Tag Archives: guilt

Today I am grateful for life

Right now I am curled up on the sofa, hearing the crickets chirp the lull of the crisp New England night. The sky is a darkening blue-gray and cars are driving past the window.

 

Today, I am grateful for my classes, for decent food (I did’t have to cook), but most importantly, to be alive. It’s my first full week of classes in my third year at university. My favorite season, Autumn is approaching, and the smell of apples and pumpkins will soon permeate the air. Just kidding. Only on the farms around here, that is. Instead, they will permeate students’ clothing palettes and pumpkin spice lattes will be available at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

As I greet the friends I haven’t seen all summer or all year, if they are coming back from studying abroad, I feel a sense of weight and guilt overtake me. Yes, this summer was amazing and had shaped me in many ways. Yes, I did miss my friends and do sincerely care about their accomplishments and where they will be headed after graduation.

What I really want to share is how anxious and depressed I have been feeling, how ashamed and fearful of not telling my friends, people I love and trust, that I am a survivor; that home is not a safe space for me emotionally. 

Part of me is so full of fear, which keeps me silent. I fear losing people I love. I fear people asking questions and having my family hear about it. I fear people not believing me. I fear them spreading details about my personal life to humiliate me.  Another part of me just wants someone to be there and support me unconditionally – something I have needed and was denied as a child and continue to be denied.

 

Today, however, I am grateful that I am away from home, feeling safe. For now, it is enough.

For now, I am working on building trust, and I will seek a counselor I feel that I can talk about my experiences with, without feeling ashamed and humiliated – emotions I have experienced all too often, growing up.

Healing is a long and arduous process, but one day I know I will be closer to the life that is free of shame, self-deprecation, anger, melancholy and fear – the life I deserve to live. 


Hurting and Grieving

I can’t do anything right. I open a bag of pretzels and eat a few, then I can’t finish the bag. I open my journal and write a few lines but I can’t fill the rest of the page. I open my make-up bag and pick up and eyeliner but as soon as I attempt to apply it, I’m unable to do so. Other people might assume I’m distracted, but I am merely consumed with one thing, and it is grief.

It is raw grief, since I found out about my friend’s death a month ago. The grief in itself is debilitating; I can’t focus or go through my daily routines without messing something up.

I suppose I also feel guilt to some degree. I wonder why I feel happy sometimes and why it was my friend that passed away instead of anyone else. I wonder why he took his own life. I struggle with feeling like I haven’t done enough, that somehow, miraculously, I could have prevented his death by a phone-call from the other side of the US coast or told him about my own struggles with mean-spirited people in elementary school and high school. Hindsight isn’t helping, I know. It just serves a vicious cycle of guilt which feeds the grief monster.

There’s an awful cliche that goes something like this: Time heals everything.

The mourning process has just begun for me and honestly, there are days that I feel like I can’t function at all. I know the impact of the pain will gradually become less astute to a degree, but the loss will probably always hurt. And maybe it hurts because it is evidence of how much we love the ones who have gone out of our lives suddenly, abruptly.

I couldn’t sleep last night and  I thought that I would reread articles to help me gain closure. Wrong. At this point, everything is personal and the emotions are a roller coaster of grief, guilt, anger, darkness (yeah I know the last one isn’t an emotion but it might as well be). I braced myself by taking a few breaths then read the articles and became angry because some idiot reporter got the details wrong about my friend’s age and exactly how many family members he had. The articles were also maddeningly objective, and included the comments of school authorities that seemed like they wanted to take the blame off of themselves for any cases of bullying or students whose mental and emotional health they might have overlooked.

Here’s a blog post which about sums up my feelings towards the news reporting on my friend’s death, from a great resource for those of you grieving out there, by the way.

http://www.refugeingrief.com/2013/12/have-you-been-the-news-when-death-becomes-everybodys-business/#more-1137

I guess I’ll go back to trying to finish those pretzels now. Army of Me by Bjork is playing on my iPhone. Right on cue.


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