Sunday, January 21, 2018

In The Middle Of The Night - Not The Song!

It's been a week of emotional tumult.  There has been continued disruption of the normal routines for many due to the floods and mudslides and I was wanting to assist in some capacity.  Upon attending a meeting with a few hundred attendees to listen to the state and governmental agency updates, it was clear that this disaster was the worst in 200 years in this area.  Representatives from FEMA, Red Cross, fire, police, mental health, county officials, transportation, all provided updates on what they had done and were planning to do.  I left feeling a sense of community, but also very heavy-hearted for what some were enduring.

This feeling did not leave me all evening and I began to feel an odd sense of having been spared throughout the fires and this last disaster.  I was incovenienced, yet unharmed and I felt a little weird about it all.  Then at 12:35 am, I bolted out of my bed, saying to myself, I get it now - and I began to sob deeply.

I realized at that very moment that I had survivor guilt and had been unable to pinpoint that one until that very moment.  I recalled sitting in my bosses office years back after my cancer diagnosis telling him that I had a mild cancer.  His response was, "Julie, cancer is serious!"  A year later, sitting with my Mom a few weeks before her passing, she asked me how I was doing and I responded that I was doing all I could to get healthy.  She said to me, "Julie, cancer is serious!"  Of course, I did go on to become quite ill and ironically, it was the reaction to chemo that really did a number on me.

What was most striking to me upon awakening was my Dad's survivor guilt.  He refused any veterans support because he was not shot, killed or maimed while serving duty.  He has made it difficult for us to help him as family, often resulting in our frustration and feelings of helplessness.

The light has been shone on this aspect of family lineage and it is time, to reclaim my self-worth and deserving.  Oh, the power in self-discovery.  What I now realize even more than ever is that for me to truly be of service in this world, I must be taken care - and that is an inside job!


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