the current chapter i am reading in nursing is entitled “grief and loss”. i realize being broken up with pales in comparison to losing a partner to death. my instructor said you can’t judge loss. but i think it is reasonable for me to say that andreas breaking up with me isn’t as difficult a loss and losing one’s partner of 40 years to cancer. or a drunk driver. but it is certainly still loss. and i think the things he said to me that were so painful (and i believe they were cruel) are another loss. a loss in faith. “grieving is a psychological process that involves disengaging strong emotional ties from a significant relationship and reinvesting the energy once given to the decreased (or ex-boyfriend) into a new and productive direction over a period of time.” (Varcarolis, E.M & Halter M.J., Essentials of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis – someone check, is that APA approved?) perhaps it is true, that you don’t get over being broken up with until you find someone new? i have put some of that energy into sewing (which i LOVE!) but there is still a hole. i want to SHARE with someone. and as much as i can share with my roommate or my friends, it isn’t the same as sharing with a partner. roommates get accepted to awesome schools and move away! (woohoo! you go mo!) partners leave sometimes too. but that isn’t the plan. pretty much you start a roommate-ship with the intention of it ending (though certainly not the friendship). you know what i mean, it just isn’t the same. time helps. the book says that acute grief is 4-8 weeks (don’t think i had that, really, i cried a lot but i could totally function), active symptoms of grief last 3-6 months (which i don’t think started for me until i got out of school because i just pushed the emotions down as i had no time to deal with them) and the work of mourning may take from 1-2 years. which makes sense to me. it has taken me 2 years to feel like i could take seeing patrick with julie. i don’t WANT to see them. but i don’t think it would bother me. not going to invite them to the party, but i don’t think it hurts anymore to know that patrick is doing better without me. i don’t think it will take 2 years to get to that point with andreas, we had a different history, but we also had a different split and we travel in the same circles. whatever. i just move forward.
i was thinking today about my comments about how i don’t expect friends to remember everything about me. i read over it again, and it doesn’t feel quite right. i expect my friends to want to care. which still doesn’t sound quite right. i want them to want to care, as opposed to feeling they must care, which then stresses them out. or causes us conflict. this has got to be easier to explain. so let’s say i tell friend A that something significant has happened or might happen. now, based on how often i see that friend, i would expect them to ask me about that happening next time i see them, within reason. i would expect my friends to show curiosity about how i am doing, when they see me. and that might seem simple and obvious, but i don’t think it is. not like i thought it was. this still doesn’t feel quite right. i hope it comes to me in a more articulated manner soon. it helps me be more comfortable when i can explain myself in a clear and concise manner. being as cerebral as i am, straightening everything up in my head makes me feel better. so does organizing the kitchen cabinets though.
tomorrow is my first day at the psych unit. it is going to be exciting!