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And Then the Sadness Comes (Once Again)

Editor's Note

Content warning: this story includes an individual’s experience with abortion.

Have you ever had that nagging sense of sadness come over you, but no idea where it came from, or what caused it? It has been plaguing me for a while… years actually, and I decided it was time to explore it, to write about it.

Do you find yourself keeping busy so that you don’t have to think about things… or because you can’t think about things… or because those emotions feel intolerable? That is what I have found myself caught in the middle of. Walk with me as I explore this sadness that keeps coming back into my mind. I hope this helps as we explore sadness together.

I was barely out of high school when I got married. One year and one month later, I had my son. It was hard being a child raising a child, and I had no idea what kind of situations would come into my life! Or how complicated and traumatic those situations could be… or how it could affect my whole life — even today.

Everyone’s story is their own — it is unique, each of us is different. This is mine…

Sadness, Once Again

Sadness grips me once again
I’m desperately trying to figure out why
As I go about my day, it’s like a shadow lurking in the corner
Hiding behind the ordinary activities of daily life
It doesn’t make itself obvious, just a passing thought…
An uneasiness in the back of my mind that I’m not consciously aware of
Unobtrusive, hiding behind life itself

And then the sadness comes…

There are times when I’m just watching TV, something mindless
Finding myself involved in the plot, the story
The activities and emotions of the characters
Waiting with baited breath to see what happens next
Or maybe sometimes I’m playing a game on my computer or iPad
Something that draws my thoughts but for a moment
Not needing much concentration at all

And then the sadness comes…

I may be delving into reading a book or an article
Deep into the thoughts and ideas of the author
Wrapped up in the concepts and theories
Eagerly wanting to explore, or learn something new
Contemplating deep thoughts within my swirling mind
A lightbulb moment, a realization, a new understanding!
I smile with excitement! What’s next?

And then the sadness comes…

I may be writing a poem or journaling my thoughts
Releasing these musings and thoughts from my mind
So they don’t get trapped or constricted within the confined space of my head
Wondering as these words flow onto paper through my hand
Sometimes amazed at what actually shows up on the page
Because I don’t plan those insights ahead of time
I allow them to flow naturally, creating their own life, their own existence

And then the sadness comes…

Introspections of my days… and my nights
Sometimes just touching the surface
Wasting time because I don’t want to think
Getting wrapped up in useless trivia
Other times digging deep within my psyche
Reaffirming a familiar notion, embracing a unique phenomenon
Or realizing a new way of looking at situations in my life

And then the sadness comes…

So why am I talking about this?
Because these are various ways I keep my mind occupied
This is often a good thing to do, but then what happens when I stop…
And my mind is still?
These are the times when my mind goes in a different direction
I question my words, my actions, even my values and beliefs
My mind circles in confusion!

And then the sadness comes…

My mind may get tangled up in circumstances
Of things that I did that day
Or regrets of what I should have done
Reflections on the past, things I can never repair
Anticipations of what’s coming up tomorrow
Hopes and fears and expectations for the future
Longings for things I have lost, people I have lost

And then the sadness comes…

Then there are days when sadness falls into my mind
No… it actually gets sucked in, flooding every empty space
This unending sadness
Bringing me down into the depths of depression
Feeling like the world has created a chasm underneath me
I feel like my chest is caving in, my stomach churns
There is an unidentifiable emptiness inside

And then the sadness comes…

I explore what may be causing this intense sadness
Hopes and dreams are ripped away
I ask my husband, he has no idea
I talk to my therapist, she doesn’t know either
I think… I wonder… I contemplate… but nothing
I try to keep myself from being stuck in despair
Sometimes it works, other times I’m metaphorically lying in the dirt

And then the sadness comes…

Is it the persistent confrontations with my husband?
The disagreements that turn into fights?
That trigger me into anxiety or dissociation?
Being on edge all the time
Fearful that I may say or do something
To trigger his anger, his wrath
I’m so tired of just waiting for the next conflict

And then the sadness comes…

Is it the loss of my childhood innocence?
Or the overwhelming task of working through my trauma recovery?
I called those memories of childhood abuse “volcanic puke”
Because they came so fast, and tasted so terrible
I’m still struggling to work through this recovery process
To be able to find some kind of “new normal”?
And I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like!

And then the sadness comes…

A few months ago, as I was watching TV one night
There was one character who was struggling — but not sure why
She said “I’m fine,” when obviously, she was not
I already physically felt the sadness and hurt that she felt
As the story unfolded, it was apparent that she had postpartum depression
Slowly… I realized that I also had the same struggles when I was 18
The same feelings after I had my first son

And then the sadness comes…

Nobody knew what postpartum depression was back then
I pushed my way through it anyways — I had no choice
Mad because my husband could get him to sleep… but I couldn’t
I couldn’t even get him to stop fussing or crying
When he was 7 months old, I found myself pregnant
I was scared… and then I did the unthinkable
I had an abortion… and six months after that, it happened again…

And then the sadness comes…

The realization of this unusual connection shocked me — I had no idea!
No wonder when anyone talked about abortions
I wanted to crawl in a hole — or run away!
I couldn’t get past the pain, shame and guilt of taking the lives of two babies!
This is the biggest regret of my life — something that I can never repair!
They just called it a “procedure” back then — but my two babies died!
Is this where that deep hole of sadness comes from??

And then the sadness comes…

This cuts me to the core of my being!
My heart, my soul, my mind
Will God ever forgive me for this?
How could I have done such a thing?
How can I ever hope to make amends for this with God?
I pray to Him for forgiveness
I sincerely hope He can forgive me

And then the sadness comes…

There are many scenarios of my life that could cause this sadness
But I really don’t know if it was one thing…
Or a combination of them all, piling on top of each other!
Maybe I’ll never know…
Life is an unending array of situations that can mess with us
It’s almost impossible to figure out one cause for anything
Maybe just understanding what is going on at this very moment…
Is enough

And then the sadness comes…

If you too are on a trauma healing journey, visit The Tie Dye poet’s website to see more of her work, and check out her book here.

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