Late February is a challenging time of year for me.  Jen’s birthday is the 23rd and serves as an annual reminder of all of the potential that was lost…Her’s (mainly), mine, the world’s honestly.  This year she would be 52…It is increasingly hard to imagine, through all of the iterations possible, what she could have become, what was to be her (significant) impact on the world.

That being said, things, emotions, have largely settled down since I committed a potential version of what could have been to paper early last year.  It was like writing down a scenario gave it tangibility.  Instead of the endless possibilities of what could of happened had the accident not occurred, reality was suddenly confined to a much more manageable, single version of what was lost.  Still hurt, but not nearly as overwhelming.  The feeling became ‘this was what was lost’ instead of infinity.

So, like I said, things had settled down.  Then I had a dream in October where Jennifer appeared, and we kissed (…twice).  This was unsettling.  Past dreams, even memories, never went down a physical intimacy path (thankfully…for my own sanity).  Not sure what triggered it, just as in past appearances, there did not seem to be a rhyme or reason to the dream, or for Jennifer’s presence occurring.  The shift from prior dreams and their notion of a message that needed to be transferred between us, well, the shift messed with my head.  I struggled for a couple weeks later, going to bed and actively asking her (in my mind) to reappear and visit.

In November she did make another appearance, however it was a very different vibe and story.  The dream opens with Jennifer and I attending a very large church’s Sunday service.  It looked and felt like it was Christian based, but I could not put my finger on the specific denomination.  I remember the overall feeling while at the service was hostile though, as if we were not welcomed and shortly into the service we were asked to leave (for reasons that we did not exactly understand either).  Oddly, there was a McDonald’s next to the service…Not just next to, but actually attached!?!  It was a large space and was rundown and unkempt, with dirty and disheveled bathrooms.  We soon leave the McDonald’s and waiting for us outside was a helicopter that took us flying around the Dallas-Ft Worth metro, kind of sightseeing.  We flew over some land that used to be a go-kart track and I was telling her all about it and how the company that I am currently working for had recently bought the land and was clearing everything away for some new building project.  After that, the dream (and memory) gets fuzzy.  I cannot remember what happened next or why.  I have an underlying sense that it was kind of important, nothing physical, but important nonetheless.

Left with that dumpster-fire of weirdness, I continue, still hoping that Jen reappears in a dream to help complete or finish the story…or add some clue as to what it all means.  My mood has been on the darker side since the November dream.  Late February approaches.  I start feeling like I am finally coming out of my funk.  Getting to the point of being angry at myself for perpetuating the pity party.

Then the Netflix series, ‘One Day’ hits me square across the face.  Actually, kind of snuck up on me.  It shows up on the ‘New’ and ‘Recommended’ sections of the Netflix home screen.  Seems like the kind of show that I would normally gravitate towards…British…A guy and gal that meet in high school, and through a series of imperfect decisions and imperfect timing never quite get together romantically, but stay in each other’s lives as really good friends.  I torment myself with this type of story line repeatedly, I guess as a proxy for wanting a view of what could have been.  Looking for my own story on the screen without writing it myself?  I watch the first couple of episodes…meh.  It just came across really slow.  A few days later my wife recommends that I watch it.  Seemed like a strange source for the recommendation, but okay.  I even asked her why she suggested it.  She says it just seems like the type of show that you gravitate to.  So I continue onward with the series.  {Spoiler Alert-If you are wanting to watch it yourself with fresh eyes, go ahead and then come back.}  Each episode is what is happening on one particular day…July 15, each year.  I am 13 episodes in…close to the end…by this point you are emotionally invested in these characters.  13 episodes…and nearing the close of this one and the leading female character is killed in a car accident.  I didn’t see it coming.  Honestly, the thought only crossed my mind as a potential occurrence a mere 30 seconds before it unfolds.  Something about the background soundtrack…the cinematography…the focus so singularly concentrating on her riding a bike in the street.  Then BAM!  I paused the show as it is happening, screaming out, “What the fuck were you thinking?” to no one in the room, or maybe at the world as a whole.  I wasn’t even 100% sure that she would die from the accident, I just had to get away from the TV, the show, my mind…

Several days later, another friend even recommends the show to me, but included the warning that it may be triggering (ya think?).  Needless to say, triggers can sneak up on you and completely derail what seems like progress…or even just steady state.  Now I am spiraling (downward, of course) again.  Backtracking to those thoughts of what if the accident had not occurred, or if we had never met, and even adding to the mix with what if I could get amnesia and forget this torment?  (Am I seriously asking for amnesia?)  You hear the platitudes and the empty advice that time heals (or at least helps).  That you will get over it.  I just don’t know…Some scars just do not heal.  And I am so tired…

But hey, emotional progress can only (mostly) be up from this point, right?  Right???

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Tags: Day, Friends, Grief, One, Regression, Trigger

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