Originally, V meant to be Validation, but it turned out to be Vincent. Not me though, my son Caspian. I am writing this after 3am (can’t sleep anyway…) when he was just taken to children’s hospital with breathing difficulties. We had this happen several times before. What’s different this time is I had to stay behind, because our 8-week old baby-girl and hospital do not go well together.
The pain of not being there for him is overwhelming. I am sure he will be fine with his dad, but still… What if he needs me? What if he calls me and I am not there? Staying open to the pain is hard.
In the past, I’d simply shut down. And sometimes it was appropriate. Sometimes, it was all I could do to survive. Not today though. And staying up and writing this down is helping me to remain open. When we don’t want to feel difficult feelings, our ability to feel good stuff goes down too. If an emotion is felt fully, it passes through. Does it mean I won’t feel the pain of not being there for him again if I allow it right now? Of course, I will, but it’ll pass through, if only I let myself feel it in the moment. Emotions are like waves, they come and go. The shut down used to happen when I thought if I get angry, I’d stay like that for good. Or if I wallow in grief, it’ll never go away. Pushing an emotion away just locked it in. Then from time to time, when I got triggered, those locked-in anger, grief and other ‘unwanted’ emotions re-surfaced. It was not my true and appropriate response to that particular situation.
So, although it’s hard, I am staying up to feel every bit of grief for not being able to hold my son’s hand right now. Because each time we shut down to pain of any sort, it reduces our capacity for authenticity.