I love vintage pillowcases. I’m afraid to buy them at a thrift store now because of the recent bed bug scares, (probably not even a real thing I should worry about, but it’s made me cautious anyway). I have a few sets I’ve had for at least a decade. I love the patterns, the colors, the nostalgia, but the best thing is how soft they are, a soft that’s only possible after years and years and years of washing and sleep.
Eight years ago when the vet called to tell me Obi had lymphoma, that the lump wasn’t just cancer but a kind that was incurable, I was home alone with the dogs, waiting for Eric to get home from a work meeting. I ignored his phone call when he was done telling me he was on his way home because I didn’t want to share that information with him over the phone and then have him driving an hour on the highway in rush hour traffic, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to lie, hide it from him if I answered. I needed him to be focused, safe. I needed him to make it home to me in one piece so that I could tell him and then fall apart.
While I was waiting, I took out my sewing kit and started some mending. The hem of one of my vintage pillowcases had started to come unstitched. My hands and my mind needed something to do, something else to focus on. I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t spend more time on the internet, reading anymore about this thing that I couldn’t fix.
The trauma of that hasn’t really left me, along with many other traumas large and small. They still live in my body. Sometimes they are silent, heavy and stuck like dead things. Other times they are triggered and rise up, ripping through me like something sharp and hot, not just alive but murderous.
In an effort to release them, I’m starting EMDR work with my therapist. She told me at the start of our last session that she’s moving out of state by the end of the year, and gave me the option to wait and start with someone else, but I feel like there’s no reason to put this off any longer. She warned me that it can bring up a lot of stuff, be unsettling, but I told her that I feel like I’m in a place where something is going to break anyway, come unhinged, regardless of how or who starts it, and it might as well be under supervision, with support, and now.
Step one of the process is getting a general sense of the various traumas we’ll be working with. We started with my history of sexual trauma. We talked for our whole hour. She filled up an entire sheet of paper with her notes, front and back, and I wasn’t even done. No wonder what Trump said all those years ago and continues to say and justify has me so upset.
This morning as I was putting clean sheets on the bed, I noticed that the pillowcase I mended that day eight years ago has come unstitched again. Something about that seems right, perfectly timed.