Surprisingly, at least to me, I had a really had time dealing with the flood of memories that came up when I opened that box of letters Monday night. I had a huge reaction where all the things I used to feel about myself and other people whomped me but good. I really had boxed those events and emotions up in my mind as well as the actual box!
As I blurted that all out to my therapist yesterday (good timing, that was), she was able to identify what was happening. That always helps, when I know what the heck is going on in my brain. She said I was having an emotional flashback. That made a lot of sense. She then explained the stages of it, which include numbness, re-feeling all hte feelings and their accompanying negative ickiness, and moving toward forgiving yourself and others, which lets you remember that while we all do things we regret or that aren’t really the kinds of things we prefer, we’re all human and doing our best, at the time.
Also among the things I found were mementos of my time volunteering and working for La Leche League (breastfeeding support organization). I know I’m doing better about THAT time, because I no longer call it “a large, international nonprofit organization.” For a while there, I got sick when I said the name.
Luckily, I’m now able to enjoy memories of the good times I had and the great people I met, so all my little pins and souvenirs brings smiles to my faces now. I learned SO MUCH about parenting, leadership, and management from my time in LLL. I’m thankful to all my great mentors and friends. I was going to name a bunch, but the list got too long.
I think the reason these are more gentle memories is that I already worked on them when it was fresh. I didn’t just stuff this in a box and pretend it didn’t happen. So, after some healing time, these memories are okay for me.
I’m even able to look back at photos of some of the people who treated me and my friends badly and just shake my head at how misguided they were. That’s a great step. However, I cropped them all out of these pictures. I have the POWER!
It’s helped to see some of the people who lost their volunteer positions now thriving in new areas. And I realize I am still good friends with many of the people I worked with back then. Just look at me and Kathy Parkes back in 2oo1! We’re still working together on the Friends of La Leche League Board.
I hope you enjoy some of the stories and memories that I’m treasuring. Do read the photo captions.
LLL friends: do you have any memories you’d like to share? Feel free to post!