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Monday, October 25, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

The past few days have been rainy and blustery--good autumn weather, I suppose. But we've had glorious weather throughout most of October which has allowed our leaves to deepen in color before freezing or blowing away, as often happens.

My crab apples have darkened to a deep red and the leaves are intensely gold. I found DJ sitting on my porch yesterday when I came home from church. He stopped by to join us for dinner and decided to spend a moment just looking at the tree. This is truly my son.

When DJ lived with us, his bedroom window was level with the top of the crab apple tree. It was an annual event each spring for the two of us to open the window, breathe the scent of the blossoms, listen to the humming of bumblebees, and watch the fuzzy insects as their bright yellow and black striped bodies moved about the fragile white blossoms. DJ said yesterday that he's never seen the tree like this. Usually the apples blow down in a fall windstorm and the leaves freeze before they can completely finish turning. I sat with him for awhile, quietly looking at the tree.

My life, lately, has seemed to be comprised of accepting truth. Each day I discover more of who I am and watch changes take place based on that discovery. Some of what I find brings me shock or shame. Other discoveries bring relief. Still others are agonizing; painful to the point that I cannot breathe. The life changes I've experienced during the past four years have been rapid and numerous. There are moments when I'm unsure of who I'm becoming--who I am. I have said repeatedly, "I'm still me." I don't know what that means anymore.

I have finally admitted to myself that most of my days are overshadowed by fear. I'm afraid of the future, of the changes inside me, of the discoveries I find. But I'm also afraid of people, and relationships, and loving. This doesn't mean I will turn from those things. One thing that has not changed and probably never will, is that fear does not dictate my actions. It lingers in the background causing discomfort and insecurity, but it's just a part of the scenery, not a driving force. Still, I don't quite know what to do with it. I find that fear particularly bothersome when I'm unable to manage PTSD symptoms successfully (love that word--triple double letters).

Therapist warned me this would happen. He said I was moving rapidly through stages that perhaps ought to have more resolution time, and eventually the "structures" I have come to rely upon would feel unstable and perilous. Of course, he was correct.

Not quite a year ago I asked Therapist to do some self-identity work with me. He told me no--and for good reasons. I was too worn down and I was not eating or sleeping as I should. I'm still tired and not doing well in the eating/sleeping department, but I can feel things changing. I will see Therapist in December. I think I'll ask him again--and I think this time he'll say yes.

In the meantime, I've been asking a lot of questions to those stalwarts who seem to love me no matter what I'm feeling; the people who forgive me when I'm confused or sad or angry or just grumpy. There are moments when I'm talking with them and I wonder why they're still here--and not just here, but still caring and close even when I feel all I ever do is repeat myself, throw pity parties, and grind through life joylessly.

Except...that's not true.

I have moments, certainly, when I feel blackness and pain, but most of the time my life is filled with depth and beauty. I'm filled with wonder as I watch my daughter become a lovely young woman, as I see Adam absorbed with his next computer project, as I sit on the porch with DJ, just looking at the gold leaves dotted with dark red, overripe crab apples...

At some point I will figure out who I am. In the meantime, I think you should stick around to meet that person. I have a feeling we're going to like her.

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