Repression is a Funny Thing

fake-smileIt’s been about 6 or so weeks since my mother died, and I’m already back to my usual activities; work, writing, radio, etc. Am I ready to be back? I don’t know. All I know is my bills have to be paid, kitties need to be fed, and I have to keep a roof over my head. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury to take a lot of time off from my job(s) or commitments at the moment, which means I’ve had to repress much of my grief. If the tears come while I’m in public, I’ve had to find a way to repress them and stop them from flowing. I have to keep a happy persona at all times when on the clock, lest I offend someone or I do something wrong that can jeopardize my job. In doing all of this, I’ve realized that I’m starting to dehumanize myself. The tears are inconvenient, but when there is a convenient time, I can’t get myself to cry. In fact, I can’t get myself to feel anything anymore, sometimes neither positive or negative. That honestly scares me. I don’t feel like I can grieve anymore, and I have to shut myself off. There’s still so much that has to be done in wrapping up my mother’s affairs that I can’t afford to stop and cry, or I’ll lose time. I’ll lose the ability to get done what has to get done.

The result of my actions has led me to become extraordinarily exhausted. I feel like I’ve sprinted a 10K (I’ve actually run a 10K in my life, so I know how exhausting they can be), and my brain can’t function. All I can do is stay in bed all day. Then my apartment gets neglected, litter boxes aren’t changed, there’s no food in the fridge, and my writing doesn’t get done. How are we able to function while we’re grieving the death of a parent?

Any emotions I do feel are anger. If I didn’t get ill, I wouldn’t have had to take an unpaid leave of absence, and I could have spent one last Thanksgiving and Christmas with my mom. The last holiday I spent with my mom was Easter of 2014. I honestly now resent all those circumstances because it robbed me of precious times with my mother. Anger and numbness. That is my life right now. And I feel so powerless and helpless in trying to change that because I keep repressing.

Honestly? I’m scared that this will be my life from now on. And I no longer have the support of my mother because…well, she’s dead. I used to talk to her about all of these issues. She would bring me back to reality after listening to my problems because she was the one who knew me best. I don’t have that….I don’t have that. I. DON’T. HAVE. THAT. ANYMORE.

2 comments

  1. You have put into words exactly what I am feeling…thank you. Reading your story helps me to realize that I am not going crazy or having a mental breakdown, I am grieving. Just like you, I have become a walking robot, afraid to show any emotion lest I breakdown. I am also very angry. Why did my young nephew die and not the cranky 92 year old man next door?…anybody but my nephew. He didn’t even get to live his life. I can’t talk to anyone about it, they won’t understand my angst and anger. Thank you for writing this blog.

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