Saturday, 2 July 2016

The safe place

I sit in the counsellor's office and I cry as I try to explain, again, what I have lost. You have left great holes in the fabric of my life. My Tuesdays and Saturdays are blank spaces in the diary now and the ping on my phone no longer makes my heart sing, although I still check, sometimes, in case it is you. (They say the stages of grief are cyclical, not linear, and denial still shows up from time to time.) There is no-one to say goodnight to now and no ongoing conversation. In each exchange with another human being, I am starting from scratch again. There is no adult that I speak to every day, no guarantee even that I will speak to any one person from one week to the next (except your mum, strangely, who I didn't even know in the before.) Mostly, I feel too tired to make plans, too grief-stricken to socialise, too absorbed in my sadness to relate to other people's struggles, too detached from the real world to connect. But I don't want to be alone because when I am alone your absence overwhelms me. And so I make those plans to walk towards even though really I just want to be walking towards you.

I miss my safe place, I tell her. It is the place where I don't have to work to be understood. Where I am automatically understood and where being myself is all that is required, where just being me is more than enough. I don't really want to go to the cinema, or the theatre, or to a gig or to the pub. I actually don't want to do anything. I just want a lazy day with nothing to do and you alongside me doing nothing too, in a world where we were like Piglet and Pooh and the only goal was honey.   I want to lie in your arms all day and forget the real world. You were the real world for me.

I have often been told that I don't live in the 'real world' or that I have my head in the clouds. The phrase resonates more strongly now that I find myself gazing at clouds searching for your presence, knowing that our last words were about clouds, that you had your head in them too.
We were so alike, you and I, not from the outside but the outside is of no interest to folk like us. We live internally, we live from the heart and the imagination. Myers Briggs tests describe us as 'dreamers, healers, mediators'. We were both INFP (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving.) I didn't know until this week that it was such a rare personality type, just knew that we were alike and that the thing we had between us was rare and special. Apparently only 4% of the population are INFP. Apparently, for our type, 'the risk of being misunderstood is high'. Apparently when we find like-minded people to spend time with the harmony we feel will be 'a fountain of joy and inspiration'. And it really was.

I don't want a busy social life or a full diary. For an INFP that would be stressful at the best of times and these are the worst of times. I just want my safe place, that rare and special connection, the place where I can relax with my soulmate from the tiny 4%. And so I find myself angry that you have been taken away and depressed about being alone and sometimes, I am back in denial, talking to the clouds saying, ' Are you there? Can you hear me? I miss you. Can't you come back? Please, can't you just come back?'

This post is in response to one by Megan Devine at Refuge in Grief.

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