Time to say Goodbye
For the last few months – since the middle of May – LOSS as been camped at my doorstep.
It was then that we decided to sell our little home. This decision wasn’t taken lightly. It was to be our forever home. When we moved in, we told ourselves that this was it: we were going to have to go out feet first. That was the plan when we purchased and plans sometimes have to change.
Just a year after we purchased, life took a very sharp turn and now four years later, it is time to say goodbye and move forward. While this decision is a good decision and the right one to make at this time, that doesn’t mean there isn’t sadness, a loss, that I am experiencing.
Next week we start packing and moving into our new place. August 20th will the day of the move for all the big items and we’ve hired a moving company to do this.
Then we will do the final clean before we hand over our keys to the new owner. We hope she comes to loves this place as much as we do. I spent hours with graph paper designing our dream kitchen so my heart and soul were put into this little home.
It is soon time to say goodbye.
And with all this, our elderly cat, Sir Igby, is showing signs of dementia. It seems to be getting worse, and we wonder how long…. Our hearts are aching as we know we’ll have to say goodbye to him we fear sooner that we had planned. He has an appointment this Friday with his vet to ascertain what is truly wrong with him and what the prognosis is. He is at lest 16 years old.
All I can see and feel is Loss right now. It is hard to think, to concentrate, to work. I sigh and shed tears and let the pain in. This month is a tough month and it’s only the 8th.
Loss and grieving is a big part of healing from childhood trauma. I haven’t gone backwards in my healing, I’m now uncovering another layer of sadness and feeling the loss of so much. Each time I didn’t grieve enough previously …. I’ve noticed that it builds up so when there is another loss, it seems that the sadness is disproportionate. Then the self judgment comes out. The negative and critical self talk, right?
That is not the case this time, fortunately. I know there is a lot of sadness inside and if this move brings some of it to the surface then let the detox begin! It’s Ok to cry. And It’s OK to watch someone cry and feel helpless. The thing is, we aren’t responsible for someone else’s feelings, including their sadness and their joy. No one specific caused what I’m feeling. My feelings are just there and that’s perfectly fine.
The best thing we can do is sit with a person in their sadness and just hold space for them. That’s all. And we can sit in our own sadness and hold space for ourselves. The nervous system needs acknowledgement of what it’s experiencing. Denial causes disconnection which is the opposite of authenticity
Feeling sad is authentic. Mourning is authenticity in action. And without the mourning, the releasing of the grief, then authentic joy and happiness cannot move in the open space that the grieving leaves.
Authenticity means experiencing emotions as they happen. It means being present to feel, taste, touch, hear, see and sense; it is where and when we feel truly alive.
This is the hope and goal of adult survivors of childhood trauma. We need to feel the emotions so these can be released. It is not fun nor easy but necessary to come out the other side.
And if that means having minutes, hours, days, times, seasons of sadness or righteous rage, or indignation, hurt, feeling betrayed or abandoned, etc, then so be it. We are learning how to feel emotion like an infant and it takes time and practice to get it where it’s not so uncomfortable while appropriate for the person/situation. We learn that as adults, we have the tools already, it is just that the nervous system still thinks we’re little.
This is where patience and self compassion step up and are used to heal ourselves. Prayer helps me too. Practicing mindfulness and grounding while noticing my breathing helps.
In Trauma Recovery Coaching we work together to learn/adopt appropriate skills as necessary. Your coping toolbox becomes more robust over time. Together we underscore that this period will pass as I’m right there with you, holding space for as long as you need. You are not alone.