This was a hard one, not a hard one to do initially, but a hard one because it threw up a whole bag of unresolved emotions lurking in my past.
I knew i had a mental block in my ability to listen to them. I wondered why that was, and why i was so sure about that decision. As i mentioned speak publicly to my experiences isn’t something i haven’t done before. As you are aware, I have an entire website where i can write to the feelings and emotions i feel and can express to help me facilitate my own healthy grieving. My day job is working within bereavement care for other families and parents. This is not only part of my personal healing, it’s part of my job.
So i tried to work out why i was so damn adamant about how i felt.
After recording the two podcasts, i didn’t think twice about it being released, that was the very intention of doing it! that same week i had done two other interviews for print, so i had to really sit with the uncomfortable feeling and dig little deeper at what was really going on with my emotional responses here.
I understand when you express a lot of painful personal information or experiences, sometimes it’s easier to have strangers hear your deepest pains, those experiences that leave the deepest scars. Most everyone in my day to day life knows i have had this experience of the death of my daughter. I’m happy to chat if they have questions about my experiences or want to express their own or experience of someone they love, if they need some help speaking to a friends or family who they have found out have just become a statistic of this terrible experience. All of this is something that I have been able to resolve and speak to in a way that doesn’t carry with me any extra emotional baggage.
What I’m trying to say this chapter of my life is very open and for me the balance of taking my experience into the support of others was a intrinsic pathway, no step on this journey has not been powerful motivator to see the good and continue to contribute to the widening of discussion of this still stigmatised experience. Any discomfort or pain i feel from supporting other families is manageable in comparison to the positive internal feeling i have in being an pathway to support for another.
So what was going on here, why was this just so confronting for me. It’s just my voice, I was there recording it, i know the content, yet i couldn’t listen to it. This is actually not unusual for me, i have never listened back to any other recordings or forums or interviews I’ve taken part in. I try sometimes, but switch it off pretty quickly. I sat with that feeling for a good long while and looked at why, what is it feel when i hear myself, i feel embarrassed, i feel ashamed. logically i know i shouldn’t, especially here in these podcasts, gosh they even invited me back for a second one to keep talking! so logically i knew its not that. It’s not the content, the content and my experience i hope has he ability to connect and support.
I realised pretty quickly that what i was experiences was some deeper feeling and emotions from other chapters, parts where i wasn’t able to process events in a healthy way. I acknowledge those experiences as part of my story but they are parts that are not placed within any public discussion of experience. Enough beautiful voices speak within those spaces, my voice is best served within the space of child loss.
What i realised was that the discomfort lay in the hearing my voice, a voice that through these other more private chapters had been wholly shut down and quietened. I had lost my voice long ago, and with being so open and accessible with this section of my life, its naturally going to challenge and hold a touch to some of the other areas where i haven’t had the coping strategies or healthy mental space to process grow through those chapters.
So to hear my voice is confronting for me, the slow painful realisation that i have a voice, that even though i can grieve for my daughter and speak our story, to be so open, opens those areas where mechanisms for coping and processing where unable to develop, or because of youth, manipulated for the ease of coping for others. What i’m realising, in my situation, as i was able to develop more healthy coping mechanisms for the trauma around Claudia’s death, it really illuminated those other areas where i still need to work on.
Our experiences inform who we are, all the chapters are intertwined, and i hope that the areas where i’ve worked on healthy grieving, mindful reflection and growth, coupled with some positive proven and researched coping strategies can flow into those other areas where the ripples of unhelpful coping strategies are still cropping up in the strangest of scenarios.
I’m still working on my automatic closure of some of my emotional blast doors, so i’m still not be able to listen to these podcasts at this point in time, however i was absolutely honoured to be asked to share my experience about the death of my daughter. I enjoyed and deeply appreciated being involved. I truely hope in listening you are able to feel the love, the grief and the hope.
Below are the links to the podcast, i am very proud of them 🙂 you can get them on spotify and apple. Look up The Hidden World of Women Podcast, they have a purple female symbol with Women’s Health and Wellbeing Service written inside.