When You Don't Realize That Feeling
You know the names of all the "regular" feelings: anger, sadness, frustration, confused, etc.
You don't anticipate that one of the major feelings that will follow a trauma (that doesn't end in death) is grief.
The grief is so confusing. Why was I feeling grief? My husband didn't die. He came home that day. He was safe. He was lying next to me. But yes...this was grief. And it wasn't until I was sitting in the psychologist's office one day that it sank in. After having a dialogue with my husband, he looked at us and said "Well it makes sense that you're having a hard time with that. You are mourning the person you used to be."
It hit us both like a tonne of bricks. I tried to keep my reaction hidden (as I often did).
But damn, in that moment, a lightbulb went off. My heart was ahead of my brain. My heart was mourning the husband that was gone before my mind could figure it out.
I am not saying this in a bad way. I'm saying it in a realistic way. Trauma changes you permanently. I am not saying that he became a bad person. But he did become a different person. After 11+ years together, I was now having to relearn a lot about who my husband was, which was a lot of trial and error.
And I know that he was struggling with doing the same thing. He was coming to terms with the fact that there was no going back. He could only move forward as he discovered who he now was and who he was still going to become.
At first, it seemed like a bad thing. But it wasn't bad... It was just an adjustment; a learning curve.
The biggest factor to all of this was patience (which neither of us is known for).
If you or your spouse have gone through a trauma, remember that you aren't necessarily going to be the same people. Remember to have patience. And most importantly, remember that you're on the same team.
Be kind to yourself and one another,