The Deeper the Loss the Deeper the Pain

 

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In my journey through grief I stumbled upon a great article that really defines our journey through the mourning process— taking us somehow from dark to light.

Tons of therapy helps of course– but embracing the pain and pushing through it is how we grow.

I miss my mother everyday.

Everyday.

But I know that she would want me to thrive.

I’m still trying.

Please read ahead:

Adversity is of value because it often helps us grow more mature. How does this work?

Human psychology is concerned, at heart, with loss and the threat of loss. So it begins with desire, and with the consequent forming of attachments to all manner of people and things: to places, wealth, objects, activities, ideas (including political and religious ideas); to anything under the sun.

The converse of desire is aversion. They go together. If you like something, you are averse to losing it. If you dislike something, you desire its absence. Likes and dislikes are part of being human. No-one avoids desires and attachments, or the painful emotional consequences. However, we can learn to manage them wisely. It helps a great deal to understand the process, as follows.

Let’s say you own a costly diamond, and keep it locked away. Your desire for the precious gemstone and attachment to it naturally spark the emotions of anxiety and doubt. You have heard that thieves are operating in the area, and are uncertain, possibly to the point of bewilderment, about how best to protect your possession.

Anxiety, bewilderment and doubt are the first emotional responses to the threat of loss. As threat intensifies (when, say, attempts are made to break in and steal the jewel), angercommonly arises. Your security is threatened. Your people are threatened. Your ideas about yourself and the world may feel threatened too. Defiance, resistance to loss, gives birth to these feelings of anger.

Eventually, your defences are breached. Let’s say the theft actually takes place. Anger persists for a time as the reality and extent of the loss sinks in. Feeling responsible; that you could and should have done more to prevent the intrusion, for example; you begin to experience the emotions of shame and guilt. Finally, in full face of the loss, realization dawns upon you. When forced to accept the reality of it, with nothing left to do to reverse the situation, nothing left to say to justify it, only sadness remains.

Playing the Musical Scales

These painful emotions are linked. Like the colours in a rainbow or the notes of a musical scale, they set each other off. Happily, this is not the end of the story.Grieving is a process that eventually leads not only to healing but also to personal growth. Each painful emotion is related to a pain-free counterpart, as follows:

 

Spectrum of Painful and Pain-free Emotions

Wanting (desire) – Contentment

Bewilderment – Clarity

Anxiety – Calm

Doubt – Confidence

Anger – Acceptance

Shame – Worth (self-esteem)

Guilt – Innocence (purity)

Sadness – Happiness (joy)

Real sadness is accompanied by tears, by weeping. This liberates emotional energy that was previously invested in attachment to whatever has been lost. An emotional cleansing (‘catharsis’) occurs, and results in a renewal of energy. With this natural and healthy re-charging of the emotional batteries, sadness turns spontaneously into its polar opposite,joy. Guilt and shame revert in a similar way to self-esteem and a sense of purity. Anger likewise switches over from resistance towards acceptance. Anxiety becomes calm. Doubts fade, leaving a sense of certainty. Bewilderment evaporates, leaving clarity. Finally, with full acceptance of the loss, desire is replaced by contentment. Calm, joyful satisfaction is felt with things just as they are… Until desire and aversion take hold once again!

We go through this sequence towards catharsis, healing and growth frequently, in small things and on the grand scale, whenever threats and losses are experienced and weathered. The emotional release, as the process resolves, leaves us more alive, more spontaneous, less fearful, and better able to stay clearly focused in the present moment.Personal growth like this is usually permanent and cumulative. We continue to build our strengths and our virtues. It may feel like it sometimes, but we are not designed to go backwards.

For those already mature enough to let go easily of their attachments, happiness arises with, or even ahead of sorrow; so laughter works to unlock the emotions as well as, or even better than, tears. The mental clarity associated with such emotional healing fosterswisdom and creativity. Other people, no longer experienced as competitors, are now seen as fellow strugglers and sufferers on life’s difficult path. This insight then fosters a rise in fellow-feeling, selflessness, compassion, wisdom and love. When someone faces and accepts a loss, and weathers the emotional whirlwind that follows until calm is once again restored, everybody benefits. That’s what I call maturity!

Emotional healing and spiritual growth

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/spiritual-wisdom-secular-times/201208/emotional-healing-and-personal-growth-spirituality

 

 

Is this a Visitation Dream?

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Sometimes, when I am desperate to speak to my mother.

When I need advice, or am stuck on something I’ll ask her out loud—I tend to do this when I am alone— to come talk to me in my dreams, so I can consult with her.

 

Most recently, it was over what I should do with my mom’s house. The house I grew up in.

 

The question: “Mom. Should I rescue the house we grew up in from foreclosure?” — Then I waited later that night to dream.

 

How the “yes” and “no” of this will impact me:

 

  • If, “yes”, then that means I’ll have to take out a huge home loan to repair it, so I can rent it or sell it.

 

  • If, “no”, — then we lose it completely and have to pay back taxes on it or sue our dad.

 

In the dream, I was with my mom. Painting the walls of our childhood home. Loving the house and getting it ready for rental. For some reason we decided to paint the walls a chocolate brown, and after we painted it, we didn’t like the result. At the same time we both said, “Why don’t we try a gold overlay?” And we laughed because we had the same thought.

 

Then the dream morphed, into different scenarios, not related to the house. In one case, I was driving a truck along a cliff, and she was my co-pilot. I began to steer in the wrong direction—and she corrected my path.

Or if these are merely dreams?

Do any of you have experiences like these?

 

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Forgiveness Is Overrated

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There’s this notion that life is about forgiveness, but the more I live and look at certain people and analyze certain events in my life, the more I realize that life is about accepting the truth and finding a way to live with it.

 

Take my stepfather.

 

He was in Special Forces.

A well-decorated war vet.

A Mason.

A Shriner.

But deep down, he’s a coward.

 

His true self is:

Abusive.

Mean.

Narcissistic.

He’s a bully.

 

What man hits a little girl, or sends his teenager to jail for an unpaid traffic ticket, or tells her that it’s not his fault she’s all fucked up and no one will marry her?

 

Clearly. I have my demons, but I know deep down in my core. I am not a bad person. I did not deserve his treatment and neither did my mother.

 

But.

 

My mother chose him.

I did not.

My mother stayed him.

I don’t have to.

My mother let him bully her.

I can stand up for myself.

 

The only person I have to forgive in this equation is my mother, for trying to make things work with a sociopath, for not knowing her worth. I’m barely uncovering mine, and in this process, I realize I DON’T have to forgive him, but hold him accountable for the things he’s done. I DON’T EVER have to subject myself to his abuse again, and I have to trust that the TRUTH will prevail; no matter how difficult that is to prove.

 

My soul hurt at not being at not being loved by him.

At not being understood.

At being forced to sit in the sidelines and wonder:

  • What’s wrong with me?
  • What’s made me unlovable?
  • Why I’ve accepted less than I deserve?

But, now I know none of this is my fault.

I am better than that. Better than him.

He does not deserve my love, my forgiveness, or my goodness.

 

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I Stabbed My Dad

 

Last night I dreamt that I was walking in my mother’s house and came across what could only be defined as a cardboard cut out talking version of my dad.

He yelled at me, “What do you want?”

I screamed, “To be your daughter,”

He screamed back, “I’ve done everything within in my power to make you go away. I never wanted you in my life. Leave!”

Enraged, I stabbed this paper cutout with a butcher knife and woke up screaming in sobs.

I guess the pain of his abandonment still runs deep.

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I’ve been so far removed from my emotions that they are coming up in my dreams.

 

There is nothing worse than the betrayal of ones own family.

 

I don’t miss him, but what he did still hurts.   It cuts deep, and maybe that’s what my stabbing was about.

 

He left my brother and I, while under the spell of a seductress, and now our family is left in shambles, including him. My mother has been gone just under three years, but it feels like an eternity. Oh, to have her back.

 

But I’m slowly piecing myself back together in therapy.

 

Any thoughts on what this dream could mean?

“Friend Just Died I Don’t Know What To Do”

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My mom passed over two years ago and I stumbled upon this passage in a blog about grief, which really sums up the journey we go through and why we should celebrate each scar we gain in the process.

Ahead is the response, by an older man,  to the blogger who wrote, “My friend just died I don’t know what to do”.

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gorged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life. Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

Hope this helps you out.

Ahead is the link:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Assistance/comments/hax0t/my_friend_just_died_i_dont_know_what_to_do/c1u0rx2

Two Years Past….I Miss You Mom!

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It’s been two years since she left us.
Two years since I got the call.
Two years spent lost inside myself,
In a sea of pain, struggling against each wave.
Hoping for a moment of peace.

I’ve cried inconsolably.
Lost friends. Made friends.
Days spent staring at four walls.
Nights spent in a dreamless haze wondering,
“Could this be real?”

Mistakes. I’ve made so many.
Hoping she’d somehow come,
And set me straight again.
To have her scream at me.
To hear her yell, “Stop! I love you!”

I think back to that day, that year, these nights,
And wonder how I’ve made it through,
With most of my heart torn away.
I’ve become sensitive,
Each slight an open wound.

I wish I could say more happy things.
I wish I could not feel the pain.
I wish I could live each day, as she would want me to,
But right now, I just pull through,
And to me, that is victory.

I miss you, Mom.
You were the greatest. Are the greatest.
Today, I hold on to the love you gave me,
And ask those closest to me,
To treasure the love of a mom.