Megan had been thinking about Christina-Taylor while brushing her 9 year old's hair and she commented yesterday that she had to keep myself from crying in front of my daughter.
She'd gone right into protective mode. It's a reaction I've seen a lot of lately. More often than not I am on the receiving end of the equation. I haven't had much energy going toward protecting other people.
Please don't ask TBG how that has been working out. I'm self-involved and reference everything in life vis-a-vis my situation and my situation is all that I can think about and my friends and family and strangers on the street have been enabling my addiction. Protecting anyone but myself has been beyond my capabilities for the last 4 months.
I couldn't even take care of a 9 year old on a Saturday morning in front of a grocery store in an upscale neighborhood. I couldn't keep either of us out of harm's way. How in the world could I possibly be asked to help someone else?
Those around me were complicit in my behavior. When I tried to carry something or walk out to the mailbox or load the dishwasher cries of "What are you doing?" and "Let me do that!" floated my way before I had a chance to do much of anything. I was being protected. Nothing more than healing was expected from me
Up until the last few weeks it never got much deeper than that. My focus was on healing my broken body and presenting a strong front to the outside world. That was my job. But then my physical self stopped inserting itself in the forefront of my brain and there was room in there for the sorrow to reassert itself.
I began to cry. I'm walking around with a lump in my throat most of the time. Some of it is PTSD but most of it is just plain sad. All I have left of my little friend is a purple bracelet and her photo showing up on my screensaver's slide show. I have no problem sharing my sorrow with anyone and everyone who comes anywhere close to mentioning her. I startle people with the intensity of my reaction. Ask me a question and you'll get an answer, an honest answer. You asked the question.... you have to chance the consequences. Protecting anyone but myself is beyond my ken.
When C-T's mom is confronted with strangers' anguish over her loss, she feels the need to comfort them. She's a nurse and it's what she was trained to do but it's also who she is in the depths of her soul. Being out in public is exhausting for her. So many people feel her loss. Megan had to choke back tears.
When I am approached by such strangers I can allow the hugging and the tears and the sentiment to wash over me. I feel no responsibility for it. Whatever you are getting from the interaction is yours and yours alone. If touching me makes you feel better, gives you something you're missing, establishes a connection, if being hugged can help you heal, that is fine with me.
I am getting what I need as you show me that I am not alone. I'm protecting myself by using you as a bulwark against the evil and the awful and the sad. That's about as far as I can get right how.