Yesterday I started my journey back to normal. It may seem too soon for some but it may be a long trip so the sooner started the better. What follows may fall into the category of too much information but bear with me.
They say that people faced with death or fear or trauma often react physically. One way is to make love to your partner. Yet for two days, we cuddled and held each other without any other desire than to be together. Our bodies like our minds had grown a little numb. On Friday we woke up and made love. Normally. It was neither death defying nor defying death but it was tender and it was good.
After I wrote my blog I had a scare. Someone had sent me a parcel I wasn’t expecting and I had a brief frisson of fear before answering the door to the Purolator guy. It was irrational but it was there. After, I laughed but realized normal was still a ways off. I had never been afraid to open my door before.
I went to work on Parliament Hill. It was still closed to the public so I had to go through the single open gate and walk across the precinct to East Block. On Thursday, it had caused my heart to pound but yesterday it was easy. Almost peaceful. I felt proud to be there – the way I felt the first few times I went there nearly 12 years ago.
At work, I did a few things and then decided to talk to a counsellor. This is not what I usually do when I am upset – I have a wide circle of support and my own coping mechanisms – but this was not a usual day. Talking about my life – and really I spent more time doing that than on the event – for 45 minutes to a warm and kind stranger was very useful. Then I went back to my desk and did some more work – though honestly I spent a lot of time on social media absorbing the things my friends around the world were thinking about. Mostly it was the daily events of their lives. Normal things.
At the end of the day, I went to a small gathering of staff who work for Liberal Senators. It was nice – most of them didn’t know what I had experienced but I spent some time listening to their stories before sharing mine. They had been scared and locked in their offices – often by themselves, with no source of information. In some ways that was worse – I, at least, knew what was going on and I got to go home and be with my wife.
The rest of the day – I did housework, went grocery shopping, ate dinner, drank wine, made bad jokes even one (that I won’t share) about the DAY itself. I felt normal. Liz and I even danced in our living room. That might seem surprising – but, for us, that’s normal, too.
But that’s ten minutes.