I had group therapy today for my support group. It is something I look forward to every couple of months, even though the topics are somewhat difficult and I always end up crying at least once.
Today was no exception. I was actually doing quite well until the topics of anniversary dates and grief came up. I thought to myself, anniversary dates aren’t a problem for me. I’m over it.
But I decided to write down something anyway. April 25th. The day I tried to end my life by taking a more than lethal dose of aspirin. The day my family found out, and did nothing about it.
The memories flooded my mind and I couldn’t focus on anything else. I felt the pain again, the despair that was all too familiar. I tried to hold back my tears, and retreated back into myself. By the time the topic of grief came up, I was teetering in another place in my mind. I was back in 2008, reliving the pain of that day.
I was able to ground myself enough to work through the rest of the grief session. We each chose eight stones, and had to write something we lost on each one, something we grieved or are still grieving.
It didn’t take long for me to write my losses: Mother, father, family, purpose, self, love, hope, and support.
Simple words, that to the outside world, would never appear to be related to loss or grief. But they were, for me, the losses I still carry with me every day.
The loss of a mother, the mother I never had, the mother I always wanted, the mother I deserved, the mother I will never, ever have.
The loss of my father, not as much in his actual death, but the loss of the father he should have been, the man he should have been, the protector he should have been, the superhero he should have been to me and never was.
The loss of the family I no longer have. I didn’t just lose my parents when I ran away. I lost any connection to my brother. I lost the connection to anyone on my mother’s side of the family. I’m losing the connection to the very little family I have left, and I can’t change that.
The loss of my purpose. I believed so strongly that I was going to be a counselor some day. That is why I went through what I did. I was going to help people. I was going to right the wrongs that were done to me for so many years. But I lost that when my school showed me that my mental illness was all that mattered, not my skills or who I was on the inside.
The loss of self, the loss of my identity. Who am I? I still don’t know. I was never allowed to be anyone or anything other than what my mother told me to be. My identity is so fractured, both literally and figuratively. I’m not even sure that I lost myself, because I question whether or not I ever existed.
The loss of love, the loss of trust, the loss of ability to connect with people. I never experienced the love I should have gotten from the people who were supposed to love me but didn’t. I don’t know how to love because I never learned what love really is.
The loss of hope, strongly felt that April 25th night, when I sat alone, nearly dying, and my family didn’t care. The very little hope I had was shattered forever that night. I could have died, I should have died, and my family didn’t care. The loss of hope I continue to feel day in and day out as I realize the world wasn’t meant for me.
The loss of support, through 15 years of working with some of the shittiest therapists, the loss of support when I left everyone I knew behind so I could escape the hell that was my (former) home, the loss of support I feel when my therapist wants to send me away to the hospital, because even she can’t seem to help me.
I carry these losses in my heart every day. Now I have stones to carry with me, too. Because as much as I would like to throw the stones away, it’s not that easy.
I wish people could see these losses inside of me, and not just on these stones I carry.
10 thoughts on “The Stones of What I’ve Lost”
It’s as if I am reading my story from your story, strange coincidence. Do physical activity like walking, running, it will focus your mind, and ease the pain.
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I know, right? It tells me that my story, though its my own, isn’t the only story like this. There are others who understand. There are others who are asked to pay a huge debt for a crime they didn’t commit. And even after we’ve left we have to rebuild a place we didn’t tear down, and walk on legs they did their best to break.
Living is hard when you raise yourself next to a sociopath.
This blog I read because I can relate. Sometimes you say things in a way I haven’t put them or bring up a topic I think I might want to toss around a bit. Your blog is helpful. I believe it should first and foremost be helpful to you but I am happy to glean what I can.
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I used to think (before this blog) that I was alone. It’s oddly relieving to find others who have experienced such similar things. On the other hand, it makes me sad that others have experienced the pain.
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I do walk a lot (out of necessity). It helps to distract, even for a bit.
I’m going to do these stones, too. This is a wonderful idea. With the grief issues I’ve got going on right now I think this might be a good idea.
Family – I’m 45 this month. I told my therapist today that I have no ties to anyone, no bloodline connection, no one with whom I share a genetic link. It is the loneliest feeling, it’s like being an orphan, it’s like being the only person in the world with no one to call family. Everyone else seems related to someone, has someone, a sister, cousin, brother, someone, that’s what it feels like. I know that’s not true but it feels that way doesn’t it? When I was younger it didn’t hurt as much as it does now. I didn’t feel the need for family connection the way I do now but that is long lost, long, long, lost. …. and it’s not fair.
My heart goes out to you,
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I’m so sorry. Grief seems to be a consistent thing for us.
I hope it helps you.
I clicked quite a few “likes” on this page – because it was the only way available to express my support and admiration. I was conflicted, even as I did so, because there is really nothing to “like” about the emotional welts left by pain.
I wish you all the peace of healing, with a combination of anger and sorrow when I read about therapists who don’t seem to know how to do the jobs they are supposedly qualified to do, intensifying the pain you came to them to work through and heal. I know from my own experience that they exist.
There are so many horrors in this world of ours. My response is gratitude that I did not experience them all personally – or even the worst of them – and gratitude for every positive experience or comment that brought out the good in me today. Some of the posts on this blog and others have let me know that many who are struggling have had to overcome essentially alone and without a great deal of positive support of any kind.
You are brave to stand for who you are, and you are kind to offer support and understanding to others – and you deserved SO much better than the treatment you received at the hands of people you were supposed to be able to trust. I salute you. ALL.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
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Thank you, and thank you for reaching out.
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