Kill The Demons (or just find a way to shut them up)


On January 13, 2014 and a Monday to boot, I faced a demon I’ve had in my dreams and my life for over 5 years.

This was a spontaneous decision to go to this place on this day although I had wanted to do it for a long time.  I faced the outside of the door, more than a little apprehensive on what my reception would be.  Unannounced, with no appointment but a steeliness in my heart, my hand reached out and opened the door.  My feet crossed the threshold.

I was back in the building where I spent 15 years of my life, giving it my all and then, when I left, felt like a failure.  The first thing I noticed was the silence.  This place was always full of noise when I worked there.  The next thing I noticed was a face peering at me from the front desk; older and maybe even wiser.  It took a minute for him to register who I was.  He jumped and said my name with a bit of a shout, and had big smiles for me.  I barely remembered what we talked about. We giggled a lot.

This wasn’t what I came here to do.

I asked the lovely receptionist (who was my work-husband on and off for 20 years) to see if the Executive Director was in and would he see me.  As he made the phone call, I started to notice other things.

spirit1There were ghosts.  Everywhere.  I knew that the clients I’ve known here, loved and stuck my neck out for were mostly gone now.  Their presence was obvious, though, almost like a breeze in some cases (Hi Marie, it sure is great to see you!) to waves crashing from an ocean to a shore; strong, really loud and hard to ignore (Well, looky you! WELL THERE YOU ARE!!  I knew you would come back.  Why did you leave?  Why. Did. You. Leave. Us?)

I wasn’t sure this was a good idea anymore.  What was I expecting?  It’s been a very long time since my sudden departure.  I waited at the front and saw a former staff member, one of my favourites.  I shouted her name and she turned around peering at me too.  The smile on her face was huge, the hug she gave me was huge and my heart was huge just seeing her again.  We only had a moment to chat before the E.D. came out.

His face was all lit up, grinning from ear to ear, obviously glad to see me.  I was so  happy to see that grin.  At least he didn’t have a lawyer with him. ðŸ™‚ We made our way to his office, ghosts still clamouring for my attention.

Some of the ghosts?  There was “Bill” who came to see me everyday no matter what.  Actually there were a lot of “Bills'”. And “Tim” who nobody seemed to like and he beauty of naturescared them because he was a bit crazy but I could see who he was back then, a frightened, rejected man for most of his life.  He would visit and I tried to get him to be a bit more sociable.  Sometimes it worked and lots of times it didn’t.

All through the halls, they spoke to me.

We arrived at the E.D.’s office and I sat in the familiar seat.  He was very animated and very glad to see me which he told me over and over.  I was feeling a lump in my throat.  I had to get the words out.

I explained I was here because I needed to say something about when I left so many years ago.  I wanted him to know how bad I felt about what I put him and the staff through, especially the last 6 months I was there.  I realize now how ill I had been and that there was no choice but to leave.  I didn’t hold anything against him or the organization.  It was a huge part of my life and who I was.  Unfortunately it was too huge to bear.  I couldn’t save everyone.

I also told him how much better I felt mentally.  My life is still a bit off-balance but I am now progressing rather than going backwards or stagnant.  I also told him how often I dreamt of this place (almost every night).  He wanted to know if it was good or bad dreams and I admitted to both, mostly bad.

He was so shocked that I, or anyone for that matter, would come in and say these things.  He also said that an apology was never needed nor did he ever harbour bad feelings towards me.  He could see my strength and I could feel it too.  He thought I was brave!  HA!

He explained how it had been for him and the rest of the staff:

He told me I had been such a fixture there, the staff and clients all felt a strong connection to me and could see me struggling every day.  It was awful for all to watch and he had no idea how to explain to me what was going on and what they were seeing.  Me, who could not see anything at all wrong with the way things were and it seemed pretty hopeless to get me to understand that things were not right.  He ended up putting my health first and making me go on disability.

He didn’t know what a nightmare it was for me after I left.

Now, watching his face and laughing with him and listening to the funny voices he still did that always made me laugh so much, I knew that this part of my life has some closure.

He escorted me to the clinic where I found some more long-lost staff and we reunionhugged and told stories.  Most of the staff I knew were no longer working there but, to the people who still did, I showed off pictures of my granddaughter, my dad and my kids.  They were all so amazed at my Carly and how beautiful and grown up she has become.  I was treated like much-loved and sorely missed royalty.  They were eager to hear about what’s going on in my life and what’s in store for me next.  I felt so…special.

slamming doorFinally it was time for me to go.  Off to the lawyer to slam a door on another part of my life that has been up in the air too long.

The ghosts were following me to the door, waving goodbye.

I stood outside those front doors for a minute wondering if they would follow me.  They stayed on the other side.  But they will have a better, less guilty place in my heart.

Always.

Advertisements

16 responses to “Kill The Demons (or just find a way to shut them up)

  1. You’re amazing ♥

  2. You are amazing, regardless of the time. Bravo, and a ton of hugs for your bravery and heart.

  3. Marie – you are truly special! I am so glad you not only got this closure but that you got to feel & see how others see you! My heart swelled as I read this! I could just feel the hugs! Regardless of how you may feel at times — you are one very brave and special woman! Don’t you forget that!!!

  4. Good for you Marie for going back?That took a lot of courage.I had coffee with Roger before Christmas and he has been through a lot of health issues in the last year.he looked good though.We met at Timmies so I didn’t go into the community centre.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  5. Marie, I am so proud of your strength, for taking on such a big piece of your past, and breathing it all in instead of closing it off. You were so dedicated to that place and the people within those walls. I really don’t think you ever truly realized the positive impact you had on those around you. You always gave so much of yourself even when you had nothing left for yourself. Now you can know that those ghosts of your past clients (friends) love you and appreciated all you did for them and just really want you to be happy. Now it’s time to let them rest and for you to be able to sleep peacefully too. ❤

    • Oh Sherri, what amazing words! Thank you. I’m feeling so much better and realizing more and more that some things were beyond my control. It wasn’t easy but I would never rest easy again unless I had some closure. I haven’t had one nightmare about that place since I was there. It was the right thing to do. 🙂

  6. Marie! What an amazingly courageous thing to do. And what self-love! You inspire me.

  7. Brave R U. oxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s