue to maintain a very good relationship, as it means a great deal to us both.

Now we sit here watching the Olympics, not really caring about who wins or even what sport is on. It's just something to do while we enjoy the fire after a pleasant dinner. It's getting colder, and we may get snow and/or ice. We have a long weekend ahead, and that would be fine, to be "snowbound" for the weekend. I would enjoy the solitude with Hubby like we enjoyed so much earlier this week at Fall Creek Falls. We may not have the lake and waterfalls to enjoy, but we do have a beautiful backyard, complete with stocked birdfeeders, so there is no end to the entertainment value of just hanging out in the kitchen, looking out the windows.

So I'll close this evening's post on a much better note than the previous few. I still have some questions about what is going on in my body with these feelings of vulnerability and unprotectedness and fear and on and on, but I guess that's what I'll discuss with my therapist on Monday. Later in the week I see the psychiatrist, and will speak to her about the tightness in my throat and about the nightmares. Perhaps there's some different medication I could take at night that might shut off some of these terrors. I would greatly appreciate the respite.


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