Why do I feel that it is my job to shield others from the pain that I know they are feeling because I am feeling that pain too?
This week has been exceptionally difficult.
We found out Monday that my grandma has 10 tumors in her brain that are threatening her survival. I'm not really sure how much worse it can get. They started her on radiation on Tuesday, to which they told her she will almost assuredly be burned by the process and will lose all her hair. If they can shrink the tumors with radiation (and keep her from having seizures from the increased pressure) then she will still need extensive surgery and chemotherapy to take care of the tumor on her liver.
The vastness of this situation has hit me little by little, and the only reason it hasn't fully hit me yet is because I have thrown up my shield and put on my cape and am carrying the burden of being "The Strong One."
When my mom calls me on the phone delivering more bad news, I listen to her cry. I hear the pain in her voice at the thought of losing her mother. I want to cry too. I want nothing more than to release the pain I feel inside so it can stop eating me alive. But I hold back. If I start crying too, that will just make it worse. I tell her I don't know what to say. Instead, I try to be positive. Focus on what we can control and work towards. Be practical. It seems to help my mom gain some control on an uncontrollable situation. She seems less devastated. More hopeful.
I keep my shield up and my cape on until I walk into A's office Tuesday. Last week all I knew is that my grandma had a tumor on her liver. What a difference a week makes.
What was planned to be our focus that session quickly turned into feeling everything the last week has brought on me. What I hadn't let myself fully think about.
I spent a long time crying. At one point I felt this tsunami of emotion push itself and almost spill over. I barely held it back. I really wish I hadn't, because it is going to manifest itself in other painful ways: panic attacks, SI desires, etc. It was nice to be able to work my way through what I was feeling without worrying that I wasn't being strong enough for someone else.
I'm trying to let the emotions work their way through when they do surface, but it has been hard. It is not my norm and it is leaving me feeling extremely vulnerable.