In the past couple of post, I’ve gotten really candid and transparent. A part of me has been tempted to delete them in fear that the person(s) that I am speaking of has read them. Why do I care? Why am I concerned about what they think about my feelings? When the truth is, it is very clear that I am not being thought about and that’s okay. So why am I so concerned? Why am I hung up on what other people think of me? The only answer that I can come up with is that I am still on this roller coaster ride called grief.
I thought that when we go through the grief process, we are done after each step, Wham, bam, thank you ma’am! Well, I’m here to tell you that is not AT ALL the case. Grief isn’t limited by time or space. It kind of has a mind of its own. One minute you’re feeling ok, next you’re feeling like the trauma happened all over again.
7 Stages of Grief
Did you know that there are seven stages to grief? I know right! I absolutely hate it because not only can you jump back and froth between each stage, but there isnt a time limit on how long we could stay in a particular stage, no matter what we do. Sometimes the process has to happen organically.
Today, I would like to talk about the first stage; Shock and Denial pertaining to my own personal life. It is exactly what it sounds like. When we are faced with grief, our minds will go into “rest mode” if you will. We don’t know what to say, think, or feel. So, we’ll just deny it altogether. Not on purpose of course. When I was faced with my separation, I was totally shocked, which sounds so crazy because in the back of my mind I knew it was going to happen. I remember I would ask him all of the time if he was going to leave me. Side note: I wonder if I brought life to that concern by speaking on it or was it inevitable? Either way, I’ve always struggled with rejection and abandonment. You can say it is my Achilles heal.
Anyway, I cried for a while but soon became numb. I would call and call asking question after question, hoping that his answer would some how be different. My mind was so confused, disoriented, lost, and broken. During that time my mind was already weak from stress and abuse and now that I think about it, it is truly a miracle that I am coherent today. I devoured every lie he told me like it was best meal I’ve ever had. See, the thing about staying in denial is that it doesn’t hurt as much. I didn’t want to feel the pain. I was willing to do just about anything to avoid it., include trick my own psyche into believing that we are better together.
During this process, I was forced to ask myself, why is this my reaction? I was taught NEVER MAKE A MAN TELL YOU MORE THAN ONCE HE DOESN’T WANT YOU! I have lived by that mantra for years. It has never been so hard to walk away from a relationship. Ask my first husband. So what was it about this one?
The shock from devastating news protected me emotionally until I had no choice but to come face to face with my new normal that prevented me from being overwhelmed all at once. This stage can last for days, weeks, or even months. I can find myself getting through the other stages and some how find myself back to this one. Well, like I said at the beginning of this post, sometimes I find myself caring about what this person(s) has to say or think about me and it’s natural for me to retreat back into denial so I wont have to face the reality of “this is really over”.
So what does God have to say about me living in denial? It’s simple. If I stay in denial, I will not be able to heal. It reminds me of when He delivered the Israelite’s from Egypt. Needless to say it took Him a while, but when He did it, our Father provided everything that they needed to survive; food, water, clothing, light, and most importantly, fellowship with Him. Matter of fact, He was providing for them during their enslavement; sustaining them, strengthening them, preparing Moses for them to lead the way., but I’m sure from their perspective, they felt like He had forgotten about them. When the Lord delivered them, they had been slaves for many generations. They were used to it. So, when He gave them the opportunity to be free, I’m sure it was scary for most of them. They didn’t know what to expect. I cant help but to wonder if some of them were in denial about their freedom and stayed behind out of fear or a false sense of loyalty towards Pharaoh. The same reasons I stayed and would like to stay.
Staying in denial only causes more hurt and confusion in the long run. When we don’t face what is happening right in front of us, we only prolong the inevitable. Like I said, in my gut I knew this was going to happen. I guess I just hoped that it wouldn’t., that it would get better in the way that I wanted it to get better. But thank the Lord He doesn’t take advice from me. We would all be jacked up. And when I entertain the idea that what is happening in my life isn’t real and that my husband will magically change his mind and come home, I find myself even more heartbroken when reality says “hell no” with a kick in the gonads. Then, I am moved along to the one of the other six stages, which I will talk about next week.
Currently, I am holding onto this scripture:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41: 10
Sometimes I am afraid of the future and that is one thing I have never been afraid of until now. I am CHOOSING to hold onto the His promise that He will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me. Truthfully, He has been doing just that. It’s funny because right before I started this post, I was crying to figure out how to get through the night. Now, I feel a hundred times better; thank you Jesus.
Anyway, thank you for reading my thoughts. I am trying to shorten them, but there is so much on my mind, I cant promise anything. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.