I have a fantasy that includes Amy Schumer…mind out of the gutter, folks.
My fantasy is to watch Trainwreck with my sister and grown daughter. Realize that my middle-aged fantasies aren’t that complex. If I had to choose between this movie with my family or a massage from Brad Pitt, I’d watch the movie. It’s Friday night, and I’m living the dream: Trainwreck with my lives-far-away sister and twentysomething daughter.
My sister was the first person I called when my PTSD became active after a long dormency. I’d felt more stress, more tension, but when that evolved to panic attacks, I realized what I was in for. She came to be with me just a few days later.
So we’re watching the movie, laughing and laughing more, until I start to cry. It’s the baby shower scene. Hilarious. Hella bold. And for me, tearful. No joke, I was frigging triggered by an Amy Schumer movie. WTF???
That’s the thing about active PTSD- triggers are everywhere. From a baby shower scene I remembered revealing my second pregnancy to close friends. Five of us were at a restaurant. I was thirteen weeks pregnant. These were friends from school, and I swear, everybody at that table had baby fever. After much discussion, J declared: “That’s it. I Will Be the Next One to Get Pregnant!” I looked at her with a big grin. “No you won’t.”
The girls exploded with excitement. I felt special and loved and lucky as hell as they took in my news like we all shared a little bit of this pregnancy.
I lost the baby four days later.
While Amy Schumer plays ‘Skeletons in the Closet,” I weep. I’d still been carrying emotional pain from that loss for years and didn’t even know. I had grieved for the lost baby, but other painful aspects of the loss were just ignored. Like telling people you’re pregnant and then miscarrying, then having to tell them about the loss. It’s awful. My friends were supportive, and they asked the question we all wanted to know but none could answer: “What Happened?”
I sat with my daughter and sister, awash in the fear and blame and thwarted hope that I thought I had processed twenty years ago. But here it was, pouring out through my words and tears and slouching body. I never processed that part of the loss.
According to my psychiatrist, emotional pain is like shrapnel. Experiences are either felt and processed, or felt, then deflected or pushed way down. These crying episodes? She says that’s progress, that by feeling and experiencing the emotional pain, some of it will simply dissolve. But damn, I look at the floor and half expect an actual puddle to be there.
I know there’s a mental space where I’ll be able to sit with my trauma, see it, feel some sadness, then let it pass right through me. I just know the work I’m doing now will get me there, make more space for love and support.