Compartmentalization |kəmˌpärtˌmen(t)ələˈzāSH(ə)n |noun
A subconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.
A useful tool for the short term, but never a long term solution.
In the days and weeks following Adaline’s passing, my main focus was looking after my wife and son, trying to survive each day, living meal to meal. Seemingly minuscule tasks that would take thirty minutes, now take two and half hours. The level of focus and concentration I once possessed is now fleeting and I am left to wonder if it will ever return. In conversation my vocabulary seems reduced to that of a middle school student as my mind races to catch the right word but comes up empty handed. Setting myself aside till the time when everyone seemed to be okay to self manage before reflecting sounded alright, but I didn’t reflect…
Suddenly, the flash point. The week of August 10 marked three months since Adaline passed. In this same week, we found out our fur-baby of almost nine years needed to have surgery to remove a tumor that appeared to be cancerous. Then I was told the accuracy of my work had begun to decline, that I didn’t seem engaged with the team. Everything has been building to this moment of no longer being able to side step my feelings, thoughts, and emotions. No more distracting myself with work or other’s problems simply to not address what I have experienced, the loss of my daughter.
In that chair, at 4:10pm, in front of two co-workers, what I had been seeking for three months finally happened. I let go and I wept. The release I desperately needed to begin moving forward. Was it unprofessional, maybe, but I have been blessed with some of the most supportive co-workers anyone could ask for. Before the color could return to my fingers from white knuckling it for so long, I could feel the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders. I was finally able to access things mentally that for so long felt like past memories of a better time when a night out meant getting some big league chew and heading to the local little league baseball field.
That being said, I still wrestle with God about it all. I believe in his truths and his sovereignty, but my earthly mind and heart want her here, with me. Growing up and playing with all these other sweet babies our friends have. I try not to compare, to ask “why?” or “really God?” after what feels like a gauntlet of bad news, but it’s hard.
So I pray, I pray for him to come quickly. To make all things new.