I have always enjoyed hanging my clothes out to dry.
I don’t know why.
It takes longer to hang them up than it takes to put them into the dryer.
The towels aren’t fluffy when they line dry.
You only save pennies on the electric bill.
And you have to worry if one of the forecasted thunderstorms is actually going to come to fruition. (I’m looking at you, Accuweather).
But this week I took the time to hang my clothes out.
It felt like a metaphor of my life.
All the trauma surrounding Bryon’s illness and death happened around three years ago.
Some days it feels like a lifetime ago.
The memories feel like it was yesterday, though I try not to remember because it’s painful.
But there us danger in “trying not to remember”.
I find that along with the painful memories, the happy memories go along with it.
Even happy memories are too painful to think about.
Because it hurts to think about everything I lost.
Because when you lose your spouse…you don’t just lose your spouse.
When Bryon died, I lost more than my husband.
I lost my identity.
I lost my sense of security.
I lost my faith.
I lost any sense of normalcy.
I don’t even know what “normal” feels like or what “normal” is supposed to feel like.
As I have been going through the grieving and rebuilding processes, I have had to deal with people who took advantage of me (or tried to) at my most vulnerable.
Yes, there are people who tried to benefit from my life’s biggest tragedy.
I have been trying navigating the world of being a single mother.
I live my life trying to put the past behind me.
I am trying to embrace the next chapter.
It’s so much easier in theory versus the application.
Yeah…it’s been three years. I should be over it. He’s dead.
But I have spent three years having to re-learn life.
I am not just talking about re-learning all the tasks that Bryon had performed though that is a large part of the re-learning curve.
I have had to learn how to be a parent by myself. Now it’s second nature as I have been a single parent longer than a married parent.
I have had to tear down every belief I have ever had, question everything I have ever believed and reformulate my belief system.
I have had to deal with living in a society that is clueless on how to treat the traumatized and grieving. It’s like being a square peg in a world of round holes.
I have spent three years trying to adapt to this learning curve.
And I am tired.
The best analogy I can think of is from this week. My best friend was visiting from Michigan and the cell phone reception was not great at her camp. My phone kept trying to get a 4G signal. My phone was unsuccessful at obtaining the 4G signal and the battery was depleted.
I feel like my cell phone battery. I have been working so hard to “be strong” but I feel depleted.
I realized that in my grieving, I was focusing a large part of my energy on appearing okay.
I am such a people pleaser. 🙄
This week I felt so tired that my bones ached.
I had developed heat rash on my arm but I was worried I had hives. I got hives once in high school because I waited until the night before to do a ten page paper.
Right now my life is on the cusp of a new chapter which is exciting but exhausting. For every item I check off my to-do list, I feel like 2 pr 3 more appear.
And then I look back at the trauma and Bryon’s death and everything that has happened in my life since then.
No wonder why I am exhausted.
People are so quick to make their judgments.
So quick to tell me how I am supposed to interpret my life.
What the f*ck do they know?
They haven’t walked on my shoes. 99% of people haven’t even come close to walking in my shoes.
And right now I am stuck in a dichotomy of trying to move forward and looking back and finally admitting to myself that I went through something traumatic.
Until I finally acknowledge just how traumatic Bryon’s illness and death were, then I can’t move forward.
I have felt stuck.
My emotions feel like the equivalent of that proverbial cup of water that all the paint brushes have been dipped into.
I needed a break
I have tried to take it slow this week.
To do the simple things.
Spend time with my daughter and cuddle with my cat.
And hanging out the clothes.