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Absolute Healing Blog

Th Big Freeze

Posted in Clare's story on 02/01/2016

Th Big Freeze

The Big Freeze

10 years ago I got married to a man I loved absolutely, the only man I have ever felt such depth of connection to, my true soul mate. We had been living together for eight years and had created a happy, loved filled home with, collectively, our seven children. He gave so much love, he was understanding and kind and cooked for everyone, he made meal times a time of laughter, fondness and togetherness. Of course there were problems along the way but I was so certain that we were meant to be together and would remain so that I never seriously considered a future without him. I was astoundingly and deliriously happy.

It was just 18 months later that he told me that he no longer loved me and the words struck me like a guided missile. They hit me so hard they blew me out of my body to somewhere above and slightly behind myself and into a state of shock: that merciful and life-saving condition that we are hurled into at the moment of a trauma.

This shocked state allowed me to function. I got out of bed in the morning, dressed, although with no care or enjoyment, and worked my way numbly through the day. I couldn’t talk to anyone about what had happened to me, after all, nothing outwardly had changed. Pete was still living with us, spending most of his waking hours either working shifts as a nurse or visiting his very elderly and infirm parents and my children all had plenty happening in their own lives. My oldest was 18 and awaiting the ‘A’ level results that would allow her entry to her 4-year degree course in Manchester, they then went down in age in two year increments: the 16 year old was preparing for her final year of school, the 14 year old entering her GCSE year, and the 12 year old deeply absorbed in either cricket or computer games.

Not talking about what was happening to me was symptomatic of the iron grip I had on my emotions. It enabled me to be there for my kids, but only materially, and looking back now I can see that it kept me paralysed and walled off from everyone I loved and in my efforts to protect them from my pain, I caused a great deal of damage.

Had I talked, had I broken down, had I trusted some dear friends who could see my struggle but could not penetrate my armour I could have begun to release some of the anguish that was building inside me. This might have allowed me to breathe and let healing begin. But I feared the strength of my emotions, I believed that they would shatter me and I would not be able to bear the pain. I also, if I am honest, held back from allowing myself to collapse into the arms of friends because I feared being seen as weak, that I had failed and, worst of all, that they would judge me.

And it was so very, very damaging, not only to me but also to my nearest and dearest. For me, it kept me stuck. I stayed in my frozen state for years and the complete thaw has taken the best part of a decade. For my kids it built a wall. It made me unapproachable and closed, it prevented any conversation about the pain that they were going through too and it denied them my softness, acceptance and love. It also taught them a very unhealthy way to deal with their own trauma.

It must have been extremely difficult for my Mother as well. She must have felt my pain, but I had long since set a pattern of superficial connection and an avoidance of a deeper or more real relationship between us which must have been very sad for her. And for close friends it was a rejection, I batted away hands reached out to me and with some I created an irrevocable distance between us.

But the good news is that I learned a great deal from this excruciatingly painful stage in my life, and it has enabled me to heal some of the wounds created then and those that have been there a lot longer.

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