I’ve been trying to deal and come to terms with the emotions I have stuffed down and looked away from for so long. I really feel that is the only way to excise the demon is to face the monster. Sometimes it manifests in such strange ways. Like this morning- I was thirsty and grabbed a glass from the cabinet. It was a Shrek collector’s glass from right before everything shattered. I remembered the day I purchased it. My son was still small enough for a car seat. He was 4 that summer. Our last summer.
As I took the glass down I heard in my head that cherubic 4-year-old voice excitedly saying, “Schwek da fird, mommy!” I can hear it clear as day in my head and even now, a tear rolls down my cheek. Part of coming to terms with everything I’ve pushed down and looked away is that I have to feel it, and I have to turn it into something that doesn’t hurt. So through tear-stained cheeks I drank the glass of water and gave thanks that I had that time with him; that I have that memory of me with my Puss-in-Boots plush and my son with his Donkey plush on a hot summer day. We enjoyed the air-conditioning and the movie and the experience together.
I am grateful. I have to remind myself each time. One day hopefully the tears won’t come along with it.
I know what I have is PTSD from the trauma of losing him at such a young age and for no reason other than to wound me. Little things trigger it. Like a claw machine. The claw machine reminds me of our last afternoon together before the culmination of the nightmare. We had court the following day, and I knew that I had not had enough money to win. I had no money, honestly. I knew my child had been purchased.
Even now that is a crushing feeling that I haven’t dealt with yet.
I remember I had dropped him off at school that morning, and I came to work and silently cried and cried until my boss, a very kind soul named Joe told me to take the rest of the day and go get my baby, which I did. I took him to the park, I took him for pizza, I took him to play putt-putt, and I let him play with the claw machine until I had no more money left.
That’s why I can’t look at claw machines without a pang of sorrow.
There are many things that I avoid to not have to come across a painful memory I have stuffed away, but that isn’t serving me. I am thankful Joe let me have that afternoon with him and wherever he is in his life right now, I wish him all the best life has to offer because he is a good soul.
I want a partner in life. I want REAL friends. I feel this pain and sorrow and not dealing with it; staying stagnant in a place where too many memories hang on everything- it needs to go. It needs to be excised. It’s going to take time.
But I am grateful for the journey and the kindnesses I have been met with along the way. I will work harder to pay that forward.