turning outward

I'm find myself craving to take care of things like Baby Kitty or Michelle or thinking about getting a kitten or another dog. And I know that I'm trying to turn outward instead of in. I know I need to turn my attention to my dissertation chapters, to job letters and materials to my laundry and dirty apartment but instead I sit and ache. Even though I know that sometimes things happen, shitty things happen, I typically try and reason events to understand and make sense of what's happened. But I can't find a way to reason Adia's death, not one I can live with comfortably. So the pain sits in my chest, kernals of guilt and fear and anger and sadness.

A student of mine experienced his own tragedy, a family member died when a drunk driver passed out and crossed over the lines. The driver was not badly hurt, some cuts and bruises. The student shared this with me as part of a proposal to make up some work he'd missed. It brought to the surface some emotions that surprised me. I went into counsel mode and shared that I'd lost someone the same way and that the trauma comes with its own unique difficulties and emotions. I urged him to seek outside help, explaining that "having someone to blame" often has a tendency to cripple the recovery process. It did for me. When Candace died, I got angry. I'm very comfortable with anger and its byproducts so I clung to the anger for a very long time. It seriously impeded any effort on my part to move through the other emotions: guilt, loss, sadness that I was feeling. I wanted the student to know he wasn't alone because that's what I felt so strongly during that time. I ran away to England to escape the loneliness which only made it worse, more intense and frightening. As the student spoke to me, all of these feelings rushed me. I wasn't sure if it was Adia's death that made me open up, but I left the discussion feeling a bit out of place. To go to that level with a student is not like me. I felt it was important, though, enough to feel uncomfortable so that the student could get help.

Since then, I've been feeling a bit tender and vulnerable and unsure of myself. And I know I need some attention inward. I know and resist it because it means I have to make myself important and take time for myself. Instead I redesigned the blog template and worked on my job letter. Maybe some peace will come in my dreams, tonight.