We all have anniversaries in our lives, some we look forward to with great anticipation, while others we wish we could forget entirely. As a person who has lived through a lot of trauma, sadness and fear, unfortunately many of my memories are those in the latter category. I’ve spent a lot of time in therapy and will probably be on the Blue Happy Pills the rest of my life, and I’m OK with that. I read several articles today about research into using the beta-blocker drug propranolol to help lessen the intensity of memories in people who have been diagnosed as having PTSD. This one is a good representative.
Clearly this topic is in the media right now due to the many soldiers coming back from the war zones in the Middle East having survived physically but with broken minds. I’ve lived with my memories for so long now I can’t really imagine what it would be like to have their power lessened, although I would be willing to find out.
I realized today that I had let one of my anniversaries slide by without my noticing: the date of my abortion. Not that I don’t remember the date, I do, it was March 21, but for whatever reason this March 21st I did not think of it, not once. I suppose you could count that as progress, I would call it a delayed reaction as I did think of it today.
This year the government has given you until April 17th to file your tax return, and this corresponds with the 2nd anniversary of my brother’s death in a car accident.
I continue to grieve. I mourn so many things… the loss my mother feels for her beloved son, my brother the loss of his twin, and (perhaps selfishly) those years I lost thinking I was weak or sick or accountable, and the very real loss of the ability to resolve anything – my anger and sadness at his inability to take responsibility, my fractured relationship with him and how that bleeds onto my relationships with others within the family...so many things.
Sometimes I feel whole, I take a breath and don’t expect the air to come whistling out of the cracks, but sometimes I feel irreparably broken, and no amount of time or love or therapy is going to fix me.
You probably have heard by now that the great American writer Kurt Vonnegut died this week. This is the image from his site. Some day I hope to join you, Mr. Vonnegut, out of the cage.