Pain.

Standard

It’s pretty rare T sees me cry, even a little bit. In the last six years, this is probably only the third time she’s sat with me while I’ve lost control and sobbed. Sobbed, sobbed and sobbed. 

It took a while for us to connect. Everything hurt inside and she kept asking me to speak but I had nothing to say. I started to cry and still had nothing to say. Then she asked me do you think I love you less by not coming? and that was me gone. When I felt like I was going to die if she didn’t do something I asked her to sit with me and she did, of course. She cuddled until the tears subsided enough for us to speak. Not being there doesn’t change how much I feel for you, she said. I will be thinking about you, I want to see photos. A part of me will still be at your day – more than just a part of me. 

With 5 minutes to go I asked her to read the book I’d brought with me – The Fox and The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith. 

This book is stunning. Buy a copy and fall in love with it like I have. It is mesmerising.

I only bought it this week by fluke, though I’d seen the hardback copy before – but it felt very appropriate for today. 

It’s about a small fox who has a star as his only friend. They spend lots of time together and play in the forest. Then one day the dark comes but Fox can’t find Star. He looks and looks but cannot find Star. Eventually he hides in his den and feels awful for a long, long time.

After the time to feel bad has passed, Fox is tempted back outside. He strays out of the forest into a clearing which is terrifying… but then looks up to see a sky full of stars. The story ends with Fox feeling content that his star is up there, somewhere, shining down. 

On the last page of the book is an image of the fox, filled totally inside himself with stars. 

There is something very comforting about the book. Right now I need to hibernate and feel awful. But eventually, I hope I will feel okay enough to leave the den where everything feels awful, step forward into the scary place of getting married without her there watching… and take comfort in knowing that she is still watching, taking part, somewhere close by… just not quite in the way I’d hoped.  

This too shall pass, right? I feel awful. 

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8 responses »

  1. It takes so much strength and courage to feel so intensely and mourn so thoroughly when you have been so profoundly wounded in relationships. I admire your ability to honestly want for T to be at your wedding and to whole heartedly love her.

    I don’t know if this applies for you, but I know that when I reach for my therapist in some way that echoes a need that my mother neglected and my therapist isn’t able to come through for me, I experience pain and anger both in the now relationship with my therapist and interwoven strands of extra intensity related to my complicated relationship with my mother. Even though I’ve always been clear that she isn’t my mother and I don’t want for her to be my mother, I yearn for someone to fill those holes that my mother left and my therapist is the one who has been able to do it at all.

    I hope that your heart has the time it needs to heal around her not being there in person when you get married, so you can fully feel the joy of the day.

    • It definitely makes the relationship with my mum feels extra complicated at the mo. T said yesterday that as well as the distance, she also wouldn’t feel comfortable being at the wedding because it will make things much more challenging for me and my mum. This felt both supportive and painful in equal measure. Supportive because she’s working to keep me safe (even when it’s something that doesn’t feel good for her) and because she’s thought about what’s best for me. But painful because sometimes it’s easy to feel like my mum doesn’t deserve a say in who is there or not. Not that I’d choose T over my mum, it’s not that clear cut… but it’s not like I have this loving amazing mother daughter relationship that is worth cherishing and respecting, my mum doesn’t cherish or respect me at all.

      T has filled so many holes – she’s my first secure attachment and has totally revolutionised the way I form relationships and cope day to day. I have absolutely no doubt that she cares about me and everything she does is done with care and love and support. But this is another of those times when my background feels so obvious and so damaged. That damage is never fully smoothed over, is it?

      Sorry for the long reply.

  2. I have that book! It is truly gorgeous. 🙂

    Sorry you feel so awful, I know you will work through this pain with her and get to a place of acceptance.

    • We talked on the phone today and it feels a bit better. She was so lovely about how I can ring her on the day, at any time if I need to and send her photos. And she’ll look after the little parts for me during the day whilst I have an amazing day as an adult. Today feels less hard. Thanks for being here x

      • You’re welcome. I’m glad it feels less hard today and that she reassure you. Think about the skype thing or even streaming the wedding ceremony through video link for guests who can’t be there in person. All worth thinking about. ❤

  3. Your words and this book are like a window for me to see what my children go through in order to form secure attachments. I want to thank you for opening up this way. Your feelings are valid and difficult. I am glad you are able to express yourself and work through them.

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