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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Grieving: Loss is Loss

"Chelsea, you need time to grieve", my friend said. 

No, I don't, no one died, I thought. 

Grieving isn't a process you think about until you're forced to process emotions, every single day. Grieving can be a full time job. It sucks. 

I didn't think I had to grieve because my boyfriend walked out on me while I was pregnant. I didn't think that I had the right to feel like a part of me was forever...gone. He was still alive. I have friends who have lost husbands, I couldn't grieve like them.

"Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. Though we often expect to grieve the death of a family member or friend, many other significant losses can also trigger grief."

I lost something. A friend, a relationship, a past, feelings of security, familiarity, comfort, support, and my routine. I needed to grieve. This was my new normal...grieving. Would it last forever? What would it entail?

I don't know much about grief, I know about loss. But sometimes, I refuse to grieve. I cut myself from a situation or person and just move on. I throw myself into work, fitness, my faith, or extra activities to take my mind off of what's going on within me. 

I am really good at cutting someone from my life. If they burn me, or I feel used time and time again, I cut them out. I cut off all communication, build a wall, and move on. No, it isn't healthy but I never really "miss" those people I cut out. I start over in life without their influence and life is just as sweet and rewarding without them in the picture. 
So what do I do when I can't cut someone out? Someone who I will need to "deal with" until my daughter is an adult and possibly even after, I mean, we have a child together?

I grieve. I go through the emotions. I process feelings. I cry. I become angry. I pray. I seek wisdom. Can I just say how exhausting it is sometimes? 

Last night, after a decent visitation period for Laurel and her father...I became extremely emotional. I had to sit down and think about where these emotions were coming from. 
Did I miss him? No.
Did I wish things were different...that we could work things out? No.
Did I hate him? No. 

I simply was feeling acceptance. Acceptance that things do not always change, and that people can let you down and betray you and you do not need to befriend them. I was emotional because I knew that I would have to continue to constantly "work" on the fact that I cannot and do not want to be his friend, ever again. I have forgiven him. I am civil. I am around him when he visits Laurel, but I do not have to make any effort beyond parenting. All I've ever know is to either cut someone out and cut off all efforts or throw myself into a friendship/relationship with everything I have. 

There's no in between. No middle ground, where I forgive but do not give the power of trust or friendship. But, I have to find those gray areas and after finding them and understanding those boundaries, I have to try and stay in those boundaries without resentment, without anger, without pain. Where do you start? At what point in this process do you begin? I have no idea. I've decided to live life, acknowledge the different stages of grief and seek help as needed. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.