Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Bloodletting


Dear Bloodletting,

I had my annual rendezvous with you yesterday.  You arrived almost like clockwork, except I hadn't seen you coming.  Yesterday.

And except instead of bloodletting, it was more like tearletting.  The kind where hot gushes of tears just surge and flow, like the eminent calm-but-steady spill of an overfilled sink, because the conversation on the phone tapped a deep, dark hurt--one that I have been trying to bury and get past for much too long.

It always surfaces--The Past.  No matter how much you try to put it behind you.  Because it is simply a part of you.  Unless you acquire amnesia.

Sometimes I wish I had amnesia.

When you're so emotionally overwrought, you don't think straight, and you don't make much sense when you're trying to make a point.  Between bouts of deep breathing, eyes drying, and nose wiping (my damn nose just has to join my eyes for some slobbery fun), words that come out of my mouth vacillate somewhere between carefully-calculated, going-through-the-motions, and strangely deranged.  That all-too-familiar feeling of teetering on the rope between Sanity and Crazy suffocates me, and the moment suddenly arrives where either I dive or walk away.  I dive.  I crash.  I shut down.  And just when you think you're good, and all the tearletting is over, one split-second thought of some Past Memory instantly takes you right back to the mental stabbing pain and it starts all over again.

And the wet tissue papers mound in a pile. 

And my eyes burns with the crappy feeling that I've felt every time this tearletting happens.  They swell, hurt, sting, and scream, like they have for the last thirty years.  My head is stuffed full with sadness and pain, at levels that feel always more than the last time.  Each time this happens. 

When it's all over--last words uttered, off button pressed, and period placed after the final sentence--I feel the plug pulled from under me.  That one that prevents the overflowing sink from incurring more damage.  I feel everything drain from underneath me.  All my energy, essence, my me, and the integrity with which I uphold my being.  Simply, I empty.  I void. I deflate.

I spend the rest of the day swimming upstream in River Anxiety, trying to get back to my own reality.  I lose momentum and direction when I replay the conversation in my mind, brewing over the absurdities of it all.  Wanting a do-over, but not really. 

Then I feel a hug.  Then some more hugs.  And then I see smiles that rescue me.  They guide me back to the clearing.

Finally, I carefully put it back into its Box, dig a deep hole, and bury it again.  I want to stand tall above it and keep it down for as along as I can, because I am happiest as my Standing Self.  I know it will find its way back out again, and come another year or so, all this will replay itself, again, just like it has, since Forever Ago.

The Past will always find me.  It is always a part of me. 

Everyone has such a box. Don't think for one second that even the happiest of people are without one.  Perhaps they are better at keeping theirs buried; perhaps they are able to dig deeper; or perhaps they have yet to surface.  But they're there.  And the next time you recognize someone's crouch, digging tools, and Box, you just might pull out your tools and crouch beside that person.  Because compassion goes a long way.

So Dear Bloodletting, some people think that you are an outlet for pent-up emotions and therefore a beneficial process.  But not I.  When you finally realize--like I have--that the only thing keeping you from being Happy is The Past, you'd also want to move on.  But we all know that Life is not a bed of roses, and that you will continue to take place, again and again.

Because my Past is a part of me.  There's no escape from it.  And that Past will inevitably be a part of my Future, too.

But not today. I'm Standing Tall today. 

Sincerely,
Me

18 comments:

  1. I believe you got into my head and wrote this based on everything you found up in there. All I can do is send you a virtual hug and the knowledge that you are not alone. I love this more than I can put into words...Excellent.

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    1. I truly appreciate your virtual hug, Dani! When we suffer at the heels of pain, we feel so alone. That you came here to tell me I'm not alone means so much to me. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me such kind words!

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  2. <>

    I like to think that I've dealt with the messy parts of my past and left them in a place where I did what I could and can move on. But, no doubt, the future is full of surprises and who knows how I'll feel about my past when the future throws me a curve ball or two.

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    1. I feel like I've dealt with the Past in a way that helps me move on. I just wish it would stay in its Box and stay buried. It's tough when I have no control over that, though. I guess the future can be all about surprises and curve balls, as well as a challenge as to how we catch them?! Thanks for stopping by, Nilsa!

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  3. Oh, I have no nice words to ease your pain. Here's a hug and a comforting hand and tears to join yours and a wish that all will be better and that you will continue to stand tall even when the hurts try to pull you down.

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    1. Thank you for your comforting words, Imelda. I do feel better--as you know, writing is very therapeutic. And having all you wonderful peeps' beautiful words here is a wondrous gift. I will fight to stand tall. Thank you so much!

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  4. <3
    The wise man who came up with "Time heals all wounds" must not have ever experienced true pain.
    I hope that one day your Past isn't quite so painful to recall.
    And I hope that the next time my own box resurfaces, I will remember your words and stand tall as you have.

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    1. Rachael, I hope that you know *how much* this comment means to me. It is so much more than what I would have expected anyone to say. I hope we will stand tall and strong during these times of pain. Thank you for taking the time to leave me this--I cherish every single word.

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  5. Glad you have smiles and hugs to bring you back to the present! Yep, the past is always there but it's there to shape us into who are now, whether the past was a positive or negative experience. Hope you feel better letting it off your chest.

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    1. I do feel better, Lisa. Just getting my jumbled thoughts down in some sort of coherent order gets half the job done. The other half is taken care of by the hugs and smiles. You are so right that my Past has helped shape who I am today, and that may be about the only good thing I can think of from its negative aspects. Thanks for making me see it in a different light, and thanks for being a friend. :)

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  6. Stand tall, proud woman, and know that you are not alone. Just because we've "dealt" with our pasts, made "peace" with our pasts or "moved on" doesn't mean we have forgotten. It doesn't mean that the pain is not real, the reliving of it doesn't hurt just as much. Our past IS part of us; it will come up, time and again, and beat us black and blue, knocking us down and getting a swift kick in for good measure. But when the past comes raging, know you are not alone.

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    1. Cindy, your comments always make me want to shout, "YES!" This is exactly it; exactly what I'm saying. Th Past comes when we least expect it, and we often react to pain without logic or normal reasoning, which further handicaps the situation. But you and this beautiful community of readers/friends have made me believe that I am not alone, and that shared understanding of pain truly is a source of comfort for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

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    2. You are so very welcome. You need to know that you have become dear to my heart. Keep on chugging along, lady.

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    3. And you, mine, Cindy . Chugga, chugga, whoo-whoo! :) (Sorry for all the cheese!)

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  7. Oh Sandra, I can feel your pain so clearly, and I feel so helpless as I am just a voyeur reading about it. Yuck yuck yuck for you. And yes, the past lives in a box that resurfaces - so often when we don't want it to. Keep holding on and taking those hugs from all around and let's hope the box helps you heal one day, too.

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    1. Oh, I will, Michelle. I will keep on keeping on so long as I have my hugs from my peeps. Sorry I must be so vague here, since this IS the interwebz and all... I am trudging on the road to healing, and I really have made some progress! Thank you so much, for feeling my pain and for your kind thoughts--I'm truly grateful.

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  8. Oh, I'm sorry you've had to go through this. I have no idea what you're dealing with but I'm glad you have loved ones to bring you out of the despair.

    I think there is something wrong with me because I've managed to compartmentalize my painful memories enough that I look on them almost like they happened to someone else. Strange.

    At any rate, I hope your box will remain closed for quite some time :)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Janna! I'm much better now. I don't think there's anything wrong with your compartmentalizing your pain in that way, because I do the same thing, and I'm fine with that. The only time I get undone is when those memories are retold to me (via a phone conversation) when all I want is to not ever think about them again--and I don't quite know how to stop the conversation because I'm back inside the pain again.

      Thank you for your words of a caring friend--I'm grateful for them, and you!

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