Once upon a time I thought I was tough and strong and considered myself a survivor. Things happened. I saw and did things working in the death field, my died, my dad shot himself and I found him, and several of my dogs had to be put down for different health reasons over the same decade. Somewhere in there I think I broke. Or maybe I was already broken and it was my shell that dissolved. I still try so hard to be strong for people. I remember I had volunteered for some cases that no one would ever want but something inside me made me feel protective and that I should shield someone else from that tragedy. I am appalled at myself at the amount of anxiety and fear that I feel on a regular basis. I am always wanting to know where my loved ones are. Not to be controlling but to “know” they are ok. I am the same with my dogs. I can play the “what if” game as well if not better than anyone else. I can be about to explode – or implode – inside and yet seem just fine on the outside. I have to be able to do that because many of my circle do not believe or understand my anxiety and fear. Most of my “inner” circle do, but even then, not fully… unless sadly they too feel it too.
Recently one of my childhood friends died. I had known her since I was 5. When her mother called me, she asked if I would speak at her memorial service. I knew that 2 other friends had been asked and neither could bring themselves to do it. I understand that. I really do. I do not hold that against them. I can’t say that I “wanted” to speak either. I do not like attention. I like to blend into the back and tend to OVER use humor as a defense when I really want to scream or cry. My response to my friend’s mother??? It was “of course I will, I would be honored to do so” and I meant it and it was a true statement but I thought to myself, how am I going to do this? I wrote out what I would say. I told myself I have to do this because they can’t and if I can, then I can protect them from the pain it causes to do it. It was the farthest I had driven in a long time, especially by myself. It was physically painful but I am use to that. I got up there, and I spoke. I told my stories of my time with my friend. People came up to me and thanked me and said it was good. I was glad because I did not want to dishonor my friend’s mother or memory. I talked with people at the reception and was strong. Then I got back in my car, put on the radio to sing myself home just like the ride there and it seemed like no matter the play list, every other song wanted to make me cry. I had to skip over many songs so I would not bawl all the way home.