Challenge: The Process (blog 7)
I think I should make it clear, with each blog, there is a process I go through. I wish I could say I just sit down , put pen to paper, and it all flows out of me and I’m cured. I wish I could say that, but I can’t; there’s a process.
First, there’s the ‘remembering.’ Easy, right? Nope, I have forced, pushed, shoved these memories so far down that I have to reach in, hang by my toes, and grab the very end of them with the tips of my fingers. Some of them are brought up by my children, mainly my eldest because she was with him longer. Also, it’s because of the fact that she is the eldest and can remember more (their memories are the ones that really stick knife in my heart).
Once a memory is brought up, then comes the remembering. Most times it’s faint at first, as my fingertips just barely graze it. Then, it intensifies as my grasp on it becomes stronger. And finally, when I have pulled it from the very back, bottom-of-the-hole of my memories, I remember. I remember with such sharpness and clarity the smells, the tastes, the sounds, the sights, the colors, the textures, the feelings, the emotions, everything. I remember every piece of that memory that I can. I remember it so vividly, it’s almost as if it’s happening to me at the moment I’m remembering it.
I have to be alone. I go to my room, I jump on the mini-trampoline, or I go walking. I remember it. It’s not pretty. I get scared. I get sad. I get angry. I get sad again, and then angry. But I remember it.
At the end of it, I usually lay down on my bed and sob. I sob, and I sob, and I sob. I cry for the me then and I cry for the me now. I cry for the me I lost and the me I could have been. And I cry for my children, those are the tears that burn; those are the tears of guilt.
Then I am all worn out and I sleep. I think I have cried myself to sleep every night since I have begun this process. Maybe the crying is a cleansing, or a washing-away of that memory. No, the memory is still with me, so maybe it washes away the hold that memory has over me.
The next day I will wake up, do the normal morning/daily routine (I am a single mom of three, so there’s no falling apart, there are things I have to do). As I am doing my daily routine, I will reflect on the previous day’s memory. Sometimes I will cry over it again, but not with as much force.
Then, when I find time, I put pen to paper and I write about it. What comes out is what comes out. I don’t force it. There will probably be no logical order to it, although I would like there to be. These memories will come out as they do and when they do.
After I have written it down, I read it and reread it. I check for selling errors and grammar errors. I check it for clarification; was that sentence understood? That clinical approach helps me, it’s part of the process. It allows me to look objectively at the situation that happened.
Then, I read it as if I was not the author. What is my reaction? How do I feel for and about the person who wrote it? Funny, Clinical-Me is less harsh on me than the Me-Me is. Not sure if that makes sense, but it’s the only way I know how to say that.
When the editing and reading is done, I type it up. I type my raw, emotional baggage into a cold, hard machine. It mimics my words, mocks my emotions. But, this is part of the process. So far, it’s working for me.
The next step, which I’ve yet to do, is posting it as a blog for the world to see, should they choose to do so. I’m not there yet. I’m not ready. I’m not strong enough to do that, if you weren’t reading this, I hadn’t gotten to that point. If you are reading this, I am strong enough, have conquered enough demons to be ready to take on whatever this brings.
But right now, as I’m writing this, I’m not quite there yet. But I will be, soon. I continue to march forward. As I type this, I am reminded of a poem my daughter wrote and gave to me after my recent surgery. Funny, I’ve never thought of myself as a warrior, and the poem does not specifically say the word warrior, but that is what I feel like as I am going through these memories and slaying these demons.
She stands still –
The calm before the storm.
Waiting, watching, knowing
It will come.
She alone –
Will face it by herself.
No fear, no anger, void –
She is numb.
She listens –
A sound only she knows.
It’s drawing near, she hears
The low hum.
She stands tall –
There is no backing down.
Like her heartbeat, she knows
Where it’s from.
Lifts her head –
The storm is upon her.
It speaks to her, “You knew
I would come.”
Her lips part –
With a soft whisper, “Yes.”
Runs to the storm – pounding
The war drum.
We’re waiting –
She’ll make it through again.
She fights like no other –
She is our mother.