The Levees Have Finally Broken
“When a friend of Abigail and John Adams was killed at Bunker Hill, Abigail’s response was to write a letter to her husband and include these words, “My bursting heart must find vent at my pen.”
― David McCullough
I find myself this morning at a point where I seem to be consumed by grief. The losses in 2014 and now already in 2015 have opened the door to the room where I like to store grief and remain strong. Grieving has never been something that I’ve just been able to embrace as a part of life. I was shown, in many different ways, that grief is a sign of weakness. I was belittled for this naturally occurring emotion in life so many times that my attitude has always been, “I’ll deal with it later.” At almost 40 years old, “later” has become “now.” My body and mind have reached their own limits on storing grief. There is no more room to stuff one ounce of grief into my body. This doesn’t mean that I never cried during life. It means that I never fully dealt with what has hurt me during my life. Through all the abuse, the only option was to put it aside and fight whoever or whatever situation was in front of me. There is a lot in almost 40 years that I must now take the time to sit with and just let the grieving happen.
Sarah Pardue always would tell me in only her gentle kind of way, “Dana, it’s ok to get down and roll around in your sadness and grief. Just don’t make your bed down there.” She knew that her death would be very difficult for me to bare. However, someone bigger and higher knew that her death would also be the “final straw” and key to forcing me to finally be able to grieve properly. Where I have been able to suppress most feelings connected to events in my life, my feelings attached to her passing are ones that I cannot hide.
The wounds from my lifetime have had the scabs ripped off them and have started to bleed again. I have bled blood. Now I bleed tears. The muscles in my body twitch and cause excruciating pain that look at the medical marijuana as though it were candy and fly right through any attempts at pain relief. This is what I personally see and experience as my body crying. What do I grieve?
- I grieve the loss of a relationship that was never formed with my birth mom.
- I grieve the reality that she was so damaged that she never had the capability to love me.
- I grieve the loss of coming face-to-face with her and being very blatantly rejected again.
- I grieve the loss of my innocence as a child to those I trusted to love and care for me when my parents had things to do.
- I grieve the loss of the trust in genuinely good people because of the bad intentions of others.
- I grieve the 14 years that I allowed myself to be perpetrated in some of the vilest forms at the hands of someone who said all the ‘right’ things to get his hooks in me.
- I grieve the loss of happiness of my teenage years that began a life that became consumed by addictions.
- I grieve the loss of horrendous things that were done to my animals in a final effort to destroy what was left of me.
- I grieve the loss of friends and family due to ignorance on different subjects.
- I grieve for my family, the things that they never knew and that came out in many other forms towards them.
- I grieve for the unknown in this journey of recovery.
- I grieve for my wife, as she struggles with me to make sense of a disorder that neither she nor I were prepared to deal with.
- I grieve for her sadness as she has come to understand the true meaning of “helplessness” while watching the torture that I go through both mentally and physically, as a result, of the pathology of a lifetime of others.
- I grieve for the loss of one of our unborn children.
- I grieve the unknown for our son being in a minority family.
- I grieve about the ignorance of others and how someone’s genitalia are more important than a genuine love or authenticity of a person.
- I grieve the mental health system in this country where instead of embracing people that ask for help, there seems to be the attitude to snicker and shut the door.
- I grieve for the sadness that I see and feel from other people that I cannot do anything about.
- I grieve for the children every day that are just beginning their own journeys in the world of abuse.
- I grieve the fact that even my own knowledge and degree can’t undo what has been done.
- I grieve the fact that it’s taken me this long in my life just to be able to properly grieve.
- I grieve the fact that I have to be the one to take this painful journey when I’ve already survived it once.
- I grieve for friends and their families as their lives were lost for reasons unknown.
- I grieve the loss of my grandmothers who have also become guides.
- I grieve my professional career that has been put on hold because there were people that didn’t deal with their own trauma.
There’s so much more to list that I could spend weeks doing nothing but typing things that I’m grieving over. This grief has also led to people that are back in my life after many years because as one person put it, “God has a sense of humor.” I have met and maintained relationships with people that give me hope that there might really still be some people in this world that accept others as they are with no strings attached. For these people, there are no words to convey the appreciation and comfort that you continue to provide to both me and my family.
The only phrase that I can feel that can possibly describes this personal view of where I am right now……..”The levees have finally broken.”