Friday, July 9, 2010

Irrational and Clingy

I'm thankful that I have such an expressive daughter who ponders things and tries to explain what she is feeling and thinking.  Sometimes she helps me understand what I am going through.

I started today fairly happy, at peace.  But as evening began, I became unrestful.  I walked away to find a quiet place to cry.  The evening only got worse from there, and I could not figure out what was going on.  I know that tomorrow we will be saying goodbye to people special to us, but it is something I have done before with less struggle than I am feeling today.  I feel an unrational clingyness.  Unable to face tomorrow well.

Then I remembered my daughter's behavior and her attempts to explain it to me - her sobbing long into the night, through her sobs telling me that she knows it is ok, but that she can't help it and "I just want you to stay with me.  I don't want you to leave."  I know how she feels today.  It is unrational.  It is not my normal.  But I am not coping well with tomorrow's goodbye.  Tears fill my eyes and I wish I was young enough just to sit down and sob.

I'm not.  But my husband found me and wrapped his arms around me and held me.  He laughed softly when I told him what was wrong and just held me.  It's ok that he knows that I don't want to say goodbye to friends.  That I am irrationally clingy.  He will be there tomorrow with me after we smile and say goodbye.  He will hold me when I cry.  He will take the kids and keep them busy or keep them quiet and give me the peace I need to process my feelings.  And tonight he will hold me and know that my heart hurts.

While I cry tonight so that I won't cry tomorrow, I am also thankful.  Thankful for my husband's arms, for his understanding, for his gentleness with me.  Thankful for his complete trust in me, that he knows my heart open in front of him, and trusts me - even when I am in tears about saying goodbye to people special to me.

Also compounding my night (I should have known better!), we watched a movie tonight that brought back flashbacks.  Tonight I'm struggling.  I feel silent in the middle of a crowd.  Needing to walk and talk.  Needing to sit by a stream and throw in sticks without speaking.  The feeling will pass.  I know it will.  I've been through these cycles a few times now and am learning to be gentle with myself, to stay calm and ride out the feelings, and to pull away and take things easy for a time - a few hours, a few days...  I've learned to talk when I need to, to not talk when I need to.

I'll be ok.  I know I will.  My daughter was fine after we left.  She just needed her night where she cried out her insecurity and her fear of saying goodbye again.  I'll be fine, too.  It is just these things sometimes still surprise me - my new normal.  It's not the same normal I used to have. 

1 comment:

nora said...

Ellie, I've read your whole story, thank you so much for sharing it. I hope having us listen to you has helped.

Yesterday I found out that a couple that are dear friends and colleagues of mine are going through a horrible crisis with one of their children who is home while they are here. What you wrote is helping me to be a better friend to them right now. Thank you for helping me know what to do for them.