Feeling very low in both spirits and energy levels yesterday, I was in bed and asleep before the children. I slept unusually deeply again until midnight, when the dogs began barking. Clive was up instantly, alert and carefully checking to see what might be happening outside, but the barking continued intermittently for an hour with no clear reason, which is very unusual for our dogs. I tossed and turned for a few hours before getting back to sleep, wanting to pull the duvet over my head and hide when my alarm went off. I dragged myself into the shower and stood there, hands against the wall, head down, just letting the warm water pour over me, lacking the will for a long time to turn off the taps and face the world outside.
The day first got slightly worse when I dropped my youngest son at school and saw all the other children arriving in South African shirts and hats. When I asked his teacher lightly if I had missed the memo, she said, “Didn’t you get the Whatsapp message? It’s South African day!” I had of course not received the message, since my phone had been stolen, and I felt a wave of guilt wash over me, my own childhood fears making me anxious of my own children feeling like the odds one out, even though Rhys seemed oblivious. As I walked out of his classroom, holding back unreasonable tears, I found a birthday party
invitation in his school pocket. The party will be on the 31st May – the three-year anniversary of my mother’s death – and the tears threatened once again, though I continued to hold them at bay.
There was some improvement when I visited my amazing Chiropractor to find good physical recovery, and later a nearly two-hour counseling session made me realise that I am making a pretty good psychological recovery too. After talking through the events of Saturday night in detail again, then discussing how we have been coping thus far this week, I felt calm and confident that we are doing all that we can to work through our experience, and move forward positively, though it will hardly be smooth sailing. The session then moved onto the more treacherous and complex territory of past traumas, containing decades of pain more difficult to articulate, acknowledge or move forward from. I can only hope that our recent experience has inadvertently given me access to support to go back and find new ways to heal old wounds.