Do you ever get those times in your life where you just feel completely and utterly broken? I’ve had a week of feeling like that now. Don’t get me wrong, I can still function (just) but right now nothing feels the same and I don’t feel the same about things anymore.
In some ways this is a good thing, I always knew I had awesome friends around me but man have they stepped up in the last week. From emergency childcare to emergency visits to calling from the other side of the world, all in the name of making sure I was ok and getting through this.
It also is good because I’ve been waiting for this. It is 6 months since I decided my marriage was over and ever since then, all I felt was relieved. People would ask me what life was like and how I was and I always had the same answer: Every day is like a fucking gift. It really is. My time is my own, my house is my own, no-one to criticise me, nothing abusive going on. I get to spend good time with the kids and in the evenings, wind down on my own. It is no longer a compromise who I am and am not allowed to talk to, to visit or have visit me in my home. No-one is deemed ‘not cool enough’ or ‘too old’ or whatever other crap was used to control who was worthy of our time. Trust me, life is good.
The massive emotional crash that I experienced last week, which I’m still experiencing tremors of this week was not to do with regret about my marriage ending or finding life hard, it was triggered by speaking on the podcast about my childhood (lack of love, parent with personality disorder, generally all round crap situation). Followed by a podcast interview about the years and years of sexual abuse in my marriage. The thing is, I always knew doing the podcast was going to be triggering but that it was also going to help me to lay some ghosts to rest.
Silence isn’t something people associate with me. When not endlessly chattering, writing blog posts etc, I always have music or podcasts on. Not because I don’t like silence but because I love music. However, when I ‘break’ silence is all I am capable of. I literally cannot speak. One of my good friends was messaging last Saturday morning and I couldn’t even type a reply. I felt so frustrated with myself, with my depression, with my ‘broken-ness’ that he was sending thoughtful, caring messages and all I could reply with was ‘X’. I cried at how frustrated I was but I literally could not speak or put the words in a text. It’s official, being broken is crap.
However I do think being able to be completely silent, whether it is voluntary or not, is a bit of a gift. We notice so much more about us, our friends, our surroundings, our situations, if there is no room for words. I know that I am at my depressive worst when I can’t speak and yet it helps me to notice what else is going on with me. This time I noticed that I had stopped eating and even trying to eat was like trying to swallow boulders. I noticed that I was shaking a lot (probably lack of food!) and I noticed that I was tired. Really tired.
The podcast wasn’t the only thing that triggered this breakdown last week although during it Paul (the host) asked me how I thought my mother and ex-husband would feel when the interview was published and heard what I had to say? It was a conflicting feeling to have to answer the question which had gone round and round in my head the whole few months I had been thinking of going on the podcast (the podcast was booked and arranged back in February but I only had 10 days notice that it was definitely going ahead). On the one hand, although I don’t fear confrontation, I do fear acrimony, having been a child of an incredibly acrimonious divorce and on the other hand, everything I said had been honest. Completely so. It may have been just my side of the story but it was true to me and as I (eventually) replied to Paul: I’m 36 years old and I have never been in a position where I was allowed to stand alone and be authentically me, I always had to be the version of me that either my husband or mother wanted. Everything I have said is true and it’s time to set myself free of that by sharing it.
I don’t regret going on the podcast for a single minute and it was amazing to meet Paul and have a great rapport with him as well as feel completely safe and totally understood. The feelings that it triggered….. well it was time for me to stand alone and deal with them, to finally address thoughts and feelings that have plagued me my whole life. To try to sort out which ones are true and which ones are false and how I can separate and deal with them. Believe me, it’s a very long, very hard journey but I do believe that I’m further along it than I had imagined.