This morning, I was woken up by my broken heart. After another night of bad dreams, it took me a moment to sit up in bed and realize that I was safe and that it was ‘just’ a dream.
The nightmare was awful.
My love was driving, my eldest son in the front seat, my eldest daughter next to me in the backseat, I was sitting behind my son. We were driving across the San Mateo bridge, and although I’m from the Bay Area and frequently cross the bridges, I’m nervous and uncomfortable every time. One thing that makes the San Mateo bridge extra creepy is that for a good length of it, you’re so close to the surface of the water that it looks like you’re riding on top of it.
All of a sudden, the water started rising around the car, then we crashed head on into the rail and the car slammed into the water. It felt so real in the dream that I remember feeling the impact as we hit the water. All of our windows were open and each of them started swimming out of the windows. But I didn’t immediately escape.
Water was rushing through the back of the car and I frantically felt through the water with my right hand looking for a journal that I write to my niece. Even in a dream, I couldn’t leave without it. Once I felt it, I held onto it and then began to try to get out of the car which was rapidly filling with water….
One thing that really bothers me about this whole situation is that telling a story about something so personal such as this, requires very personal information to be put out there. In order to tell the story accurately, I have to include all the gut-wrenching hurtful details that this has all caused. Although I want to crawl in a hole and never make a sound, I have no choice but to lay it all out. Personal life isn’t so personal anymore. Things I never wanted to think about in the first place are now all on the table for the world to know and judge. It bothers me so much to put my/our pain and struggle all out in the open, but I know I have to if I want to really help the reader understand where I’m coming from and what I’m talking about.
I have had a few too many extremely traumatizing things happen to me in my life and talking about them is something I don’t do. I have my life written in 7 or so journals, simply so I can maintain a certain sense of security. It’s hard to keep track of entries and events when they’re so spread out and in no particular order.
I value my privacy, and I keep so much of my life to myself. You don’t really know about my life unless you were there to personally experience it with me. I’m a private person and I like to keep things tucked away in my heart. The intimacies of my being should be safely kept in that hidden place that no one is allowed to go, and now writing it out, seemingly in neon colors, is extremely difficult for me.
I don’t want to tell anyone how much pain I’m in. I don’t want to say why I’m broken-hearted. I don’t want to say out loud that because of this, I have to adjust my daily life and remember that everything else is beautiful and wonderful. I don’t want to share that I cry in the middle of the night when I’m writing. I don’t want anyone to see me because when it’s over I feel embarrassed that I can’t control it. Losing a child the way we have brings out emotions I never even knew existed. I don’t want to say that it hurts so bad, that sometimes I feel like I need to be held and comforted like a small child. I’ve had more than a few people I’ve met after this ordeal tell me ‘there’s something behind your eyes’ , and I feel like I have to explain because it’s apparent it’s something.
It’s no fun putting my heart on display, I’m still so vulnerable. For being so strong, I feel so fragile. As much as I want lock my feelings up in a storage trunk and hide it in the attic, it’s just the opposite. You have to talk out tragic things. You have to be able to express what don’t want to otherwise it will weigh you completely down.
I don’t like giving up my privacy but I will to tell our story, to possibly help someone who feels alone and afraid. I write it all out, holding nothing back, despite the fact I want to keep my personal feelings personal.
What should be kept to oneself is now being discussed around the dinner table and being gossiped about over the phone. But the message is important. It isn’t easy to share, but it is necessary. It’s vital that our experience is not hidden away like the ‘dirty little secret’ it was intended to be.