Sunday, January 4, 2009

Old Feelings Revisited........or maybe finally felt

I don't remember what the term is for someone like me but there is one. I know because I had the therapist in Denver mention it to me before I left there to return home those many years ago.

You see I tend to allow myself to access my feelings through things that happen to others. From the beginning of therapy I used that technique to get stuff done. I guess my inner therapist personality thought that's how it should be.

The therapist in Denver thought I needed to be aware that I was doing this. When she pointed it out, I told her that I knew. She was not only surprised but seemed a little concerned. I think she thought it might cause problems for me and I guess it would if I took on the feelings of others.

I'm not really sure that's exactly what I do or did. It was more like an incident with another might trigger old feelings in me. But then as I've said before I've always used triggers for my own benefit. They helped me find a lot of stuff that otherwise would have stayed dead and buried. For me it was the only way I seemed to be able to find those issues within myself.

Why have I decided this topic is important to me now? Well, Friday morning a friend of mine lost her father. He died after a long, difficult, ugly struggle with cancer.

When the email came in, I didn't even have to open it......I knew. The tears immediately fell and my heart tied up in a knot. I knew what my friend must be feeling..........I was feeling it too!

You see my father died from liver cancer when I was twelve. His first diagnosis I think I was six. I remember little of my father through that time. My memories are filled with things about his health but there are no real memories of him.

I remember riding the bus home from school (even though it took three times as long to get there) just because that bus stopped at the Veteran's hospital my father was in. That was the closest I could get to my dad. I'd looked up acroos the windows of that building wondering which one was his wishing I could catch a glimpse of him.

I remember clearly the day my father died. We had come home from our lake property the night before after a two week vacation. The two weeks weren't up but the weather was so bad we came home anyway.

When we got there we found our basement flooded. A pipe or something broke in the water heater. There was water everywhere. I remember my mother saying it was a good thing we'd come home.

Then the next morning the hospital called to say my father had finally died. My mother came into my room and told me I need to be brave. Then she told me my dad had died and left the room.

I'd had a cousin staying with me at the lake so she came home with us too. She was kind of a brat, very spoiled and my grandmother loved her way more than me. I was constantly getting dumped by my grandmother for over-nights because this cousin decided to come.

But she and I got along ok most times. As it turned out this wasn't one of those times. The minute the door closed and I knew my mother was gone, tears began to roll down my cheek. My cousin said "WHAT are YOU crying for! YOU KNEW he was going to die!"

I doubled up my fist and punched her in the face. It's the only time in my life I can remember ever doing a thing like that. I wasn't sorry then and I'm not sorry now. I'd do it again if given the chance!

Of course, she immediately began crying and screaming like someone had killed her. My mother came flying back into the room to see what had happened and, of course, my cousin told her.

I don't really know why my mother didn't punish me that day. She just took my cousin by her hand and led her from the room. Then she called my aunt and told her it would be a good idea to take the cousin home. We never spoke about the incident again.

From that moment on I was FINE I did the whole thing.......funeral and all just like I was taught. I was "brave" for my mother and didn't shed a tear.

I've wondered for a while now if I had unresolved feelings over the death of my father. Friday morning when I got that email, I also got my answer. Finally for the first time in my life I am grieving the loss of my father fifty years ago. Strange how things go sometimes..........


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Donna said...

We all grieve in our own ways and in our own time. I suspect it wasn't safe or practical for you to grieve back then. I wish you strength as you go through this emotional process. You are not alone.

Enola said...

Good for you punching your cousin!

I do the same thing - live through others. I've even been known to find a book or movie that relates to something I need to process and get in touch with my feelings that way.

jumpinginpuddles said...

it took us a year to grieve over our motehrs death and we were also fine up until that point. We arent sorry for the tears finally falling for you because they need to be there

Missing In Sight said...

Good for you for punching your cousin!

Af for grieving, I find it to be an enigma. What we grieve about and when and how is out of our control. I wish I could control it. Though the loss of a pet is nothing compared to the loss of a parent (I know nothing of who your perpetrators are so forgive me if I'm crossing the line), earlier this year in the hospital during grief group I sobbed profusely over having to put my dog down FOUR years ago. I still haven't gotten over her death.

As for you, I'm glad that you are finally grieving. There's a reason for it all. Take it easy on yourself.

Kahless said...

Dont know what to say.
I guess I am thinking it is a good thing you are grieving? Its healthy I guess.