“T’was another lifetime, one of toil and blood. When blackness was a virtue, the road full of mud. I came in the from the wilderness, a creature void of form. Come in, she said, I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”
That was a song by Bob Dylan. I firmly believe that the Bob’s have some kind of healing potential. Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and Bob Seger. And, if you can’t find solace there, try Hank Williams. I’ve always found that it works to put some things into perspective and provide a little comfort during the worst of times. But, hey, that’s just my theory.
Lately, I’ve been looking for shelter from the storms, but there isn’t any. Cancer in my Aunt’s brain that has metastasized to other parts of her body. My “adopted mom” has finally decided to stop fighting and go to hospice, but, due to COVID, I may never see her again. My best friend’s child took his life. These combined emotional situations try your strength, and I don’t have much to give these days. I used to be kick-ass and hide every emotion until later. Apparently, I hid so many emotions, that they’ve all converted either back to panic attacks or dissociative seizures (I call them “brain vacations”). They’re a result (for me) of repressed Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder over my entire life.
There is no shelter from that storm in my brain. There is no escaping the fact that, during the most emotional of times, I have more seizures that last longer. (The longest has been 3 hours.) I’ve missed important events or been two to three hours late to birthday parties because I just can’t stop seizing. Yes, I fall. Yes, I’ve hit my head more times than I can count. Yes, I’ve broken a bone. Yes, I’ve fallen and seized at the exact worst times. But the absolute worst times…missing funerals, weddings, family gatherings. It hurts inside that I have no control over what my brain or body does.
“Bad news, bad news, came to me where I sleep. Turn, turn, turn again. Sayin’ one of your friends is in trouble deep. Turn, turn, to the rain and the wind.”
This is another Bob Dylan song that I didn’t truly discover until another one of my friends was sick with cancer. He was too young, but he was a truly “adopted dad” for me at work. We had our own spoken song language and there were other things that reminded me of my Dad, but it was nice to have someone to be close to so soon after my own Father passed away.
Every time I turn, turn it’s to the rain and the wind. I could be a fucking Zoloft commercial with a dark cloud hanging over me. I wish I could turn, turn to begin again, but that’s an impossibility so I just have to work on healing. It’s just not that simple. I wish it were. Just to go back to repression. Trauma, reaction, repression of any true feelings and then lather, rinse, repeat. Shelter from the real storms.
“Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright. Singing don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright.”
This one is a different Bob. If you’ve been living under a rock or never gotten high, you wouldn’t know that this is from a Bob Marley song. His music saved me when my Dad died. Maybe that’s what I should be listening to now. My heart and head are both full of worry and pain. Perhaps, that could help ease the ache in my heart and in my mind. When I love someone, I can feel their pain a mile away. Some might call it a gift. Some “the devil’s work”, but I don’t know how to explain it. I know things before and while they’re happening. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m open to them so comments are appreciated.
Recently, I had an episode that I thought was like any other seizure, but it wasn’t. I had an out of body experience (I’ve had them before), but this one was different. I met with my best friend’s son. He just smiled at me when I told him it was “okay to go home”, meaning, to go be with God. The light around us was so bright, I could barely see him, but he was wearing his old baseball hat and glasses and that smile. He told me that he was “at peace”, but he wasn’t ready “to go just yet”. He exuded peace and happiness as if I were going to join him on his path, but I awoke, more tortured than before. How do you tell your best friend that?
I wrestled with it, seizure after seizure, panic attack after panic attack, and still didn’t have an answer until we were standing there alone in her kitchen and I began to cry. I told her what happened. She said she knew that he was at peace now, but wondered why he was sticking around. I didn’t have the answer, but I couldn’t give her a half-truth.
I just don’t work that way. I don’t tell fairy tales. I don’t read to you from children’s books. I tell the truth. Sometimes, I bite my tongue. Sometimes, it’s too much, sometimes, too little, but no one has ever expected me to lie to them. When my “adopted mom’s” daughter posted that mom had chosen hospice rather than continuing this 5 years of fighting. I wrote her to tell her that I needed to tell her mother how much she changed my life and helped me when no one else did in ways that she’ll ever know. I told my Aunt that I would keep calling and checking in with her. I feel a bit of a sense of peace making these confessions, but I don’t know if they mean anything to the person I’ve confessed to, but I know I’ve done all I can at this point.
My love is all that matters anymore. I hope it’s enough.
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