I left off my last post talking about emotional needs. I had wanted to share more about my journey in the past eight months moving through some major anxiety. But there is much to tell about that, and I don’t think it will come out all at once.
What I can say is I am a different person than I was eight months ago – and in some ways, as I was just a month ago. Many of my relationships are different than they were in March. Some have changed entirely. My relationship with myself has changed, too, again and again.
Life during Covid has separated the wheat from the chaff, you could say. Or as my therapist says, “Pandemics reveal what was lurking beneath the surface.”
I started seeing a therapist again in June, after years of maintaining mental and physical health with acupuncture, exercise, meditation, and eating well. But something cracked in late spring. The things I was doing were no longer enough.
And now, I have recently begun a whole new kind of work called somatic healing. I look forward to sharing it with you someday, but this sort of stuff is sacred. It deserves a certain kind of respect in order for it to grow — a glass container as the Little Prince provided for his rose. Or for a modern reference, the kind of respect Fleabag chose for herself by going off camera.
I find the image of the Little Prince with the rose apt in a myriad of ways, though. Protecting ourselves from the onslaught of vitriol and abuse we have all suffered for the last four years has been serious business and that has never been more evident than in the past three days – since we learned that our abuser had been voted out of office. That moment the lid on the pressure cooker released steam. Didn’t you feel it? Don’t you feel it now? We can almost breathe again.
What I can say for those who voted for our current President again – and I mean those intelligent, sane, and secure folks – is how it must be nice to live in a world where one can remain unaffected by abuse, can tune it out, can ignore it entirely. There will never be an adequate comparison, I pray, between that man and any Democrat (I say to the folks who claim they are just as upset as “we” were in 2016). But our society is full of fallacies, and too many of us live without addressing them.
So, where do we go now? How do we begin to heal?
I am still sitting here half-stunned, like I am watching the remainder of my house burn down. The firemen are surrounding it. There is still smoke, but those walls that remain are charred. I won’t be able to live there anymore, yet I am safe. Friends and family, neighbors even, have lined up beside me. We are drinking coffee. We are sharing smiles and blankets. We know there is a lot to rebuild, and we will get there.
But first, we will rest, we will collapse. We will listen to silence and feel the sun. We will take in the fact that we don’t have to live life inside our abuser’s house anymore. And that for the moment, we are free.