March 15, 2011

The Ides of March, For Me

The body remembers even when the mind forgets.

Every year as summer draws to a close and August slips into September, I carry a sense of anticipation with me. Much like a thought on the tip of the tongue, it's a persistent feeling that something significant is just about here. At first I wonder I why it is that I am suddenly feel this way. Then a photograph, a glance at a calendar, a mention of something on a blog reminds me: oh, yes, this is right when those calls came out of the blue. Two years apart, from the adoption agencies, telling us that expectant mothers had picked us. Calls that led, eventually, to my little family. Although those are not anniversaries I consciously mark, something within me remembers. Every year.

It has been one year since my world turned upside down in a gut-wrenching moment. One year of heartbreak and soul-searching, of asking questions I thought I'd never have to ask and making decisions I thought I'd never have to make. One year, encircled by the love of friends and family, of figuring out life in After and finding out that I would be more than fine. Not a year I ever want to relive, to be sure, but I wrested some good out of it. I cling to that.

My mind is all Elinor Dashwood, keenly aware of how difficult that time was, but firmly giving more weight to other realities: this is not last year and much has changed, love and support surrounds me, there are far worse griefs that can befall a person. Anniversaries can be hard, but they pass; it is as simple as that. Yet my body channels Miss Marianne, throwing herself with abandon into reliving the emotion of a year ago. It wakes me up in the middle of the night to lie in sadness, leaving me exhausted in the morning. I sit staring at a blank computer screen, unfocused and unable to write. On the surface this week looks like the one before it: a string of meetings and mothering and meals to be made. I go about my days, getting things done. But underneath I cannot shake a sense of heaviness and dread. Like a constant, fuzzy memory that wants to break through. I do not like it.

The body remembers, even though the mind tries to forget.

I've watched people these past couple of weeks and wondered if they live with such internal calendars, too. If certain times of year or the weather being just like it was on that one day dredge up these kinds of emotional memories for them. I've wondered what my children may carry with them, what experiences from their earliest days still live on in their cells. Wondered how much of each of us is made up of memories lying in wait.


Anonymous said...

In the world where I parent, they call those "traumaversaries" and yes, the body does know. I know that once I understood mine enough to expect it, its reach and prevalence lessened.

I'm kind of waiting to see whether Mara will be having one soon. Her move to her first foster family was a year ago this month and I've been meaning to look up the date. Even though she wouldn't have known the date, I suspect her body will know that as the world breaks into springtime she left her family for good.

Tammy said...

Yes. At least in my world there are these kinds of feelings. With me, it hits and alot of times takes me awhile to stop and say "what happened that makes me feel this way?" It is actually a creepy sort of feeling knowing your body is remembering something your mind is trying not to (I guess).

But then you sometimes do have to stop and see that your mind and body are saying "you need to remember, and deal with it". I am definitely in that place right now too. Many moments I wish I could wish all of 2010 away but again, then I'd have to relive it and that would be worse.

Thinking of you, friend, and praying you are moving forward, even as your body remembers.

Lavonne said...

yes. the body does remember even when the mind wants to forget. this happens to me every year when the xmas decorations go up as my dad passed away in dec.

Anonymous said...

Yes! This was beautifully expressed. I think we all have certain memories associated with certain emotive events--times of year, smells, etc. I like the word "traumaverseries" in the first comment.

Anonymous said...

@motherissues: that is a good word, and I am going to keep it. Thank you.

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