The 5 Stages

Now, Over several posts I have explained a lot of what has happened between Kitten and I. I am also working on an article about losing your confidence as a man and “Dom” and how destructive it is. But, today after another long discussion with Kitten, I thought about the stages of grief and loss.

Over the past 13 months, Kitten and I had 2 major losses, one of which was us and our bond. Kitten is in a different stage than I am, for sure. I am somewhere between anger, bargaining and depression. Here is a decent article on the topic.

The other elephant in the room was the initial Loss earlier this year that she and I shared, that really caused a spiral for me. The problem was, I didn’t talk about it with Kitten. To be honest, I think I finally hit the acceptance stage when all of this happened with Kitten last month. Like, I had to accept it and move on because the current situation required it.

Kitten and I shared the initial loss, and I was trying to deny it and hide my emotions trying to “”take care of her”, which turned into “Being totally ineffective and useless”, because I couldn’t bring myself to face the facts and I kept my wingtip down as I dove and spiralled into the ocean.

I didn’t go to her, I didn’t talk to her. I was trying so hard to be “strong” that I kept getting weaker. I didn’t trust her with my emotions, I guess because I was such a mess inside, I couldn’t imagine her having to deal with me and her own. I guess I didn’t want to add to her pain, and that was gasoline for the fire. I know I should have, I should have blurted that I was broken too and I needed her more than ever. But, I tried to push on like I was this unbreakable rock, when I was a shattered egg.

I remember several times Kitten said “I am not fragile”, and I wanted to scream “you are too me”. It wasn’t that I didn’t see the strong and capable woman she is. God knows I have seen her take pain, and I have seen her persevere. She is the strongest person I know, and I guess I somewhat wanted her to be fragile because I was.

“I don’t need you to save me” is words that a Type A person has a hard time hearing from a loved one. It is weird, I knew she didn’t need me to save her, but I wanted too. I guess to prove my worth to myself, When the loss happened, I wanted to feel like I did something more than just listen. I wanted to jump into action, and do all these silly and unnecessary things, because I felt so feckless and helpless.

But, even though I knew better, I let the path continue. She would tell me “I need structure, I need sir, I need you to be you” and instead of listening and telling her what I needed and return and work together to get us both there, I put my finger up and said “I understand, one minute while I unwrap this bubble wrap to put you in because I can’t bare to thought of anything happening to you right now”.

I wasn’t strong enough to admit I was weak, to admit I felt like I failed her and us. I screwed up early on, and when the loss came I felt like I was so far behind the curve I couldn’t catch up. So I played like I was fine, I was never fine, and she even called me on it time and again, I didn’t trust her to listen. I was so convinced I was worthless, in my mind, that I didn’t want to bother her. Even though, she was screaming at me to let her help and telling me how.

I have never been good with loss, because I don’t just give my love and affection away. I have always kept a small circle, family and a few friends. My life especially over the previous 15 years had made that less of a choice and forced it to be that way, and I let it happen.

When I lost my Dad, I did the same type of thing. I focused so much on trying to help and fix everyone around me, that I didn’t focus on myself. I had this self destructive path as a result. Not life altering, but surely not the healthiest way to deal with it. Amazingly, I learned these methods from my Dad.

I remembering being angry for a few years after he died, I remember being mad at doctors and the disease. I watched him decay over time, and I hated seeing this once strong giant in my life, whither away. I would always think of the times when I was a teenager and an asshole to him, and ask what I was thinking.

I know now, that I had no way of knowing in my teen years I would lose my Dad so young. I also knew, and eventually accepted, that the time I DID get to spend with my Dad the last few years was gold and memories I get to carry forever. I do still have regrets, but I eventually accepted his loss over the course of a few years.

The loss for me and Kitten earlier this year was hard. I guess I never really fully dealt with it. In a way, I felt like with my Dad, I had a lot of time to mentally prepare, and it was still hard. With out loss, I didn’t have any time. So, I was in the “fix everything” mode, even when I should have fixed us.

It was a spiral I was in, and I was screaming at myself to stop. But, I couldn’t, I felt like I caused all that pain, and I blamed myself. I have learned a lot, but it took me a year too long. It also cost Kitten more pain and grief than she ever deserved, I hurt more than I ever helped.

Now, with losing my Kitten I am back in a grief stage. I am trying to fight through it, be different and be stronger, by being softer. I need to find a different outlet, because I keep going to Kitten about it, and she is well past where I am with it all, and rightfully so. I am only annoying and upsetting her as I try to come to grips with the damage I have caused.

She can’t be there for me in this, she was there for so long, and I took it for granted. So now, I need to focus on getting through my “stages” and being better on the other side. If nothing else, I know that Kitten does want me to be better, even if it is only for my own good.

S.L.

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