I just reread my last “real” post from 2 1/2 weeks ago, the one called “Emotional Cycles,” because I wanted to see if how I have been feeling the past week or so was similar. In short, the answer is yes. That post ended on a happy note, which is good, for me, and for those who care about me. And maybe this one will too. But right now things are hard. Last week was really hard. I was completely and totally emotionally shut down, in a massive tailspin of confusion and discontent, my heart locked in a concrete block. It hit Kostas hard too because there were other stresses in our life (not just me, heh) and he was emotionally drained to start with. It hit us both hard and last week we were probably the most disconnected we have been since we met – not fun.
Here’s the thing – what I am going through now, what I have been going through the past few months, is a process. A very real, very LONG process. With each little “breakthrough” I feel a little stronger and have hope that the next down cycle won’t last so long or be so hard, but even if they are shorter or not as deep, they still come. They will for a while. And to make matters worse, I am never entirely sure if the churning waves of my emotional ocean are birthed from the “bomb” that went off in my family a few months ago, or are the continuing remnants of culture shock and the very real difficulties of living in a small village, or are part of the natural cycle of finding one’s way and identity in a new marriage, or all of it combined??
Yesterday I sat and wrote for the first time in many weeks, stream of conscious style, for almost 2 hours and the only reason I stopped was because I had to do my exercise for the day (my brother Adam & I have committed to being each others motivational forces for getting in shape before we meet up in Ireland in May – so far, it’s worked! I have done some exercise the past 3 days in a row, even in the very cold, very dark rain last night) and I had to do the fiction writing to which I had committed myself. External commitments are so good for me right now. But I digress. The point is, the thoughts just kept coming, fast and furious. There was so much in me to get out. So much of which I want to rid myself. So much I am trying to make sense of, to organize, to understand, so much I want to be able to speak of coherently, to myself and to Kostas, who deserves an explanation of why his wife is so freaken’ crazy. I mean, seriously, what did that guy get himself in to? All I can say is that I knew I had issues, but I really didn’t know just how big they were!
And as I have mentioned before, moving to a very small village with little obvious and easy external stimulation and entertainment has stimulated so much of this discomforting, yet necessary, life reflection. And not just moving to a small village, but moving to a small village with no “freedom” to move out at the drop of a hat. Those external commitments I mentioned above? They are good for me, but that does not mean they are easy. I can’t find an easy exit. I am forced to just sit in my feelings. Can you say yuck?!
And there are so many negative feelings in me. They need to be released, but before I can do that I have to recognize them, acknowledge them. I actually have to search for them at times, times when I feel more of an ability to deal with them, because when they just pop up in the midst of stressful situations, I am not able to process them clearly and deal with them appropriately in ways that are healthy for me and those around me. It’s a lot of work! I mean, it’s a shit-ton of work. I googled the term “how to heal from a dysfunctional family” and I found an enlightening document outlining typical symptoms of an adult who comes from a dysfunctional family. It was FOUR TYPED PAGES (30 different characteristics – 30!) long. And I identified with most of them. That’s a lot of crap to go through and “fix” in the sense of finding acceptance and learning new models of behaviour.
And, I have to do most of this work without a therapist. Or at least, without a therapist for now. I haven’t found one, but in reality, I haven’t looked very hard either (and I forgot to ask my fellow ex-pats at my coffee group this morning – argh!). I’m just too skeptical. In the U.S., it took me many years and many attempts to find a truly intelligent and helpful therapist (ah, how I wish I could transport him here right now! FYI, I have looked into online therapy via Skype with doctors in the U.S., but my Greek insurance wouldn’t pay for them and U.S. fees are just way too high relative to our Greek income), and that was without a language barrier. So it would seem my odds of finding one here are a lot less. We shall see.
There is some good news though, and so this post will end on a happy note after all – my lamb, well, now my sheep, Daisy, had a lamb of her own! 3 days ago. A boy. He is such a small little peanut! He has the exact same markings as her – the tips of his velvety, floppy ears and around his right eye – but instead of black, like Daisy, they are soft brown, like his dad (not entirely sure who that is – but he’s a deadbeat – he hasn’t been to visit even once). He has the most beautiful face and I can’t wait to go to the farm again tomorrow and see him and hold him! Life goes on