September has always been a difficult month for me. Anniversaries will do that. But this year it seems to be hitting in a different place.
Memories used to knock me right back to the day of the assault. I could feel the memory coming on and be body slammed back in time as if I were there, experiencing it all over again. I have come a long way since then and I will be forever grateful for my therapist who held onto me and slowly pulled me out of that recurring nightmare. I have become an expert at separating past and present.
But the memories are always there. Everyday.
I let them come, the tears well up, I distract myself. Life goes on.
And then September comes and the memories come more often. The tears flow freely. The nights are more difficult.
This year it is worse. I’m not sure why. I am experiencing an indescribable heavy sadness that I can’t seem to shake. I can’t get the horrific images out of my head. They are not triggering. I know they are just memories. But they follow me everywhere throughout the day and into the night. They are unrelenting.
The anniversary is next week and I usually go down to the city to visit her grave. In the last few years her mother had joined me. Perhaps that is why this year feels so different. Her mother passed away early this year and she was the only living connection I had to Daphne. Now I have no connection at all. We didn’t like each other but at least we had a shared sorrow. I feel very alone in my sadness this year.
This is also the season of atonement, something I have practiced since my youth. But this year, for the first time, I will not be asking anyone for forgiveness. Not that I have been a perfect spouse, parent, friend, colleague or human. So far it. But last year I wrote a very sincere letter of atonement, and for the first time ever, my effort was totally ignored. Not rejected (which has also never happened). Just ignored. Dead silence. And ever since I have been grappling with what it means to be unforgivable. Which continually feeds the reality that I will never be able to forgive myself for that one day that took Daphne away, forever. Yeah, I’m not in a good place.
So yes, life goes on and then September comes. I go into a funk.
I will be sitting here with it for as long at it lasts.
This too shall pass.