The birds believe they must make up for lost time. They sit on my crab apple tree eating the dried fruit and singing loudly. A few smaller ones sit near my window in the rose bushes. I love watching them. Bird noise after 6 a.m. is lovely.
Observing their annual spring ritual, dandelions are slowly taking over my garden. Darrin has only mentioned it once. Perhaps he's learning that I cannot eradicate them until they begin to choke out everything else trying to grow there. I love the bright yellow blooms, and while I understand that each flower will perpetuate thousands of new plants, I still want them. Sometimes when no one is looking, I play with the yellow pollen (Do you like butter?) or curl the stems or taste the bitter leaves and wonder how people can ever enjoy eating dandelion greens.
My grass is not yet green but it will be by Friday. DJ made fun of me for going barefoot on Sunday. I looked at him in surprise, "I always go barefoot." "Not outside," he answered. But he's forgotten. Even in winter I'll walk barefoot to my mailbox. Maybe in 30 years I'll stop doing that.
I made cookies last night. I haven't done that for awhile. I was surprised to find I wanted none of them. Darrin bought me Cadbury Mini Eggs. I didn't want those either. He raised his eyebrows at me and asked if I was sick. No. I'm not sick. I'm not sure why I didn't want them. I'm not sleeping well lately, maybe that's why.
I had a list of projects I wished to work on with Therapist's help. Today the list seems too long, daunting, even unnecessary. I wonder if I really need to fix all the things that are wrong with me--if it's even possible to do so. I wonder if it might be okay if I don't finish what I began seven years ago...seven years...
I can hardly believe so much time has passed. When I walked into my first therapist's office, I had allowed myself three weeks. I thought there was a plan I could follow that would lead me out of the the despair I was feeling, back into a life of empowerment and calm. I didn't know I would encounter memories and horrifying discoveries and former versions of myself--all waiting to be examined, accepted, and claimed as my own.
I have great respect for every person who has suffered childhood trauma and chooses to continue to live an emotionally healthy life--because it is a choice, and a very difficult one. I am tempted each day to lose myself in the despair that lives at my core. Most days the temptation is fleeting--I'm able to laugh at the impulse, knowing full well that giving in is not going to bring me peace or joy. Other days the temptation seems overwhelming to the point the no logical thought can keep it at bay. On those days I succumb, understanding that I will feel worse later. It doesn't matter. It just seems that what happened to me was so enormously harmful that I have to allow myself to cry, to wish those things had not happened, to imagine who I might be if I had been loved and protected.
Perhaps someday I won't give in anymore. Maybe that's when I'll know I'm healed. At that point, perhaps I can join all the panels and editorial blogs and help sites that have asked me to share my experiences and knowledge about abuse and rape. I can't do it right now. I don't feel I'm able to help anyone as long as I can't seem to manage my own pain successfully. However, if the time comes that I feel I can help, I have a feeling I'll be a very old lady by then and no one will want to listen to me anyway.
I wonder though, if that's how it should be. Regardless of what I've read or been told, my journey has been my own. I've forged my own path, made my own rules, and discovered what works and what does not. Therapist told me, after we had met for about four weeks, "Sam, I think you should tell me what you'd like to work on. I'll make suggestions and you can share the ideas you have about possible strategies. You hate the writing exercises and the textbook "tried and true" methods, so let's do it your way instead."
I have a feeling he thought I'd get tired of doing everything my way and eventually go back to his textbook training and then I'd get better. Probably if I had, my seven years would have condensed into three or even two years. But maybe I'm wrong about that. Therapist has never seemed jaded by my incessant desire to find new ways to cope with problems; in fact, he's been my greatest cheerleader and supporter, pointing out weaknesses and flaws in my ideas and helping me fine tune those into structural strengths. He's quick to point out that my progress is unique but will probably be more lasting than many of his clients. And he's told me working with me is joyful for him because I have a great desire to overcome the things that cause me grief.
Yesterday I decided that Tolkien Boy could use a measure of the abundant sunshine I enjoy every day, so I sent it his way. It didn't arrive until afternoon and the cost of allowing him that sunshine meant that I enjoyed a cloudy day filled with wind gusts up to 65 mph. It was rather nasty. I'm hoping TB used up a large amount of that sunshine because today I'm keeping it here. He might share it with me but I'm not sending it away again. I need it, too.
I've been watching the sun rise as I write this morning. I love seeing the pale colors glow warmer and more golden. Now there is a rim of pastel orange ringing the entire horizon. It will last a few moments more and then fade into the blue, cloudless sky.
Yesterday was difficult. Today I'm feeling the aftermath of that. In a few minutes I will go to the gym, run on the elliptical, and be grateful that I can do that. Tomorrow I see my surgeon. I've been instructed by my physical therapists to ask him if I'm allowed to begin running on the track and treadmill. I hope he says yes, but if he doesn't I'll keep working on the things that will give me strength and allow me to heal, and soon he'll say I can run again.
If I've learned one thing in the past seven years, it's this: No matter how much I want to, or I wish I could, or even when it seems so much easier or better than what I'm doing--I don't give up.