The end of an era

Hello blogosphere, it’s nice to see you again. It’s been waaaay tooooo long. 🙂

My mother has sold her house and  we (correction, I) have spent the last few weekends and fully the last five days packing, sorting, cleaning. To say I’m exhausted is a complete understatement. This does mean that she’s moving in with me, but more by default than by any grand design – at least on my part. Given the circumstances, I didn’t feel there was any alternative, and it’s kind of a nice thing in a way. But that’s not the point.

Anyway, today was the last day at her house. Forever. The end of an era. It was also the first day in I can’t remember how long that I haven’t been working my guts out while there. Mostly I was just sitting about waiting for the tradespeople to do their things. Wouldn’t you know it, I was overwhelmed by flashbacks. Just little ones, and not all of them yucky, but there they were, sneaking up on me again. Dammit.

Stupid flashbacks. They hit you when you need it least and, with me, usually when my coping skills and ability to self-soothe are buried beneath a pile of rubble. I remembered the times Mum and I would sit under the apple trees on a summer afternoon, the cool(ish) breeze blowing through the trees. I remembered some of the times I’d been sitting on the steps with the sun on my back and my father would say something like “look at your toes – they’re terrible” or “look at your stomach – when did you get so fat?” I remembered how I’d enjoyed sitting on the verandah watching the boats sailing in the bay. And the night the yacht that won line honours in a race came home, and we raced to the yacht club to enjoy the festivities. I remembered the times I’d felt trapped inside when the weather wasn’t good. And how the dog used to try to sneak in, out of the rain. Good and bad these things, but still messing with my head. I should have done a better job of anticipating this, but I’ve been just so busy I haven’t had time to pay attention to anything really. Some of you might think that’s an excuse. I guess it is, but not deliberately.

I found myself at the lemon tree, picking the last of the lemons. Lately I’ve started taking real pleasure in such seemingly small, ordinary, daily occurrences. I enjoyed the feeling of the lemons in my hand – slightly bumpy skin, warm from the sun – and the waxy leaves, and the slightly citrusy smell. I loved it. We stopped at one of the organic grocers on the way home. All I wanted to do was wander about for as long as I could enjoying the sights and smells of the produce. So fresh, beautiful colours, their scents tinged with a slight earthiness. (Unfortunately my mother just wanted to hurry and get home, so it wasn’t the sensory delight it could have been.) There’s something beautiful, refreshing and almost invigorating about it all. And grounding; definitely grounding. Since my last holiday I’ve been wanting this sort of experience with nature more and more. I even came home wanting to grow veggies and have chooks! (Most of the people who know me IRL are still laughing hysterically at the thought of me going anywhere near a garden!!)

I got home feeling entirely panic-struck, completely unsafe and wanting to self-injure. I’m not wholly back from my dance with the flashbacks. Still wobbly, despite a hard but ultimately helpful (I hope) session with PNT. Still feeling overwhelmed. So completely overwhelmed. I’d like to stay in bed tomorrow and hide from the world. Or lie on the couch and do not much. Or file my nails (something I haven’t found time to do in over a month). Or go to the park and just enjoy my surroundings. I just want to STOP!!!!!!


6 thoughts on “The end of an era

  1. I hope you and your mother are being gentle with yourselves right now. It is hard when any memories lead to painful flashbacks. It is good to hear from you. I hope you can stop even if it is just for a few moments at a time.

  2. Thanks Di. I think our bodies have decided we WILL stop for a while. We both spent yesterday flopping around the house recovering LOL. I’m surprised, but pleased, to report that I am being gentle with myself. It seems quite bizarre, but also excellent, that this has happened quite naturally. Perhaps I AM learning stuff in therapy after all?? 😉

  3. It’s amazing the pull that physical places can have, isn’t it? Seeing, or leaving, them can stir up so much inside; it’s no wonder that you were swept up in flashbacks. Considering all that you’ve been through lately, I’m not surprised that it snuck up on you a bit… But, you know what, I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit… I wonder if a year or two ago you would have had flashbacks of good, as well as bad things? I wonder if it would have just been the bad stuff? That you got good stuff as well, is a good sign… it means there’s room for that now, and you’re not in those depths that you once were. It stinks to have the bad stuff there, but at least there’s a bit of balance creeping in…

    I’m going to expect photos of your organic garden 🙂

    Those moments of mindfulness sound so good… I hope you can find ways to build them into each day. You deserve that care and attention…

    Take care,

  4. Thanks CG. You’re right, I don’t think I would have been able to see the good things a couple of years ago. It would have been bad stuff and I would have freaked out completely instead of just being shaky.

    Can I send you photos of my chooks as well? 🙂

  5. I’m glad to see in the comments that since you wrote this, you have had time to stop and focus on you and even refresh a bit.

    I think there is something very healing about gardening. I’m not a gardener (FAR from it!), but if I lived in a place where there was space and land to do it, I think I would try. It is a blessing to be a part of nature like that.

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