Trauma comes in many forms. I never knew a happy event could be traumatic. An event such as a wedding. The 8 weddings and 4 baby showers I attended within the first year of Kevin’s death were traumatic events. “Til death do us part” stabbed me nearly every time. Seeing a mother’s growing womb and knowing I would never carry Kevin’s child was another moment of sorrow. I felt cynical at their thoughts and hope for a wonderful lifetime together and that they thought a lifetime would be well into their 80s. Psh.
This year there’s a few more weddings. I went to one, I’m in one and I’m contemplating skipping one. Yesterday in therapy we discussed more about the trauma of those 8 weddings and 4 baby showers that first year. I now know I not only had the right to say no to all of those invitations, but that I would have been better off saying no. But that darn obligation sneaks in every time. The duty to be the good friend, the good cousin, the good daughter and granddaughter. Times have changed and obligation is no longer what it once was. I am a grown women who can say yes and no as I please. The obligation sneaks in and ruins all decisive properties that I own.
I was encouraged to consider saying no to a wedding I am expected to attend this year. It didn’t mean I should say no, but I should entertain the idea that saying no may be best for everyone. Scratch that. It may be best for ME (I feel selfish owning decisions that go against the “flow” of how I was raised). I’m allowed to say no (My Grandma will wonder why I’m not there). I can be honest to the bride about my reasons (I’ve talked to her about weddings before, she knows my heart).
I emailed the bride and just told her my heart, my history, my therapy. She not only acknowledged that she understood where I was coming from, but she even said she knew this was something I may just have to do and that she was proud of my courage for doing it. Courage to say no? This is allowed?
Saying no is a new concept to me. I’ve never been good at it, just look at how many things I do. I have learned to say yes to what I want though, which happens to be a lot of various things. And now, and in the future, I’m thinking forward to the things I must say no to for my sanity, for my well being, and for my happiness. It feels selfish. It feels ‘wrong’. It isn’t though, and this is what I have to embrace.