Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Storm of Pain, and other shameless metaphors

Humans are interesting creatures, not unlike animals in their desire to shun pain, to do what they can to avoid the sting of a wound, be it physical or emotional. About the time I stopped posting to my blog I had stepped into the axis of my pain, and I have to admit, it surprised me.

Just weeks earlier I had been talking with my friend Mary, explaining that I had already mourned the end of my marriage three years ago. All that was left to grieve was the impact it was having on my children (can we say denial?). I was efficiently moving through my divorce, checking through these emotional steps like items on a To-Do list. That’s when the unbearable pain hit me, stealing my breath. Suddenly my heart resembled a split melon, wide and messy with emotion. I thought I was going to die, thought I wanted to die, and gravitated towards my ex, the only one who truly understood how much our divorce hurt.

Not until this moment have I recognized two types of pain. One steals upon you slowly and before you realize it this pain has taken over your life and become common—what you’re used to. We recognize it in the story of a frog, seduced to his death by lounging in a pot of water slowly set to boil. We become comfortable with this type of pain—we recognize it and have learned to cope with it. It’s manageable.

The other pain is a storm, a Katrina of hurt that disorients you, blurs your vision and masks the horizon. I was in the eye of this storm just one month ago. And I’m convinced that often we’re required to step through this brand of pain in order to reach a much better place, a promised land, a city of hope, a bright future. Cheesy, I know, but true. But how eager I was to slip from this pain into another that was more comfortable, albeit equally debilitating.

For the first time in my life I empathized with people who turn to drugs and alcohol to escape pain. It’s just that base instinct we all have to free ourselves from a long moment of crushing heartache. Whether we, when possible, avoid the storm altogether or turn to something that will numb our awareness of it, we’re depriving ourselves of a blissful destination at the end of an arduous journey. That is what I have to believe. For me, my ex, and my children, I know this painful moment in the string of eternity is really just the gust of wind we need to reach a better place.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself today…

14 comments:

Candygirlflies said...

We're all right here for you, Shauna, holding out umbrellas and big yellow slickers for you as you come through the storm...

And you WILL come through the storm... you just have to let it blow itself out, first.

The rainbow afterwords will be worth it, I'm sure.

xo CGF

Gustogirl said...

I hope that this storm of pain that you are in calms soon. I don't prentend to know how hard what you are going through is, but I hope you find strength in the reality of a brighter future. Thanks for your words. You are such a talented writer.

Anonymous said...

It does get easier. I promise.

Love to you and all of your kids, and your ex too. I hope all of you find a path to peace. I know that you are on your way. Lots of Love,
Mary

Rachel said...

...just wait till the sun peaks out for you...it will!!
Thanks for your beautiful honesty.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

That is beautifully written. Very insightful. You are in my prayers.

suburbancorrespondent said...

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Your words make me wince, the pain comes through loud and clear. I remember in my divorce years ago (no kids involved), I felt as though I were one of those animals which has to chew its own leg off to escape a trap. That sort of pain, you know? Ouch.

Becky said...

Thinking of you....wow....it will get easier....it has to. You will find the strength. Hold on. {hugs}

LikeAstaR said...

I can't begin to imagine the pain that your family must be going through. Your beautiful writing helps to shed some light on it, however, and I am truly sorry. Blessings to you and your family.

Karen said...

And in the meantime, be sad, be sad, be sad, be sad. I love you.

Bananas said...

beautiful and very real. hang in there.

Kristi O said...

Though I am not going thru a divorce I can somehow understand that pain that you want to scream "UNCLE" and make it all go away, often the person who has hurt you the most is the only one you can talk to or will understand. I am still standing in prayer for all of you.

karla said...

The way you have described pain really resonates with me, but for a different reason. I lost a child.

Thank you for sharing these eloquent and well written truths.

Hugs to you.

shauna said...

I hope everyone's not getting too sick of my poor, melancholy blog. I promise I'm not this sad all the time and I'm hoping it gets a little easier as time goes on. Thanks so much for all your love and support. You guys are better than therapy (and cheapter too! :) ).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is a really old blog. But I wanted to comment and say that todays generation copes with their pain with, well, pain. Watch out for that in your kids when they grow to be troublesome teenagers.

~someone who's been there