I’ll admit that many a blog post begins with a meme that sparks an idea. Memes are what they are, but to many, they can show up at just the right time and their meanings individualistic and sometimes inspiring to those who gaze upon them. This was one of them.
Oftentimes I look around me and I forget what I’ve been through. There it is…forget. How can one forget being abused by their late husband for so many years? The loss of both parents and a spouse in rapid-fire succession? The terror of no money; being left as the “only parent”. I guess forget might be the incorrect descriptive word here. Maybe what I’m trying to say is remove and replace? I was blessed (or cursed, depending upon your perspective) with a photographic memory. I think we all have things we see in our minds, but for me, all the way back to the crib, I can see it all play, sometimes more detailed and repetitive than I’d like. It’s those little gaps of forgetting that make me conscious of the healing process and the necessity of revisiting situations that facilitate it all.
When you arrive at a place of reflection, free from the terror of your past life, it’s cathartic in many ways. Sure, there are times when you flinch at the remembrance of pain and hate being spewed at you, but then you stop and realize that that reality is gone. No one will ever hurt you like that again. What actually remains are whispers, regrets, remnants of pain you no longer need to endure. I once thought it unhealthy to reflect or remember. Now I know that it’s healthy to do so, because I see the incredible work of art my life is now. I am no longer beholden to terror, fear, pain and strife so undeserved. I am also very cognizant of how fortunate I am.
People often tilt their heads when I talk about being fortunate as a widow. On the surface, they assume (there’s that word lol) that I’m happy that he’s gone. On the contrary. I would like to think that if he were still alive, that I’d long since have divorced and moved on to greener pastures as they say. The reality might have been different giving the level of control he tried to command over me, but there really is no way of knowing is there? I am sorry that my children lost their father, but as they grow older, they are starting to realize the person he was and they too are starting to reflect.
So, there is more to breaking through grief and reflecting on what has happened to you than just feeling sad or being angry at what happened to you. Sometimes when I think about the situations I endured, the choices I made which I feel *wasted* so much of my life, the life I could have led if I’d chosen a different path, well, it can all make you overthink it all if you let it. What I need to force myself to do is develop some sense of acceptance of the things I’ve done and not dwell too much on them. I also don’t deny myself the opportunity to feel the pang of regret or roll my eyes at something I did that I can’t take back.
My life…my terms…my way.