Paul usually leaves to go on the road on Sunday, between noon and maybe two. Some weeks he leaves early on Monday morning, somewhere around 4:30 or 5:00. Here is what I have noticed since he has gone back on the road.
When he leaves early in the morning and I am still in bed, I am fine. I wake up later and all is well in my world.
When he pulls out of the driveway on Sunday I find myself dropping down into depression, panic, fear, and anxiety. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the darkness and the heaviness of the feeling I want to run after him and make him come home. I cry as I struggle with the intensity of the loneliness and desolation I feel.
This is not like me. I am normally at peace and comfortable with being alone.
Every week I have struggled, not only with the feelings, but with the confusion about why I am going through this. For the past few weeks I have embraced the heaviness and abject terror and loss while sitting quietly and asking spirit, “What is going on here?” and ” What do I need to see?”
I had an awareness that:
It was not about Paul because I know he is a true blue family man, my sweetheart and friend, and he will be home every Friday.
It was not about being alone because I lived by myself on a dead-end street on a mountain side and was never afraid.
So, what was it?
About three weeks ago I began to have the awareness that this was about my daddy leaving. I was confused though since I felt nothing if Paul left early in the morning as opposed to his leaving midday.
Last Sunday I decided to call my brother and see if he had any memory of our daddy’s leaving. He reminded me our daddy did not leave, my mother threw him out. He was a hopeless alcoholic and she had finally had enough.
I asked him to tell me all he remembered about the day my daddy left.
He said my grandma came and got us and took us to her house. My brother was around five or six and I was around three or four.
After a couple of hours she brought us back to our house. When we went inside my mother was sitting at her vanity crying. My brother, being momma’s boy, ran to her to see why she was crying. She told my brother my daddy was gone and he was not coming back. He put his arms around her to console her while I just stood there.
I do not remember the incident, or how I felt and what my reaction was, but I do know I was a daddy’s girl. Even though he was an alcoholic and not around much, when he was around he held me and always told me I was his princess. I loved my daddy and needed him in my life desperately.
This was back in the 1940’s and I do not remember my mother or my grandparents ever explaining anything to me about my daddy leaving. As I think back on the event I don’t remember, I can only imagine how desperate and traumatized I must have been. Suddenly my daddy was gone and he was not coming back.
I asked my brother if he remembered what day this happened and what time. After hearing him recall the experience I had a feeling it happened on a Sunday in the early afternoon. He did not clearly remember the day but he did remember it was early afternoon.
There was my puzzle piece. There was my answer to my panic when Paul left in the early afternoon, and my sense of desolation, abandonment, fear, and terror over being left. It all made sense to me.
I hung up the phone and sat still as I allowed myself to feel the anguish in my soul over what my little girl must have gone through on the day my daddy left. In hindsight, I know I suffered intensely, my life was shaped by that event, and that deep wound has never healed.
I now feel a cleansing and an understanding of the suffering I have carried for over seventy years. I’m holding myself close, showering my child within with warmth and compassion.
I don’t know what will happen this Sunday when Paul leaves but I have a feeling I will be much calmer knowing the origin of my pain. Allowing all of this to surface so I could clearly see it and give it a name has started the healing process. I am grateful for light and healing.