Tomorrow is the day. The day I have been anxiously waiting for. The day I get to leave this experience behind me where it belongs.
I’m having a mix of emotions that are hard to describe. And it’s a pretty big swing from 1-100. No in-between. Intense excitement, pain, anticipation, dread, confidence, fear, sadness, hopefulness, hopelessness. strength, fragility, proud, terrified. I feel it all.
My brain is scrolling through the lists: did I remember this, handle that, pay the other, get the dogs’ paperwork, put my passport in an easy place (after only one panic attack when I misplaced it and found it packed in a duffel bag). Is everything, and I mean everything, packed. My dogs are nervous and worried, I’m nervous and scared, and so it goes. The feelings don’t magically go away when I land, either. Landing in the US is not an ending to the emotional turmoil, it’s just the beginning of a different kind of emotional turmoil.
Here’s the thing. I think I can safely say that there is never going to be a day when Michael’s death doesn’t completely fuck me up in every way. No, I’m not in some deep state of “grief”; I simply won’t ever be complete without him. I’m working SO HARD to make something of what’s left of my life, and I hope that whatever I make of it will lead me to a happier “place”, but I will never, ever NOT miss him and I’ll never be okay with him being gone.
Realizing this isn’t upsetting. I truly believe that unless I acknowledge this and learn to walk with it, I’ll end up spiraling down. It’s okay to accept your reality. It’s also okay to say that your reality sucks. It’s honest and it’s true and it’s authentic.
For many months I have felt that there is a dark presence here; a black energy. There are many murders and suicides here on the North Coast. I haven’t talked about it in any sort of serious manner except with one friend in the DR, but for several months, serious suicidal thoughts took me over. I had a plan. I wanted to die. I felt stuck here in a place where I wasn’t safe. I felt that I couldn’t get out of this situation because of Covid and the flight situation and the number of dogs I have. After looking into every possible option, a private flight was the only way to get off the island right now. My mental health was/is poor enough that while others may think it’s ridiculous, it really was and is necessary to get myself closer to decent medical care for my RA and mental health resources. Luckily I have a loving circle of friends that pooled together and pitched in, getting me within $3500 of my goal. I had to borrow that, but there was no question. I need to get out of here.
This adventure has torn me apart. It’s taken so much from me and dragged me to rock bottom. Yes, there have been many good times, beautiful memories, and poignant lessons. But there is no doubt; this is not my place, my life, or my desire. I don’t fit here, and beyond that it’s a dark place for me.
I was robbed in my home while I slept a few feet away. I lost my vehicle and walked away from my house and my job at once. I then found a house all my own for the first time since I was divorced from husband #1. Later, I was sexually assaulted in my new home. The entire time, we are on lockdown because of covid ranging anywhere from borders being shut down and curfews that are still in place. For months, we couldn’t even go to the beach. So home is where everyone stayed. This threw me into a situation of so much isolation that it wasn’t healthy. And that’s when the darkness set in.
Some people say I’m strong but what is strong really? Is not killing yourself “strong”? I would say the only thing that got me through the past few weeks has been knowing I’m almost out of here. The business of readying for a huge international move on my own has occupied my mind and kept me from going under.
So, tomorrow one of my dearest friends Angela (who runs the horse rescue) is coming over in the morning with her big truck. Paola is coming with her because I’m renting Paola’s car. We will load up both vehicles with dogs, crates, and bags. Then we will drive to the airport, to a special terminal for private flights. I won’t have to deal with TSA and dragging the dogs through an airport. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Angela. She is my sister. For many months, we couldn’t understand each other because she spoke no English and I spoke almost no Spanish. But somehow, we got through to each other and formed a deep bond that we can’t explain. Saying goodbye to her will be very hard.
I’ll take my flight on a little prop plane, and I’ll land in Florida. There, my friend Melissa who is opening her home to me and the dogs will be waiting to load up my things into a fully stocked transport van, and she will accompany me for the 30-hour road trip home. As I write this, she’s on the road to come and get me.
After arriving “home”, the real shit begins. The recovery. Decompression. Gratitude. Not gonna lie. It’s scary.
So the next time I write, I’ll be back on US soil. I picked a lovely time to return, right? Why not plan to arrive in the middle of more political unrest and as the second wave of COVID begins? It makes perfect sense and falls right in line with the rest of my life.
Wish me luck for an uneventful trip, and let’s hope that as I lift off I can feel some of this black energy leaving me.