Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reliving Traumas That Are Over

How I spend my time is occupying my mind lately. The ways I spend it are all according to my choices and tastes — the problem is more that I have no-one to talk to about it in that married-couple way of fascination with the minutiae.

'That's what you have facebook for,' I tell myself. But I find I am reluctant to share too much detail on fb, for fear of becoming a bore. LJ is good for deeply personal stuff that I want to share somewhere, but I don't want to inflict endless trivia on my friends there.

So it goes into my personal — strictly private — journal. My private journal is not the repository of dark secrets so much as snippets of the boringly mundane.

The other thing that goes through my mind a lot just lately is a dwelling on — even after all this time! — the traumas A went through in his final two years, the medical appointments, the practical problems....

E.g. finding no parking spot outside the dentist, being unable to drop him off and then go park because he was having a very confused day, so having to get him to walk what was for him a long, slow distance while the peripheral neuropathy in his legs gave him agony.

Or the time when he was still driving, when he ducked out to the local shops and found he needed to park on the side of a hill. As he walked back to the car, his legs collapsed going up the slope, and he had to sit down on the nature strip. It was dusk, and the car was around the corner from the shops. No-one saw, to help. He didn't have a mobile phone. It got dark. Eventually he recovered his strength and was able to get in the car and drive home, somewhat shaken.

I relive my distress that he went through such things. Then I recall him saying about various difficulties during our marriage, 'We'll get through this!' — and we did.

And he got through those episodes too; we both did.

Eventually I arrive at the realisation: 'It's over. He got through it all, and now he never has to again. He's not at risk any more. He's not in danger any more. He's not in pain or discomfort. He's not in anxiety or fear. He is free.'

And I close my eyes, bow my head, take a deep breath. The tears come to my eyes, but softly.

And me, I never have to go through that again, either — all that agonising over my dearest person, all that vigilance and responsibility, all the need to be inventive at some times, reassuring at others.

However I am finally feeling lonely, despite the writing and networking, the good friends and loving family, the many absorbing things to do.

There were times in those final two years of his life when I longed for some time and space to myself. I knew there might well come a time when I would find that ironic — and here it is.


  1. I think that must be part of the grieving process, re hashing the problems. Does it help to consciously bring to mind good memories?

    Re alone thoughts and journals. I can relate. I think I am a bore on FB, but I don't care enough to limit my posts. I've started posting under the only me restriction on LJ - just the really, really, mind dulling stuff like food and weight loss journal. I have been single so long I don't remember what sharing minutiae was like. I don't think I miss it . T from L.A.

    1. Yes, I expect it is all part of the process. And yes, bringing to mind positive memories does help. For a while that too was cause for sorrow, because those good things are gone — but then I realised it is a way to bring him back, or I can choose to look at it that way anyhow.

      I never read your food and weight loss journal in great detail, but it's been kinda nice to see that you were working towards your goals.

  2. I think I will post once per month or so general health / weight loss updates

  3. Rosemary I love the picture...sounds like what you're doing is healthy, even the going over old difficult moments--they made an impact, of course, and reliving them is a way of sorting them out, too, putting them away at last, perhaps, in a separate envelope.
    The good stuff will start to rise to the surface soon enough.

    What you're doing now is making NEW memories =).
    I think if you look at it that way, it might help. After all, before this
    your only memories were of what came before. Now you have a chance
    to make new stuff to remember later...

    1. Many thanks for these wise and comforting words!