This post has been a long time coming. To blame it on the auction is a cop out. I’m still struggling a bit with this trip (Part 1 and Part 2) that is now 4+ months in my past. I’ve talked about it in therapy. I’ve shared it with friends. On some level it is still haunting me, still allowing it to have control over me. Looks like I have another thing to talk about this week with my therapist…
All through my time in Singapore, and the multiple times I told the story, I was actually laughing. It shocked me. I thought it would be a year (at least) before I could tell the story without my heart racing. Nope – all seems A-OK in the mental front.
The same happened when I came home. I remember going to dinner with one girlfriend and telling her the whole thing. She encouraged me to document this, to get it all down and commit it to my blog (Thanks DN!) She even said how some of it sounds so far-fetched, how could it be real? She was laughing at parts, I was laughing, but you know what? Honestly? On some level it was an out-of-body experience (red flag I ignored). I remember sitting in that restaurant feeling numb. As if the experience wasn’t even mine and somehow I became the Story Teller of a Tall Tale.
Remember that was still early November.
Thanksgiving comes and goes. I was dreading the holidays and “all” the work that has to get done (decorating, shopping, baking, merriment, etc etc etc) I just had this overwhelming heaviness. Which honestly isn’t that much different than a normal holiday for me, this one was more extreme.
Then my birthday came. I love my birthday. I love acting like a Princess and being showered with love and gifts. This year – I had no interest whatsoever. Norman and I tend to pick a “gift” or “experience” as a present to each other. This year I wanted an experience. But I couldn’t say what that was. I was dragging my feet. Norman wanted to make reservations and plans and baby sitters. I just couldn’t make up my mind, I felt paralyzed. Eventually I decided on a restaurant and plans were locked. I enjoyed the meal and time with Norman. I still felt a sense of emptiness.
Christmas was even more difficult. I barely got presents purchased and under the tree. I got to the shipping store by the skin of my teeth for items to arrive for Christmas to relatives out of state. I remember one afternoon looking up at the mantle which gets covered in decorations and picture frames and just wanting to shove it all off onto the floor. Erasing any visual of the holiday or what should be a happy time. I didn’t care what was destroyed – the thought of the destruction made me feel a little better, like I was taping into my anger.
My “New Year’s Cards” were mailed in late-February. I honestly still have 4 gifts in my extra room that haven’t been sent. It’s now mid-March, what do I do with that?! I hid a lot of my depression in auction planning. It was easy to explain away the stress that way.
I had two intense therapy sessions and talked through how this wasn’t a natural or expected occurrence. I was laughingly referring to it as my “PTSD moment”. I then was provided with a different perspective that I am not “disordered”, I am a normal human being processing an incredibly stressful and scary situation. I needed to deal with the reality of what I went through. That feeling scared would be natural. That beating myself up for surrendering my passport – well – I just had to let that go. What was I expected to do? Resist and create a whole other situation? I got the passport back, I’m home and safe and amongst people that love me. I should not be living in the past. So why is it so hard for me to let go?
It is interesting now that the auction is over. I’ve started exploring parts of my life I’ve been missing for the last 2 months. Coming back to this post and updating it with what has been happening or what I’ve been feeling has helped me realized I stuffed this down and ignored it since January. A friend asked me two weeks ago what my next Thing was once the auction was over. After a brief pause and thought of Nothing! I answered training for the Rock & Roll Half I’m doing in June and putting more focus in the next steps of my career. As I’m writing this, I think I also need to add some space for working through my trip. Figuring out how to forgive myself. Allowing a whole lot of Grace around me as I go through it.
This made a whole lot more sense when I started this post in January, it is the quote from that month:
Perhaps I should tape that on my wall, mirror, desk and dashboard. A constant reminder that things can only get better.
I just need to get out of my own way.