No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Therapy is Grrrrrrreat!

I just read the entry I posted last night. There is a reason I'm an ER nurse and not a poet, essayist or journalist. I have a little flare for the dramatic and grandiloquent.

I marveled over the sensation last night, though. It's amazing what two solid years of psychotherapy will do for you. I really could feel the sultry waters of the nighttime Caribbean lapping against me, gliding like a silk scarf over my arms as I drifted out into the water, all while standing on a grassy knoll in PA waiting for my dog to finally pee.

When you tap into feelings you get the whole ball of wax. You don't get to pick and choose what you'll feel and what you won't. That meant I had to finally grieve over the death of my sister (in 1984, at the age of nineteen). It meant I had to feel, with full force, the loss of my dad a few months ago, aged 73 but still far too young to suit me. I got to experience all the feelings associated with only having a few weeks of accepting and loving my father just as he was before he left us. I only had a little while to love him from a place of having forgiven him for being a drunk most of my life, for not having the courage to stick up for his convictions and for failing to believe in himself enough to be everything he might have been.

I forgave my father for feeling he was a failure all his life. I forgave my dad for dying without ever exploring his mind and his inner self. I get my cunning and my looks from my mother. I got my openness, my sensitivity and a large measure of my smarts from Dad. Dad contented himself as best he could with the hand he was dealt, never testing the boundaries.

I push the envelope now, thanks to my own concerted efforts, expertly guided by my therapist, Rowena. It means I had to feel it all when Dad died, all the pain of his loss and of a half-led life. But it also means I can transport myself back a week to feel sea water against my skin and see unfamiliar stars before my eyes and feel it all. I can also drift back over forty years and feel myself held tightly in my father's arms in the cool waters of the Atlantic; alarmed, exhilarated and thrilled by the waves on my skin; frightened as they reach Dad's chin...immersed in the sensations, safe as I've ever been and feeling it all.

The bad is inseparable from the good and that's alright. I'll take it...all of it...in exchange for a life fully lived.

Technorati tags: life / self-awareness

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