Monthly Archives: March 2017

More loss

Tuesday evening, L’s dad passed away quite suddenly. We don’t normally stop by on Tuesdays (it’s usually a day spent being at home after I return from work), but this week, L wanted to go hang with her mom. I’m so glad she chose to do that…

A short while after we left, she got a call from her mother that she thought her dad had died. I was taking the dogs out at the time L ran past me in a panic, yelling that she thought her dad died. It took me a minute to process what she said as she was running towards the car. I dragged the dogs to the car (I’m pretty sure one was pooping at the time I yanked them with me). I drove us the 5 minutes to their house. It was the longest, slowest 5 minutes I’ve felt in a long time. It seemed like every car was going 30 miles an hour too slow. 

We turned on to their street, and you could see fire trucks and police lights on both sides at the end of their drive. The truck driving in front of us had to slow down to figure out where/how to get past them. It took everything in me not to lay on the horn and fly up their driveway (their house is set back quite a way). I know he was just being safe, but I really wanted to get L there to be with her mother. 

Up the driveway, there were yet more police cars and ambulances. I’m not sure how many first responders were there, but there were easily a dozen or more emergency vehicles. L’s mother was sitting in her car watching them work on her father… 

They worked on him there at the house for a good 30 minutes to an hour, then took him to the er. I had L and her mom ride to the hospital with one of the officers. My car had been blocked in by one of L’s brothers, so I stayed till after they took her father away,  and the rest of the family went to the hospital. I ran home to drop off the dogs and pick up a few things for L. By the time I got back (maybe 40 minutes later… I kinda got lost on the way to the hospital…), he had been pronounced dead…

We were all kinda in shock. We knew he wasn’t feeling well, but he wasn’t one to let on how sick he really was, not even to his doctors. Heck, he had even been to the doctor that morning and they bs’d about country living… 

The hours and days since then have been spent with L’s family making funeral arrangements and just hanging around. It’s not totally sunk in yet. Tears and sadness comes in waves… the worst part for me had been seeing the emergency vehicles every time I turn down their street. I can’t get the image out of my head even away from there, but it’s most intense there. 

I wasn’t very close to her dad, but way closer to him than my own father. I wrestle internally with feeling like i’m intruding on their sadness. I know to a large degree that’s old family values leaking through on my part, and not much basis in reality (her family has been nothing but loving and welcoming). It’s still difficult to shake though. I’m sure I’ve driven L nuts with my constant checking and asking if they’d rather I be away… I’m trying to do most of the reality checking within myself…

I have to work tonight, so that will be weird. Hopefully I can get lost a bit there… I’m sad for L. I’m really sad for her mother, who had to find her husband. I’m sad for L’s family. We’re all going to miss her dad. He was the kinda guy that might talk a lot of shit about people, but he also wouldn’t hesitate to drop everything and go help someone out if they asked… I’m pretty positive he knew most of the town. Almost everywhere we’d go, we could find someone who knew L’s family through him (it’s not exactly a small town. I know I keep saying “town”, but it’s actually, technically a city)…

I dunno… there’s been so much loss lately. I’ve become even more paranoid about the dogs. I worry about L’s mom. I worry about my own mom. I worry about Dr C… 

These recent deaths bring up stuff from decades ago when my aunt and uncle died a few months apart. I start to worry that similar things will happen. I worry we will lose Sadie & Alex a few short months after Chow died (it happened that way with my last pair of dogs also, and even with my favorite snakes. We had to euthanize Sandy, then Gizmo got really sick less than a year later. Sugar Cane died suddenly, then Almond Joy had to be put down several months later…). I worry something may happen to L’s mom (she’s talking already like she’s going to be gone soon. I get some of that is grief. They would have been married 60 years this year, but given the patterns I’ve experienced, I worry)… I really don’t want more loss right now. 

Like Dr C said, grief is complicated…

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Triggered

I want to rip my insides out. The body memories are back… 

Between the new group, added work days, recent attempts at contact from my dad’s sister, and other stressor, I’m feeling really triggered lately. 

I told Dr C. I also voiced that I was afraid she might tell me group was not a good idea, since it was contributing to the triggering. She didn’t say I’d have to leave though, so that’s good. I hope she doesn’t change her mind. Yeah, group is triggering, but it’s also nice to know some other people who can relate. I’ve never sat in a room with other people who understood (and voiced their understanding) my symptoms. They understand what it’s like to dissociate, to jump at triggers, to feel things in their bodies that were over decades ago… there’s a sad relief in knowing I’m not alone. 


So. Restless. Today. 

Nothing is keeping my attention. I start to write, then I get distracted or bored. Can’t pay attention to TV or music or art or anything.


Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. Losing Chow has been difficult to adjust to. I’ve been withdrawing into myself, yet, paradoxically, throwing myself into things outside the home. It sounds contradictory, I know. 

I’ve been burying the emotional part of me behind a bombardment of stimuli and activities. There’s rarely a moment when I’m not desperately distracting myself.  I’ve not been doing much by way of art or writing though. It’s been mostly “mindless” stuff, like going to dinner with friends (and avoiding anything other than surface conversation), taking the dogs to the park, that kind of stuff. 

I’ve even avoided taking much in therapy. At least, I have up to now. Today’s session might be different. I’ve started attending a group Dr C put together for adult survivors of [mumble, mumble, mumble]… I still cringe and have a small freak-out moment when I hear the title… we’ve met twice so far. The first one was mostly intros and basic group guidelines. The second one was a bit more topic-oriented around explaining PTSD, the symptoms, and how early abuse plays into it. I was ok for the psychoeducational piece of the group, but struggled to stay present when it turned more into talking about the effects on a personal level. 

I think part of my problem with that comes from the walls I’ve put up around the abuse “memories”. I know I was totally convinced at one point that what I was feeling and experiencing were true, but I’ve detached from that the last several weeks. This last group started stirring things below the surface but they still remain below the surface. 

I dunno. On the one hand, it’s a huge relief to have people that seem to struggle with similar symptoms and experiences. On the other hand, I feel like an interloper. They all seem to know what happened to them, and to connect with it. I’m here still trying to remember what the hell it was that came at me in those flashbacks. I know I struggled a lot with them, but they feel foreign to me at this time. It’s like I watched a movie a long time ago, and can kinda remember the plot, but have no idea of the details. And i’m certainly not connecting to it emotionally…