In my recent attempts to slow down a little and find balance in my life I have definitely become aware of many strong emotions and, let me just say, I'm not enjoying it. It's been hard to write for the past few days because I have so much going on in my brain and my heart and my soul that it's hard to sort it out into anything explainable or understandable.
I have noticed two prominent emotions, however, so I'll try to describe those. Maybe that way I can begin to understand them. It is weird how sometimes when I write things down they make more sense than they do when they're floating around in my head. Anyway...
The first emotion is defeat, if you can call that an emotion. The more I understand the reality of my kids' deaths, the more I feel completely defeated and helpless. It's nearly impossible for me to comprehend or accept that my kids have died and that there's nothing I can do about it.
This feeling of helplessness has been very apparent in my dreams over the past few nights. Twice I dreamt that my kids were alive, but living in other cities with other people. In both dreams I visited my kids (which was wonderful, don't get me wrong) but found out that there was nothing I could do to get them back. It didn't matter what I tried, I was helpless, frustrated and defeated. Which leads me to the next emotion I've noticed...
I'm pretty effin' angry. I'm not talkin ticked-off or annoyed or miffed. I'm talkin heavy breathing, fist-clenching, vein-popping out of my forehead, I want to smash a car with a sledgehammer angry!
I'm angry that they're gone and I can't hug them or take them to school or play games with them or tell them to clean up their rooms and stop fighting. I'm angry that Kate didn't get to grow up to be an artist or a gymnast or a doctor or a singer. I'm angry that Peter didn't even make it to his fifth birthday party or get to go to kindergarten or grow up to change the world, which I always thought he would.
I'm angry that I don't get to be a parent anymore. I'm angry that my identity as a mom has been stripped from me. I'm angry that they were just taken away one day and that I didn't have a choice and that there's nothing I can do about it. I'm angry that I didn't get to say goodbye! And I'm angry that I don't even have anyone to be angry with!!!
I know I need to do something with this anger because it's become so overwhelming it's immobilizing. And to think that a week ago I didn't even realize I was angry.
I remember hearing once that depression is anger turned inward. From what I've experienced recently I completely agree. For the past few days I've felt so angry that all I want to do is sleep, which I realize is a symptom of depression. Unfortunately, I can't even do that very well.
The other night, before I realized the extent of my anger, I was laying in bed, unable to sleep. After an hour or so of staring at the ceiling I realized my jaw was clenched and every muscle in my body was tensed. I swear I felt my kids whisper to me, "You have to deal with your anger, Mama. It's blocking you." I'm not sure what exactly it's blocking, but I'm pretty sure they're right.
So I do need to find a way to express all this rage. My therapist suggested punching pillows or hitting them with a tennis racquet. That would probably help, but I feel pretty stupid doing it. Not that it really matters.
The honest-to-God truth is that I'm afraid to let it out. I know from past experiences that when I start yelling or punching pillows the anger that comes out brings with it ALL of the sadness. I'm afraid that the amount of sadness within me is more than I can handle. Seriously. I don't know if can do it. Everyone tells me I'm strong, but I don't know if I'm that strong.
But what choice do I have really? I can hold it all in and feel miserable and not want to do anything or I can try to let it out. I guess I just need to face it. Maybe not this minute, but sometime soon. I'll let you know how it goes.