my heart is held together with duct tape

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Grief is a curious thing. We each manage it differently and it affects us all in unique to us ways. All my life, in trauma situations, my reaction is to push all emotion aside and deal with what needs to get done. I think it comes from a combination of places, including learning at a very young age that if something needs doing you do it, because no one else will do it for you.

But it’s also a part of my “Virgo-ness” and my intense need to help others.

I’m not saying I haven’t had my emotional moments since Dad’s passing. When I first heard, I broke down in a way I seldom have. There were sobs and for a while, I couldn’t breathe. My knees hit the floor once I’d called my brother to tell him. I teared up at the memorial, talking about him. There have been a few things that remind me of him that had me welling up.

But by and large, I haven’t really “let it all out” and I’m not sure when or if I will. There is still so much to do and I worry about never finding my way back to an even keel if I let go.

My focus these days is on taking care of my stepmother. I can apply logic and thinking to the problems presented by taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient from afar and dealing with her finances, her day-to-day needs, and all of that.

I know I need to open up to the emotion of it all, I just don’t know if I can. At least not while I have stuff to do. I’m at an age where the generation before me is starting to go. I’ve already lost a few family and friends in that generation and I know that there will be more to come.

Right now my heart is held together with duct tape so that the grief doesn’t come flooding out and fill my body. The problem with that is I’m running in constant fight or flight mode whenever I’m not just disassociating and pretending not to exist.

It’s exhausting. I’m headed to Nashville on Sunday though, taking myself on a journey to joy and my happy place: live music.

Maybe it will help. I guess we’ll see.

Remember Kindness this holiday season, Readers. You never know what private grief is hidden behind that stranger’s face. And if you haven’t yet, pick up The Blood Witch Saga. Leave a review. That’d be a great holiday gift to this author.

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