I have had a lot of nostalgia lately. D. lent me a copy of Depeche Mode 101 - the film version - which I watched with amazement, as the album really got me through 7/8th grade. I was shocked to see the film behind it - mid-80's reality show, live men running around on stage making a big show of it all. *My* sole copy of 101 was a poorly dubbed tape from my dj brother's record, and it's scratchy sound was matched by my hastily scrawled out titles of songs, frequently abbreviated or lopsided. To see the clean decadence of the 80's on stage was something else altogether, and not at all like dancing in my living room, alone on a Friday night, writing BAAAD poetry that was just thinly veiled DM relyricing.
When I am triggered and reminded of older traumas (which has been happening quite a bit lately), I recently seem to crave childhood comfort foods I hadn't realized meant so much to me. I have habits of food, just like everyone else, but most of them I hand't traced back to childhood - most are things I got into as an adult. The list is quite odd when you add it all together - like a pregnant woman's list of cravings:
-green olives with the red bits in the center on crackers with cream cheese
-toasted peanut butter sandwiches (only now also with butter, as I discovered this summer)
-7up or sparkling water and orange juice (Erika and I call these "spritzers")
These, combined with a romance like I honestly haven't experienced since high school (in terms of how "new world" it feels) have made for a strange string of ghosts in my life. Streams of ex's who continue to call or email. People who have been asked very politely but firmly not to call me, calling me. And, of course, my own personal ghosts: memories. Memories that carry with them the weight of worry and fear, and yet, are so heavy if I don't acknowledge them. It's like dredging - when the river is being cleared, the boats pull hard behind, struggling to keep moving forward. This cleaning feels very clearing, but there's a lot of repetition: yesterday I did this and it didn't hurt, today I am doing it and it does. That is, repetition that seems like repetition, but proves there is no such thing as real repetition.
But my head is above water. Every time I think I am going to lower my head, just to rest (and drown in my own misery) D. gently calls out to me to pull my head back up and be present. I am reminded I have tools, I have methods, I have support, I have myself and others. I have worked hard to be able to work this hard on healing. In Courage to Heal, the authors note: "If you care as much about healing as you have cared about surviving, you will be just fine". These ghosts have got a lot. But I have more - a whole army of a living life, and we are ready with our swords and boundaries and every-ready real moments that put memories in their place, swiftly, gently and with compassion.