Quiet Observance


Every morning now you wake up astonished to find that you aren’t dead. That a lack of sustenance hasn’t killed you. For were once you couldn’t make it to eleven o’clock in the morning without eating, now you are eleven days in and still nothing beyond devastation has passed your lips. Yes: devastation, chocolate milk and a vitamin pill daily and you are good to go, adrenaline forcing energy through your veins, and bedtime quickly bringing the kind of  blissfully empty sleep that happiness has never been capable of delivering.

You aren’t dead. You are very much alive. You are cleaning. And mopping. And sweeping and wiping because this is what you do when trauma comes a calling. You batten down the hatches and polish them into oblivion. You think you might be safe here. Safe from sympathy, for what is sympathy but the worst kind of reminder that your world is still standing on it’s head?

And yet people will insist on forcing you out. On stirring opinion into every cup of tea they serve you and thinking you cannot see the plate of concern they pass amongst themselves. And they will not believe you when you say you are alright. They just will not have it. They look at you and say well yes, but you aren’t really are you? You aren’t really. As though they are willing you to be at odds with all that you instinctively feel. As though there are things in this life we are not allowed to feel. That there is a time and place for alright and that that time is not now. Not alright as a coping mechanism. Not alright as the truth.

You have stopped crying. Though  life will now forever be divided into before and after, though this new reality is yours in all it’s grim ugly glory, you have stopped crying regardless, because wallowing is not what you do. Because crying makes the kind of internal noise that will not let you tune into your intuition and when all is said and done, when concern has left the building, intuition is all you have left.

And so after dark, after the little one is asleep, you exist in silence. You are your own best counsel. And while your methods may seem to alienate those who do nothing but care and your quiet observance might seem to imply disregard, it is merely intended to get you through the night. It isn’t unkindness or rejection, it is simply survival when the pain is still too raw to touch and must therefore be endured until you are emotionally strong enough to process it.

For process it you one day will. Of that you can be certain. But for now there can be only determined efficiency. Strength for someone who needs it. Another pile of washing here, a shopping trip for fitted sheets there. Comfort from those willing to acknowledge your pain without trying to own it, and a grateful prayer for retinence from those who would willingly wear it for a lifetime on your behalf.

Wallowing is not what you do. 

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22 comments on “Quiet Observance

  1. Just popped in to offer a quick hug before going quietly out the door again. Gill.

  2. hugs again Allison – Rachaelxo

  3. Oh my Love,my heart is hurting for you xxx

  4. Thinking of you Alison…. You'll get through this x

  5. Holding your hand across the blog in friendship
    Barbara

  6. Numb to the world, are you? I don't know how you'd be anything else. Am so sorry you're having to deal with this…what ridiculous insanity of heartbreak.

    Don't sweat what people think or say, just do what you have to do to survive and eventually to process and heal and grow and fly. You can do this Alison. You're a person of amazing courage and flint-laced inner strength. And know that so many of us out here are checking here daily to see how you are and thinking of you so often. You are our comrade in arms, our friend and an absurd sort of cyber-soulmate and we do care. Much deep love and prayers for peace and hope as you wait and survive and shop for those fitted sheets.

  7. Wishing you as many peaceful hours as you need to heal and not only survive, but thrive.

  8. Keep on keeping on. Feel what you need to feel. Wading through the pain is the only way to genuinely find out who you are now and how you are going to approach what lies ahead for you. Maybe, just maybe, this event will help you to more clearly define the direction you wish your life to go.

  9. Sally Hackney on said:

    I pray for the day that you will laugh out loud again. My heart hurts that you are going through this pain. Hope you have sweet people you can lean on over there. Sally

  10. Ugh, I've been there too babe. :'(

  11. Hoping you can have just the right number of people around you to simply hold the space while you just be.

  12. Only wanting the best for you, dear Alison. Cope however you can

  13. Those around you love you (of course you know that). But we can all be so clumsy in our efforts to do and say the right things trying to ease another's pain, not realizing that quietly just being there may be all one needs. Hugs to you and your wonderful son.

  14. OK Allison, no sympathy then, just a hug and a question. While you are observing are you remembering to observe those things for which you have gratitude? If not get your list going again. You know it will help. Do you have Sarah BB's books nearby? It is fall after all. Oh heck another hug and I'll leave you in peace.

  15. Hugs from across the big pond.

  16. God, I remember that kind of heartache. It happened 6 years ago, and it still hurts. But think of it as a big black spot. One that is taking up a whole sheet of paper. It's more of a black hole than a mere spot now. As time goes on, you will add little doodles around the edges. New memories with Finn here, an awesome trip to the seaside there, time with friends, daily little pleasures that create stability and help you thrive. One day you will notice that the spot has gotten smaller and the page is filling up with new experiences. One day that spot will be a mere dot in your life. It will always be there, and your eyes will wander to it now and then and feel that fresh pain again, but you will see one day that your life no longer revolves around it and that you are complete, among the doodles and flowers, hearts and yes, spots — of your life.

    That imagery helped me through one of the worst times in my life, when I thought all was lost. Hope it helps you too.

  17. Wow. Peace and hugs.

  18. Here's another hug… xxx

  19. xxx

  20. My best to you and little Finn…