There are blank spots in my memory. Black, gaping holes of time I can no longer pin down; time leading up to, and immediately following, the death of my mother, Mary, back in June of 1989. And, if I'm being honest, I don't really start having full, in-Technicolor memories again until about 1993 or '94, when I moved to Mystic, CT. I was definitely in a dark place for a long time. I'm not entirely sure how I didn't get myself into a ton of trouble; I'm convinced there were plenty of opportunities. Somehow, I managed to...for want of a better word...survive.
No matter how dark things got, though, I never, ever considered removing myself from this mortal coil. I did some self-destructive things, but I don't think those things were ever life-threatening. Stupid? Absolutely.
But when my thoughts wander into the wormholes of lost time, sometimes they unearth things which I'm not ready to examine. I can't steel myself against, or prepare myself for, what memories will hitch a ride back to my conscious mind. And that's what happened last night. I dug up stuff that I would have preferred stayed buried.
Mostly because of the mental and emotional state I was in during those times. I'd lost my mother. I was a teenager. I was hurting and destructive and was convinced no one cared or understood or wanted to help. It was those feelings that resurfaced last night. That desperate pain of grief and loss and of being lost.
So I cried. Long and loud and hard. It was awful. I don't recommend it.
The lesson I learned is sometimes, those blank spots are blank for a reason. It's usually self protection. And to shed light on them - even a dim light - can be...not exactly detrimental, but certainly not helpful, either.
I feel better this morning. I do. Yesterday was not a good day anyway so I was already fragile and my barriers were down. Today, aside from seriously puffy eyes and some post-crying jag congestion, I feel better.
I believe getting better - trying to find that emotional upward swing in a downward spiral - is a game. Like two steps forward and one step back. Progress. Set back. Progress. Setback. I'm not sure you're ever really...there. Done. 100%.
But I'll take better. That will do for now.