Monday, August 19, 2019

Cry, Cry and Then Cry Some More

How can it be that I find less time to write here now that there isn't a baby in the house?

About ten days ago we helped our son gather his belongings and move back in with his wife. Sweet baby rode with us in our vehicle and I cherished every moment. He was asleep in his dad's arms when we went to leave and as much as I'd told myself I wasn't going to cry until we were in the car, the tears were falling before we even said goodbye. I continued to cry as we drove away and then for a distance down the road.

After we left sweet baby we drove another three hours to see our two granddaughters. It was good to be among giggles and playing and the reading of books. They are dancing sparks of joy in my mind and in person and I can't help but smile when I think of them. I so often wish they lived closer.

The next morning Dearest One and I and a psychotherapist spent that day and the next one exploring and making connections between deep childhood wounds and current relationship patterns of behaviour. If there was a hare in the picture up there I would have to say we made progress somewhere in between the speed of a turtle and a hare.

I must have felt safe because I have never cried so much in two days in my life. Nor had anyone heard before what I call my 'keening cry'; the one that combines the ugly cry with primal pain.

I had told my regular therapist I wouldn't text her while on the weekend but she reassured me it was okay. I tried not to swear in the psychotherapist's office but I found myself whispering, fuck when the following three statements were made. I texted the first one to my therapist followed by the words 'fucking yay.'

Protection and connection are incompatible.
Requests and expectations are incompatible.
Reactivity and curiousity cannot coexist.

Because of the hard and exhausting work we did over that weekend, the emotional charge I've had in one of my most challenging familial relationships lessened to the point that I can't find it. I don't know if that person senses it or not but Dearest One thinks they do. Understanding why, where and how that relationship felt like such a threat and the ensuing conversation and tears was healing. I've done work in therapy here to help lessen the charge, and was on my way, but the work I did and the insight gained melted away so much displaced energy.

Normally I an super wary of things like that happening. Worried that I have instead stuffed my feelings because I found them so unacceptable on some level. But the change feels authentic and I am now able to set boundaries without the accompanying underlying smoldering anger. It was time and money well spent with the kind of changes that happened despite ourselves. Don't get me wrong. We did deep preparatory work and we couldn't have prepared for the insight and ensuing changes that took place.

We drove 8 hours home to an empty house. We had to put the last of our two pugs down a few months ago and so for the first time in 30 continuous years of having dogs, there was no dog to greet our return. Combine that with months of having a baby in the house and the initial quiet was jarring. We are grateful to be just the two of us again and we miss the baby. There really is nothing better than a baby recognizing you first thing in the morning and smiling all the way up to his eyes at you, bedhead and all.

I was cleaning up the living room on Saturday and came across two tiny squeaky toys that belong to sweet baby. Then a soother and a tiny pair of socks. I put them on the table and took a photo of all things baby then sent it to his parents. Then I sat there and cried.

Thankfully sweet baby and his parents are coming for a visit this week. I'm sure there will be tears all over again but some of them will be the happy kind.