Let Me Scream…Please

The last two days have been especially difficult. For a time, I actually thought I was close to having a mental breakdown – perhaps I was, I don’t know! Anyway, I’ve had a lot of time to think…in fact, too much time…and I realised something important.

People who tell me I am strong and that I will get through this, are actually putting more pressure on me.

I know they mean well and I know they do believe I’ll get through it because of the person I once was, but does that person still exist? I can’t answer that. Do they still see glimpses of that person? I can’t answer that either. All I know is that pressure is causing me to bubble silently inside. Yet the more I bubble, the more likely it is that I’ll explode and I’m scared of that happening because I don’t know what I’ll do…or who I’ll do it to.

Maybe I’ll be at work. Maybe it will be a client on the phone. That will be alright, won’t it? I can’t physically attack the person, but what about my job as PR for the company? What damage will I do there? How will it affect me and the company? But…maybe it will be a work colleague or an over the counter client. What will happen then? I shudder to think about it. Unfortunately, I don’t think my work colleagues realise just how vulnerable I am or just how close to the surface those bubbles are. At the moment, it would take very little for the eruption to occur.

Maybe I’ll be on the train. Maybe I’ll break control with a complete stranger. Maybe that person will deserve it too. But I doubt it. Nobody deserves what I think could come from me if pushed too far.

I’ve only ever had one meltdown, that was three years ago, shortly after Barry passed away, but it is still something I am not proud of. I can’t remember any of the words spoken (screamed), but I clearly remember what I was feeling and thinking. I wanted to harm the person in front of me and I’m not talking about a slap or a punch, I’m talking about something much more sinister than that. I never, ever want to feel like that again. Never! I still can’t quite grasp how a usually quiet, reserved person could show such a savage side in a space of only a few seconds. Because I have felt that total loss of control before, I’m aware of what could happen again and I’m fearful of it happening again.

Last time, I was lucky enough to have a tiny voice in the back of my mind reminding me that what I wanted to do wouldn’t provide solutions, it wouldn’t change anything, that it wasn’t right, that it wasn’t like me at all. But will that little voice be heard, or heeded, again?

What I need is for the people around me to say, “Go ahead and scream. Let it all out. Come on, I’ll scream with you.” I think that would defuse me quicker than anything else – being given permission to scream at the top of my lungs. Just thinking about it, make me feel calmer.

So maybe I should go somewhere well away from people, where only the birds and wild animals can hear me, and scream until my throat bursts. Yes, that sounds good to me and if the breeze carries my anguish away then that would be even better.


2 thoughts on “Let Me Scream…Please

  1. Hi Karen,

    I’ve often wondered when the silent screaming will stop in light of our losing Owen. I am convinced it won’t. There will continue to be times when my car is the only safe place for me because I can drive the country roads, listen to music that reminds me of him, scream, cry, and pull off to the side of the road to dissolve into memories and that interminable place of grief. And, in a few minutes, I will smile, even laugh, at some memory of how great we had it. Then, I will drive toward home, scream and cry, and arrive a little better for having let it out.

    I, too, function in the real world on a daily basis, and few know of the black pit that awaits my every move. The black pit of grief is not depression. It is grief. Pure, simple, deeply moving grief.

    I’m actually glad you wrote about your current situation – not because you still experience these thoughts and feelings, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but because it gives me hope. Yes, hope. Your ability to openly communicate about how your loss of Barry is still with you, is a confirmation that I am not going crazy (or that I am and it’s okay), and it allows me to feel some comfort in the knowledge that this is it. This is what we get. There’s no “why” in it. There’s just “this is it” and it’s okay. It makes sense.

    What would not make sense, is for parents like us to blindly go into the future without having these thoughts and feelings. It would not make sense because it could in some unbelievable way negate our love for our sons, in my estimation anyway. We are allowed every scream, every tear, every dive into the depths of grief because we can’t stop missing them. We can’t stop loving them. We won’t. We shouldn’t.

    On those drives into the country, I am often gifted with signs of Owen. I’m sure you see them in regards to Barry. Sometimes (often), it is a raven swooping low in front of my car, sometimes a field of colors unimaginable except for the gift of sight, sometimes, it is a young man walking along the road, tall and lanky like my son with a particular gait that is reminiscent of his posture, his coloring, his clothes, his stance in the presence of nature. And, I am proud when I remember his voice telling me, “Mom, we’re no different than the plants, the animals, the trees. This life is not as precious as you make it.” While I could argue that point, he was right. We’re not so different from our more-than-human neighbors.

    I wish you peace, screaming, crying, staring into the sky on a bright afternoon or a dark evening, whatever it takes to bind you to your memories of Barry. In all of it, I thank you and I wish you love.


  2. Thank you, Linda. For understanding. For showing me that I’m not alone. I needed that. For in real life, I am alone in my grief. Sure, I have family and friends and workmates who care about me, and some of them grieve for Barry too (in their own way), but they don’t understand what I’m feeling, what I’m hiding.

    So thank you for sharing part of your life with me and helping to make me feel a bit better.

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