A few weeks ago, Mr Unfound had a very tragic, traumatic experience at work. He couldn't save a little boy, and he died in his arms . He has experienced and witnessed many tragic things at his work, even losing children, before...it's a sad part of the job, but something very different happened to him this time.
When I came home, he was waiting in the bedroom. I could tell right away that something was wrong. As soon as I got close enough, he put his arms around me and broke down. Spilling out the story of what happened, sobbing.
Now, this sounds like a pretty normal reaction, right? Right. That's kind of the point here.
He's a compartmentalizer. An unhealthy compartmentalizer. Long story, but it's understandable to why he is. It's something he's been working on since after dday. He doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve and especially at his job, HAS to compartmentalize some pretty horrific things in the moment in order to do his job effectively.
Years ago, he would have told me the story, then dealt with, or tried to deal with it by placing it in a box and stacking it up along with all the other horrible things he's experienced (whether of his own doing, the acts of others, or anything that hinted on any possible extreme emotion). He would acknowledge it, but not fully allow himself to FEEL it. Cause feeling hurts.
I held him. He let it all out. We cried together. When we both took a breath, he looked at me and said "I did good, didn't I? I felt it...I'm feeling it." . Yes baby, you felt it, you're feeling it. Congratulations, you're normal. He looked at me and smiled"Normal sucks".
Fast forward a few days, and he was still feeling it. On his own, he comes up and says he thinks he might go talk to our MC/IC. I think it's a good idea, as while I can feel with him, I can't direct him on how to proceed.
He goes the next day (we have an amazing MC/IC who knows us well and that when/if we call anymore, it's pretty damned important and gets us in right away). When he comes home, he looks lighter yet at the same time, empty.
We talk about the appointment, well HE talks about the appointment, recanting everything that was said (reminded me of ME needing to tell the story of dday over and over again). He ended with saying that he told MC that he blames MC and ME for feeling these things (jokingly). That putting these things in boxes was so much less painful.....in the short term, but it was a better feeling than knowing that there was a box there to eventually leak, that there was no fear that one day those boxed up feelings would either burst into a sudden breakdown or a slow unknowing series of manifestations that he might not be able to connect to the what was really in the box. He could look ahead, by looking back, and chose to FEEL now, even though he knew that feeling now would hurt. He said he knows that no matter how strong you think the box might be, there's nothing strong enough to hold the feels in forever.
So how do I know that he's changed...cause it's sometimes (most times) hard to tell when someone has changed deep down on an emotional level. There's not a lot of life situations that come up that can assure and demonstrate it. This was unfortunately one that did.
My heart breaks with him, and at the same time is so very proud of him for so many things concerning his experience with this.
The feels... yes honey, they suck sometimes. I'm here to feel them with you, because you're allowing me to, and I'm so honored and proud that you are willing to share them with me. Not because you are suppose to, but because you know that they're safe with me, and that to feel them now means that they can't/won't hurt you later.
Do I expect that now he'll cry at sunsets and start spouting poetry about baby kittens and clouds? No. Lord I hope not!! It doesn't change WHO he is, it just proves to me that he is indeed changed emotionally, in a really good way.
t/j my own thread: please if you can, keep this childs family in your hearts...and Mr Unfound too .