Sunday, October 23, 2011

Magical Thinking and Grief

Life changes in the instant.
The ordinary instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

Joan Didion: The Year of Magical Thinking

It was a beautiful January morning when my life changed forever. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and snow had just blanketed the ground. I got the phone call. I was standing on the side street behind my work. I heard the words "suicide" "pronounced dead" and "identify the body." I dropped the phone. It smashed in to more pieces than I could pick up. It was an ordinary morning. I ate oatmeal for breakfast and flat ironed my hair. Life changed in the instant.

It has been just over ten months since that day when my life as I knew it ended. I thought I was coping somewhat well with the grief. I mean I have for the most part been able to pull myself together and be a competent and capable adult. But I too have been guilty of magical thinking.

You see even though I can pretend to be doing alright. The truth is that deep down I believe that if I change myself, if I make myself perfect for her, than she will come back. It is for this reason I haven't packed up her condo or moved a single item since she died. Her dresses are still hanging colour coded in her closet. Her perfume is still sitting on the table opened as she left it. Her laundry is still in the hamper. Her mug of lemon tea is still on the counter. It has to be this way so that she can come back and wear her dresses, drink her tea, spritz her perfume and do her laundry.

I have tried over the past ten months to become the perfect daughter. I have added to my goal list all of the things she wanted for me. But I haven't been able to become the perfect daughter for her. I can do a lot of the things she wanted. I can lose weight and be nicer to her family. But I can't undo the one thing she wanted most from me. She wanted me to recant. To say that she didn't abuse me. And I can't do that.

So now I am stuck in the middle between magical thinking and the reality that I will never be the perfect daughter my mom wanted me to and therefore she will never come back.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Raising My Voice!

Hello lovelies,

I was going to launch this blog with the story of how I lost my voice for four years when I was ac child . But as I was unpacking and taking the first steps to building my new life, the universe intervened as I was unpacking and gifted me with a quote that I think fits the spirit and nature of this blog. I randomly drew this quote from a selection of quotes during a trauma group. It is by the inspirational and amazing Audre Lorde.

"I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't"

For so long I thought that being silent and not talking about abuse or my sexual orientation or my eating disorder would save me. That the silence would keep me in a protective bubble that wouldn't allow me to get hurt. But I have learned that silence does not work in my life.

In this blog I will share my experiences, raise my voice and embrace my inner lioness. I invite you to come along for the journey and share your own process of healing.

Together we can speak for those who have no voices and show the world that we will not be silenced.

(A special thank you to the lovely Ellie D who encouraged me to take this leap and begin a blog again. You can check out her personal blog here and her kick ass business Headologist here.)