Monday, September 23, 2019
Home > My Babies > Gaelen Evangeline > H is for Hiding (My need to cocoon)

H is for Hiding (My need to cocoon)

H is for HidingSince losing Calvin, I’ve found myself becoming more reclusive that I already was before my world cracked open. I’m very much an introvert; I need to be away from people to regain my center, but over the past two years, my venturings off into the world outside my home (even when it’s just me and Louie) have been few and very far between.

I used to stay connected via phone or IM and that eventually turned into keeping in touch via social networking. I’ve been needing respite even from that. Even the most remote of human interaction is taxing, and I can’t even stick the everyday aspect of this A to Z Challenge to which I was determined to commit.

I have a couple of hypotheses as to why I cocoon myself from both the virtual world and from the “real” world

  1. A lot of my mourning and catharsis happens in this space—in this huge expanse of emotion translated into text translated into code and disseminated for all to see. And it gets exhausting, even when I am (mostly) safe behind my monitor.
  2. Everyday living, in general, is draining. It is more so now. Part of it is due to the weight of this grief I carry for my three babies—Calvin, Rainbow, and Gaelen; each so deeply loved, deeply missed, and deeply wanted. Part of it is also because I am trying to live and not just survive. And finding and reveling in the reprieve that delight and joy provide requires so much (maybe not always, but now, yes).
  3. I don’t know how to interact anymore. At least not without an exponential level of awkwardness. And it seems easier to avoid these situations… You know, like when it feels like you’re in some odd bubble floating around and not really engaging anyone. Or when you’re at your in-laws house when relatives are visiting your new niece, and your cousin happens to lock eyes with you while she’s holding baby; then that look of both understanding and panic appears as oh slips from her mouth and she quickly turns away. Moments like that.

Inside my cocoon

This is where I start to feel more like myself, or maybe more at-home with myself. In a place that lets me breathe my grief-saturated breath, to inhale and let it rise, to feel it move through and out of my belly, out of my lungs and nose and mouth. Where I have the time and space to let it wrap around me. It’s quiet. And I am still.

I need to disconnect once in a while. I don’t do this so I can emerge transformed like the butterfly from her chrysalis (I think my babies did that, though, when they opened their eyes in heaven). I do this so I can process, so I can heal the bits of me that can be healed, and so I can return to the world of the living.

How do you reset or recenter?

Is it through time alone? Is it through time with people? Do you cocoon, as well, or do you go into your cave? Which metaphor would you use?

This post is a part of a series called Unpacking Grief, which I began as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

crystal
Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

0 thoughts on “H is for Hiding (My need to cocoon)

  1. You have put it so well, Crystal, how you deal with your grief. I tend to withdraw from people. I am shy to begin with, so withdrawing is easy for me. Just wanted to let you know that I love you & am thinking about you & Louie. xoxo

  2. You have put it so well, Crystal, how you deal with your grief. I tend to withdraw from people. I am shy to begin with, so withdrawing is easy for me. Just wanted to let you know that I love you & am thinking about you & Louie. xoxo

  3. I completely relate to the social awkwardness part of life. I wonder if I say too little to strangers and with friends I don’t know HOW to describe in detail all the emotions I feel so that I feel understood. I am in a standstill with the majority of my friendships.
    Sometimes blogging itself can be emotionally draining like you said although it has its benefits. I may be an introvert but blogging doesn’t always come easy for me too. You have been through so much with the losses of your precious children…. and I hope God heals the “bits” and pieces of your life.

    1. Patty, being “in a standwill with the majority of my friendships,” is such an accurate way of putting it. I wonder, too, if I’m not saying enough, or saying too much, or not saying it right. If only one sigh could convey everything…

  4. I completely relate to the social awkwardness part of life. I wonder if I say too little to strangers and with friends I don’t know HOW to describe in detail all the emotions I feel so that I feel understood. I am in a standstill with the majority of my friendships.
    Sometimes blogging itself can be emotionally draining like you said although it has its benefits. I may be an introvert but blogging doesn’t always come easy for me too. You have been through so much with the losses of your precious children…. and I hope God heals the “bits” and pieces of your life.

    1. Patty, being “in a standwill with the majority of my friendships,” is such an accurate way of putting it. I wonder, too, if I’m not saying enough, or saying too much, or not saying it right. If only one sigh could convey everything…

  5. Dear Crystal —

    When grief overcomes me, I can’t be around people, so I understand how you feel. Often it turns into an episode of bawling, by myself, for what seems like eternity. And then I go to sleep. Grief is exhausting. I lost my brother five years ago and the pain is still fresh. What I really want to say is, I understand your need to be with your self — and if you ever need a friend to come over for tea, coffee, or a meal, I’m here for you. Just give me a call. You are such a wonderful presence in this world. I mean it with all my heart.

    1. Viola, I remember having those cry myself to exhaustion and sleep moments, too, and those tears can seem so endless.
      I still remember the shock and disbelief and just… devastation of finding out about your brother and how it happened. My heart hurts for you thinking about, and I can only imagine how painful it still is.
      Thank you for being such a good friend. We do need to see each other more. Maybe a trip back to Cinderella’s is in order one of these days?

  6. I retreat also…I may write more, but definitely withdraw from people. Like you said, it’s exhausting…and some days I just don’t have the energy…thinking of you!

    1. Lori, I’ve found that when I am “cocooning,” I tend to write in my journals more, then when I am more ready, I post on the blog. I guess it comes in steps for me. Is it the same for you? Or do you find yourself on your blog when you are taking a retreat from people?

  7. I retreat also…I may write more, but definitely withdraw from people. Like you said, it’s exhausting…and some days I just don’t have the energy…thinking of you!

    1. Lori, I’ve found that when I am “cocooning,” I tend to write in my journals more, then when I am more ready, I post on the blog. I guess it comes in steps for me. Is it the same for you? Or do you find yourself on your blog when you are taking a retreat from people?

  8. I make sure I spend time with “safe” people. I like to be with “nature” and observe what God has in store for me there. I keep most of these interactions private, I don’t share them all, because these are my precious moments between me and God. Where HE says to my weak soul, “yes, I am real”.

    1. Kristin, I think I know what you mean by “safe” people. These are definitely the people I surround myself with (when I am around people) these days. I love that you have those moments with God, it’s so important to take time to be still and be with Him.

  9. I make sure I spend time with “safe” people. I like to be with “nature” and observe what God has in store for me there. I keep most of these interactions private, I don’t share them all, because these are my precious moments between me and God. Where HE says to my weak soul, “yes, I am real”.

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