Stages of Grief: Denial

I've been told that what I've experienced is similar to a death. The marriage I thought I had, the life I believed I was living, the person I thought I knew, all of that died {or burned to the ground}. Except that I had the added complication of still being in the marriage and having the person I was mourning still walking around. It was disorienting and painful.

In the beginning, I felt like the world and all of its demands should screech to a sudden halt due to my shock. Or that I should be constantly busy-- that there had to be a long, precise check list of things that one must do in situations like these. I wanted a guidebook. I wanted direction.

But there was a 2 month waiting list to see our therapist {Seriously, why isn't there a mental-health version of an ER? I wanted to walk in, explain that I was hemorrhaging, and be seen STAT!} and without the safety of a third party, I was at a loss as to how to proceed without making things worse. I spent hours researching; had long, tearful talks with J; thought and journaled and prayed... but in the end, I turned naturally to the first stage of grief and embraced Denial.

I simply refused to think about it any more. I pretended nothing had happened. Every doubt, every pang, every contrary thought I had got stuffed into a file in my brain labeled, "Deal with it Later." I kept on with the business of keeping on.

In the meantime, J was cautious and cordgial. He reassured and wooed, convinced and courted, certain that the perfect combination of apology and reassignment of blame would heal all. I went along with it-- the summer ahead would be long, I hadn't the energy to fight-- and after a time, I even began to believe it.

I hadn't realized how much was, out of necessity, buried beneath the surface until my parents talked of moving. They'd been in transition-- staying with family, traveling and whatnot-- but the minute it looked like they'd have someplace permanent, someplace I could escape to, the emotional dam within me burst and all hell broke loose.

Tomorrow: Anger

{image: Grief by Erwin Olaf}

PS- Many thanks for the input on having children share {or not} rooms. So much to think about! I think we're leaning towards making the office a quiet space for projects. :)


Jane Anderson said...

Your honesty was heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing. Maybe you can be the person to write the Guidebook.

Nicole said...

I've been reading your blog entries in reverse, but I appreciate all that you are saying and it is so riveting despite having a million things to do. I think a lot of relationships go through so much of this but I at least am still stuck in the denial phase! Thank you for opening eyes to a better way, avoiding blame and attaching self worth to things that are not really what make us who we are. You are still ever amazing. I miss being closer and weekly playgroups.

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