I’m not really sure how we got to a place where it has been a whole week between this and my last post. I feel like time is just slipping away before I can catch hold of it. I’ve been kind of MIA from WP in the last week. While I’ve been trying to get online and read everyone’s posts, I’m so frenzied that I can barely concentrate. When I can, I’m finding that everything I read triggers me.
So please don’t take my lack of presence, via likes and comments, as a sign that I am ignoring of all of you and your stuff. Please don’t think I no longer care about each of you. I’m still here supporting you! I’m just not in the right headspace at the moment. So that support may be more from a distance until I can get myself together again.
What’s going on, you ask? Well, it’s really hitting me that my life is about to change in a big way. A big way that may include some big losses.
I am graduating on Tuesday. TUESDAY! Holy crap I don’t know how it got here so fast. But on Tuesday I am going to have my Master’s Degree.
On Monday, I was talking to H and S, the young ladies I babysit, about my upcoming graduation. H told me she wished I wasn’t graduating, because she doesn’t want me to stop being her babysitter. She and S both seemed convinced they’d never see me again. I tried to reassure them that nothing was changing yet, and that I’m not disappearing out of their lives. But after I dropped them off, I cried at the thought of losing them. I cried at the thought of being replaced. It sucks that they might end up with another babysitter, and that our relationship would change.
Today, my colleagues did a really nice thing for me. When I walked in this morning, they had decorated my desk and put together me a whole basket full of things as a graduation and thank you gift. All sorts of silly things that echo our time together and serious things that will prepare me for next year. I teared up when I saw it, because it’s starting to become real that my time with them is about to be over. I’ve spent the year connecting with them, and I finally feel comfortable with my responsibilities there, only for that to end.
It’s also occurring to me that I will no longer have built-in bonding time with the friends I have spent hours in class and studying with for the last three years. Will that change things for us? Will we still be close, or will they drift away like my friends from undergrad? I know it’s not the same type of relationship, and we’ve survived a year in internship and rarely seeing each other, but I still worry.
Plus, there’s that little fear about losing my therapist if the scheduling can’t be worked out or if I get a job far away.
So, yeah. So much transition is coming my way. I truly don’t know where I’ll be a few months from now and I’m terrified at the thought of the way things will change. I’m emotional thinking about the upcoming goodbyes.
I was prepared for these emotions to arise eventually, but not until the end of June, when I actually finish internship and my hours for babysitting begin to change. I was not prepared to be hit with an onslaught of them this week. It is so overwhelming. I have not had the mental or physical energy to do anything else aside from my responsibilities and fulfilling my basic needs. So I pretty much just stuffed the rest down and shoved on.
Until I walked into J’s office today.
I really didn’t want to go to therapy this week. Last night, I was thinking about what we’d even talk about, because I felt like I didn’t want to address the feelings I’ve been having. I just didn’t. I knew I’d get emotional and I wanted to avoid that at all costs. We all know I hate the idea of letting the floodgates burst and then having to leave session dealing with the aftermath. I resolved to talk about skills, or whatever J brought up.
But then my wonderful colleagues gave me that gift, and after the initial joy and gratitude, my mind spent most of the day clogged with this intense sadness that I could not get away from. My mood was just not right.
I covered that well enough in front of the rest of the world, but something about J’s office disarms me. I went in there still resolved to say that I was fine, and I did try to. When she asked, I said I was good. But I could feel that my face was betraying me, so J saw through it and asked me for the real answer.
She wanted to know what I was feeling, something more specific than ‘good’ or ‘fine’. “Emotional,” I told her. She wanted to know why I was emotional, but I told her I didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t want to cry. J told me it was important to allow myself to have emotions and to let them exist within a safe, controlled setting.
Here’s the thing about keeping all your emotions inside you. The longer you keep on as if everything is fine, the greater the pressure of everything you’re holding in. Eventually, it takes very little to trigger an implosion.
For me, it took a simple encouragement that it was okay to cry and one very empathetic look from J. I blame that stupid room. It’s like it literally pulls the emotion out through my pores.
What I’m saying is, I completely fell apart. I cried on and off for the entire session. We talked about all the stuff I really didn’t want to talk about too, and every time she brought up the topic of ‘goodbyes’ or ‘transition’ I would get upset and just start to lose it again. I remember saying to her that my emotions are too intense and too overwhelming to handle! as I was wiping my eyes relentlessly with tissues.
It was super intense. It was complete catharsis. I let all of my ugly and painful emotions out for J to bear witness to. Everything I’d spent the week trying to contain just exploded out of me.
By the end of session, I was finally at a point where I had at least somewhat calmed down. Now, a few hours removed, I don’t feel 100% better but I’m at least more settled. I let my feelings out and I’m still alive to tell the tale. My emotions were given the space to exist for a little while. I think that counts for something.
I don’t know what the point of this post was. I feel like I need to wrap it up with some cliche message like “Be in touch with your feelings” or “It’s okay to give yourself permission to let go sometimes.” Yet it just sounds silly to say, almost disingenuous. Because crying didn’t solve all my problems. It helped, and the emotions abated, but I know they will be back.
All I know is this. Sometimes the emotions are coming out whether you like it or not. The only thing you can do is buckle down and wait out the tears.