So. I had a session with my therapist today and she (as per usual) had some fantastic nuggets of wisdom for me. I read ‘Visiting Day’ to her. Her immediate question when I finished was, ‘Does the pain really still feel that big to you, even now?’ My answer was, ‘Yes.’ I wish my answer was something different, but as of today, it’s not.
I then told her about a dream I had the night before I wrote the post. In it, I was walking through a huge parking lot. A Target style lot. Rows and rows of empty spaces on either side of me. The air was humid, saturated with moisture and very close. My clothes clung to me like barnacles. I was pushing an overloaded shopping cart. I had no idea what was in it, only that it was cumbersome, heavy and difficult to navigate. I was trying to get to my car as quickly as I could because of the heat. I loathe the heat. But because of the damn cart I wasn’t covering any ground. It was almost like the pavement was half melted and the wheels of the cart were forever getting stuck, twisted and off course.
I glanced behind me and saw a group of five 13 or 14 year old boys following me. They had an intense ‘Lord of the Flies’ energy about them; all charged up on primal testosterone-fueled anger. Their faces may have even been painted and they were literally carrying spears. They were gaining on me because of my snail-like pace. I could have left the cart and started to run. This idea didn’t occur to me. I just dug in my feet and continued to push. Before I knew it, the leader of the pack starting whooping, ran at full speed toward me and smacked me square on the ass – HARD. He said, ‘Get the FUCK out of here!!’ I felt the slap, but not in the good way. It Hurt. And then I woke up.
I didn’t think of it again until I was in session with my therapist today. Right away, she knew what the dream was trying to slap me (literally) with. The pack of boys represented my brother and his tumultuous existence. Their anger was Tom’s anger. It was my anger too. All my anger directed at myself. She reasoned that the parking lot represented my pain. Big. Suffocating. And she went further still saying that the boys were trying to literally kick me out of my pain. They wanted me Gone from that giant lot. Disappeared. Never to return. It was like they wanted to be left there in peace. I had been overstepping my welcome for far too long and they were just plain done with me. Done.
And holy shit. The boys in my dream and my therapist were both SO right. I feel this pain of mine too much. I turn it over and over in my hands. I gaze at it. I worship it. My Precious.
Putting the tribe of boys in my dream together with what’s been going on in my life, (e.g., drinking daily, not exercising, feeling stuck as fuck) was exactly what I needed. My eyes opened and it clicked – I’m stuck in my pain. I’m addicted to my pain. It’s like I’ve been laboriously pushing that damn cart up and down the rows, looking for a car that isn’t there (and probably never was) since 1997. It’s a fruitless and tremendously exhausting endeavor, one I’ve been trying to perfect for years.
And I don’t have to stay stuck there. I can give up the search for my non-existent vehicle and simply walk away. First I have to let go of the shopping cart. That has to stay in the lot. I know it.
All I have to do is….Let………Go.
It’s so simple.
Mindfulness and awareness have always been my biggest allies. Both have helped me immensely to foster change in my thinking and behaviors in the past. Remaining aware and mindful is where I struggle; it’s oh so easy to fall off the wagon.
But nowadays I have a blog. I can come back to this and re-read it any time I need a reminder of what I already know. I have friends who check in and can help me remain accountable and blissfully aware. I do not have to do this alone. That’s one prime piece of knowledge I want to remain especially mindful of.
I am not alone.