Session 29 and my bi-week without a therapy session allowed me to take the time needed to reflect upon the first anniversary of the death of my dad. Due to therapy, I was able to embrace a new way to deal with the loss that involved new traditions, a celebration of life, and moves toward doing so with minimal sadness. That was really huge, and I was quite surprised that I was at this place in my healing process, after just one year. I believe this was due to a lot of the work I’ve been doing to unravel my childhood traumas. The death of my father exposed a lot of things I thought I’d dealt with or issues I didn’t even know I had.
So, instead of being sad or grieving, I went in a different direction. I chose to celebrate my father’s life. I did this by doing the following and shared it with my therapist:
🔸I lit a candle in celebration of my dad’s life.
🔸I baked a cake because it was a family joke about how my dad always talked about baking a cake but never did.
🔸I had a glass of wine. Dad liked nasty Ruinite, but I wasn’t feeling warm and fuzzy enough to drink that swill. I had Stella Rosa Black instead.
🔸I spent time with my friends in a Zoom Room for hours.
🔸I talked about money with a member of my guardian angel family, who are now my tribe.
🔸I wrote a letter to dad.
Discussion of this opened the conversation about the familial circumstances that surrounded his death and consequent messy outcome due to how it all unfolded.
My father got sick fast, but his family had been distant, due to ugliness surrounding my grandmother’s sickness, death, and consequent funeral ten years ago. He didn’t want to deal with the same, if not uglier nonsense while he was on his death bed. So he decided to keep his illness a secret. As these were his last wishes, I respected that and remained quiet. So anyone that was connected to my family in any way, didn’t know. This left me with carrying the entire burden of his illness by myself and it was excruciatingly difficult. That was especially the case because I couldn’t even talk to my childhood bestie, because she was connected to my family.
Remaining quiet under those circumstances was something that weighed on me heavily during his illness. I knew once everything was over, there would be no coming back from that, with his family. I was aware of how ugly it would be and how I would be looked at as the bad guy. Since there were real estate and inheritance involved, I knew that would add another layer of ugliness to the mix. So the entire time he was sick, I would continue to ask him if he was ready to let people know. His answer was always no.
“How do you feel that your father left you with the outcome of this messy situation? Are you angry?”
I was angry while it was happening because I was very aware of how ugly it would be and how I would be left alone to deal with it. So I tried to mitigate some of the ugliness that I knew would unfold by permanently distancing myself. That distance started by opting out of attending my father’s funeral because I knew I lacked the capacity to handle the overwhelming grief, the funeral, the loss, confrontation, AND the nastiness that would unfold AT THE SERVICE.
I actually felt like my therapist was saying WHEW GOOD LAWD, in her head.
“How do you reconcile having a multitude of mixed feelings surrounding the life and death of your father?”
My father and I had a complicated relationship while I was growing up, but it became less so as we both aged. That was probably due to him mellowing a bit, and me becoming more excepting and forgiving. I recognized he was who he was and loved him, although he was a very complex person.
So, the multitude of mixed feelings was always a part of our relationship. His death, only added grief to the mix.
“Did you know that Lotus grow in a mess of mud and thrive to become beautiful flowers? So, ANAIS, how do you thrive growing from that, now?”
That’s where we ended this session, on that note. I really don’t know for sure how to answer that question now, so I will have to give that some thought. I do know therapy has given me the tools and placed me on the right path to dive into that very multi-layered question. This journey called life has taken a very unplanned and different turn, but it feels good, and the path that I’m finally on, feels right.
I would love to know your thoughts on this session, therapy in general, and more about your journey in getting better in touch with who you are through therapy. Reach out, let’s chat on FB, IG, and Twitter. Until then, Happy Healing.
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